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AT&T: Tethering Without Permission, Pay Up Or We’ll Make You

AT&T has started informing it’s customers that they are cracking down on unauthorized tethering via jail broken iPhones and rooted Android devices.

AT&T has noticed usage patterns in some of their unlimited data plan users that suggests these users are tethering their phones without paying the $45 data plan which includes tethering.  AT&T has begun to send out emails and text messages to users they feel are taking advantage of being grandfathered into unlimited data plans which ended last summer with the introduction of tiered data.

AT&T offers three options for those people tethering without their permission

– Stop unauthorized tethering and keep your plan
– Sign up for the 4gb Data pro plan ($45)
– Do nothing and automatically be enrolled in the $45 plan

AT&T has often been plagued with bandwidth problems, especially in heavily populated areas and the unauthorized tethering must be adding to the problem. This approach does seem a little aggressive though and other than usage graphs we’re not sure how they could have stumbled across this data.

Source: GigaOM


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  1. its ok that we pay for data usage up to a certain limit, but its not ok if we actually f*cking use what we pay for. Greedy bastards (at&t), wish I had another choice in my area.

  2. They recognize certain “patterns” as tethering. If a user occasionally tethers his device to his phone, they will not see any “pattern”. As with anything else, abuse = punishment. Raise the flag above others = be identified.

  3. First tiered data on phone data plans, then capped DSL internet, now they crack down on “unauthorized” tethering? I don’t know any other way to say this AT&T:


    Do they want to compete with Verizon AT ALL? What the hell have they done with all the profits from the iPhone when they had it exclusive? Shareholders of AT&T need to start asking tough questions about their strategy.

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