FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke Wednesday, offering a roadmap to net neutrality rules and regulations that he and other commissioners will discuss and inevitably vote on at the FCC’s December 21 meeting. One of the things that many journalists noted was that the Chairman seemed to have backpedaled on many key points. Besides excluding wireless carriers from the equation, Genachowski mentioned “usage-based pricing.”
Naturally, companies such as Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T see some of the concessions the FCC has made in its latest proposal as a strong victory for their side. Genachowski’s support for pay-as-you-go pricing is a victory for these companies because it declares that broadband providers have the power to charge users for bandwidth they consume.
This should be especially troubling for anyone that enjoys watching movies through Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. A typical streamed movie uses up 4 GB of bandwidth. Naturally, if a company forces you to use a data plan, then you will be less likely to use services like Netflix, Hulu, and more because it is just not economical. Of course, you can always watch those movies on Pay-Per-View…
The Wall Street Journal Blog offers a good overview of why what the FCC wants to do later this month is not a victory for consumers.