T-Mobile pledges to FCC it will be more transparent about data speed caps

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2014
U.S. wireless provider and iPhone carrier T-Mobile this week announced it has reached an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission, in which it will be more upfront and honest with customers about its bandwidth speed.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere
T-Mobile CEO John Legere


T-Mobile has pledged to provide "accurate information" to customers about the speed of their Internet connection, even when their performance is throttled according with their data plan. The changes came from pressure by the FCC, after it was discovered that T-Mobile was providing customers with inaccurate information when they run sped tests.

Data plans from T-Mobile come with a soft "cap," and once a customer exceeds their allotment, their connection speed can be greatly reduced to as low as 64kbps. But those throttling limitations are ignored when a user runs a bandwidth test, making it appear as though their data connection is operating at full speed.

T-Mobile has agreed to send text messages to customers to enable them to obtain speed information more easily. The carrier has also promised to place direct links to accurate speed tests on customer handsets, and it will also revise its website disclosures to provide clearer information about bandwidth.

The changes will be implemented by T-Mobile within 60 days.

"The FCC is committed to ensuring that broadband providers are transparent to consumers. I'm grateful T-Mobile has worked with the FCC to ensure that its customers are better informed about the speeds they are experiencing," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. "Consumers need this information to fully understand what they are getting with their broadband service."

The FCC also placed pressure on T-Mobile competitor Verizon Wireless earlier this year after the company revealed plans to restrict LTE data speeds of customers holding on to legacy unlimited data plans. Following scrutiny from the FCC, Verizon canceled those plans, citing the results of an "ongoing dialogue."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Precarious position to be in; giving their customers links to speed tests will undoubtedly give them the wrong results, as the customer likely have no idea what packet overhead means, or how TCP works. [@]SolipsismY[/@], is this your field of expertise? Perhaps [@]Relic[/@]?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,337member

    I don't see it as such a particularly controversial move. Speed testing has existed for a long time for broadband Internet. A quick note explaining packet overhead, cellular tower congestion, etc. should suffice for Joe Consumer.

  • Reply 3 of 11

    How about you just not have them, boyo? How does that sound?

  • Reply 4 of 11
    Isn't this analogous to raising processor speeds when a benchmark application is detected?
  • Reply 5 of 11
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    Oh please please just take our word for it. We'll do the right thing!  We promise!

    Don't regulate us like the utility we are.

     

    Hey, how's this for a solution.

    I have 'unlimited', you give me unlimited. There are so few people grandfathered in that it can't be that big of an issue for you.

    Or, give me the option to go to a limited plan that doesn't cost more than my current unlimited.

     

    But throttling me down to sub 2400 baud modem rates is simply not acceptable.

  • Reply 6 of 11
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post

    Don't regulate us like the utility we are.



    Not a utility.

     

    I have 'unlimited', you give me unlimited.


     

    You have access to as much data as you can download. Your contract does not stipulate a minimum speed for said downloads. You cannot magically get “unlimited” unlimited, as in infinite amounts of infinite speed.

     

    In due time there’ll be a telecom that advertises minimum speed.

  • Reply 7 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,172moderator
    You have access to as much data as you can download. Your contract does not stipulate a minimum speed for said downloads. You cannot magically get “unlimited” unlimited, as in infinite amounts of infinite speed.

    In due time there’ll be a telecom that advertises minimum speed.

    Nobody expects unlimited use and bandwidth, all they sell is a certain speed for a given period of time e.g 10Mbps for 30 days of a data contract and they should allow unlimited use at that rate for 30 days. If they can't sustain that rate then they shouldn't sell it as 10Mbps unlimited usage. Bandwidth isn't a resource that runs out in terms of usage time, it's like a road. Driving longer doesn't cause problems, it's just when too many people use it at the same time. This is an infrastructure problem and needs a new way to send signals out to users:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/dish-network-and-artemis-partnering-to-make-cell-phone-internet-1000-times-faster-than-4g-2014-4

    The back-end system needs the capacity too but there's hardware advances for that:

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/192929-255tbps-worlds-fastest-network-could-carry-all-the-internet-traffic-single-fiber

    The telecoms companies make more profit by providing only incrementally better service than a competitor but they'll always be able to monetize each device used outside the home so they shouldn't be too bothered about offering the fastest infrastructure.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    I am with T Mobile and could not be happier with my service. John Legere is an amazing CEO, brilliant.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    @Tallest Skill...
    Glad you're happy bending over for corporate monopolies.
    And if the pipeline for what has become the lifeblood of society isn't a utility, I don't know what is.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post

    Glad you're happy bending over for corporate monopolies.

     

    Glad I said nothing of the sort.

     

    And if the pipeline for what has become the lifeblood of society isn't a utility, I don't know what is.


     

    Not this, for sure.

  • Reply 11 of 11
    Props to TMO.

    I'm sure if it was VZ or ATT facing the FCC their response would have been a simple one-finger salute, while they continue to sacrifice customer quality and increase prices while claiming they're doing the exact opposite.

    I will never go back to either of those carriers if at all possible, I have spent tens of thou$ands on them over the past 15 years, and as long as TMO keeps to it's mojo, I aint going back to ATT/VZ.
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