AT&T facing large fines for false advertising


Our Louisiana resident and customers of the telecommunication giant AT&T may find it interesting to learn that AT&T has been fined $100 million by the Federal Communications Commission for dishonest business practices by its cell phone division. At question is AT&T's administration of their network management policy with respect to those customers that subscribe to their unlimited data plans.


The FCC claims that AT&T has acted purposefully in a dishonest manner to mislead their customers by falsely advertising that they offer data plans that are unlimited only to throttle down the network speed after a certain data threshold has been reached.

According to FCC commissioners who voted to levy the fine against AT&T, the company is in violation of their 2010 Open Internet Order transparency clause. Moreover, the FCC also accuses AT&T of not informing their unlimited data subscribers of the speed that their data plans will be throttled down to once they exceed their designated data limit.

AT&T by law has 30 days to respond to the allegations and accompanying fine and has, in fact, indicated that they will be fighting the charges and have denied any wrongdoing on their part. The company insists that they have not broken the law in any way claiming that the FCC was fully aware that it was a standard network management policy for providers to offer more bandwidth to those subscribers that do not use the network as heavily as heavy use subscribers over a predetermined period of time.

AT&T also claimed that the FCC has specifically determined that this is a reasonable method by which providers can reduce network lag and congestion. The Federal Trade Commission alleges that AT&T has reduced the bandwidth of nearly 3.5 million customers over 25 million times. Business litigation, particularly with regulatory agencies, can get complicated, convoluted and complex quickly. Competent and experienced legal representation is essential during such cases.

Source: ABC News, "How AT&T Plans to Fight $100 Million FCC Fine Over Unlimited Data," Alyssa Newcomb, June 18, 2015

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