T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ: TMUS) fined $48 million after the FCC caught the telecommunication company slowing down connections for heavy data customers. The settlement was reached Wednesday, as T-Mobile agreed to be the fine and end the investigation.
The fine is based on complaints received in 2015, after which it was revealed that T-Mobile was slowing down data for customers in the top three percent of data usage, typically translating to 17GB of data per month.
According to the FCC, the problem is the way T-Mobile marketed the plan, as an unlimited data plan, which is an intentional deception. The FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc in a statement, "Consumers should not have to guess whether so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans contain key restrictions, like speed constraints, data caps, and other material limitations… With today’s settlement, T-Mobile has stepped up to the plate to ensure that its customers have the full information they need to decide whether ‘unlimited’ data plans are right for them.”
Under terms released on Wednesday, T-Mobile will pay a fine of $7.5 million, provide customers with $35.5 million worth of benefits and spend $5 million on a program that gives Internet service and connected devices to students in low-income school districts.