Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“Unlimited” Data Plans That Have Limits

AT&T is in trouble with the FTC for identifying one of its cellular data plans as “unlimited” when the carrier does, in practice, impose limits on data use under the plan. AT&T says it explains in the fine print that “unlimited” really means “limited,” but this argument won’t carry any weight in an official proceeding, and AT&T will surely end up changing the name of the data plan to more accurately reflect its effective limits. There is a trend away from unlimited plans anyway in both wireless and wired networks, and rightly so; beyond a certain point, the bandwidth involved does in fact cost a considerable amount to provide, so it doesn’t make much sense to offer it for a flat rate.