Home » AT&T »Internet Overcharging »Online Video »Public Policy & Gov't »Verizon »Wireless Broadband » Currently Reading:

Public Knowledge Wants Data Cap Investigation, But FCC Chairman “Open to New Billing Models”

As consumers continue to blow through their $30 2-3GB usage capped 4G/LTE wireless tablet plans offered by Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Public Knowledge is repeating calls for the Federal Communications Commission to launch a formal investigation into data caps.

“It’s a ridiculous situation that the carriers sell millions of these devices specifically designed to view video on one hand, while they restrict the usage of their networks for video on the other,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and CEO of the consumer group.

Public Knowledge is specifically calling out wireless phone companies because they stand to make millions as customers rack up usage charges when using 4G-equipped tablets with the carriers’ usage-limited wireless networks.

“It is simply inexcusable that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has not even seen fit to ask wireless and landline carriers to explain why those caps are necessary, how they are set and how consumers are affected by them,” Sohn added. “If the Commission is truly interested in consumer protection, it will ask the crucial questions and come up with some answers before consumers start getting hit with ever-increasing bills just for using the devices they bought in good faith.”

Sohn

Although the majority of Apple iPads sold in North America only support Wi-Fi, 4G-equipped models have proven addictive, with some customers obliterating their usage allowances with AT&T and Verizon after just a few hours of use.

Wireless carriers largely blame online video for the heavy usage.

“Streaming video consumes the most data of all possible activities and is often the reason customers are among the top 5% of heaviest users,” AT&T notes on its website.

The Federal Communications Commission’s apparent lack of interest in investigating data caps may not be that surprising, however.

In releasing the Commission’s own proposed Net Neutrality rules in late 2010, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made it clear he was open to new billing models that charge by how much data a user consumes.  With a green light for Internet Overcharging, carriers responded with usage limits and usage-based pricing, raising customer bills in the process.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Tk says:

    We do not lack the technology to push increasing amounts of data through the Internet. ISPs have adapted to the demand for years and will continue to do so. The creation of caps on landline connections is all about protecting TV revenue, as most ISPs are in the TV business too. If there were congestion, caps would apply only in peak hours and would appear as slowdowns for heavy users, not extra charges, or expulsion from service.

    On the wireless side data plans allowed 5gb on early laptop cards when the speeds were so low a person would have to work at it to use it up. The caps need to rise with the times and increasing speeds of wireless networks.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • Leedar: 'Conveniently' for South Korea and other culturally insular countries international traffic doesn't matter so much, because there is a local version o...
  • Daniel H: Except the other side of the story is was that he used his employer in the phone call to extract an advantage. If he did mention he was employed by Pr...
  • feather bed: Quality articles or reviews is the important to attract the viewers to pay a visit the website, that's what this website is providing....
  • Ralph: I absolutely love this comment, “As we’ve said before, the speed tests are the result of self-selected, self-reported samples,” Page said. “People who...
  • onlinehairclinic: Some infectionhs such aas fungal infections of the scalp, an underlying diseaselike diabetes orr lupus, scarring due to wearing pigtails, coornrows o...
  • Dekay: I was one of those unlucky Millenicom customers who just had their plan ($90/month) abruptly terminated. To get the same plan through Verizon would co...
  • Damian: Thank you for this article. I am currently with Comcast and have 50 Mbps internet speeds. I pump out a monthly average of 600 GB of data usage each m...
  • AustinTX: It's almost like Comcast has a crack team to identify anyone who is getting close to exposing them... and then giving them the push they need to go co...
  • James Cieloha: I prefer that the FCC comes with the idea of the most severe stiffest punishment handed down from the FCC being called the euthanization death penalty...
  • BobInIllinois: As a licensed CPA and auditor, this is very shocking, but very believable when one works for a Big CPA firm. I worked at a small firm, so this kind o...
  • Haiyez: I just got off the phone. I have U450 & Max Plus internet. I was paying $140 a month. The promo is over and now it's about $200 a month. Bes...
  • Fred Pilot: When a service provider views its customers as adversaries, an act like this is construed as enemy action, resulting in the blow up reported here....

Your Account: