The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a note from Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" music video and has said that it will fine AT&T $100 million for failing to explain to their customers their data throttling policies.
For those who don't know exactly what the jargon "data throttling" means: back in 2011, AT&T released a statement confirming that they would purposely interfere with and/or slow down the data speeds of users who used "extraordinary" amounts of data — even customers who had unlimited plans, i.e., throttling. The excuse? That over-usage of data clogged up the network stream.
The shady part? AT&T refused to explain to their customers how much data they would have to use before their data speed would be throttled.
Even shadier? Even though AT&T said that they would put an end to their throttling policy in 2014, throttling still held for LTE users.
Over at ARS Technica, Jon Brodkin cited AT&T's simple motive: money. "AT&T's goal is moving customers off unlimited data plans and onto plans that hit customers with automatic overage fees when they exceed data limits. More than 80 percent of AT&T postpaid smartphone customers are now on limited plans," Brodkin wrote back in 2014.
So much for unlimited data.
The overwhelming number of complaints to the FCC by AT&T patrons are in violation of the 2010 Open Air Transparency Rule, which serves as the basis for the lawsuit.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also decided to sue AT&T over throttling up to 90 percent of a customer's data use; the lawsuit is still pending.
And now, can we get a theme song up in this joint?
Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr