FTC finally sues AT&T for throttling unlimited data plans

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AT&T might finally get its comeuppance for throttling data. Photo: Apple.
AT&T might finally get its comeuppance for throttling data. Photo: Apple.

The Federal Trade Commission is finally going after AT&T for throttling customer’s data speeds, by filing an official complaint that the company has lowered speeds on LTE up to 95% on unlimited data plans.

FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez expounded on the lawsuit today stating, “the issue is simple: Unlimited means unlimited.” The FTC also alleges that AT&T engaged in unfair or deceptive acts and practices that affected commerce. And they’ve got the numbers to back up their lawsuit, with claims that AT&T illegally capped users’ data speeds at 128 Kbps.

Here’s AT&T’s response to the lawsuit:

“The FTC’s allegations are baseless and have nothing to do with the substance of our network management program. It’s baffling as to why the FTC would choose to take this action against a company that, like all major wireless providers, manages its network resources to provide the best possible service to all customers, and does it in a way that is fully transparent and consistent with the law and our contracts.”

AT&T added that it’s been “completely transparent” with customers by informing unlimited data plan customers before the throttling program started. The company claims only 3% of its customers are affected, and that they send you a text before throttling.

However, the FTC says it’s received 119,000 complaints and is ready to fight AT&T’s baffled response. Research documents reveal that AT&T knew its data throttling program was viewed by customers as “clearly unfair,” but its marketing researchers advised the company to not “say too much” in marketing about the throttling program.

Source: FTC