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What just happened? The Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general from six states have filed a lawsuit against Frontier Communications, alleging the Internet service provider did not supply some customers with the speeds promised in their chosen Internet packages. Frontier, however, believes the suit is "without merit."
In the complaint, the FTC alleges that since at least January 1, 2015, Frontier in numerous instances “advertised, marketed, offered or sold DLS Internet service at tiers corresponding to speeds that Frontier did not, and often could not, provide to consumers.”
Furthermore, the FTC alleges that Frontier uses network limits like provisioning to set an upper limit on speed at the time of installation. As a general matter, Frontier does not inform customers of their provisioned speeds or provide a way for users to learn their provisioned speeds, the FTC said.
“In numerous instances, Frontier has provided consumers DSL Internet service at speeds consistently slower than even the provisioned limits set for those consumers, preventing these consumers from ever, or for more than de minimis durations, receiving the maximum speeds Frontier represents these consumers can achieve for the speed tiers to which they subscribe.”
According to the complaint, Frontier provides residential DSL service to approximately 1.3 million consumers across 25 states. Those participating in the lawsuit include Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and California.
It is further alleged that Frontier engaged in unfair billing practices, which violates various state laws.
A spokesperson for Frontier told Reuters that the lawsuit was “without merit.”
“Frontier’s DSL Internet speeds have been clearly and accurately articulated, defined and described in the company’s marketing materials and disclosures,” the spokesperson added.
Frontier just last month emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to a report from Barron's at the time, the company has a new executive team, less debt, and a plan to upgrade from its old copper-based infrastructure to a speedy fiber optic network.
Image credit panch0 aguirre