FTC sues Frontier for 'misrepresenting' internet speeds

It allegedly charged for more expensive high-speed services than it actually provided.

Frontier Communications

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and six states have sued Frontier Communications for misrepresenting internet speeds to consumers, The Hill has reported. The FTC accused the internet company of failing to provide consumers the maximum speeds promised and charging for "more expensive and higher-speed" tiers than customers received.

"The complaint alleges that Frontier violated the FTC Act and various state laws by misrepresenting the speeds of Internet service it would provide consumers and engaged in unfair billing practices for charging consumers for a more expensive level of Internet service than it actually provided," the FTC wrote in a press release.

Along with the FTC, law enforcement agencies from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and California are parties to the suit. Frontier Communications services around 1.3 million consumers in 25 states, many of whom live in rural counties, according to the FTC. About 87 percent of its customers are in areas with little to no competition.

"Frontier believes the lawsuit is without merit. The plaintiffs' complaint includes baseless allegations, overstates any possible monetary harm to Frontier's customers and disregards important facts,” a Frontier spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.

Frontier recently emerged from bankruptcy filed in 2020 with plans to overhaul its network and replace copper lines with fiber. The company settled similar lawsuits with West Virginia, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Minnesota, but denied any wrongdoing. "Despite these settlements, Frontier has failed to remedy its practices, and consumers continue to be harmed nationwide," according to the complaint.