AT&T facing $100 million fine from FCC for misleading customers about unlimited data plans


The US Federal Communications Commission announced plans on Wednesday to fine AT&T $100 million for unsuitable throttling practices. The Commission issued a press release on its website this morning proclaiming the decision, charging the carrier with violating the ‘2010 Open Internet Transparency Rule.’

For what it’s worth, this fine will make it the largest single fine in AT&T’s history, so certainly noteworthy just for the number alone.

AT&T is saying that it did let subscribers know, and that, interestingly enough, the FCC simply just ignored those warnings. The FCC says it still wasn’t enough, and that the Big Blue network should have been talking about it even more. More to the point, the FCC states that AT&T’s warnings weren’t clear enough.

In May of this year, AT&T confirmed that it would be throttling grandfathered unlimited data users that were in certain areas, and utilizing a lot of data on their devices. Indeed, AT&T has not been shy when it comes to throttling its network for high-impact users, but the FCC doesn’t seem to agree with the language that the carrier has used thus far to outline their motions.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in today’s press release. “Broadband providers must be upfront and transparent about the services they provide. The FCC will not stand idly by while consumers are deceived by misleading marketing materials and insufficient disclosure.”

Source: FCC

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