Two US Senators Look To Stop Predatory Data Caps
The two Democrat senators received early support from various sources, including the Internet and Competitive Networks Association, Public Knowledge, and Consumer Reports. Luján and Booker are calling for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to be able to “hold providers accountable when they impose predatory data caps.” The bill would therefore prohibit internet providers, including both broadband and mobile carriers, from establishing data caps that are too strict and unnecessary. Many of those data caps may be avoided, as proven by carriers voluntarily removing data caps temporarily at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the bill passes, internet service providers (ISPs) will only be able to introduce data caps if it will be necessary for the purpose of network management. In addition, even if such a data cap is in place, ISPs will be unable to lower the internet speed of users who choose not to pay for extra data. Assuming a provider fails to meet the requirements, the company would be punished under the Communications Act of 1934, resulting in a fine or prison time as well as forfeiture if the ISP is found to repeatedly violate the bill.
For the consumers, this legislation would almost certainly be a good thing, but it’s hard to say what kind of losses ISPs might experience as a result of it. Before the Uncap America Act can become reality, it has to gather enough support in the Senate. If you’d like to read the full bill for yourself, check it out in its entirety on the official website.
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