FTC Pushes AT&T to Bring in Changes in Unlimited Data Plans

FTC Pushes AT&T to Bring in Changes in Unlimited Data Plans

In a bid to appease customers irked by having to work at Internet connection speeds of under 0.5MB per second after having subscribed for 3G and 4G unlimited data plans, American telecommunications organization, AT&T has brought in required changes.

Following the likes of Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint who still consider throttling or decreasing the internet speed, to a certain extent, but only in congested networks, AT&T too declared that it would throttle only when necessary. The issue at hand is the misleading attitude of companies when soliciting customers to purchase their data plans. What users contemplate as being unlimited high-speed data plans, in fact, only offer high speed up to a particular ceiling, beyond which users are left to work at extremely diminished speeds.

In October, AT&T faced legal action in a suit filed by the Federal Trade Commission, for misleading customers by charging them for "unlimited" data plans while reducing their data speeds, in some cases by nearly 90 percent. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleged that AT&T failed to adequately warn customers about the reduced speed, beyond a certain cap.

Until now, the supposed ‘unlimited’ plans on offer by AT&T were: 3G unlimited plan, wherein the user got 3GB of data per month before any possible throttling and 4G LTE, wherein the users got 5GB data per month, beyond with throttling started.

Coming at the back of the lawsuit by FTC, AT&T has roped in a change in its throttling policy wherein users after reaching their respective data caps, will experience reduced speeds only if there is congestion in the network area. However, there was a loose end to this declaration. The company did not specify as to what qualifies as congestion, leaving the ball in the company’s court.

The company can also face possible action from the Federal Communications Commission, which in its upcoming rules, makes a reference to throttling.

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