Many wireless networks have been working hard to remove “unlimited data” from their profile altogether, with the likes of Verizon and AT&T opting for buckets of data instead.TracFone, a major prepaid wireless carrier in the United States, has been touting “unlimited text, talk and data” as one of their main staples for quite some time, but the Federal Trade Commission has ruled that things were not so cut-and-dry. According to a report published by Re/code, the FTC has his TracFone with a hefty $40 million fine after finding that customers who were paying for unlimited data were subsequently being throttled after reaching a certain amount of data.
The result is just focused on TracFone at this point, however the ruling by the FTC holds implications across the board for all wireless carriers in the United States. Indeed, many wireless carriers have been embroiled in some kind of throttling fiasco at some point or another, including AT&T, which came under fire from the FTC for their own “deceptive and unfair data throttling” issues. Before that, Verizon and the FTC went back and forth as the Big Red carrier made plans to throttle heavy 4G LTE data users.
While TracFone is quite smaller than the other major wireless carriers in the U.S., this decision could make waves and have lasting ramifications. It will indeed be interesting to see what happens next for any carriers that have any plans to initiate or expand their own throttling ideas.