AT&T to pay a $60 million fine for throttling data of its customers
Category: #headlines  By Saipriya Iyer  Date: 2019-11-06
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AT&T to pay a $60 million fine for throttling data of its customers

With growing data usage across the world, several telecom carriers are offering unlimited data plans. However, with growing usage, some service providers are allegedly limiting the bandwidth by further slowing down data speeds, thereby decreasing the streaming speed.

A recent instance of this practice came to light when AT&T, the renowned US-based telecommunications company, was fined $60 million by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), a U.S. government body established for consumer rights, to settle a case that alleged that the company lied to its customers about its “unlimited” data plan.

The FTC claimed that the company throttled the data of its customers if it went ahead of a certain threshold even if the data plan was unlimited.

AT&T is required to deposit the $60 million in a fund that will be further utilized to offer “partial refunds” to the company’s customers who had opted for unlimited data service plans before 2011, when AT&T’s throttling policy was first brought into effect.

Additionally, the company is barred from marketing plans off of their recommended amount of data or speed without further disclosing any kind of restriction those plans might have.

The FTC filed a complaint against the company earlier in 2014 which further led to a long-drawn court battle. Five years after the case was brought to court, the company has agreed to pay the $60 million fine imposed by the agency. However, this settlement is not expected to change a lot of how the telecom firms decide to handle their unlimited data plans.

The FTC stated that if the company’s website is advertising an unlimited data plan, but if the company slows down the speed after the customers reaching a specific data cap, the company should clearly and prominently disclose those applied restrictions.

Previously in 2015, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) charged the telecommunications company $100 million for deceptive marketing activities that were deceptive in nature and involved its data plans.

As per the FCC, it received complaints from thousands of customers over the alleged data throttling practices, which led the agency to further investigate these charges on AT&T.

 

Source credit: https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/5/20949850/att-fine-unlimited-data-plan-fake-throttling

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About Author

Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer    

Saipriya Iyer currently works as a content developer for GroundAlerts. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had previous experience of 3 years under her belt, she has dabbled with website ...

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