This paper, published by Public Knowledge on April 23, 2012, is a deep dive into questions about data caps and so-called "usage-based billing." It considers economic and historical perspectives and raises some concerns, both in regards to competition and to national priorities such as broadband adoption, education, employment, and innovation more generally.
The full paper is available here as a PDF. Below is the executive summary and final recommendations.
The paper was written by Andrew Odlyzko, University of Minnesota; Bill St. Arnaud; Erik Stallman, Holch & Erickson, LLP; and Michael Weinberg, Public Knowledge.
The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that
AT&T plans the equivalent of an 800 number for wireless app developers and
content providers. Under the plan, app
developers or content providers, not customers, would pay for the data used and
the data would not apply to a customer’s data cap.
The story is here.
The following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal
director of Public Knowledge:
“This new plan is unfortunate because it
shows how fraudulent the AT&T data cap is, and calls into question the
whole rationale of the data caps. Apparently it has nothing to do with
network management. It's a tool to get more revenue from developers and