Hey broadband carriers – be careful about your network not delivering on promised performance. That predicament may cost AT&T $100 million.

AT&T has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit up to that amount launched by an Ohio lawyer over poor DSL performance. The suit claimed AT&T DSL speeds did not live up to their advertised performance, primarily due to caps implemented by AT&T on the broadband service. “People were not getting the speed they paid for in their digital subscriber line plans,” the Ohio attorney who brought the suit tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

While $100 million is no drop in the bucket, it’s a rounding error for AT&T. It will have to be a win on principle for the class represented by the lawsuit, because they certainly won’t be profiting too much from the case. That is except for the lawyers.

The Journal Sentinel reports that each class member will receive “$2.90 for each month the speed of their DSL service was capped below the maximum rate for the plan purchased.” The law firm that brought the case will get $11 million. Terms for the settlement have to be approved at a June 1st court hearing.

The discrepancies that brought about this suit and others factors similar to it are what led the FCC to put emphasis on a ‘truth in advertising’ component of the national broadband plan. They’ve launched a series of broadband speed tools to help consumers measure their broadband speeds. They also recently hired SamKnows of Britain to do more formal testing of actual broadband speeds being offered by ISPs in the U.S.

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