According to the FCC, AT&T changed the way it administers unlimited mobile internet plans, but failed to notify customers, allowing them to believe their plan remained intact. It will cost the telecom.
The issue is over AT&T Mobility and a “Maximum Bit Rate” policy.
The FCC noted that the company stopped offering unlimited data to new customers, but continued to sell data plans described as unlimited to existing customers.
However, under MBR, the allegedly unlimited date slowed dramatically once a cap was reached. An average of 12 days per billing period featured dramatically slower mobile internet service.
The FCC is planning on hitting AT&T with a $100 million fine.
According to the FCC, “Since 2011, the Commission has received thousands of complaints from AT&T’s unlimited data plan customers stating that they were surprised and felt misled by AT&T’s policy of intentionally reducing their speeds. Consumers also complained about being locked into a long-term AT&T contract, subject to early termination fees, for an unlimited data plan that wasn’t actually unlimited.”
“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. The FCC will not stand idly by while consumers are deceived by misleading marketing materials and insufficient disclosure.”
“Unlimited means unlimited,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “As today’s action demonstrates, the Commission is committed to holding accountable those broadband providers who fail to be fully transparent about data limits.”