FCC: AT&T Doesn't Know What 'Unlimited' Means

Company accused of slowing down speeds and ripping off customers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2015 12:11 PM CDT
FCC: AT&T Doesn't Know What 'Unlimited' Means
The AT&T logo on a store in Dedham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – The FCC says AT&T apparently doesn't understand what "unlimited" means, and it's proposing a $100 million fine—the largest in its history—to help clear things up. The agency says the company sold unlimited data plans to customers, then dramatically slowed their speeds once they hit a certain limit, reports the Wall Street Journal. The feds say they've received thousands of complaints since the policy change went into effect in 2011, and it accuses AT&T of not properly explaining it to people. “Unlimited means unlimited,” says FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc.

AT&T vowed to "vigorously dispute" the charges, and the Verge thinks the company will eventually settle for a lesser amount. At issue are the FCC's Open Internet rules, which demand greater transparency from broadband providers. Another federal agency, the FTC, is going after the company on the same charges. (An elderly dial-up customer with AT&T found himself staring at a $24,000 bill.)

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