U.S. Senator’s proposed Data Cap Integrity Act would empower FCC to ensure that data caps serve only to address network congestion
In the name of promoting online innovation and protecting consumers, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) this week introduced a law that would restrict ISPs‘ use of data caps — limits on how much customers can upload and download on their smartphones and computers — solely to addressing network congestion. The proposed legislation, called “The Data Cap Integrity Act,”comes in the wake of a study from non-profit group The New America Foundation, which concluded that data caps on broadband usage serve only to bilk customers and stifle online innovation, rather than ensuring that Internet data travels the network lines unfettered.
“This bill is intended to help consumers manage their data more effectively and ensure that data caps are used only to serve the legitimate purpose of addressing congestion,” Wyden said in a statement, adding that “data caps should not impede this innovation and the jobs it creates.”
Through the Data Cap Integrity Act, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) would establish industrywide data measurement accuracy standards as to how ISPs measure data usage; the law would also give the FCC the power to ensure that data caps are designed to manage network congestion, “rather than [to] monetize data in ways that undermine online innovation,” according to Wyden.
The law would require ISPs to provide consumers with tools for managing their data consumption, and it would prevent ISPs from discriminating against any content; that is, giving favored treatment to their own services over similar services from competitors. “Data caps … run the risk of undermining innovation in the digital economy if they are imposed bluntly and not designed to truly manage network congestion,” Wyden said.
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via InfoWorld – Ted Samson
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