Update: T-Mobile has provided us a statement of correction, which can be found at the bottom of this post.
The cool thing about T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet is that 5G is often really fast and just an install-and-forget solution — just install the modem and enjoy the advantages of 5G, including its speeds. It’s completely unlimited data for just $60 (previously $50) a month, with no limits on what you can do with it or how much you can use it.
At least, there were no limits until now, that is. It looks like T-Mobile is getting a little stingier on how much you can use with your Home Internet service, and is now planning to reduce your network priority after a certain amount of usage, which could result in slower speeds.
T-Mobile is now warning users in its terms and conditions that users might “notice speeds lower than other customers” occasionally due to data prioritization, and adding that there will be a “further reduction” if they’ve used over 1.2 TB in a given month.
This change was not announced anywhere by T-Mobile, at least publicly, and rather, the company opted to just quietly update the terms and conditions of 5G Home Internet to add this. The “data prioritization” language already existed and mostly just referred to network congestion, but the “further reduction after 1.2 TB” bit was quietly added on January 19th as per a check on the Wayback Machine.
The change comes just three days after T-Mobile also quietly changed its pricing for Home Internet, so this looks like an active effort for T-Mobile to make the service more profitable for itself. Still, the way the service previously worked was amazing, and it’s sad to see the company getting stingier with it.
On the other hand, 1.2 TB is a lot. You could run into the speed reduction if you happen to either have multiple devices (which you use actively) or you live with a few people. On regular usage, my Windows computer uses about 200 GB each month. Needless to say, you likely won’t be able to use 95TB of data a month like this person once did.
The good news is existing customers are not affected by this change. There are no promises involved with price lock that include keeping no data caps, so T-Mobile is free to change their minds later, but for now the limit appears to only affect new customers.
Still, with the priority limit existing, we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s reduced even further within a year or two. After all, it seems companies everywhere want to make things worse these days.
T-Mobile provided the following statement:
This is a fair usage policy, not a data cap. We don’t have a data cap. Customers still get unlimited data even if they use more than 1.2TB in a month (over 2X the average user – less than 10% of our customers). They’ll just be prioritized after other home internet customers for the reminder of the bill cycle, and they may notice slower speeds compared to other home internet customers in times of congestion. This ensures that all of our customers get a great network experience. At the start of the next month, those customers reset to normal prioritization until the next time they hit 1.2TB.– T-Mobile
We’ve edited our post to clarify this news.