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FTC's Ramirez: No Net Management Defense for AT&T 'Throttling'

In a press conference with reporters Tuesday (Oct. 28), Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez said that according to evidence it collected, AT&T's "throttling" of unlimited data plan users was not directly related to any network management issues.

"In our view," said Ramirez, "based on evidence," the AT&T plan limits "had no direct relation to any type of network congestion." An FTC official said that the "throttling" trigger was when use reached a threshold, after which it would be limited through the rest of the billing cycle, even if it was not a peak period or did not involve a congested cell site. By contrast, he said, a tiered customer could be using data at a peak period and not be throttled.

Ramirez said the FTC would prove that in court.

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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.