A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit says Limits lied about internet speeds

Federal Trade The commission and officials from six states She filed a lawsuit against Frontier Communications Wednesday, claiming that Telecommunications The service provider has skewed internet speeds and charged many customers for faster speeds than it actually provided or was able to provide.

The Complaint It was brought to the US District Court for the Central District of California by the Federal Trade Commission and prosecutors from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin. California-based clients are represented in the lawsuit by the Los Angeles County and Riverside County attorneys.

The lawsuit relates to the reported speeds of DSL, which Frontier is providing over copper lines in locations that have not upgraded to Fiber-to-the-home technology. Frontier’s failure to invest enough in fiber was a major cause of it bankruptcy last year. Frontier provides residential DSL internet service to approximately 1.3 million consumers in 25 states.

The limitations inherent in the DSL copper line mean speeds are slower for customers who live farther from the nearest fibrous knot. An advisory study found that nearly 30 percent of Frontier’s DSL customers were likely to receive slower speeds than they paid for, the lawsuit said:

In early 2019, a management consulting firm analyzed, under Frontier’s direction and with the participation of Frontier, Frontier’s proprietary network and internal records data of nearly 1.5 million subscribers to the existing DSL. This analysis found that approximately 440,000 Frontier DSL subscribers, or roughly 30 percent of the population analyzed, were “potentially” “over-selling” at speeds that exceeded the actual speeds offered to them.

The FTC lawsuit alleged Frontier often imposed speed limits that were less than the speeds customers had paid, saying that Internet service provider “To provide consumers with speeds that are slower than the layers of DSL Internet that they subscribe to.” Low speeds are often provided due to real network limits. But provisioning places an upper limit on speed, so customers cannot get more than what they save, even in cases where the network is technically capable of providing the higher speeds that the ISP claims to be selling.

Slow Frontier speeds led to many customer complaints. The FTC announcement of the lawsuit said: “Since at least January 2015, thousands of consumers have complained to Frontier and government agencies that the company has failed to provide DSL internet service at the speed it promised.” “Several consumers complained that the slower speeds actually provided by Frontier failed to support the typical online activities that they should have been able to perform in the speed layers Frontier sold them to.”

Frontier violated the FTC’s prohibitions against unfair and deceptive business practices by misrepresenting DSL internet speeds and by using unfair billing practices that impose on consumers a higher and more expensive level of Internet service than Frontier actually provided or was able to provide these services. Consumers, “the lawsuit said. The complaint also alleges violations of state consumer protection laws in Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

The Federal Trade Commission has demanded a permanent injunction blocking future violations of the FTC and Financial Exemption Act. Officials from the six states demanded warnings, civil penalties, and refunds for consumers. The FTC vote that cleared the lawsuit was 4-0; The Federal Trade Commission currently has two Democrats and two Republicans serving as commissioners.

Frontier issued a statement describing the lawsuit as “unfounded,” saying that “DSL internet speeds have been clearly and accurately articulated, defined and described in the company’s marketing materials and disclosures.”

“The plaintiffs’ complaint contains baseless allegations, overestimates any potential monetary harm to Frontier’s clients and ignores important facts,” Frontier said. Frontier offers internet service in some of the most rural areas of the country which are often difficult terrain, sparsely populated and most difficult to service. Frontier’s Rural DSL Internet service was welcomed upon its launch and kept many satisfied customers over the years. “

The FTC lawsuit objects to Frontier’s promises of the declared speed, in which the ISP represents “that consumers can receive a DSL Internet service that is” up to “or” as quickly as possible “at a certain speed specified in megabits per second,” with Those advertised speeds ranging from 1 Mbps to 45 Mbps.

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