Senator Introduces Bill to Regulate Broadband Data Caps

The government knows better than the service providers, right?


Earlier this week we covered a new white paper from the New America Foundation arguing the recent proliferation of data caps instituted by broadband providers are designed to maximize revenue rather than minimize congestion. The issue caught the attention of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who introduced legislation to regulate the use of data caps on Thursday.

"Data caps create challenges for consumers and 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 in an e-mail statement.

Wyden hopes to address three issues with his proposal. First, he wants to increase the amount and accuracy of information provided to consumers. His bill empowers the Federal Communications Commission to regulate ISPs' methods for measuring bandwidth usage with an eye to improving their accuracy. And it requires ISPs to provide their customers with realtime tools for tracking their usage and comparing them with the ISP's established caps.