The FCC has announced a series of eye-popping fines against companies over the past two years: Roughly $100 million against nearly a dozen firms for defrauding a phone subsidy program, $35 million against a Chinese company for selling illegal wireless jamming equipment, and $100 million against AT&T this June for throttling customers on unlimited data plans.
But how much of that money has the commission actually collected? $0.
While the FCC has always had a cumbersome process to impose penalties, the increasingly large fines proposed by the FCC are highlighting the gap between attention-grabbing press releases and slow-moving collection. The disconnect is drawing scrutiny in Congress as the FCC’s enforcement bureau … is aggressively targeting companies on everything from their billing practices to data security to Wi-Fi blocking.
The full story is here.