There are many AT&T customers that have grandfathered unlimited data plans. If you decide to root (or jailbreak) your phone and use tethering apps like Barnacle, you risk losing your data plan and automatically being placed within a tethering plan.
In March of this year Ma Bell started sending alerts to those users illegally tethering asking them to upgrade their plan to support tethering. It seems that alerting doesn’t work and providers will not be taking more extreme measures. Those found tethering illegally will now automatically be moved into a 2GB tiered data plan with a 2GB tethering package. Not only will those that had a $30 unlimited plan now have less data but they will be paying $15 more as the tiered plan is $45.
Currently there is no known date for when this will take place but we do know it will be soon and those of you that don’t stop tethering may be paying more for less service.