T-Mobile was caught throttling its heaviest unlimited data customers back in 2015, and is now paying the piper to the tune of $48 million to resolve the FCC investigation’s findings.
T-Mobile revealed in 2015 that it was slowing down data for customers in the top three percent of data usage, typically translating to 17GB of data per month. The limitation was only revealed after numerous complaints, and came as a surprise to many users The same restriction was placed on MetroPCS customers, who operate on T-Mobile’s network.
The FCC says the issue wasn’t that T-Mobile throttled it’s heaviest data users, but in the way their “unlimited” data plan was marketed. “Consumers should not have to guess whether so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans contain key restrictions, like speed constraints, data caps, and other material limitations,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc in a statement.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers who were affected by the throttling will be eligible for 4 GB of additional mobile internet data under the “Simple Choice MINT” plan, as well as a 20% discount on in-stock phone accessories. T-Mobile will pay for all of that via a a $35.5 million consumer benefit program, and will pay an additional $7.5 million directly to the US Treasury, as well as $5 million in services and equipment provided to American schools.