AT&T is facing blowback from a decision it made back in 2011 to throttle some of its unlimited data customers today in the form of a new lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The government agency claims AT&T deceptively throttled customer data, while the carrier denies breaking any laws. AT&T hasn’t officially offered an unlimited data plan for a a few years now, but a decent number of the network’s customers are still holding onto their old contracts.
Federal officials on Tuesday sued AT&T, the nation’s second-largest cellular carrier, for allegedly deceiving millions of customers by selling them supposedly “unlimited” data plans that the company later “throttled” by slowing Internet speeds when customers surfed the Web too much. The Federal Trade Commission said the practice, used by AT&T since 2011, resulted in slower speeds for customers on at least 25 million occasions – in some cases cutting user Internet speeds by 90 percent, to the point where they resembled dial-up services of old. The 3.5 million affected customers experienced these slowdowns an average of 12 days each month, said the FTC, which received thousands of complaints about the practice.