AT&T the trickster

The FCC – Federal Communication Commission - is gathering information on AT&T and considering issuing a fine due to inadequate customer information techniques.

AT&T uses a program called ‘maximum bit rate’, also known as ‘data throttling’. What that means is that data speed is reduced temporarily for some users who might be over soliciting the network in order to avoid having to deal with low quality for all users. According to AT&T numbers 5% of the users – the heavy users that is – use about 25% of the network and is using throttling as a reminder. AT&T continues by saying that this program is FCC compliant.

However the real issue here is not the program itself but the fact that AT&T fails to properly notify its customers about its doings. The FTC – Federal Trade Commission – filed similar charges on AT&T, however they were dismissed by the company, saying that the FCC regulates this domain.

On January 5 the FCC finally stepped up and filed a complaint in the San Francisco court after previously sending a letter on August 6 2014 to AT&T. The FCC also stated that this is nothing personal, have sent a similar letter to three other major carriers who use throttling.

In its defense AT&T invoked the net neutrality rules established by the FCC and said they are trying to offer a constant good experience to all of its customers. The end of this procession is highly anticipated as people want more and faster internet.

 

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