Why AT&T Was Hit With a $100 Million Fine by the FCC

Jun 17, 2015  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission today slapped a hefty $100 million fine on AT&T for allegedly slowing down the data speeds of customers who had what the company billed as “unlimited data plans,” Time magazine reports.

“According to the FCC, it received thousands of complaints over AT&T’s slow mobile internet, and that the carrier failed to notify subscribers it was providing slower-than-advertised speeds,” Time reports.

In a press release, the FCC said: “The Enforcement Bureau’s investigation revealed that millions of AT&T customers were affected. The customers who were subject to speed reductions were slowed for an average of 12 days per billing cycle, significantly impeding their ability to use common data applications such as GPS mapping or streaming video.”

AT&T issued a statement indicating it will fight the ruling and saying the company “vigorously disputes the FCC’s assertions.”

Time notes: “The FCC investigation relates to ‘unlimited’ data plans that AT&T first began to offer in 2007, and has since discontinued. Customers who signed up for the plan, however, complained that AT&T began imposing a cap in 2011, and then severely slowing down speeds when they exceeded that cap. Many also expressed frustration about being locked into long-term ‘unlimited’ contracts despite the caps, and being forced to pay termination fees if they wanted to change plans.”

AT&T was recently hit with a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission over the same issue, the report notes.

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