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FCC forces T-Mobile to refrain from hiding throttled speeds from customers

The FCC has forced T-Mobile to provide clearer information to customers running on throttled speeds and stop extempting test speed tools from data caps.

Published onNovember 25, 2014

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If you’re a T-Mobile  customer, you are probably familiar with getting your speeds throttled (slowed way down) anytime you exceed your data limit. T-Mobile generally throttles speeds to 128Kbps or 64Kbps, which depends on which plan you currently have. The speed decrease then lasts for the rest of the month until the day you start your next billing cycle.

Until now, customers in this situation had a hard time knowing their actual data speeds, as T-Mobile exempted speed test apps from throttling, which caused them to show misleading results. A new agreement between the FCC and T-Mobile is looking to change all that.

Under the new rules, T-Mobile must stop extempting speed tests from throttling, inform users through clear text messages when they exceed their monthly data limit, place shortcuts to accurate speed test tools on its devices, and clearly disclose on its website information about speed tests and data throttling.

Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, is happy with the decision from the FCC, but worries that T-Mobile will only  direct their customers towards specific speed test applications vs the application of their choice. The group stated that if “T-Mobile is truly confident that they are managing their network responsibly, Public Knowledge hopes that they will free their subscribers to test their network connection with an application that they trust, not one that was pre-approved by T-Mobile”.

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