Sunday, February 26, 2012

California Man Wins Throttle Suit Against AT&T

Posted By on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Telecommunications industry analysts are nervously awaiting the fallout from a landmark ruling in which an iPhone user took AT&T to court for offering slower data service and won.

The Associated Press reports that Matt Spaccarelli of Ventura County, Calif., had purchased an "unlimited data plan," not unlike an approximate 17 million other AT&T customers. But late last year, AT&T began something called "throttling," slowing down data service for the top 5 percent of its smartphone users with unlimited plans.

Spaccarelli complained that his phone was being throttled when he tried to use more than 1.5 gigabytes of data within a billing cycle.

On Friday, Ventura Superior Court Judge Russell Nadel found in favor of Spaccarelli and awarded him $850.

Analysts said the ruling could lead to a flood of suits in small claims courts across the country against AT&T and other carriers accused of purposely slowing down data speed.

Meanwhile, AT&T has announced its intention to appeal last Friday's ruling.

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