The US Federal Trade Commission yesterday tweeted that it is suing AT&T Mobility for throttling bandwidth, after promising unlimited data, in order to protect consumer interests. The FTC has said that the company 'misled millions of its smartphone customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while reducing their data speeds, in some cases by nearly 90 percent.' According to the FTC's complaint, AT&T failed to disclose to customers that on unlimited data plans, if consumers reach a certain amount of data usage, it reduces or throttles their data speeds to the point that many common mobile phone applications – like web browsing, GPS navigation and watching streaming video – become difficult or nearly impossible to use. The complaint cites AT&T's marketing materials that emphasise 'unlimited' amount of data available to consumers, and even though unlimited plan consumers renewed their plans, AT&T failed to inform them of throttling. This throttling began in 2011, and 3.5 million unique customers' connections were throttled more than 25 million times, wherein speeds were reduced by 80-90% for users. Consumers have called this policy 'bait and switch'. According to the FTC: "The complaint charges that AT&T violated the FTC Act by changing the terms of customers’ unlimited data plans while those customers were still under contract, and by failing to adequately disclose the nature of the throttling program to consumers who renewed their unlimited data plans." A telling quote from FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez: “The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.” * Now lets…
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