To be exact, AT&T throttled my so called “unlimited” data plan. This is nothing new as this type of thing has been happening for quite a while, but still! It’s natural in modern society to think things like “That will never happen to me,” or “Too bad for him. Glad it wasn’t me.” Well guess what?! It happened to me! I was driving on my way home from work one day, sun was shining, I was content, and I was streaming one of my favorite podcasts on my iPhone over 3G and I got this text:
What did I do next? I ignored it and went on my merry way. The next day I pulled out my iPhone while at the gym and began to stream another podcast and what happened? Something I like to call the “eternal buffer”. What is this phenomenon? Well it’s what happens when your bottlenecked bandwidth doesn’t allow you to stream things without letting it buffer for at least 5 minutes. I know, I know, these are first world problems so I should stop complaining, right? Well, it is kind of frustrating when you are paying for the unlimited plan but get throttled to speeds so slow that it is seems like a joke to call that data plan unlimited. Seriously, I couldn’t stream a simple podcast because of this. I could barely use Safari or Google Maps during this time either. My iPhone reverted into an old Nokia from 2002 that can do pretty much nothing but dial and accept calls. I even contemplated moving over to Sprint for its unlimited plan but I chose not to. As upsetting as this was, I am getting a fair price for my 3GB of data, at least, and stopped my mild abusing of the data network.
Lesson learned. Since then, I have made it a point to use more wifi when I can and limit my 3G usage. I also found out what the biggest data sapping offender for data usage on my phone was: Netflix. Word of caution, when using Netflix use it over wifi. It will help you in the long run.