May Contain Blueberries

the sometimes journal of Jeremy Beker

I am a big fan of John Gruber’s website Daring Fireball. He always has good information and I appreciate his opinions on technical issues. (And yes, I have been supporting him for years, I have a whole collection of t-shirts.). With the whole brouhaha surrounding AT&T’s new data plan pricing, I have been getting increasingly frustrated with all the moaning and bitching people have been doing lately. Gruber has been covering it and agreeing with some of it, so as I was getting fed up this morning, I penned a long email to him. As I don’t want him to be the only recipient of my wisdom, here it is.


I’ve been getting increasing frustrated with the whining I am hearing all over the net regarding the changes to the AT&T fees for data. I am hardly an AT&T fanboy, but this has just gotten ridiculous, I think people are just looking for anything to bitch about.

There seem to be two issues at stake here: data costs and tethering.

Data Costs:

For anyone who uses < 2GB month, this is a better deal by at least $5/month. Simple, no questions asked. If you always use < 200MB a month, you save $15/month. Also simple.


If you occasionally go over those limits, it is still probably a good idea. In my case (and I would have thought I was a power user, but I guess I find WiFi more often than not), I looked at the last 7 months and I went over 200MB once. So, I would have to had paid an extra $15 that month, but saved $15/month the other 6. Still a good deal.

As for that tiny percentage who uses > 2GB/month consistently, ok, fine, they can bitch, but I want pictures of their data usage.


Yes, AT&T is charging people $20 for no more data usage, BUT, people forget that AT&T is a business therefore they are not setting their $25/month price to cover the cost of every user using 2GB/month. If they did that it would be much more expensive. They use an average value.

This is where the extra cost from tethering comes from. I believe it is safe to assume that an iPhone user without tethering will use less data on average than a user with tethering. AT&T believes they can make a profit by charging handset users $25/month based on “average” consumption and tethering users $45/month because their average usage will be higher.

Is any of this “fair?” Business isn’t about being fair, it is about making money. And that is what AT&T is doing. If someone doesn’t like it, switch carriers. But if they are going to keep their iPhone and AT&T, I wish they would stop complaining.

Thanks for being the recipient of my minor rant. As always, I love your coverage.