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AT&T Cracking Down On Unauthorised Tethering

Update: In the email AT&T do explicitly sate that if users do not contact AT&T or stop tethering, they will “automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011”, if the user stops then no change will occur. It would seem that to be automatically upgrading/changing users contract plans, AT&T should have a fairly fool-proof method of checking which users are tethering compared to those just using large amounts of data.

Numerous AT&T users who use MyWi, a jailbreak tweak that allows you to enable tethering without a subscription, yesterday began receiving text messages and emails from AT&T reminding the users that to use your phone for tethering requires a subscription to an AT&T tethering plan.

The notices for most began with a text message that said:

AT&T Free Msg: Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit att.com/dataplans.

Following this text message many users also received an email (included after the break) which told the user that to “take advantage of [tethering], we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.” The email also said if the user wishes to continue tethering to sign up to a tethering plan – but did not specify any consequences for continuing to use MyWi without purchasing such a plan.

At this point it is unclear how AT&T knows which users to issue the notices, the presumption is that the notices are going out to any user that uses a large amount of data (some are saying more than 10GB) and are not subscribed to a tethering plan.

Dear [Customer],

We’ve noticed your service plan may need updating.

Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones– a practice commonly known as tethering. Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T’s mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.

Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.

If you would like to continue tethering, please log into
your account online at Cell Phones and Cell Phone Plans - Wireless from AT&T, or call us
at 1-888-860-6789 Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. CST
or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011
to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.
Here are details on the plan:

DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering
• $45 per month
(this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
• $10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
• Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible Smartphones

If we don’t hear from you, we’ll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB afterMarch 27, 2011. The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan.

If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.

It’s easy to track your usage throughout the month so there are no bill surprises. For example, we send you free text messages when you reach 65, 90, and 100 percent of your plan’s threshold. If you would like to monitor your account more closely, go towww.att.com/dataplans to learn about other ways to track your data usage.

As a reminder, our smartphone data plans also include unlimited usage of Wi-Fi at no additional charge. AT&T smartphone customers can use Wi-Fi at home or on-the-go at any one of our more than 23,000 U.S. hotspots already included in your data plan.

Thank you for bringing your account up to date. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve your mobile broadband needs.

Sincerely,

AT&T

[Via ModMyi]

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