Just in time for the National Football
League playoffs, Public Knowledge today opened a new Website,
http://www.whatismycap.org, to help consumers stay under the usage caps imposed
by wireless carriers. The site is
sponsored by PK, Mozilla Foundation and the Open Source Democracy Foundation.
The National Football League (NFL) has
announced it would stream this weekend’s wildcard games, the Pro Bowl and the
Super Bowl to Verizon customers’ mobile phones.
What Verizon didn’t say, however, is that watching all of those games
would exceed the cap on data usage the company has imposed, and would cost
customers extra money.
Public Knowledge has warned about the hits
to consumer pocket books in our report, “4G + Data Caps = Magic Beans. PK and the Open Technology Initiative last
May asked the FCC to investigate data caps generally.
With the new Web site, consumers will be able to better
understand what their cap really means, and avoid expensive overcharges. Michael Weinberg, PK staff attorney, said,
“At top advertised speeds, consumers can use up an entire month’s worth of
data in well under an hour. It also
means that using your device in ways your carrier touts in advertising will
quickly drive you into expensive overcharge territory. This new site allows
consumers to understand what their caps really mean and urge the FCC to ask
hard questions about why the caps exist.”
A blog post with more background on the site and the issue will be posted to the PK site.