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AT&T Sidesteps Class-Action Suit Over Throttling

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Mar 14, 2016, 7:22 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

A federal judge sided with AT&T and said consumers suing the carrier over its throttling practices cannot work together as a group. Instead, customers must pursue individual arbitration with the carrier, per their signed user agreements. AT&T stands accused of throttling customers who paid for unlimited data plans once they consumed a certain amount of data each month. Some customers were throttled after they reached 3 GB per month, while others were throttled after they reached 5 GB. AT&T is believed to have throttled the speeds of some 3.5 million customers between 2011 and 2015. AT&T now allows customers with unlimited plans to use 22 GB of data per month before throttling them, and only does so when the network is congested. A class-action lawsuit would have been costly for AT&T. The majority of consumers likely won't pursue individual arbitration due to the related expenses. AT&T may have dodged the class-action lawsuit, but it is still facing legal action from the Federal Trade Commission over the same issue. The FTC case is winding its way through federal courts and is due for another round in June.

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