The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it’s slapping AT&T with a hefty fine for misleading subscribers about unlimited data plans. At a grand total of $100 million, it’s the largest fine the agency has proposed, after AT&T was caught throttling speeds of unlimited data plans without telling them.
The FCC alleged on Wednesday that AT&T deliberately slowed data speeds of unlimited data plans below that of other customers, which violated transparency obligations set in place back in 2010 by the agency’s old net neutrality rules.
“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.”
According to the FCC, AT&T violated the 2010 Open Internet rules by “falsely labeling these plans as ‘unlimited’ and by failing to sufficiently inform customers of the maximum speed they would receive.” The agency said it’s received thousands of complaints from AT&T over the throttling since AT&T’s policy took effect in 2011.
AT&T says it plans to ‘vigorously dispute’ the FCC’s allegations, and that the company has been “fully transparent with our customers, providing notice in multiple ways and going well beyond the FCC’s disclosure requirements.”