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T-Mobile Agrees to Provide Customers More Information About Data Speeds

To settle FCC concerns, T-Mobile will help customers more accurately gauge the data speed to their devices.

T-Mobile has reached an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission to give consumers more information about their Internet speeds — especially when they’re subject to throttling because they’ve reached their high-speed data limits.

The “uncarrier” said it would send customers timely text messages when they approach their monthly high-speed data allotment, and again when they exceed the cap. T-Mobile also agreed to provide a link to a speed test that would measure the actual speed to a consumer’s device.

T-Mobile has provided third-party applications that allow consumers to measure the speed of their wireless Internet connection without using their high-speed data allotments. But these apps provide information about T-Mobile’s full network speed — not the actual speed to the device.

The FCC said it was concerned that the existing speed test apps might confuse consumers, particularly those whose data speeds would drop to either 128 kbps or 64 kbps once they hit their monthly high-speed data limit under the Simple Choice plans.

“I’m grateful T-Mobile has worked with the FCC to ensure that its customers are better informed about the speeds they are experiencing,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “Consumers need this information to fully understand what they are getting with their broadband service.”

In a letter to Wheeler, T-Mobile Senior Vice President Andy Levin said that the network speed tests are designed to allow consumers to make “apples-to-apples” comparisons when evaluating the network’s performance versus those of rivals.

However, the carrier agreed to provide additional information about its speed tests within the next 60 days to address the FCC’s concerns.

“The additional disclosures we’re providing to consumers on this issue will be sure to prevent any confusion,” Levin said in a statement.

The FCC has been keeping a close eye on wireless carriers that slow data speeds to subscribers. This fall, Verizon Wireless said it would end a controversial plan to throttle speeds for its heaviest users during times of peak demand.

The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against AT&T, alleging that the nation’s second-largest carrier misled millions of customers with “unlimited” data plans by deliberately reducing their data speeds.

Updated at 3:50 p.m.: The original version of the story incorrectly identified the FCC as the federal agency suing AT&T. It is the FTC.

This article originally appeared on

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