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Media Contact: 
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
For Immediate Release
T-Mobile to Increase Transparency, Provide Consumer Benefits, 
Connect Public School Students and Pay a Fine
WASHINGTON, October 19, 2016 – The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau today announced that T-
Mobile will pay a fine and provide benefits to consumers totaling at least $48 million as part of a 
settlement resolving an investigation into whether the company adequately disclosed speed and 
data restrictions for its “unlimited” data plan subscribers. The FCC’s investigation found that 
company policy allows it to slow down data speeds when T-Mobile or MetroPCS customers on 
so-called “unlimited” plans exceed a monthly data threshold. Company advertisements and other 
disclosures may have led unlimited data plan customers to expect that they were buying better 
and faster service than what they received. The Commission’s 2010 Open Internet transparency 
rules require broadband Internet providers to give accurate and sufficient information to 
consumers about their Internet services so consumers can make informed choices. 
“Consumers should not have to guess whether so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans contain key 
restrictions, like speed constraints, data caps, and other material limitations,” said FCC 
Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “When broadband providers are accurate, honest and 
upfront in their ads and disclosures, consumers aren’t surprised and they get what they’ve paid 
for. With today’s settlement, T-Mobile has stepped up to the plate to ensure that its customers 
have the full information they need to decide whether ‘unlimited’ data plans are right for them.”   
Today’s settlement includes $48 million in total financial commitments from T-Mobile.  This 
includes a $7.5 million fine in addition to $35.5 million in consumer benefits offered to T-Mobile 
and Metro PCS customers with “unlimited” plans and at least $5 million in services and 
equipment to American schools to bridge the homework gap facing today’s students.  Eligible 
subscribers will be offered discounts on accessories and additional data.
The Commission has received complaints from T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers who felt 
misled when they discovered their “unlimited” data plan included “de-prioritized” data speeds 
after using a fixed amount of data each month. Under its “Top 3 Percent Policy,” T-Mobile “de-
prioritizes” its “heavy” data users during times of network contention or congestion. This 
potentially deprived these users of the advertised speeds of their data plan. According to 
consumers, this policy rendered data services “unusable” for many hours each day and 
substantially limited their access to data. The bureau believes that the company failed to 
adequately inform its “unlimited” data plan customers that their data would be slowed at times if 
they used more than 17 GB in a given month. 
Under the settlement, T-Mobile will update its disclosures to clearly explain the “Top 3 Percent 
Policy,” who may be affected by it, what triggers its application and the impacts on data speeds. 
T-Mobile will also be required to notify individual customers when their data usage approaches 
the threshold. The company will also adopt the FCC’s “Consumer Broadband Label” to provide 
more information and clarity on service terms, including speed, reliability and cost, such as fees 
and other add-on charges.
Under the settlement, T-Mobile is required to update and improve its disclosures regarding its 
“unlimited” plans. It must either: provide clear and conspicuous disclosures about all restrictions 
on the amount and speed of data provided for “unlimited” data plans; cease the use of the term 
“unlimited” to label such plans; exclude “unlimited” data plan customers from the “Top 3 Percent 
Policy” or any similar practice; or limit any speed reductions for “unlimited” data plan customers 
to the minimum speed advertised for that plan.
In addition to the $7.5 million fine to be paid to the U.S. Treasury, the settlement requires T-
Mobile to fund a $35.5 million consumer benefit program for T-Mobile and MetroPCS 
“unlimited” mobile data customers.  Eligible T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers will be offered 
? Discounts of 20 percent off (up to $20) of the regular price for any in-stock accessory.  
? 4 GB of additional data if they have a mobile Internet data line – specifically T-Mobile’s 
“Simple Choice MINT” plan – or a tablet plan under the MetroPCS brand.  
Eligible T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers will receive notice about these benefits by December 
15, 2016. Consumers can obtain more information on the companies’ websites:  www.T- and
The FCC settlement also requires T-Mobile to spend at least $5 million dollars – plus any 
unredeemed funds from the consumer benefit program – to address the “homework gap” in low-
income school districts. T-Mobile will provide free devices, such as tablets, to eligible public 
schools that students may take home and use for school work. They will also provide mobile 
broadband to the devices at a reduced cost to the schools, and at no cost to the students or their 
families. T-Mobile is expected to start the program in October 2017 and enroll 5,000 students per 
quarter over four years, totaling up to 80,000 students.   
This is the FCC’s second action addressing disclosures for “unlimited” data plans that are subject 
to fixed data thresholds and speed reductions.  In June 2015, the Commission proposed a $100
million fine against AT&T Mobility for misleading its customers about “unlimited” mobile data 
Adopting order/consent decree:
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order 
constitutes official action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).