started throttling the top 5% of data users each month so as to keep data use manageable while the latest Apple iPhone model was being launched. But customers like Cozen, allowed to be grandfathered in with his unlimited plan, are actually worse off in some ways than those who selected a tiered data plan. AT&T would rather customers sign up for a tiered plan. For every GB over the cap, customers on a tiered plan are charged a $10 overage, but they are not throttled. On the other hand, unlimited plan customers who are throttled for being in the top 5% of data users in their region are given a notice that strongly suggests that they switch to a tiered plan.
Now it is possible that Cozen actually used more than 2.1GB of data for the month and the up to date figures did not yet reach his AT&T iOS app, which he used to measure his data use. But if it is correct, consider the irony of AT&T's new $30 3GB monthly tiered plan. Those unlimited plan users like Cozen could end up throttled using less data than someone who paid the same monthly rate for a tiered plan. Back in October, AT&T computed that to make the top 5%, an AT&T customer would have to use 12 times the amount of data as the carrier's average customer. Once a customer's account is throttled, it remains at the lower speed until the start of the next billing cycle.