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AT&T Responds to Employees About FTC Claims of “Misleading” Consumers

Well it didn’t take long, but then AT&T certainly had sufficient time to prepare a statement. Basically AT&T is claiming that they were “transparent” to the customer and that the MBR practice that we call ”throttling” is a baseless claim made by the FTC. Further the throttling did not apply to texts, emails, tweets, social media posts, and internet browsing but only affected video streaming of about 3% of their data users that exceeded 3gb on thier 3G & 4G networks and 5gb on the LTE Network.

Read the AT&T response that it made to it’s employees so that they would better understand what is happening:

Today, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against us alleging that one of our network management practices is unfair and deceptive to our Unlimited Data Plan customers.  The FTC’s lawsuit is baseless.

The FTC’s allegations concern our Maximum Bit Rate program, which temporarily reduces the download speeds of Unlimited Data Plan customers when their usage reaches 3 gigabytes in a billing cycle on a 3G or 4G smartphone, or 5 gigabytes on a 4G LTE smartphone.  MBR is an industry-standard practice that protects our network for the benefit of all customers and is authorized by our customer contracts.  In the media, MBR is often referred to as “throttling,” and it is designed to affect only the most data-intensive applications (such as video streaming).  Texts, emails, tweets, social media posts, internet browsing, and many other applications are typically unaffected.

In response to this lawsuit, we have released the following statement to the press:

The FTC’s allegations are baseless and have nothing to do with the substance of our network management program. It’s baffling as to why the FTC would choose to take this action against a company that, like all major wireless providers, manages its network resources to provide the best possible service to all customers, and does it in a way that is fully transparent and consistent with the law and our contracts.

We have been completely transparent with customers since the very beginning. We informed all unlimited data-plan customers via bill notices and a national press release that resulted in nearly 2,000 news stories, well before the program was implemented.  In addition, this program has affected only about 3% of our customers, and before any customer is affected, they are also notified by text message.

We look forward to proving our case in court.  In the meantime, we wanted to ensure you had the facts.

Wayne Watts
Senior Executive Vice President & General Counsel, AT&T