AT&T Might Be Capping Data Upload Speeds
AT&T annoyed many customers by recently instituting a data cap of 2 gigabytes (GB) for smartphone users. Now evidence indicates the company is planning another controversial move by capping upload speeds.
Apple-related forums are seeing an influx of reports from iPhone users saying their upload speeds have been slashed. This comes just days after several iPhone 4 reviews showed that the iPhone 4 has significantly faster upload speeds than previous iPhones.
According to reports on the forums, it appears the upload restrictions are regional. According to the forums, the following areas are affected:
New York City, Central Jersey, Boston, Orlando, Seattle, South Jersey/Philly, Columbus, Cleveland, West Houston, Phoenix, Northern Colorado, St. Paul/Minesota, Suffolk County/Long Island, Quad Cities, South Jersey, Denver, Detroit Metro, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Fairfax, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Des Moines.
It would make sense for AT&T to target major metropolitan areas where data usage is heavy.
Most users are reporting upload speeds below 100 kilobits per second. By contrast, most users with a good connection usually see somewhere in excess of 1500 kilobits per second. Such a drastic reduction in upload speeds might not affect a Twitter update, which is just text, but it will significantly slow down image or video uploads to sites such as Facebook and Flickr.
Keep in mind that this is separate from the 2GB data cap AT&T instituted. Data caps only affect the total amount of data a phone uses in a single month. Caps on upload speed govern how fast a phone can send data to the network. So users can still send the same amount of data, but at a much slower rate.
AT&T has not made any official statements about upload speed caps at this time.