If you are a network carrier in the U.S., then this week has not exactly been the best week. Yesterday, prepaid service TracFone Wireless were on the receiving end of a whopping $40 million fine, for what was essentially false advertising their services. The FTC found TracFone culpable for the mis-advertising of the numerous services they have which offer 'Unlimited Data'. The company were found to have been guilty of then throttling those same customers. Essentially, not offering them an unlimited service.
Well, today the carriers have been back in the doc although this time it is AT&T with the FCC. In an announcement, the FCC stated that they are imposing a fine of $640,000 on AT&T for breach of license rules. To fill you in on the backstory, carriers use microwave stations to send signals across areas. These are typically used in regions where it is not viable to run copper or fiber wires. Instead, the microwave stations are set up in point-to-point locations. The signal is beamed and hey presto. This allows carriers like AT&T to connect cellular stations to their main larger networks. In today's ruling, it was found that AT&T altered 26 of these stations. The problem was though, that they did this without filing the proper paperwork with the FCC. As a result, the FCC plans to fine the carrier the said amount.
The alleged incidents of altering are said to have occurred between 2009 and 2012 and the FCC voted in 3-2 favor to propose the fine. From AT&T's perspective, the carrier stated that the fine was a result of their own investigation into what was 'minor' adjustments which needed to be made to the paperwork in question. As to be expected, a spokesperson for AT&T said that due to how minor the infringements were, they strongly disagreed with the fine amount. In reality though, this is only a fraction of the amount TracFone were fined yesterday and as such does represent how minor the AT&T incidents are in comparison. Going back to the TracFone reports, if you were a Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile or Telcel America customer on an Unlimited Data plan then you should click here to find out more about TracFone's massive fine and to file your application for a refund.