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FTC, states sue Frontier Communications for lying about internet speeds

Frontier_Communications_headquarters in Stanford  Connecticut

Photo: DanielPenfield

The Federal Trade Commission, along with law enforcement agencies from six states, has sued Internet service provider Frontier Communications, alleging that the company didn’t provide many consumers with Internet service at the speeds it promised them, and charged many of them for more expensive and higher-speed service. 

In the lawsuit, the FTC and its state partners allege that Frontier advertised and sold Internet service in several plans, or tiers, based on download speed. Frontier touted these tiers using mail and online ads and has sold them to consumers over the phone and online.

The FTC alleges Frontier didn’t provide many consumers with the maximum speeds they were promised and the speeds they actually received often fell short of what was touted in the plans they purchased.

The FTC’s allegations are about Frontier’s Digital Subscriber Line or DSL Internet service, which is transmitted over copper telephone wires. Frontier provides DSL service to about 1.3 million consumers, many in rural areas, across 25 states.

Since January 2015, thousands of consumers complained to Frontier and government agencies that the company failed to provide DSL Internet service at the speeds they were promised. Many consumers have complained that the slower speeds actually provided by Frontier failed to support the typical online activities they should have been able to perform.

The FTC’s lawsuit was filed with the attorneys general from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, as well as the district attorneys’ offices of Los Angeles County and Riverside County on behalf of the state of California. 

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