AT&T ends illicit freetard handset tethering
Don't try to hide - they know who you are
AT&T is clamping down on subscribers who have jailbroken their iOS devices or rooted their Android handsets in order to tether their computers or tablets to the intertubes without paying for that service.
"Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan," the email explains – ending any speculation as to whether AT&T can distinguish between tethered and on-device data usage.
Tethering owners of jailbroken iPhones have taken advantage of apps such as MyWi or the iPhone-to-iPad MyWi OnDemand to get a free ride on AT&T's service, while owners of a variety of Android devices have been able to root their handsets and install tools such as those supplied by the android-wifi-tether project. The Android tools support tethering over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; MyWi adds USB to the mix.
AT&T's missive informs tethering freetards that to continue using such apps they'll need to sign up for their DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering plan – and if they don't sign up but continue their unauthorized tethering ways, AT&T will sign them up anyway: "If we don't hear from you, we'll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011."
As AT&T explains, that plan's tariffs are as follows:
- $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
There is another alternative, according to AT&T's email: "If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required."
As might be expected, some tethering scofflaws are less than totally pleased by this development – such as Henry, who complained to The Houston Chronicle's TechBlog: "[My iPhone and Android handset] are rooted and I have unlimited data on each. I PAY for that. How I use it is my business."
To which we reply: well, not really, Henry. It's AT&T's service you're using, and how they choose to parse it out and charge for it is their business, not yours. You pays your money and you makes your choice.
Another TechBlog commenter who reluctantly agrees that AT&T is within its rights to charge for services as it sees fit – "that's capitalism," he says – nevertheless expressed his feelings about Big Phone's new policy concisely: "Very few things in life would make me happier than seeing AT&T burn to the ground." ®
History repeating itself...
Once upon a time ATT had the delusions that they will be able to charge extra for additional computers in the house. In those (10+ years ago) days ATT invested significantly into analysis and fingerprinting connections to detect NAT and try to charge the customers for the offence of having more computers connected to the internet than what they have paid for. And we all know what this ended up with - consumers having a ton of devices behind NAT.
Let's see if the history repeats itself...
Forget Unlimited - this applies to capped Data plans!
It seems easier for the righteous to start complaining of people taking advantage of unlimited data plans with tethering - very easy to point the finger and say those evil people over there have hacked/jail broken their phones and are 'stealing' bandwidth from us other poor sods etc....
Forget all that
The majority of AT&T users no longer have unlimited plans - they are on 2Gb per month for 25$ or whatever.
Forget the jail breaking of iPhones - lots of people have droids with standard 'wifi hotspot' android feature.
So, you turn it on... you fire up your new shiny iPad.... you're still consuming way less than your 2GB limit [which you have paid for] - but ... oh... no... I'm sorry - you now owe AT&T $20 a month extra if your continue to do this.
That is pure greed.
"I pay for unlimited data"
Unfortunately they also signed a contract saying they would have to pay extra for tethering.
Damn sly telocs