Why AT&T's Internet Tethering Policy Needs to Change

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Eso, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Eso macrumors 68000

    Eso

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #1
    I was in the middle of watching a video on Hulu just a few moments ago when it suddenly stopped buffering. I peeked over at my cable modem, and sure enough, it had lost the signal. 99.9% advertised uptime does imply 0.1% downtime, after all. Luckily, I had the foresight to have previously installed the tethering carrier patch on my iPhone! I turned on tethering, connected my iPhone through USB, and I was off browsing the web again in no time (I opted to suspend my hulu video until later).

    I ended up tethering for just over 20 minutes until my cable service returned. I continued to browse the web normally (although I put my hulu video on hold), including browsing these forums, viewing the 3GS unboxing video, and looking up information about the Windows Mobile Store.

    AT&T's mobile data plan allows for 5 GB at a bandwidth up to 3.2 Mbps (no minimum specified) for $30 per month. Even for this small convenience - 20 minutes in 30 days - AT&T wants to charge me an extra $30 per month! They want to charge users double merely to access the same amount of data and bandwidth via tethering, claiming the adverse affects of tethering to their network. AT&T's service agreement states that devices can not be used to tether to a computer, but are they justified? I decided to keep track of the network traffic just to see how much data and bandwidth I used. Here's the data:

    IMG_0001.png IMG_0002.png

    544569676.png 544575613.png

    Stats:

    Total test time: 24 mins
    Total data accessed: 17.6 MB
    Average connection speed: 937 Kbps

    Analysis:

    Average network load: 100.1 Kbps
    Time to reach 5 GB cap: 4 days, 20 hours, and 22 minutes (continuous browsing)

    Although network data is accessed in spurts at rates equivalent to the average connection speed (937 Kbps), the average network load is calculated as the total amount of data used over the total test time. This is more representative of actual network load as users will not all be requesting spurts of data simultaneously; in other words, data requests for multiple users will average out into a constant rate of data.

    The average network load for this type of browsing is 10.7% of the average bandwidth provided by AT&T during the test (937 Kbps). It would require that 24.2% of one's total available time be spent in continuous browsing over a tethered 3G connection to reach the 5 GB data cap per month. This value assumes 16 waking hours per day in a 30-day month.

    Conclusions:

    The average load on the network for web browsing on a tethered connection represents only 10.7% of the bandwidth provided per user. Additionally, the browsing habits that would be required to reach the monthly data cap with this type of web browsing is unrealistic. This does not indicate that web browsing with internet tethering has a significantly adverse to the wireless network.

    AT&T's policy of no tethering is not justified for three reasons.

    1) There is no provision for occasional (limited use) tethering for no additional cost which would benefit users in my situation and result in no adverse impact on the wireless network.

    2) Justification that tethering is prohibited due to high-bandwidth applications is redundant as there are already prohibitions on using such applications in the service agreement. This includes services such as server hosting, web broadcasting, P2P file sharing, and streaming television signals.

    3) Justification that tethering is prohibited due to high-bandwidth applications or extreme data use is irrelevant as AT&T has control of both the bandwidth available to users and the amount of data they may access per month. They have the power to limit bandwidth to users such that their use will not adversely affect their network, as well as to deny wireless data service for users that exceeded the data cap within any given month.

    If you agree with these conclusions, contact the FCC and voice your opinion that it is time for carriers to admend their policies to consumers' needs despite apologists citing the service agreements that users must accept.
     
  2. samcraig macrumors P6

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #2

    Your thread title is not remotely what you wanted to discuss.

    and in regards to #3 - people are already upset with the speeds they get. If AT&T were to regulate that further, there'd be no point in tethering anyway.

    Good luck. I don't see AT&T or any other service provider (they're all the same) budging on the tethering issue/making a separate plan for tething.
     
  3. labman macrumors 604

    labman

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mich near Detroit
    #3
    ww

    I am so glad that the tethering saved you life. :rolleyes: can I please have back the 3 minutes I wasted on this thread. :( no exactly what I though it was gonna be. you couldn't wait 20 minutes play a game on your iphone browse on the Iphone for 20 minutes so pay up it's as simple as that next time be more patient.
     
  4. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #4
    There is a valuable leasson to be learned here.

    Eso's internet= life.
     
  5. esadb macrumors 65816

    esadb

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    Nov 29, 2008
    #5
    wtf.. the title has nothing to do with anything
     
  6. Eso thread starter macrumors 68000

    Eso

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #6
    It's a bit sensational, I know, but I couldn't really think of an appropriate topic name.
     
  7. miggitymac macrumors 6502a

    miggitymac

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #7
    This has to do with saving your life how?

    Less drama queen title please.
     
  8. miggitymac macrumors 6502a

    miggitymac

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #8
    How about "dribble"?
     
  9. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Location:
    Washington DC
    #9
    Why don't you complain to Apple?

    If their phone could view Hulu, you wouldn't have needed to tether!
     
  10. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #10
    "Got 3 minutes to kill? Well then, have I got the thread/ blog/ glorified twitter post for YOU!?"
     
  11. samcraig macrumors P6

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #11
    How about "A Case For Internet Tethering"

    or something - I don't know - RELEVANT to your post?
     
  12. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
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    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #12
    +1000. OP, get real. You're just trying to make sure people read this (by your original thread title).
     
  13. leomac08 macrumors 68020

    leomac08

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    it did work!:D

    i'm working in an office, so it kills time.

    plus he saved my life, from working this last 5 minutes.:D
     
  14. PhightinPhils26 macrumors 6502a

    PhightinPhils26

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    #14
    Wow... What a poor title... I came in here thinking you took down SkyNet with your iPhone Tethering and I read about your cable modem going down... Change the title please!
     
  15. leomac08 macrumors 68020

    leomac08

    Joined:
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    PERFECT TITLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

    SOUNDS LIKE BILLY MAZE MAKING AN OXY CLEAN COMMERCIAL!!!!!! (imagine it) lol
     
  16. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #16
    I was really hoping that my suggestion would have been used. It still seems the most appropriate. :D
     
  17. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #17
    LOL - he said saved HIS life - not all of mankind from the terminators...
     
  18. samcraig macrumors P6

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #18
    but what about the slow readers where it might take 10 minutes to read. Then the thread's title would be trying to imply it takes less time to read than it does. And that would be a lie!
     
  19. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #19
    Well, we cant lie on the internet now can we? :rolleyes: :p :D
     
  20. Eso thread starter macrumors 68000

    Eso

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #20
    Then I'd be AT&T!
     
  21. PhightinPhils26 macrumors 6502a

    PhightinPhils26

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    #21
    -1... Too Soon, too soon...lol

    (I'm not taking points of for the misspelling of Mays though...)
     
  22. leomac08 macrumors 68020

    leomac08

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
  23. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #23
  24. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #24
    And this threads makes me wonder what exactly? Seriously, biggest wasted of thread ever.
     
  25. leomac08 macrumors 68020

    leomac08

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #25
    got it!;)
     

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