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FCC orders T-Mobile to stop misleading throttled customers about speeds

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
November 25, 2014
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Up to now, T-Mobile has been generously unblocking Ookla and other mobile test sites so you could see exactly how much speed you weren't getting when it throttled you. But the FCC has called a halt to that piece of duplicity, forcing the carrier to show true speeds to consumers. John Legere's outfit will now send you an SMS linking to speed tests that correctly calculate data rates when you hit your cap. It'll also be forced to provide a smartphone app or button linking to accurate tests, and clarify that others may provide full network rather than throttled speeds.

T-Mobile started unblocking the sites back in July, justifying it by saying they were "designed to measure true network speed -- not show that a customer (has been throttled)." The FCC luckily recognized that for the nonsense that it is, though it didn't exactly use strong language to condemn it. (In a namby-pamby statement, FCC chair Tom Wheeler said "I'm grateful T-Mobile has worked with the FCC to ensure that its customers are better informed about the speeds they are experiencing.") T-Mobile recently added music streaming options that don't count against your data cap -- but including Ookla's speed test in that list of freebies doesn't exactly jibe with its straight-shooting image.

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