“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.”
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