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Netflix Calls on FCC to Dump Data Caps | Pricing Data Plans

Netflix’s filing comes as ISP’s increasingly turn to broadband usage caps to take advantage of the lack of broadband competition in many markets. Fearing FCC crackdown both Comcast and AT&T raised their caps to one terabyte, though many ISPs still cap usage at much lower allotments. High, low, or somewhere in between, Netflix highlights that there is no good reason to implement caps on well-managed fixed-line networks, despite a decade of ISPs trying to justify the price gouging.

“A data cap or allotment of 300 GB of data per month or higher is required just to meet the Internet television needs of an average American,” said Netflix. “An above average television watcher, a multi-occupant household, or a consumer wishing to watch in 4K requires a much higher cap.”

The FCC has historically shown very little interest in dealing with usage caps or potential anti-competitive abuse of them (zero rating). In fact, the agency has shown little interest in dealing with price packages of any kind. The FCC has not even dealt with the ISP use of misleading fees to covertly jack up advertised rates. As such the FCC is not expected to seriously police usage caps

“Data caps (especially low data caps) and usage-based pricing (‘UBP’) discourage a consumer’s consumption of broadband, and may impede the ability of some households to watch Internet television in a manner and amount that they would like,” Netflix wrote. “For this reason, the Commission should hold that data caps on fixed-­line networks ­­and low data caps on mobile networks­­ may unreasonably limit Internet television viewing and are inconsistent with Section 706.

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Netflix Calls on FCC to Dump Data Caps – Pricing Data Plans.

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