FCC Throttles AT&T for Throttling Customers

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As an AT&T subscriber, up until 2011 I had an unlimited data plan that meant just what it sounds like : unlimited.

Then AT&T decided that was too good for their customers and disposed of the plan for new accounts, but for old accounts, their plan would be “grandfathered” meaning if you were on the plan already you would not be taken off of it.

Then, they found a way to take us off of it. It was called “throttling” – meaning cutting the data rates after you had exceeded a data limit. Oh sure it was still unlimited, but… it would be limited. So it became a limited unlimited plan. Not exactly what I signed up for.

According to msn.com the FCC announced plans Wednesday to fine AT&T $100 million for misleading subscribers about unlimited data plans.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in a prepared statement. “Broadband providers must be upfront and transparent about the services they provide.”

The FCC alleges AT&T violated the 2010 Open Internet rules by “falsely labeling these plans as ‘unlimited’ and by failing to sufficiently inform customers of the maximum speed they would receive” under the company’s new throttling policy, which was announced in 2011.

Will this action change AT&T’s way of doing business? Nah, they will likely just absorb the cost and continue “optimizing” their customers. But hey – win/win. FCC collects a fine, AT&T continues it’s practices.

Who loses out? The customers paying the bills. Business as usual. This is pretty much the equivalent of AT&T paying 100 million to the FCC to look the other way while it takes advantage of it’s customers. Same effect.

Oh, and when will we get our 10.3.2 rollout AT&T? T-Mobile and Verizon are on board.

Blackjack

I am a long time BlackBerry user and fan. Beginning with the 7520, I have recognized the value of subtle productivity enhancements in BlackBerry devices for business communication and have never since strayed. Even when the iPhone took the market by storm, I was unimpressed, because it did nothing to help my business needs. Currently enjoying my one handed dream phone, the Classic! BB10 with a toolbelt! Today I contribute to UTB whenever I feel that I can help enlighten someone on the benefits of using BlackBerry over any other platform.

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