Target: Mignon Clyburn, Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission
Goal: Regulate unfairly priced data and bandwidth caps
Earlier this year, cable and telecommunications lobbyist Michael Powell divulged that broadband internet caps have nothing to do with the so-called “congestion” of networks, and that essentially its prices are manipulated by the companies who set them. With a digital divide that needs to bridged and not widened, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairwoman Clyburn must regulate broadband caps from companies like AT&T and Comcast.
The cable and communications industry has tried to justify data and broadband caps by using a variety of reasons. One reason has been debunked by former FCC chairman, now influential lobbyist Michael Powell. In regard to whether the pricing of data caps is dependent on network congestion, Powell stated, “That’s wrong. Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.” But even the “fairness” argument can be ruled out since that would indicate a decrease in pricing, and not low data caps and high overage penalties in addition to the already high flat rate price, which is the reality across the industry.
Broadband providers are taking advantage of an uncompetitive market by putting restrictive caps on a service that only five years ago used to be unlimited. As for data caps, their sole purpose is to inflate profits, and it’s working according to quarterly returns that show a 90% profit margin. Consumers on the other hand have not seen a fair pricing adjustment with their access to the internet, which is why it is about time that the FCC do its duty and regulate the broadband industry for true fairness.
Dear Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission Mignon Clyburn,
One of the FCC’s goals concerning broadband is that “all Americans should have affordable access to robust and reliable broadband products and services. Regulatory policies must promote technological neutrality, competition, investment, and innovation to ensure that broadband service providers have sufficient incentives to develop and offer such products and services.” This goal is far out of reach, considering the broadband industry’s creative and purely profit-driven pricing of data and bandwidth caps.
Telecommunications and cable industry lobbyist Michael Powell said that it is not congestion that governs the pricing of broadband, but a so-called fairness. But it is not fair to keep driving up the price of flat rates and overage fees, setting data limits low, and yet raking in a 90% profit margin.
Broadband providers are not playing fair, and if rates keep on this upward scale then soon only the rich will be able to surf the internet. Please protect consumers and begin regulating the manipulated pricing of data and bandwidth usage.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Free Press Pics via Flickr