Tethering allows users to turn their phone into a wireless hotspot using their 3G connection and allowing other devices to connect to it.
Hundreds (if not more) of AT&T subscribers received the following email this week, in which AT&T practically says "start paying for tethering or we will force you to."
Reads the email:
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. Here are details on the plan:
DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering
� $45 per month (this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
� $10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
� Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible Smartphones
If we don't hear from you, we'll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011. The new plan - whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you - will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan.