AT&T is facing litigation from the Federal Trade Commission for their role in reducing data speeds to those who had an ‘unlimited’ data package through the company. The FTC made the announcement that they were taking legal action in a press release, and noted that customers were being restrained after they hit a certain point in their data package.
It’s a tactic known as ‘data throttling’ and it involves slowing the internet speed, or the connection speed of any user after they hit a particular point in data use. Meaning, after customers hit a certain point – like 20 GB – for example, the connection would significantly slow.
This is a tactic that has been widely speculated to occur regularly in the tech world when it comes to these service providers. However, this particular allegation is one that AT&T is calling “baseless” and one that is without any merit. Users will definitely contest that point though, to the very end.
Many customers complained about data throttling, when they were doing things on their smart devices like using GPS navigation, streaming music, and streaming videos. Obviously, these are the functions that utilize the most data on smart devices. The lawsuit also says that the customers were lured into a ‘bait and switch’ type scenario, where the terms and conditions of their data packages were essentially changed – midway through their contracts without proper disclosure and agreement.
This lawsuit could provide a step in the right direction because ‘data throttling’ is something that many users have been complaining for years with companies like Verizon, AT&T, and many other providers. The truth is that many users feel as though their data is being trimmed, or constrained after they reach a certain point – and now, this could be the first step in reaching a better climate for users in the world of data usage.
The lawsuit alleges that AT&T throttled data by 90% from the initial speeds that users would experience before they reached the proverbial glass ceiling in terms of data usage. However, for plans that are ‘unlimited’ it begs the question – what are users actually getting when they sign up for any particular data package with a service provider.