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Class Action Lawsuit Against AT&T For Data Throttling Moves Forward

There's no denying the speeds of today's cable modems. Even DSLs provide significantly more bang for the buck than the dial-up modems of the Internet's earliest days. But are you receiving the actual speeds that you're paying for? Depending on your service provider, the answer might be a resounding "no." In some cases, you might not even be aware that your bandwidth is being controlled – otherwise known as throttled – by your provider.

A Class Action Lawsuit

Even the biggest and most prominent Internet service providers aren't exempt from throttling allegations and, in at least one case, a class action lawsuit is moving forward as a result. AT&T, one of the biggest names in telecommunications in the U.S., is at the center of a five-year-old case that stems from data throttling complaints.

Complicating matters even further is the fact that AT&T tried to mandate a forced-arbitration clause stating that any and all complaints had to be addressed via individual arbitration. It would essentially make any sort of organized, large-scale class action lawsuit impossible – and their forced-arbitration clause was originally upheld in 2016.

Thankfully for consumers and AT&T consumers, the California Supreme Court later changed their state's arbitration laws – a move that effectively revived the class action lawsuit in March 2018. Although they appealed the decision, AT&T ultimately lost their appeal in February 2020.

According to a collective statement, which was prepared by the three judges who oversaw AT&T's latest appeal: "Here, the district court identified and applied the correct legal rule—a district court should grant a motion for reconsideration only if the "district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law."

The class action lawsuit is now set to move forward – approximately five years after its original filing in 2015. It's also possible that a legal settlement is reached. However, AT&T claims that they revised their policy in 2015 to restrict bandwidth throttling to times of severe network congestion. Whether or not they've held true to this policy remains to be seen.

As it stands, the class action lawsuit claims that AT&T: ''"used deceptive and unfair trade practices by marketing its mobile service data plans as 'unlimited' when AT&T allegedly limited those plans in several ways, including 'throttling'—slowing down mobile data speeds after the consumer uses an undisclosed, predetermined amount of mobile data."''

It's also important to note that AT&T has already faced scrutiny over their policy. They were successfully sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on behalf of consumers in November 2019, resulting in a $60 million settlement.

AT&T isn't the only Internet service provider that has been accused of throttling connection speeds, but they are one of the most prominent. Moreover, most service providers aren't slapped with continuous lawsuits totaling tens of millions of dollars – which puts them at the center of the spotlight.

To find out more information about AT&T, including any recent news or announcements, please visit their official website at


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