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Still no date for Telstra mobile data shaping

Telstra is still working on a system to throttle mobile data for those who go over their monthly limits, more than a year after first announcing the project.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra has confirmed that it still has no immediate plans to start throttling the mobile data speeds for customers who have exceeded their monthly limit, despite announcing plans to do so more than a year ago.

In May 2011, then-chief financial officer John Stanhope announced that 3G customers who exceeded their monthly data allowance, would have their speed shaped to 48 kilobits per second (kbps) while 2G customers would be shaped to 15kbps. The move was designed to limit "bill shock" for customers who would normally cop a 10-cents-per-megabyte charge for data used outside the monthly limit.

"By slowing data speeds once a customer has exceeded their data allowance and not charging for the extra data, customers stay connected without fear of a hit to the hip pocket," Stanhope said at the time.

"The new service will make life much easier for our customers, by providing them with greater certainty and control over their data usage and their bills."

Telstra indicated in late December that the feature would be made available sometime in 2012, but as of July, the company still has no plans to launch the service any time soon.

"This project is in development. We want to ensure it is rigorously designed and tested, before we make it available to our customers," Telstra said.

Optus and Vodafone still currently charge for excess data usage, as well. Both companies charge 25 cents per megabyte of data over the limit.

All companies currently alert customers when they've reached a certain data limit or spend limit, but under the new Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) code accepted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) this week, they will be required to begin alerting customers when they hit 75 per cent, 90 per cent and 100 per cent of their monthly data allowance.

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