All that article says is that AT&T is going to start using tiered data plans, and guess what? THAT'S WHAT MOST OTHER CARRIERS IN THE WORLD ALREADY DO! Look at Canadian carriers.
And OP, before you go bashing AT&T, learn to read. Nowhere does it say AT&T will sue anyone (copied the quote from AT&T's mouth at the bottom of this post).
There has always been somewhat of a softcap on data. Look at comcast and other cable companies. if you're downloading billions of gigs a month, they'll make you pay more or tell you to go elsewhere. data is not free by any means. i have WANTED tiered data forever. it's a smarter way to not only handle network congestion, but to get people to not hog bandwidth. it affects everyone. and honestly, anyone who is using over 5gb of data on their phone needs help. i can see if you stream pandora or something, but my god, get a frackin router already. you don't need to stream pandora constantly. you have an ipod built in your iPhone for crying out loud.
and honestly, before you get your panties in a bunch, data may be CHEAPER for a lot of people. tiered data would probably be structured starting at 10-15$ or so.
I'd think something like this...
500MB data - $15
1-2GB - $20
5 GB or unlimited - $30
Maybe Unlimited - $40
And honestly, that really isn't unfair. I would think they'd want to encourage people to save a little money and drop their plans. It'll ease up on network congestion. For people like me, I'd be able to drop my plan as I don't even use 500MB a month as I have wifi at home. They don't have as many costs when it comes to handling network congestion and I have a little extra pocket money. It's a win/win situation.
People use data irresponsibly and it affects everyone. So before you go pointing fingers, look at other carriers, they all have "soft caps", they normally just don't enforce them, but believe me, they'll all follow suit soon, so go ahead, have fun with sprint and that bill for stupidly breaking several phones.
They have not have said it outright, but expect tiered data soon. You'll be able to have data and do what you want, you'll just pay for it. What a concept.
Soon there won't be data plans given on what type of phone you use, but data will be data, whether you have a Razr or an iPhone. You pay for the data you use, not based on whether or not your phone has a keyboard or runs an OS (which was a stupid idea to begin with). Data is data, and it's about time it's treated as such.
Article from AT&T:
AT&T: Tighter control of cell data usage ahead
Tighter controls on wireless data usage coming for iPhones and other devices, AT&T exec warns
By Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer
On 10:30 am EST, Wednesday December 9, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) -- Wireless data hogs who jam the airwaves by watching video on their iPhones will be put on tighter leashes, an AT&T Inc. executive said Wednesday.
The carrier has had trouble keeping up with wireless data usage, leading to dropped connections and long waits for users trying to run programs on their devices. AT&T is upgrading its network to cope, but its head of consumer services, Ralph de la Vega, told investors at a UBS conference in New York that it will also give high-bandwidth users incentives to "reduce or modify their usage."
De la Vega didn't say exactly how or when the carrier would change its policies, but he said some form of usage-based pricing for data is inevitable.
Right now, the carrier has a monthly usage cap of 5 gigabytes on its data plans, the same as other carriers. That's an ample allowance for most people, and gives them little reason to curtail their usage. AT&T also doesn't make it easy for subscribers to know how data they're consuming.
"We need to educate the customer ... We've got to get them to understand what represents a megabyte of data," de la Vega said. "We're improving all our systems to let consumers get real-time information on their data usage."
Just 3 percent of "smart" phone users are consuming 40 percent of the network capacity, de la Vega said, adding that the most high-bandwidth activity is video and audio streaming. Several applications on the iPhone provide nonstop Internet radio.
De la Vega also defended the network's performance, saying testing showed that AT&T's third-generation, or 3G, network was faster than that of competitors, and that major problems are concentrated in New York and San Francisco, which are packed with smart phone users.
AT&T is locked in a TV ad war with Verizon Wireless, which is touting its wider 3G network coverage. The two recently agreed to drop two lawsuits about their dueling claims.