Pitchforks up, people. In Sprint's most recently published issue of “The Playbook” there is a very distinct section stating that this summer, the function of data throttling will be enabled. Exactly what the new policy may entail, who will be subject to it and how and how often it may be implemented isn't yet known. But we're never happy to hear that a carrier plans to regulate the speed at which you can upload and download data over their network in relation to how often you access it and how heavily you use it. Shout out in the comments if you think this is a sign of the apocalypse or just a big mutual misunderstanding.
[via Engadget]

Update: As commenter Ecoteric points out, Engadget has updated their story.  Sounds like this may about a "new feature for businesses looking to restrict disproportionately high usage by employees with company data cards".  Here's hoping for some official word from Sprint.

 
There are 40 comments

xorg says:

If this is true, I suspect it will only be for 3G in an effort to push more people to 4G. Clearwire has specifically stated they plan to have no caps for 4G because they have a lot more capacity than all other carriers.

Another possibility is they only cap those who don't have the Premium Data Package (the $10 EVO tax).

davidminor03 says:

comcast does it and its not terrible. only annoying if you are trying to download torrents or movies on a PS3, then it gets real irritating. So long as it doesnt affect making video calls or other phone functionality I see no serious impact.

Jerry-O says:

Hopefully this will not apply to those of us who were forced to pay $10 for the premium data experience.

My parents satellite internet (I know I know, but its the only option out in the sticks) do this when they go over their 5GB cap for the month. To agree with define1984, its more annoying than anything else.

To be honest, I will take throttling down the speed over overage charges any day. . . you hear that ATT. . . take a hint and save some customer service points.

Possum63 says:

I'd need more details before taking up arms over this. I will be watching this closely though. It may not impact me all that much since the majority of my data traffic is over WiFi at home or work. Heck, for as little as I actually use Sprint's network, they should pay me $10 a month.

crxssi says:

We are forced to pay $10 a month more, get no included wifi hotspot, have no 4G in my area, and then get throttled???

I really resent this, especially as a customer who already doesn't use much data in the first place.

Ecoteric says:

Engadget updated their post - some sources are saying that this is in regards to a business feature for companies to throttle employee lines that are using too much data.

Everyone relax.

via Engadget's article:

"Update: We're hearing from a couple sources that the shot here from The Playbook is a little out of context, and actually refers to a new feature for businesses looking to restrict disproportionately high usage by employees with company data cards. That sounds a little less painful, does it not? Thanks, everyone!"

thebrownswin says:

This would be incredibly unfair to those of us who have to pay the "Evo" tax. At that point Sprint might be forcing my hand to pay the ETF and switch to Verizon (not that they won't do similar in the future) but the value brand that Sprint was is becoming less and there coverage is not improving either.

Ecoteric says:

Engadget updated their post - some sources are saying that this is in regards to a business feature for companies to throttle employee lines that are using too much data.

Everyone relax.

via Engadget's article:

Update: We're hearing from a couple sources that the shot here from The Playbook is a little out of context, and actually refers to a new feature for businesses looking to restrict disproportionately high usage by employees with company data cards. That sounds a little less painful, does it not? Thanks, everyone!

davidminor03 says:

I think this is more to hold people off from starting to use the 4g network as a replacement for their home internet connection. Personally I would rather then throttle a person thats consuming tons of data so that everyone else can get descent bandwidth then to leave it for others to use it all.

Comcast already does this but only to those who are using tons of data where it would affect others on the network or when the network is working at high capacity so as not to crash the network. More then likely wont notice it unless you are tethering and downloading tons of stuff or at a huge event i.e. state fair.

my two cents.

ro1224 says:

If Sprint is going to "ration" data then they are as stupid as AT&T is for moving away from an unlimited data plan given their exclusivity with the iPhone and iPad.

These are data-hogging appliances and if these carriers haven't figured this out yet then I don't know what to say.

Rationing data is the easy and cheap way out when carriers should be reinforcing their networks, in particular when they all are driving more and more customers to own and use data-centric devices.

All the carriers claims to "reinvest" into their networks. If this is true then why is AT&T hobbled by an inadequate network and data outages that seem to have moved them in the direction of a new data plan structure? Verizon Wireless claims to also reinvest, yet where I live, there has been no service for 20 years. Huh? Sprint and T-Mobile work at my house, but services isn't exactly top notch either. With wireless plan prices edging up $10 here, $20 there, our domestic carriers need to understand that they need to deliver product if they want to keep getting our money.

If I end up with an EVO, which is my intent, and I have the $10 Premium Data surcharge and my data get's throttled, man is there going to be hell to pay. I can already see a class-action lawsuit if carriers don't start to smarten up and fast.

UNLIMITED SHOULD MEAN UNLIMITED. I'll happily throttle what I pay for data if I have to deal with throttled access to the services for which I'm paying.

icebike says:

When building networks, you can go lay more fiber. You can split your cable plant by just adding more head end controllers so fewer are on each controller.

Available bandwidth is essentially unlimited over the medium term.

But wireless is different.

Towers handle a limited number of cells.
Frequencies are licensed.
Permits must be acquired, federal state and local.

Lots of people don't want cell towers anywhere near them. (They need to be bitchslapped, but what can you say?)

Until you study up how many new towers went in and how many existing Edge towers got converted to 3G, you can't make the claim that any carrier isn't investing in their network.

sjcea says:

Funny how all this crap pops up after the evo launch , Sprint sucks so glad I left them , could care less about the to big evo and there crap network lol

Mystic205 says:

The point in discussion is rate shaping ..ie the speed at which you are downloading data... NOT the volume of data you download....

Given that 4G will be simultanous voice plus data ...both over an IP based network then you need to simply relax.. RATE SHAPING IS INEVITABLE..

And, btw, whether you think so or not..it is occurring right now and everywhere.... in the router, your access point, your wireless router, at comcast, RIM, your service provider etc etc... you just dont know its happening..

I am delighted that Sprint is setting in place this capability... it requires both new hardware and software but it is ESSENTIAL in order to support QoS guarantees

Nextelian says:

Thank god for the voice of reason. I was about to post to try to talk people off of the ledge. First of all you all need to remember that sprint also provides millions of WAN circuits to millions of businesses, by the looks of this picture it could mean them and not us-unless you currently get your bill in PDF format on CD. Try not to jump to conclusions here, you have zero context to base your wild accusations on.

xFaultx says:

Throttling is the most evil thing a ISP can do IMO. I payed for my internet, and just because I use it instead of my neighbor who plays farmville the whole time, u throttle me. IMO as long as Im not going over bandwidth, dont touch my internet

McPlot says:

I do not mean to sound like I am insulting you, but...
You have no idea how data networks actually work. With most ISP's 5% of the users take up 80% of the network. Most of the 5% are NOT the online gamers, these are NOT the Netflix or other video over internet users. They are NOT VoIP users. Most of these people are illegal file traders. They run multiple servers out of there homes. Most(if not all) ISP's do not allow servers unless it is a business account for these reasons. These people are breaking the law in more then one way. Besides copyrights on movies and games, etc. They setup ways to pass along "content" that is just wrong. If you never got a notice from your ISP saying you are using too much bandwidth, then you have NOTHING to worry about. You are not one of the 5% of users.

Comcast does not throttle bit torrent any longer. The FCC threw a fit, tried to fine Comcast. Comcast stopped, but Comcast took the FCC to court, and won. The FCC does not have the authority to regulate internet. They also do not have the authority to give themselves the authority to do so.

Until you truly understand what it takes to run a network, please put down your pitchfork and torch. If you ran it, wouldn't you want to throttle the 5% of users taking up 80% of the network so your other 95% of customers can get good service? Why should 95% of your users only have access to 20% of the network?

This is where consumers need to make an huge uproar. First of all, these CEO, Chief Financial Officers, & mid management of the telco's make insane amounts of money. Yet they want to throttle or choke off our data plans so they can keep their obscene stock options & salaries? SCREW THAT.

We need to fight for unlimited data plans. The future innovations of mobile Internet & the future of the Internet itself is wrapped up in this. As soon as mobile carriers are successful, you know the ISP's will do so for home service. We cannot go back to tiered pricing. Do you know how many services will be rendered unusable? YouTube, Audible, iTunes, Xbox Live, PSN, ESPN Video, Steam, Battle.net, Zune Marketplace, Hulu, TWiT.tv, This Week In, television stations that stream content & so many more services will be just too expensive. At that point, we might as well just turn off data because the overcharges will just be ridiculous. Don't tell me we don't have enough broadband because WE DO. It just comes down to reasonable salaries, reinvestment in the business, & protecting the flow of the Internet.

CEO's and big companies need to make sacrifices before you start hurting the end user experience. This is why as scarry as it sounds, we need to regulate the Internet to some degree. Two things need to be made illegal, throttling & data caps. As much as I hate over regulation, the fact that we're facing a data capped & throttled down future of the Internet, shows that ISP's & carriers cannot act responsibly to manage the Internet on their own. We as consumers must step up and demand that government protect our right to free, uncapped, & unfettered internet access at ALL COST!

JohnnyACE562 says:

That menacing shadow over the page is very fitting...

{{o_0}}

ShortySk8n says:

Ro1224 & Gundamunicornmiester I couldn't agree with you more. 1.5Mb speed unlimited should mean what it says. If that's what I paid for? Then I have the right to use it 24/7 365. If the carriers need more bandwith for Qos guarentee? Then they need to add more bandwith. Not take from me what I HAVE PAID FOR. The only way to fight this is with our feet. When ATT starts losing customers they will offer unlimited again. If Sprint starts losing customers? They will stop throttling. I would love to see current laws (weights & measures) enforced. Most internet companies break those laws. BTW was considering switching to Sprint for Evo. Thanx for saving me the hassle.

bbrosen says:

One thing we do not need is more government control over the private sectors. Like it or not, these are private companies, already state and federally regulated. It is their network, and they have the right to run it anyway they see fit. if you do not like it, then you are more than free in this country to start your own ISP, or cell company and sell bandwidth and services in the amount you want for the price you want. i do not understand people wanting the government to get involved in a private business to force them to run it contrary to what they want to do. Just because they want it certain services their way.

don't like the pricing or options? Don't buy it, no one forces you to buy that cell phone on that plan. Now, I do not agree it is a good decision for them to do what they do, the market, will bear this out, people will vote with their dollars.

I am pretty sure tho, that all companies will eventually do away with the all you can eat buffet with their services, i saw this coming when the iphone came out. soon, everyone will have smartphones. They will be standard, instead of the exception. more people will have mobile internet than is used at home someday. we will be an all mobile society down the road. almost there already as most have done away with home telephone service. soon, someday we will not have home internet too. wont be desired or needed.

ceo's are there for the company, not the customer. it's the hard truth. no one has a right to free and unfettered internet, last time i read the US Constitution and the Bill of rights as well as the declaration of independence it was not in there. Correct me if i am wrong...

Possum63 says:

@gunda - Gotta disagree with you on government regulation on this. It would stifle competitive growth rather than stimulate it.

Engadget updated their post - some sources are saying that this is in regards to a business feature for companies to throttle employee lines that are using too much data.

Everyone relax.

Ecoteric says:

via Engadget's article:

Update: We're hearing from a couple sources that the shot here from The Playbook is a little out of context, and actually refers to a new feature for businesses looking to restrict disproportionately high usage by employees with company data cards. That sounds a little less painful, does it not? Thanks, everyone!

craig198#AC says:

ive never reached even a gig in one month. not even 700MB. so as long as its, to be fair, 2gb limit Im cool with that.

They had better not throttle us back on 4G. (I have noticed that 4G has been MUCH slower the last few days). In fact, it is been right on par with 3g. I live in Northern VA, (Just outside of Wash, DC) and we are not officially "Lit up" yet for 4G, but it was very fast on EVO launch day. I hope they are just tweaking the network here.

They can throttle 3G hogs all they want. But for an extra $10 a month for the EVO, I out to be able to hit 10gigs a week if I want.

UNLIMITED, Sprint.

rckgregory says:

I've read articles here, but never posted. I am a manager at Sprint, and this is the kind of crap that pisses me off. People leak a line or two from our "Playbook" and all you people wanna just sit there and bitch. Evo's data is unlimited, and always will be. The article is for businesses that have a ton of 4G air cards and will be hogging our Evo bandwidth. This is to help all you whiney bitches, not to hurt you. So for real, don't just complain to be complaining...get the facts first!!

craig198#AC says:

wow I hope you dont deal with customers at all with that attitude. If so your not helping your job get any better.

Awake says:

I am sure he uses that type of language with his customers. Get real, this is the internet, people are allowed to vent, there is nothing offensive by his comments. If you're so upset by his comments, you've probably never heard of Rush Limbaugh.

Possum63 says:

While I appreciate your desire to clarify the matter, I have to say your post is a bit unwise. Speaking from the perspective of someone who has worked in tech support and customer service for years, you really need to get a grip on your anger and compose your thoughts before you post. While your post is obviously not anything official from Sprint, you mentioned that you are a manager at Sprint. When doing so, you need to be careful how you represent yourself and your company. Unofficial or not... accurate or not, it gives people the impression that this is how Sprint management views their customers. Not good. For your sake I hope nobody you work for at Sprint reads this post. It probably wouldn't be too hard for them to figure out who rckgregory is.

Loogie says:

Would this mean that Sprint would have to change their Terms of Service? If so, I'd the opportunity to bolt without an ETF!

Awake says:

From engadget: "Update: We're hearing from a couple sources that the shot here from The Playbook is a little out of context, and actually refers to a new feature for businesses looking to restrict disproportionately high usage by employees with company data cards. That sounds a little less painful, does it not? Thanks, everyone!"

Stop running with unverified stories, there is a reason BGR has lost advertisers.

McPlot says:

This inaccurate and deceptive article should be deleted. Then re-posted with the correct information that states it is for BUSINESS accounts. Not just edited to say it appears to be for business accounts only. An apology to the users of Android Central and Sprint should be made as well. I thought this site was for real news. Reports like this make me think it is more of a tabloid.

Many business pay per kb, and when their employee is surfing porn, playing online games, or watching movies online, it cost the company money. The company should not have to pay for non-business related usage. So when the employee finds out they cannot do their work anymore because they watched all 6 Star Wars movies in HD using the companies air card, that employee gets into trouble.

rckgregory says:

Not at all, I am extremely polite and helpful to my customers. The "Playbook" isn't supposed to be out on the internet anyway. And that was just the Index, not the article. It just seems like people on this website just look for anything they can to complain about. Especially before they even know the facts. Just gets annoying thats all.

ShortySk8n says:

Bbrosen I couldn't disagree with you more. These private companies are using public airwaves & rights of way. They pay a few dollars once for a license & little or nothing for public right of ways. It is against the law to sell you .99 gal of any product & call it a gallon. I agree with you the FCC doesn't have the authority to regulate the internet speed. But weights & measures does. They govern anything that can be measured. Like 1.5Mb

I also found it funny you bring up the Constitution. It took amendments voted by the people to give Blacks the same rights as Whites & women the right to vote. I can't find anywhere in the Constitution or any amendments giving any rights to Corporations. If I drive drunk & kill someone I go to jail. Corporations break safety laws all the time & people die. (7 people died at City Center, Las Vegas & 23 in the mine back east. Both were found to break safety laws but no Prison) So if Corporations have rights, What about my truck, Or house. All are creations of Humans. But I digress

ShortySk8n says:

RckGregory I wouldn't be surprised if Sprint's sales department leaked it. To generate calls from the public so they could say "while I have you one the phone" & upsell something.

orcus1111 says:

Whenever you see the word "Playbook" from someone posting about Sprint, rest assured that its an internal communication to employees to know of the immenant changes coming.

Awake says:

Why would you wait for an official word from Sprint? This information was not meant for the public, not to mention it is inaccurate. It was never made official from Sprint. Since the document was unofficial to begin with, why not take the new information, either take the article down or change the title/text.

MOE-GUNZ says:

CHANGE THE TITLE!

orcus1111 says:

The end is coming... I suggest you now snag up the highest allowed plan available before the new restrictions go into effect. That's what I am currently doing. At least you can be grandfathered in for a while until you have to update equipment. Now is the time to act!