AT&T is following rival Verizon Wireless with a new type of family plan that comes with a four-fold increase in data service fees. But AT&T says the higher-priced plan will be an option rather than a requirement.
AT&T has some 17 million customers with "unlimited data" plans that can be subject to throttling, or the placement of virtual wheel clamps that slow download speed dramatically. What's surprising customers is how little data use it takes to reach that level -- sometimes less than AT&T gives people on its "limited" plans.
A tiered data plan is in the works for Verizon customers, potentially doing away with the unlimited data plans that new customers currently enjoy. CEO Ivan Seidenberg said Thursday the nation's largest carrier may introduce its tiered data plan in the next four to six months.