AT&T, the Big Blue of the major carrier networks, has been quietly throttling the data speeds of its legacy unlimited data subscribers. And that’s not sitting well with the FCC.
The FCC has made it known that it plans on slapping AT&T with a $100 million fine for “severely” slowing down the speeds of those aforementioned data users, all the while not letting those same subscribers know that something like that was happening behind the scenes. An FCC spokesperson said, in the company’s announcement, that at some points AT&T’s data speeds would get so slow that some “basic mobile applications would not function.” On top of that, the FCC says that those who did suffer from slower connections would get the same shoddy network speeds for upwards of 12 days.
For what it’s worth, this fine will make it the largest single fine in AT&T’s history, so certainly noteworthy just for the number alone.
AT&T is saying that it did let subscribers know, and that, interestingly enough, the FCC simply just ignored those warnings. The FCC says it still wasn’t enough, and that the Big Blue network should have been talking about it even more. More to the point, the FCC states that AT&T’s warnings weren’t clear enough.
In May of this year, AT&T confirmed that it would be throttling grandfathered unlimited data users that were in certain areas, and utilizing a lot of data on their devices. Indeed, AT&T has not been shy when it comes to throttling its network for high-impact users, but the FCC doesn’t seem to agree with the language that the carrier has used thus far to outline their motions.[via FCC]