Public Knowledge Takes On ISP Data Capping

Consumer Advocacy group Public Knowledge wants to show internet users what happens when internet service providers cap data with a new web site that it plans to launch soon, according to the National Journal. Launching later this month, this new campaign hopes to bring more awareness to consumers about the serious issue of data capping with a new website that serves up examples of the impact in an interactive and visually pleasing way. With the advent of cloud storage, steaming media and other bandwidth heavy activities that are becoming more popular, Internet users may suddenly find themselves hitting the virtual wall of data capping and their ISP punishing them for surpassing it in some way.

"This Internet rationing is a huge issue and we just want to have something to show people how much data they're using," Public Knowledge spokesman Art Brodsky told National Journal.

It doesn't help that back in December of last year, the Federal Communications Commission gave its blessing to ISP's to use data caps without having to worry about being regulated by the agency. The policy, believe it or not, was part of their net neutrality guidelines. From that ruling:

"Prohibiting tiered or usage-based pricing and requiring all subscribers to pay the same amount for broadband service, regardless of the performance or usage of the service, would force lighter end users of the network to subsidize heavier end users. It would also foreclose practices that may appropriately align incentives to encourage efficient use of networks that data caps."

Naturally, Public Knowledge wants the FCC to reconsider that position.

"We're trying to get them concerned," Brodsky said. "So we're going to get a little information up, get a (web) page up and see what happens."

The new web page will ask visitors to enter their email address and make a financial contribution, then it will determine what website they came from and what kind of device they're using to surf the web. Brodsky didn't give a lot of details on other parts of the anti-capping campaign, but the group has plenty of activities planned to get its message out to the masses – and to the FCC. They hope to have the special web site up by September 30. Brodsky closed by saying that any user data it collects will not be sold.

Source: National Journal

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  1. 0
    axiomatic says:

    I have NEVER understood data capping. If my subscription to the ISP on the last mile side and the amount the tier 3 backbone providers are charging companies is not enough to keep the network infrastructure updated then CHARGE MORE and get off your lazy ass and update things.

    Data capping is a sign of laziness as far as I am concerned and if your company is in fact data capping I think that all executive compensation needs to halt because there should be no executive compensation if you have to data cap. Data capping is the direct result of mismanagement and should be considered a failure to manage the network correctly. No reward for you Mr. Executive.

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