AT&T may face U.S. FCC fine over data throttling iPhone users

“The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering fining AT&T Inc. for failing to adequately notify customers about reductions in mobile data speeds for some heavy users, a practice known as ‘data throttling,’ the company said,” Karen Gullo and Todd Shields report for Bloomberg.

“The Federal Trade Commission accused the company in a 2014 lawsuit of deceiving at least 3.5 million smartphone customers who paid for unlimited data plans and had their transmission speeds drastically reduced. The company disclosed the FCC probe in court documents seeking dismissal of the case,” Gullo and Shields report. “AT&T says the FTC lawsuit deals with the same issues that the FCC is investigating. Mobile data services are regulated by the FCC, and the FTC lacks authority to sue, AT&T said in its filing in San Francisco federal court.”

“The company’s “maximum bit rate” program, sometimes called throttling, temporarily reduces mobile data speeds for some users to prevent service degradation for all “by preventing heavy users of data from overwhelming the mobile network,” AT&T said in its filings. The program complies with FCC rules, AT&T says,” Gullo and Shields report. “AT&T in 2011 began throttling speeds for customers who went over their data limits and failed to adequately notify them, the FTC said in its complaint. The agency is seeking an order halting the practice and millions of dollars in damages for customers. Most of those affected were Apple iPhone users.”

Read more in the full article here.

22 Comments

    1. • The fraud is interstate commerce whose jurisdiction is under the Justice Department.
      • Obama appointee, Eric Holder, is the Attorney General.
      • Ars Technica played around for a little while in campaign donor records and found that AT&T “easily” qualifies as the top donor in political campaigns since 1990. Since that time, AT&T has doled out a whopping $45,461,879 to politicians, significantly more than runner ups the National Association of Realtors ($36,749,493) and Goldman Sachs ($32,660,452). AT&T’s donations were bi-partisan in nature, though they did favor an Obama White House, apparently (AT&T was paid back with immunity for charges of illegal wiretapping).

    2. How do you, conservatives, can have a normal life and at the same time see the world always, every minute detail, through a political prysm?
      I forgot. You people are not normal. But lets try a little bit to keep poltics out of this medium, can you? Or are you too gone the deep end?

  1. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of thieves.

    I’m just happy to be on Verizon so I actually have bandwidth available finally. But now I’m actually *able* to go over my limits, too. 🙁

      1. Community college is not free. Cheaper than university but not free. Depending on the state where you live you may pay from $25 to $75 per unit. Your average course load is usually about 15 units so from $375 to $1125 per semester plus books and supplies.

        1. Bot and I are (not together) listening/reading the news today about Obama pushing for 2 free years of CC for those willing to work for it. The proposed deal would be 3/4 of the bill is paid by the feds (not sure how!) and 1/4 paid by states.

          1. Hadn’t heard this but it hasn’t happened yet and you wonder if it’s likely to considering his lame duck status and Republican House and Senate control. I do think education should be a priority and available to all. It’s key to economic improvement.

            1. Education comes before everything else IMHO. But that’s how I think about the world in general.

              As for Republicans, the current rendition of the party is thoroughly pro-ignorance, sad to say. 🙁

            2. I agree about education.

              I don’t see why conservatives can’t be smarter about a lot of things. As much as liberals disingenuously like to think all righties are retards, think again BUT being conservative doesn’t mean letting go of your humanity or choosing middle of the road and occasionally left solutions.

              Having said that I think that’s true of both parties. Fixating on a dogma or political party is neither healthy or realistic and usually counter-productive. In general I’m not a fan of parties.

              Hating to bring up this four letter word but weren’t the Nazi’s also a “party” and it was anything BUT a party. Parties are passé in my book and unworkable. Their natures are driven by an agenda and opposite polarity party agenda’s just cancel each other out and nothing gets done as we have been witnessing.

              I also consider each issue by it’s merits, not what some politico dim bulb thinks who motivations are questionable and based on being reelection priorities – left or right.

              I worked for a (Democrat) Congressman (and knew a City Councilman with an alcohol problem) as a photographer when I was a young man and saw the absolute crap that goes on that seemed to be anything but managing the business of the people. More like serving their own purposes and fooling around. Some of these elected officials – including a Democratic State Senator I also knew – went to jail when they were caught.

            3. “Parties are passé in my book and unworkable. Their natures are driven by an agenda and opposite polarity party agenda’s just cancel each other out..”

              You have someone who agrees with you from long ago:

              “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
              ― George Washington

            4. It’s all very sad to me at this point. The people with the relational skills to get into office are typically (with some rare exceptions) exactly the people with terrible leadership skills and terrible capabilities of actually getting anything productive done. Instead its all chatter, schmooze, back patting, blahblah.

              Today I’ve been thinking about adult humans needed a sort of daddy and mommy of reality to tell the kids when to stop playing games and do what’s critically important IRL for a change. (In Real Life). Sometime’s concepts of god play that role. Sometimes the natural world intervenes and forces games to halt for a period of time. It really is strange how we humans demand to play our games to the exclusion of the real world at large.

      2. Actually, all college is supposed to be “free” if you will, and not by MR. OBAMA’s doing either, but by International Treaty and Law. All the US GOV-CORP would be doing is complying with the Law already in place. Where I attend University many students of, lets say an International flavor, are well aware of this knowledge. That explains the how and why their college is being paid. But, do NOT believe me. Check into it yourself, and be prepared to learn a little bit of the English language dialect called legalese if you want to make the “proper claim” in the “proper way” and be able to back it up. Here’s a starting point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_education. That’s all I am going to say on this matter aside from the fact that I personally know it works. I hope you can be successful too.

  2. According to my dictionary, ‘unlimited’ means: not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent. AT&T is in violation of its promise of unlimited data. They can spin this any way they want, but they’re still a bunch of lying money grubbing crooks.

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