AT&T Cracking Down On Unofficial Tethering.


AT&T is cracking down on unofficial tethering by way of jailbroken iPhones and rooted Android devices, specifically, AT&T customers still using the old $30 unlimited 5GB data plan. The emails and texts both highlight the same thing – that AT&T wants to get double-paid for data access via tethering by saying:

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

Of course, tethering doesn’t really require anything extra in the way of data plans. Carriers just like the free money said plans bring with them. As for the current situation here, AT&T will take it upon themselves to auto-enroll you in the $45/month 2GB Data Pro + Tethering plan after March 27th if you continue to tether without said plan.

Thus far, speculation is hinting at a possible pointer in iOS 4.3 that allows AT&T to be able to tell if someone is or isn’t tethering. Though it’s also entirely possible that AT&T is just going off of data usage metrics. If the latter is the case, that’s a petty bold move on AT&T’s part seeing as how 2GB is a pittance to give people in the age of video/photo sharing, VoIP, online gaming, etc.

We’ll keep following this. In the meantime, hop inside for the much lengthier, though equally as ridiculous email compliments of Ma Bell herself…

Dear [Name of Account Holder],
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, 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 after March 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 to 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.

Via: BGR


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  • Anonymous

    My take is, AT&T is the worst service provider in the USA. When I had cell service with them, they tried to charge me for text messages they sent to me, advertising other services. AT that time, I had never sent a text message in my life. When I told them I would not pay, they said I would be disconnected and have to pay an early termination fee. I reminded them I had a month-to month plan. They denied this and I demanded they produce an annual contract with my signature on it. Because I was returning to Brazil within a month, I told them to cancel my plan and try to collect. I’d see them in court first.

    They never canceled my plan, I never paid even though they continued to bill me for moths. The bills were forwarded to my home in Brazil. I always returned them with a message flecting upon their dishonesty, ethics, and stupidity.

    FWIW, every iPhone sold in Brazil comes jailbroken. Apple and AT&T can both kiss my ass.

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Author: Mike

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