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FTC finally wakes up to AT&T throttling unlimited data speeds
9to5Mac alerts us to the FTC announcing that they are suing AT&T for “deceptive and unfair data throttling”. The FTC is specifically going after AT&T’s practice of slowing down data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans even though customers with tiered data plans saw no drop in speed.
“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise. The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.” – FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez
The FTC filed a complaint in federal court against AT&T charging that the company was misleading millions of customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while reducing their data speeds, in some cases by nearly 90 percent.
The FTC’s complaint also points out that AT&T was not telling customers on unlimited data plans at what point they would be throttled (data wise) in any given billing cycle. When customers would cancel their contracts because of the throttling, AT&T would then hit those customers with significant early termination fees.
Thus far, according to the FTC, AT&T has throttled at least 3.5 million unique customers a total of more than 25 million times. AT&T documents show that the company received thousands of complaints about the slow data speeds under the throttling program.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 5-0.