T-Mobile has several data plans with a limited amount of high speed data. Once a customer uses up their high-speed data allotment, they receive data at a reduced speed limited to either 128 kbps or 64 kbps, depending on the customer’s data plan, for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle. These speed reductions are specified in T-Mobile’s agreements with customers, and T-Mobile customers do not receive overage charges for exceeding their data caps.
In June, T-Mobile began exempting the use of certain speed test applications, which allow consumers to measure the speed of their Internet connection, from customers’ monthly high-speed data allotments. When these customers run speed tests that T-Mobile has exempted from data caps, they receive information about T-Mobile’s full network speed, and not the actual reduced speed available to these customers at that time. The FCC was concerned that this could cause confusion for consumers and prevent them from obtaining information relevant to their use of T-Mobile services.
The FCC and T-Mobile have reached an agreement which T-Mobile will begin implementing immediately and will fully implement in 60 days.
Here are the steps T-Mobile will take:
- Send customers a text message once they hit their monthly high-speed data allotment linking to a
speed test that customers can use to determine their actual reduced speed;
- Provide a button on customer smartphones linking to a speed test that will show actual reduced
- Modify the text messages it currently sends to customers once they hit their monthly high-speed
data allotment to make it clear that certain speed tests may show network speeds, rather th
an their reduced speed. The modified texts also will provide more information about the speeds that will be available after customers exceed their data cap; and
- Modify its website disclosures to better explain T-Mobile’s policies regarding speed test
applications and where consumers can get accurate speed information.
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