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DA's Office Announces Nearly $69 Million Civil Settlement Between Frontier Communications and Federal Trade Commission

RIVERSIDE – District Attorney Mike Hestrin announced today, May 5, 2022, that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a proposed settlement between the FTC, the People of the State of California, and Frontier Communications Corporation. The settlement will resolve a civil enforcement action alleging deceptive and unfair business practices by Frontier in connection with the sale of residential DSL services.

 

The proposed settlement has now been submitted to the United States District Court for final approval.

 

The investigation and prosecution of the case was conducted by the District Attorney’s Offices in Riverside and Los Angeles counties in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission.

 

The nearly $69 million in the settlement comes from costs and civil penalties of nearly $9 million and an estimated cost of as much as $60 million for Frontier to deploy fiber optic internet service to 60,000 California locations.

 

The negotiated settlement will, among other things, prohibit Frontier from misrepresenting internet service speeds, from “provisioning” or “capping” internet speeds below certain thresholds, and will prohibit them from selling internet speed packages to consumers without a reasonable belief that Frontier can provide those speeds to the consumer’s location. 

 

Current Frontier customers who are paying for speeds they are not receiving will be notified by Frontier and given the option to either keep their current service, terminate their current service, or move to another internet service plan.

 

The proposed judgment was agreed to without any admission of wrongdoing by Frontier and with Frontier’s full cooperation. Under its terms, Frontier will be ordered to pay $8,573,570 in costs and civil penalties, and an additional $250,000, which will be distributed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office to California consumers impacted by the conduct alleged in the complaint. These consumers will be identified by the District Attorney’s Offices in Riverside and Los Angeles counties and will be contacted directly by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, regardless of where they live in California.

 

Additionally, the proposed judgment orders Frontier to deploy fiber optic internet to an additional 60,000 residential locations in California over the next four years, an investment estimated to cost between $50 to $60 million dollars.

 

The case was prosecuted in Riverside County by Deputy District Attorney Evan Goldsmith of the DA’s Consumer Protection Team. 

 

 

 

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Author: John Hall
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