Passed just last February, new rules set by the Federal Communications Commission went into effect on Friday, and it looks like U.S. wireless carriers are already going on the defensive, according to a new report out of The Wall Street Journal. Sprint has offered unlimited data plans to its consumers for some time now, though the carrier has been intermittently throttling the data speeds of its most data hungry consumers when network congestion becomes a little too intense. But right when the FCC’s new rules took effect, Sprint stopped completely.
The carrier says that its throttling policy would be allowed under the FCC’s new regulations, but dropped it just in case. A representative told WSJ, “Sprint doesn’t expect users to notice any significant difference in their services now that we no longer engage in the process.” Apparently, Sprint has also reserved the right to prioritize data speeds depending on a consumer’s plan. It had apparently never done so, which is why the carrier has decided this policy is also unneeded.
Sprint isn’t the only one feeling the force of the FCC, though. Just yesterday, the FCC issued AT&T a $ 100 million fine for quietly throttling consumers’ unlimited data plans. AT&T was fined for two specific violations: using the term ‘unlimited’ to label a plan that was subject to prolonged speed reductions, and not telling users once they hit the throttling threshold.
Just last year, Sprint was fined a similar amount by the FCC for phone bill ‘cramming’, which means the carrier would charge consumers unauthorized fees on their monthly phone bills.