Attorney General Todd Rokita says the state has reached a $15 million settlement with Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FYBR) to ensure residents receive the services they paid for. Last year, Rokita sued the Connecticut-based communications company for misrepresenting internet speeds and reliability to consumers.
The lawsuit argued Frontier violated the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. The Federal Trade Commission and several other states also sued the company.
“Hoosiers shouldn’t be forced to pay for high-speed internet in exchange for slow service,” said Rokita. “Particularly with many individuals working remotely from their homes, consistent and reliable telecommunications are vital to Indiana’s economy.”
Rokita’s office says the settlement especially benefits residents living in rural communities. As a result of the settlement, Frontier entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance in which the company agrees to pay $15 million over a period of four years to improve internet infrastructure in Indiana.
“Many Hoosiers living in rural areas have no other options but to access internet services through Frontier,” said Rokita. “In the 21st century, residents of our rural communities should expect the same quality of service and same availability of technology as their peers in larger cities and towns.”
In addition, Rokita’s office says Frontier is required to review service speeds and provide options to consumers to reduce service plans and costs if their current plans promised higher speeds than what was actually provided. Frontier must also adjust its advertising to accurately represent the availability and reliability of its internet service.
After the company makes the corrections to its advertising discrepancies, Rokita’s office says Frontier must credit billing charges to consumers who do not receive at least 90% of the maximum advertised speed. Frontier will also be required to provide training programs for its consumer service representatives, field technicians and sales agents that covers the requirements of the agreement.