If you subscribe to AT&T, there’s a good chance they may not being straight-up with you.
The Federal Communications Commission is accusing the ubiquitous brand of intentionally slowing down the usage speeds for subscribers of unlimited data plans.
Federal Communications Commission officials announced plans Wednesday to fine AT&T $100 million for misleading subscribers about unlimited data plans.
It’s the largest such fine the agency has ever proposed under rules that require broadband providers to clearly disclose information about their services to consumers.
On Wednesday, the FCC alleged AT&T’s practice of slowing the speeds of unlimited data plan users and failing to tell them that their speeds could be slower than other customers violated transparency obligations under the agency’s old net neutrality rules, which have been in effect since 2010.
(While a federal appeals court threw out most of the 2010 net neutrality rules last year, it upheld the section that requires Internet providers to clearly tell subscribers about data speeds and other details of their service.)
“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in a prepared statement. “Broadband providers must be upfront and transparent about the services they provide.”
The FCC alleges AT&T violated the 2010 Open Internet rules by “falsely labeling these plans as ‘unlimited’ and by failing to sufficiently inform customers of the maximum speed they would receive” under the company’s new throttling policy, which was announced in 2011. The agency said it has received “thousands” of complaints from AT&T’s unlimited data plan customers since the policy took effect four years ago.
The allegations alone suggest something in the milk ain’t clean. Sprint is paying to switch, no?
Photo: AT&T YouTube