Sprint warns unlimited data users of returning restrictions
It sounds so promising: unlimited data. Our smartphones make it so easy to access the world’s content whenever we choose to, so why wouldn’t we want the freedom to consume it all, bandwidth tiers be damned? But the reality of the situation often finds users with unlimited data getting the short end of the stick from carriers, either by way of pretty serious rate hikes, or by threatening, if not to cut the tap of unlimited data entirely, to slow its output to a trickle. Today we learn of the latest limitation to befall smartphone users with unlimited data plans, as Sprint shares word of connection throttling.
Let’s be clear here: the throttling Sprint is talking about is only for the heaviest users; if you’re using 5GB a month, 10GB a month, or even 15GB a month, you’re totally fine. It’s only when users cross a 23GB threshold in a single billing period that Sprint explains it will start downgrading connections. And even then, it’s only prioritizing the data traffic of other users over those who have already consumed 23GB in times of network congestion – you’ll still get full-speed access when the network can handle it. These new rules go into effect today.
All things considered, those restrictions sound pretty reasonable, and Sprint deserves at least some credit for being one of the few major carriers still offering new unlimited data plans, in contrast to Verizon and AT&T only allowing existing users to keep their grandfathered unlimited plans.
Previously, Sprint had backtracked from its throttling stance following the passage of FCC net neutrality rules. Today’s announcement marks a reversal of that policy, put into effect only four months ago.