AT&T could face fine for failing to inform consumers about reduction in mobile speeds effected against heavy users in a kind of practice known as data throttling. AT&T is under investigation by the FCC if it has violated any government rules and orders pertaining to Internet Service.
The FTC has indicted the company in a 2014 lawsuit for duping at least 3.5 million smartphone consumers who had taken unlimited data plans and in the process had their transmission speeds reduced substantially. AT&T has asked the courts to vacate the case.
According to AT&T, the FTC lawsuit is taking on issues which are already under investigation by the FCC. The Mobile Data Services come under the ambit of FCC and the FTC has no authority to sue, AT&T said in its filings in San Francisco federal court.
Mark Siegel, a spokesman for Dallas-based AT&T, said in an e-mail, “It is the FCC, not the FTC that regulates network management practices.”
AT&T said that its “maximum bit rate” program fully complies with FCC rules. The “maximum bit rate” program temporarily reduces data speeds for selected users to prevent heavy users of data from overwhelming the mobile network.
Siegel added, “We manage our network resources in a manner that is transparent and fully consistent with the FCC’s net neutrality rules.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a letter to AT&T expressed his deep concerns about data throttling. He also asked the company to justify its actions. Similar letters were also sent to other carriers also regarding comparable programs.
It is a common problem which is encountered by wireless companies when consumers using smartphones corner more data and watch more video. At AT&T, 5%consumers on unlimited plan occupied quarter of network capacity and in the process reducing download speeds
Robert Quinn, an AT&T senior vice president, said in a Sept. 5 letter to Wheeler. The plan helps ensure “that other consumers are not crowded out by the few.”cialis 10mg vs 20mg