Senator Intros Data Cap Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the Internet becomes increasingly important to American consumers, businesses and innovators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are increasingly imposing caps on the amount of data that consumers may move over the Net. Data caps are appropriate if they are carefully constructed to manage network congestion but, as the New York Times has editorialized, they “should not just be a way for Internet providers to extract monopoly rents.” The imposition of data caps also risks undermining online competition and innovation as the market for digital goods and services expands.
In order to empower consumers to better manage their data usage and promote online innovation, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has introduced the Data Cap Integrity Act to give consumers the tools they need to manage their own data usage, institute industry-wide data measurement accuracy standards for ISPs, and impose disciplines to ensure that ISP data caps are truly designed to manage network congestion.
“Americans are increasingly tethered to the Internet and connecting more devices to it, but they don’t really have the tools to effectively manage data consumption across their networks,” Wyden said. “Data caps create challenges for consumers and run the risk of undermining innovation in the digital economy if they are imposed bluntly and not designed to truly manage network congestion.”