This has been a rough week for AT&T’s customers with “unlimited” data plans. On Monday, we reported that user’s with unlimited plans will start getting throttled due to heavy usage. On Thursday AT&T confirmed that it will start taking action against iPhone users who use unofficial Jailbroken tethering apps. AT&T offers an official tethering service that users can pay an additional $20 for, on top of their already hefty bill.
We reported in March that AT&T was contacting Jailbroken subscribers who were tethering. At that time, AT&T just let the users know that it knew they were tethering, and that they should stop, but took no further action.
AT&T recently informed a few customers who tether that if they don’t stop by a certain date (which depends on the user) that they will automatically place them into a 2GB data plan with an included tethering plan, for a total cost of $45.
An official AT&T spokesperson confirmed the new policy, and said that people who tether will have three options. They could stop tethering, they could proactively contact AT&T to change plans, or the company will change the user’s plan automatically. AT&T says that it is taking this action because it is unfair for the majority of its users. Currently, many customers are paying AT&T for the right to tether their phone, and AT&T wants to level the playing field.
In theory, the tethering and throttling announcements go hand in hand. It is safe to assume that the users who tether their Jailbroken iPhones are the same users who use excessive amounts of data. Now that Jailbroken users can no longer tether or use the iPad version of the Facebook app, why even Jailbreak anymore?