Connecticut’s Frontier ‘lied’ about internet speeds, faces $8.5M in penalties, agency says

Frontier Communications is facing $8.5 million in civil penalties and other sanctions by the Federal Trade Commission after the agency found the Connecticut company failed to deliver internet service speeds it had promised to California consumers.

Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said Frontier “lied about its speeds and ripped off customers by charging high-speed prices for slow service.”

“Today’s proposed order requires Frontier to back up its high-speed claims,” Levine said. “It also arms customers lured in by Frontier’s lies with free, easy options for dropping their slow service.”

The civil penalties and sanctions against Frontier must be approved by a U.S. District Court judge in California, according to FTC officials. Frontier officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The civil penalties and sanctions stemmed from a May 2021 complaint in which the FTC alleged Frontier advertised it could provide various speeds of digital subscriber line internet service based on the type of plan consumers purchased.

The FTC claimed Frontier failed to provide many consumers with the maximum speeds they were promised and the speeds they received often fell far short of what was touted in the plans they purchased. Some customers complained it was difficult to engage in typical online activities that should have been possible under the plan they purchased.

In addition to the civil penalty, Frontier will be required to substantiate claims regarding the internet speeds it offers customers and provide current customers with free and easy cancellations when it fails to deliver the promised speeds.

The FTC’s order also prohibits Frontier from signing up new customers for its DSL internet service in areas where the high number of users sharing the same networking equipment produces congestion that results in slower service.


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