Three / 3 / Hutchinson 3G data throttling, shoddy service

So today I attempted to download a sizable amount of data through my mobile data connection. What started off as a speedy and pleasant transfer turned in to a throttled nightmare.

Some background; I have Three’s ‘One Plan’ which sports “unlimited” mobile data and allows tethering. For those that don’t know, tethering is turning your mobile phone in to a modem (or WiFi router) so you can use its 3G connection on your laptop or tablet.

I’ll start by saying I’ve been otherwise thrilled with Three’s network and while they’ve had some network disruptions of late I seem to have thankfully dodged those. I moved away from Vodafone to Three in January after experiencing several unwelcomed price increases on my bill. I chose Three because of their “network built for data” and they’re the “fastest growing mobile network” which sounds promising, right?

I usually experience 3-5Mb/s over 3G almost everywhere I go. There’s never been a time where I’ve been short of bandwidth when using say Spotify or YouTube on the 3G connection. So today, my 350MB FTP data transfer started off at the usual 5Mb/s and lasted for about 100MB in. Then my speed dropped to 2Mb/s – still not too bad. When I hit 200MB, it’s a whole new story. How does (as little as) 0.1Mb/s sound to you?

After the data transfer had finally finished, any attempt to stream music via Spotify or YouTube (even 144p quality) failed miserably. I’ve never had to buffer a video in over 4 years… but thanks to Three’s idiotic trottling I’m now left with an 0.1Mb/s 3G connection. How long will this hideous throttling last, is it permanent?

I’m quite shocked to be classed as a heavy / excessive user through downloading a few hundred MB. Most months I’ll barely hit 1GB of usage and I know fine well this month I’ve not hit 200MB before starting this FTP transfer. I have to conclude, I simply cannot see how Three’s network is ‘built for data’ when they choke their customers for light usage. If this is how they operate, I SIMPLY CANNOT RECOMMEND THREE AND ADVISE YOU TO AVOID.

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