AT&T to Fight the FCC's $100M Fine for Unlimited Data Policy

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday it plans to levy a $100 million fine on AT&T (NYSE:T) for allegedly misleading consumers about the company’s unlimited mobile data plans.

Last year, the FCC sued AT&T for slowing Internet speeds when customers who paid for unlimited plans exceeded a certain amount of data. The FCC said AT&T did not adequately notify users that data would be throttled below the wireless carrier’s advertised network speeds.

“Unlimited means unlimited,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said in a statement.

An AT&T spokesperson said the company “will vigorously dispute the FCC’s assertions,” adding that regulators “specifically identified this practice as a legitimate and reasonable way to manage network resources.”

“We have been fully transparent with our customers, providing notice in multiple ways and going well beyond the FCC’s disclosure requirements,” AT&T said in a statement.

AT&T launched unlimited data plans in 2007 but scrapped the offer three years later. However, customers who already purchased unlimited data were allowed to remain on those plans.

The Dallas-based telecom giant implemented its cap on data speeds in 2011. According to the FCC, customers who used more than the maximum amount of data received slower Internet for the remainder of their billing cycle.

AT&T shares were down two cents at $34.65 in midday trading.