AT&T Raises ‘Unlimited’ Data-Throttling Limit to 22 GB

There was no press release. No fan fare. No trash talking. AT&T just posted a simple announcement on its Web site. Nevertheless, itEUs big news for many AT&T wireless consumers who have an unlimited data plan: You can now use 22 GB of high-speed data during a billing period before becoming subject to network management practices, particularly throttling.

The move comes after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) slapped AT&T with a $100 million fine in June for misleading customers by promoting "unlimited" data plans that were actually throttled after certain usage limits were hit. The fine stems from a lawsuit the FTC filed against AT&T for this issue in 2014.

EUAs always, Unlimited Data Plan smartphone customers will still have the comfort of knowing that, no matter how much data they use in a billing cycle, they will continue to pay a single monthly flat rate,EU AT&T said. EUThat is the essential promise of the Unlimited Data Plan, and we are pleased to continue honoring that promise.EU

How It Really Works

AT&T also promised that speed reductions would only occur if you use your device at times and in areas with network congestion -- and only for the rest of the current billing cycle after you pass the 22 GB data threshold. Previously, AT&T began throttling users with unlimited data plans at 5 GB in congested areas.

You will get notified during each billing cycle if your data usage reaches the 16.5 GB mark, thatEUs 75 percent of 22 GB. That gives you time to adjust your usage to avoid throttling, which could cause Web sites to load more slowly or impact the performance of video streaming and interactive games. The impact will depend on how much congestion is in your area at the time.

EUBecause the amount of congestion at a cell site can...

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