If you’re wondering why the internet on your smart phone or your tablet has been so slow – wonder no more – AT&T has throttled you. And the federal government is suing them for doing it.
In its first lawsuit addressing data-throttling, the Federal Trade Commission accuses the telecom giant of misleading customers by slowing the speed of their date usage without first properly notifying them.
We’ve all seen the commercials advertising that AT&T will give you twice the amount of data for the same price you’re paying under your current contract. But what they did not disclose is that if you go over a certain amount of data usage in a billing cycle, they will slow down your browsing speeds.
Customers have reported problems with internet browsing and watching streaming video. Some users had data speeds reduced by 90-percent according to the Federal Trade Commission.
How do you know when you’ve hit a monthly limit? According to AT&T’s data calculator, you can hit that limit by streaming 10 hours of standard definition video and surfing the web for 5 hours.
The practice is known as throttling, and slows things down like streaming videos and GPS navigation.
FTC chairwoman, Edith Ramirez says in an official statement, “AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise.”
“The issue here is simple: unlimited means unlimited,” she says.
The FTCS says that AT&T first began throttling customers on unlimited data plans back in 2011. AT&T denies the allegations. “We have been completely transparent with customers since the very beginning,” an executive vice president and general counsel for AT&T said in a statement.
With more than 3.5 million customers affected, we’ll see how transparent AT&T proves to be on this go around.