T-Mobile to Give Subscribers Accurate Information About Throttled Download Speeds

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As part of an agreement it has reached with the FCC, mobile wireless provider T-Mobile will give its subscribers access to accurate information about the download speeds they are receiving after subscribers have had their data connections throttled because they have exceeded their monthly allotment of high-speed data.  After a T-Mobile subscriber hits his monthly data cap, the subscriber receives data at a reduced download speed for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle.  Prior to the agreement with the FCC, T-Mobile was allowing throttled subscribers to receive high-speed downloads when they accessed mobile speed test sites, preventing subscribers from receiving accurate and true information about the download speeds they were actually receiving after having their data connections throttled.  T-Mobile publicly announced that it had removed the Ookla Speedtest app from its throttling restrictions in June 2014.  The FCC will no longer allow this practice, calling it a source of confusion for consumers.  Pursuant to its agreement with the FCC, T-Mobile will take the following steps to ensure that its subscribers have accurate information about the download speeds of their mobile data connections after being throttled:

  • T-Mobile subscribers will receive a text message once they hit their monthly high-speed data allotment that provides a link to a speed test that can be used to determine actual reduced speeds;
  • T-Mobile will provide a button on customer smartphones linking to a speed test that will show actual reduced speeds;
  • T-Mobile will modify the text messages it currently sends to customers once they hit their monthly high-speed data allotment that explains that certain speed tests may show network speeds, rather than their reduced speed, and provides more information about the speeds that will be available after customers exceed their monthly data cap; and
  • T-Mobile will modify its website disclosures to better explain its policies regarding speed test applications and where consumers can get accurate speed information.
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