AT&T and Corporate Values: Throttling Your Customers, Suppliers and Society
AT&T is "throttling" five percent (5%) of their customers. Their word. Throttling.
Now, if you're a pilot and you're thinking takeoff - then you throttle up.
If, on the other hand, you're an AT&T customer, they're using the other definition of "to throttle." It means to choke. Like asphyxiate. Like to kill - which, in some ways, seems to be their goal.
What they're throttling is their data use. You see, the customers in question took advantage of an unlimited data plan that AT&T offered - which is no longer available.
Much to AT&T's dismay, these customers are actually using what they paid for. Since that's not okay with the company, AT&T is slowing their connection speed to the equivalent of a dial-up. Yes, a dial-up.
Think your very first AOL connection - modem sound effects and all - and you'll relive the nightmares that these AT&T customers are now experiencing (granted, without the sound effects).
Why? What is driving AT&T to throttle their customers?
Revenues and profits.
AT&T doesn't have the infrastructure to support unlimited data plans. Moreover, they evidently don't want to build it. They'd rather their customers buy the 'tiered' plans that are still available - and far more costly to every user.
There are two other impacts of this heinous decision that are just as important - and have nothing to do with AT&T's customers. In this case it's all about their suppliers...like Apple...and the role of the corporation in society.
On the supplier side, the reason that AT&T's customers bought the unlimited data plans (or the tiered ones, for that matter) is because they bought smartphones. Like the iPhone. And the more that the iPhone is capable of doing - from downloading maps so you can get to where you need to go based on the app you purchased to watching the cute kitties gambol about on YouTube - the more data access you need. And the faster you need to get it.
As well, because iPhones, along with iPads (which also have AT&T data plans), are the fastest growing equipment purchases for businesses, that data access isn't just for fun. It can be the make or break of small businesses that can't afford to buy into one of AT&T's 'business' plans.Continued on the next page