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AT&T Adds Tethering, Screwy Unlimited Policy

The United States constantly suffers from absolutely horrid (I’ll put it this way) carrier abuse. Constantly you’ll hear us complain about the expense of basic services, overcharging, and a lack of options. But when AT&T finally gives customers the right to tether, what do they do? They turn right around and spit in the customer’s face by not only capping data usage, but by making it incredibly expensive.

I believe this affects the iPad 3G as well (if you’re a new customer), but AT&T has three options available, one with tethering:

- Data Plus plan which gives you 200MB a month for $15, then another $15 per 200MB beyond that.

- Data Pro plan that gives you 2GB for $25 a month, then $10 dollars per Gigabyte after that.

- Data Pro + Tethering will give you 2GB a month for $45 dollars.

- An unlimited plan remains available, but with the unlimited plan, you cannot tether. Current customers get to keep their current plans.

Gizmodo has a nifty chart detailing all of this wonderful info:

Gizmodo, AT&T Data Plans

Gizmodo, AT&T Data Plans

No doubt that people will pay for this ‘convenience’ because they have the money, and tethering is awesome; I no longer have to carry around one of AT&T’s shitty mobile cards. But I might as well, since they’re charging me out the ass for using data that is anatomically no different than what I can access with just the cell phone. And the overage fees are disgusting.

The right to tether should be free. I shouldn’t have to pay extra because I’m accessing the same services online, except I’m doing it with my laptop. A different device doesn’t necessarily mean I’m consuming different data. AT&T, while I understand you’re competing at Verizon’s level, you should of completely bowled them over with better, good unlimited options ($25 for 2GB compared to untethered $30 for unlimited - are you kidding me?), and much cheaper access, if not free. If you are going to boast that you’re improving your network; that you can handle all this data; prove it. But don’t do it by pissing on customers and capping data. And this goes for other carriers as well.

[AT&T News Room & AT&T Facebook via everything i cafe]

UPDATE! MacWorld Editor Dan Franks Tweets: AT&T story updated: tethering is only an option if you opt for the new DataPro plan; the DataPlus plan isn’t eligible. Link

As if these new data plans couldn’t get any worse right? Yeah.

UPDATE 2: Article edited to reflect now correct AT&T data plans, compliments of Gizmodo.

Gizmodo says it best:

“Let me repeat that: AT&T is charging you an additional twenty dollars a month based purely on how you use your data. This is bullshit, plain and simple.

Why does it matter how you use that 2GB? Why does it cost extra to use it in a slightly different manner, if you’re paying for it all the same?

It’s asburdity—especially when you consider the basic math. Under the old plan, you paid $60 a month for unlimited data, plus 5GB worth of tethering. Under the new plan, you will pay $45 for 2GB of data, total.”

And that’s exactly my concern.

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