The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it plans to fine AT&T a record $100 million over the company’s practice of throttling unlimited data plan customers.
In a release, the FCC said its investigation showed that AT&T “severely” limited data speeds for customers with unlimited plans. The carrier also failed to adequately notify customers about the practice.
The FCC charges that AT&T violated the 2010 Open Internet Transparency Rule by calling the plans “unlimited.” Even though AT&T began to offer “unlimited” plans in 2007, the throttling didn’t begin until 2011.
“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “Broadband providers must be upfront and transparent about the services they provide. The FCC will not stand idly by while consumers are deceived by misleading marketing materials and insufficient disclosure.”
We first told you about AT&T’s throttling practices all the way back in 2012. Take a look at a special edition of AppAdvice Daily that covers the issue. Click here if you can’t see the video.
Back in October, another governmental body – the Federal Trade Commission – announced a suit against AT&T over the same throttling practice. It’s unknown how today’s news will affect that case.
I’m glad to see another governmental body take such decisive action over the important issue. And hopefully it will dissuade other carriers and broadband providers from misleading consumers in the future.