Sprint wants to "protect" you with data throttling

Sprint's "Unlimited" data plans are about to become ever-so-slightly limited. The company has initiated a new "Quality of Service" practice that'll throttle data once you've used a certain amount in a month. This is not unheard of – throttling of data (making data speeds go slower after you've used a certain amount) – is something that most major data networks have been guilty of in the past. Sprint's newest effort to make this practice OK with consumers is to cut back on data speed in the name of protecting those that don't use more than an average amount.

In an article written by Sprint's Chief Technology Officer Dr. John Saw, it's explained that the company's newest QoS (Quality of Service) practice will begin to be applied on October 15th (that's yesterday) and thereafter. This practice will be applied to Unlimted Data plans with the carrier.

See also: AT&T says throttling your data is harmless.

The practice will cut down on data speed once a user has used more than 23GB of data in one billing cycle. This will only happen, says Saw, in times and locations "where the data network is constrained."

When the data network is constrained and the user has already used up 23GB of data in a billing cycle, they will be "prioritized on the network below other customers."

Sprint's attempts to justify this practice by suggesting that it is only "three percent of [the carrier's] postpaid subscribers [that are] using overwhelmingly disproportionate network resources."

Meanwhile AT&T's Unlimited Data throttling sits at a 22GB end-gate. T-Mobile USA's similar 4G LTE data throttling starts at 21GB as of June of this year.

Verizon does not have any (non-grandfathered) Unlimited Data plans, but as of October of 2014, they also found themselves on the wrong end of the FCC for throttling – as did AT&T.