Torrenting Users On T-Mobile Unlimited LTE Could Get Throttled

Mobile / Tech

Most network service providers tend to frown on peer-to-peer/torrenting and other potentially illegal activity coming through their wires, airwaves, etc.  In a recent memo to their staff, T-Mobile has announced that they will be taking steps to curtail this sort of activity from their unlimited LTE users.  TmoNews has obtained copies of this memo and outlined some of the most pertinent information.

From T-mobile’s memo:

“T-mobile has identified customers who are heavy data users and are engaged in peer-to-peer file sharing, and tethering outside of T-Mobile’s Terms and Conditions (T&C). This results in a negative data network experience for T-Mobile customers. Beginning August 17, T-Mobile will begin to address customers who are conducting activities outside of T-Mobile’s T&Cs.”

If you’re interested in reading all of T-Mobile’s terms and conditions (T&C’s) you are welcome to do so here.  If you’ve got better things to do with your time, TmoNews was nice enough to clip out the cliff-notes versions of the types of activity that are likely to be an issue.

Using the Service in connection with server devices or host computer applications, including continuous Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications that are broadcast to multiple servers or recipients, “bots” or similar routines that could disrupt net user groups or email use by others or other applications that denigrate network capacity or functionality.

The memo goes on to show T-Mobile’s response for these situations:

  1. T-Mobile will contact customers to explain terms and conditions to them, and then advise them that data speed could be reduced until the next billing cycle IF they continue to misuse the data service.
  2. When the customer is contacted, T-Mobile will apply a ‘Misuse Warning SOC’ to their account.
  3. If behavior continues, the existing warning SOC is replaced by a ‘Misuse Throttle SOC’ and their data speeds get reduced.
  4. These SOCs are visible to customer care and other staff who access the user’s account, to make it clear to them why they might be experiencing slower speeds.
Image Courtesy of TmoNews

Image courtesy of TmoNews

It’s definitely nice of them to warn users ahead of throttling their data.  Chances are good that most will already know what they’re doing and why they risk being throttled, but in the slim chance that someone might be unintentionally breaking the rules it’s good to have a warning in place.

As previously mentioned, this throttling is only applicable to unlimited LTE users.  All other users already get throttled after a certain data usage anyway.  There’s probably only a very small subset of those unlimited users that are breaking the rules (An update from Re/code puts the number of users T-Mobile is concerned about at 20), but T-mobile wants to stay ahead of the situation and sure that processes are in place for users that run afoul of the terms and conditions.

So… Anybody torrenting on their unlimited T-Mobile LTE?  Chances are good you’ll want to stop in the next few days.  These warnings go into place on August 17th.

  Source: TmoNews  Source: Re/code

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