US telco Sprint Corp said it would end a policy of slowing video speeds for unlimited-data customers, following an outcry that the practice undermined the carrier's attempt to promote a new phone plan yesterday.
According to Sprint, the practice had been ongoing for two years, though, it only recently began disclosing it more prominently after the introduction of new net-neutrality rules that took effect 12 June.
When the carrier yesterday unveiled a new $80-a-month plan offering unlimited talk, text, data and a smartphone, some customers pointed to a caveat in the footnote that said video would be delivered at lower speeds.
The company said late in the day that it was ending the throttling. Chief executive Marcelo Claure said ''We heard you loud and clear.''
The practice of throttling data speeds for customers on unlimited data plans has been a sensitive issue for regulators at the Federal Communications Commission.
In June, the FCC's staff recommended a record fine of $100 million for AT&T Inc after the company was found to have misled customers and violated older rules requiring transparent treatment of data traffic by slowing speeds for heavy users of unlimited-data plans.
Meanwhile, David Beckham has lent his appeal to Sprint's All-In phone plans in a commercial, which made it clear that if you thought if you found data plans confusing you are not alone.
In the lengthy advertisement, the celebrity athlete is seen to make heavy going of understanding even one phone plan.
"It's just so confusing," Beckham insists as he tries to make sense of even more convoluted policies and conditions.
"For most people, buying a cell phone can be one of the most frustrating experiences imaginable," he explained in a statement released on Tuesday.
'People want simple, honest, and straightforward plans, but instead they get confusion. With Sprint All-In, the aim is to make things simple and deliver value for people.'
The commercial's interpretation of this had Beckham asking about plans from T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon he finally finding simplicity at a Sprint store, and gains hordes of admirers, who like him, too want a simpler phone plan.