If you have AT&T's unlimited data plan, it may not be as "unlimited" as you originally thought. Your data plan is secretly being throttled, or slowed down, once you hit a certain data usage limit. The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, discovered AT&T's scheme and it is making sure the company is brought to justice.
The FCC announced that it is fining the massive telecommunications company a whopping $100 million for limiting its customers' data bandwidth speeds without the customers' knowledge. This fine was the culmination of a years-long investigation into AT&T's deception of its customers.
AT&T isn't backing down though; it says it is going to fight this enormous fine. The company issued a statement saying, "We will vigorously dispute the FCC's assertions. The FCC has specifically identified this practice as a legitimate and reasonable way to manage network resources for the benefit of all customers, and has known for years that all of the major carriers use it."
The unlimited data plans were sold to customers from 2007 to 2010. AT&T claims that throttling data speeds is necessary for conserving data resources in its cellular network. It also disputes the claims that it didn't disclose the fine details of the "unlimited" data program.
According to the FCC, even if employees disclose to customers that their data usage would be slowed after a certain point, it still wouldn't be enough. AT&T was required to discuss what the exact repercussions would be if a user went over the data threshold.
Again, AT&T disagrees with the FCC's claims. Its statement also says, "We have been fully transparent with our customers, providing notice in multiple ways and going well beyond the FCC's disclosure requirements."
I'll keep you updated on this important case as it progresses. And as always, stay tuned for my daily Happening Now news stories!