AT&T has been caught out slowing down internet speeds, and have agreed to pay $60 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
In a prepared statement by Andrew Smith, the director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection its detailed that AT&T misled internet customers by charging them for "unlimited" data plans, but inhibited overall download speeds. The settlement also details that any consumers who signed up for one of these plans before 2011 are entitled to "partial refunds".
Moving forward, the FTC has said that AT&T must disclose to customers any restrictions on speed, etc., "The disclosures need to be prominent, not buried in fine print or hidden behind hyperlinks." The FTC says that AT&T's speed restriction on "unlimited" plans are estimated to have affected more than 3.5 million customers as of 2014. "AT&T promised unlimited data -- without qualification -- and failed to deliver on that promise," said Smith.
Smith continued, and said, "While it seems obvious, it bears repeating that Internet providers must tell people about any restrictions on the speed or amount of data promised."
Engadget managed to get into contact with an AT&T spokesperson, who said: "Even though it has been years since we applied this network management tool in the way described by the FTC, we believe this is in the best interests of consumers."
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