The lawsuit filed against AT&T, the major internet providers in the country, by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) got a new turn with the recent decision by the federal courts to reconsider the claim. In recent news, FTC has sued AT&T for limiting the data speeds allocated to iPhone customers with unlimited data plans after the usage surpassed a definite amount.
Note that the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel proposed the dismissal of the lawsuit last year. According to the judging panel of the court, the FTC claims lacked authority over AT&T since the telecommunications company is a common carrier and remains outside of the regulations of the Commission. The majority of the judges in the court have casted votes for setting aside the rule implemented in the previous year. It also ordered a new hearing for the FTC in front of an 11-judge panel.
Designated as a common carrier, AT&T is subjected to various regulations put forward by the Federal Communications Commission. The Commission has also previously filed a case against the carrier demanding $100 million in compensation. However, the appointment of Ajit Pai as the new FCC chairman has resulted in the rejection of the FTC’s classification of AT&T and other major internet providers as common carriers.
The new chairman is now spearheading the long efforts in repealing the net neutrality rules implemented by FCC. These rules have called for a more equitable distribution of data despite the sources, as well as prevent the allocation of faster speeds for companies that pay more. Pai has stated that the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the AT&T lawsuit as a “a big win for American consumers.”
“It strengthens the case for the FCC to reverse its 2015 Title II Order and restore the FTC’s jurisdiction over broadband providers’ privacy and data security practices,” Pai added. “Indeed, it moves us one step closer to having the consistent and comprehensive framework for digital privacy that the American people deserve.”
Previously, the FTC has accused AT&T of misleading iPhone customers in opting for data plans that were publicized as unlimited plans between the year 2007 and 2010. Moreover, AT&T ceased its unlimited data offerings by mid-2010, but allowed customers already using unlimited plans with continued access.