following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge:
"The statement today from Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski that data caps are
simply another 'business model innovation' presents a false picture.
"The question is not, as the chairman said, whether
there is only one model. The question is, will all the benefits of broadband
Chairman Genachowski has articulated in the past ever happen in a world where
broadband providers get a free pass on any pricing scheme or restriction if
they use the magic words 'bandwidth cap'? If we really want to see students
downloading textbooks or watching Harvard lectures online, it would be nice to
know if they will ever have the bandwidth capacity to do so.
May 17, 2012
Knowledge Statement On Recent Data Cap Developments
following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:
the last 24 hours, we have seen two different reactions to changes in the
telecommunications markets. Comcast recognized the need to increase the
cap on data 'usage' that the company set in 2008 and to experiment with
additional flexibility for customers. As Time Warner Cable's recent decision to
offer a capped plan as a discounted alternative shows, more flexible pricing
plans can benefit consumers where they offer opportunities for savings without
compromising quality or an open internet. We await further details of Comcast's
plan so that subscribers can fully assess how these changes will impact their
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.