FTC suing AT&T for throttling unlimited data user speeds, carrier calls claims “baseless”

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has announced that it is suing AT&T for “deceptive and unfair data throttling”. The FTC’s announcement seems to target AT&T’s practice of lowering data transfer speeds for customers with unlimited data plans versus customers with tiered data plans now offered. From the FTC’s press release:

“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.”

AT&T has called the FTC’s allegations baseless adding that the carrier has been “completely transparent” with its subscribers.

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T-Mobile to throttle customers using unlimited data plans for peer-to-peer file sharing

T-mobile

In the world of wireless, words like “unlimited data” have their restrictions if you take the time to read the fine print of a carrier’s service agreement and it appears that T-Mobile is not exempt from such practices. An alleged internal memo obtained by TmoNews details how the company will address customers suspected of using its network to access peer-to-peer file sharing services.

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AT&T throttling is a death sentence (UPDATED with AT&T statement)

UPDATE [Tuesday, January 17. 2012 at 2:29pm ET]: An AT&T spokesperson chimed in with a comment noting that “throttling only applies to top users with grandfathered unlimited plans”. The full quote is included at the article bottom.

AT&T and other major carriers in the United States recently instituted data throttling and began limiting network speeds for the top 5 percent of data-hungry users. Carriers around the world tend to hide data throttling in fine print, so users are in for a surprise when they find out that their unlimited plan entails data throttling once a carrier-imposed ceiling is reached (usually 1GB per month). Throttling is not something worth losing sleep over until it hits you. For starters, throttling reduces your downlink speed by a factor of 10 or more. Depending on your carrier’s network, this means your throttled downlink will drop all the way down to a paltry 0.1MBps. What you might not have known is how badly throttling affects the user experience on your device…
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