Customers who hacked, or jailbroke, their iPhone so they could use tethering apps such as MyWi to escape high AT&T fees now have nowhere else to go. AT&T knows who the jailbreakers are and it's now sending letters demanding $45 a month for its 4GB ($10 for every GB after that) plan or stop using the tethering option.
From OSX Daily:
Dear [Name of Account Holder],
We’ve noticed your service plan may need updating.
Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones– a practice commonly known as tethering. Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T’s mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.
Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.
If you would like to continue tethering, please log into your account online at www.wireless.att.com, or call us at 1-888-860-6789 Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. CST or Saturday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011 to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.
If users decide to stop using tethering, then the fees will never appear. If not, AT&T promises the account holder that "we’ll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27."
While ReadWriteWebargued for lower-cost mobile broadband (because so many people want high-cost mobile broadband -- actually none, which is why it's a stupid argument,) I find myself less outraged. People hacked their iPhone because they didn't want to pay additional AT&T charges for tethering. Now they have had several months of free tethering and AT&T has decided it's willing to pay a little money to crack down on users who are circumventing the data plan. It's as simple as that.