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Ars Technica: Are data caps and high prices hurting broadband access?

Posted by David Christopher on Mon, 08/10/2015 - 13:18

Decision-makers at the U.S. FCC are set to examine whether Americans are getting the quality Internet they pay top dollar for. It's one of a number of steps taken recently by the FCC to safeguard customers from Big Telecom's poor service.

Article by Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica

The Federal Communications Commission annual analysis of the state of the country's broadband market may undergo a shift, with an added emphasis on quality. Proposed changes to the analysis include looking at pricing and data caps and new focuses on connection quality and mobile data.

The FCC is required by Congress to determine whether broadband Internet service is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. If the answer is "no," the FCC must "take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market."

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler raised the bar in January of this year when he spearheaded a vote to redefine broadband speeds as 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream, compared to the 4Mbps/1Mbps definition the FCC had used in previous years. Now he wants to move beyond speed and evaluate broadband against a variety of factors, including reliability, prices, and data caps. In other words, the next analysis would examine not just whether broadband service is available, but also whether it is affordable, works well, and is not hindered by data limits.

Read more at Ars Technica