The FCC said Monday that T-Mobile has agreed to take steps to insure that customers who run mobile speed tests on its network get accurate information about their broadband speeds, including taking into account reductions in speed related to their data plans.
The FCC has been investigating wireless ISPs over its concerns that customers whose speeds are reduced after exceeding monthly data caps can't easily understand what their actual speeds are when the run tests that don't include that slowed service.
As part of the agreement, T-Mobile has promised to text costumers information making it easier to get accurate speed information and make it clearer on its Web site what those speeds actually are.
“The FCC is committed to ensuring that broadband providers are transparent to consumers," said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement. "I’m grateful T-Mobile has worked with the FCC to ensure that its customers are better informed about the speeds they are experiencing. Consumers need this information to fully understand what they are getting with their broadband service.”
Specifically, T-Mobile will:
*"Send customers a text message once they hit their monthly high-speed data allotment linking to a speed test that customers can use to determine their actual reduced speed;
*"Provide a button on customer smartphones linking to a speed test that will show actual reduced speeds;
*"Modify the text messages it currently sends to customers once they hit their monthly high-speed data allotment to make it clear that certain speed tests may show network speeds, rather than their reduced speed. The modified texts also will provide more information about the speeds that will be available after customers exceed their data cap; and
*"Modify its website disclosures to better explain T-Mobile’s policies regarding speed test applications and where consumers can get accurate speed information."
Wheeler has suggested that not giving customers sufficient information about how their speeds are being managed could violate the FCC's network neutrality network management transparency rule, the only rule that survived court challenge earlier this year.