A Southern California judge has awarded $850 to an iPhone user who had his unlimited data plan throttled by AT&T, reports The Associated Press.
Pro-tem Judge Russell Nadel found in favor of Matt Spaccarelli in Ventura Superior Court in Simi Valley. Spaccarelli filed a small claims case against AT&T last month, arguing the communications giant unfairly slows speeds on his iPhone 4's unlimited data plan.
Nadel's ruling could pave the way for others to follow suit. AT&T has some 17 million customers with "unlimited data" plans that can be subject to throttling, representing just under half of the company's smartphone users.
Spaccarelli said he was being throttled after using 1.5 to 2 gigabytes of data. This is similar to a recent report that revealed unlimited plan users were being throttled at the 2gb mark since that put them in the top 5% of users. Meanwhile AT&T is providing 3gb to tiered data plan subscribers for $30/month.
It's unclear if AT&T plans to appeal this decision; however, it's likely they will since this ruling could open the door for a class action suit.