The FCC says it has received thousands of complaints from customers who noticed lower data speeds on their grandfathered data plan, and as a result AT&T will have to pay a hefty sum. In the ruling, the FCC points out that "AT&T inhibited consumers' ability to make informed choices about mobile broadband data services," and as a result AT&T has been issued a $100 million fine. AT&T was found to have violated the Commission's Open Internet Transparency Rule, and the fine will bring the company back into compliance. The two specific violations were:

  • (1) using the misleading and inaccurate term "unlimited" to label a data plan that was in fact subject to prolonged speed reductions after a customer used a set amount of data; and
  • (2) failing to disclose the express speed reductions that it applied to "unlimited" data plan customers once they hit a specified data threshold.

While AT&T provided some warning to customers, the FCC found that it was not sufficient enough to fulfill the requirements of the transparency rule. As an additional part of the ruling, AT&T must notify each customer with an unlimited plan of the violation, and include a revised disclosure statement. In the revised disclosure the company must include the maximum speeds to which it limits data plans, and AT&T must allow any customers with the unlimited data plan who wish to cancel their plan to do so without charge.

Source: FCC