ISP data caps taken to court in US with very convincing arguments

We Indians have been cribbing about ISP data caps for broadband called very insultingly as Fair Usage Policy (FUP), but I have heard few making a very good case about why this is a bad idea for the market. And how the ISP’s justifications of minority data hoggers is a case of 💩.

But I just heard about a very good case being made against such data caps in the US broadband market. Two prominent Washington DC tech policy groups have asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Internet data caps in the US—with a special focus on AT&T.;

Unlike competitors whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions during peak-use periods, AT&T; seeks to convert caps into a profit center by charging additional fees to customers who exceed the cap. In addition to concerns raised by broadband caps generally, such a practice produces a perverse incentive for AT&T; to avoid raising its caps even as its own capacity expands. … The lower cap for DSL customers is especially worrying because one of the traditional selling points of DSL networks is that their dedicated circuit design helps to mitigate the impacts of heavy users on the rest of the network. Together, these caps suggest either that AT&T;’s current network compares poorly to that of a major competitor circa 2008 or that there are non-network-management motivations behind their creation.

It is time Airtel and it’s ilk is taken to court for the FUP scam they are running in the broadband market. Thanks to these greedy operators, India still has one of the lowest penetration figures (~7%) for broadband in Asia, forget the rest of the world.

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