Bandwidth cap argument to be settled with law?

By Justin Mann on April 14, 2009, 6:15 PM
Since Comcast's run-in with the FCC and eventual implementation of a bandwidth cap, there's been a lot of focus on how ISPs sell their services. Everything, from advertising to speeds to transfer limits has been dissected and discussed. Most recently, a lot of attention has been given to Time Warner, who admitted they are preparing to introduce some rather draconian bandwidth caps, giving unlimited access only to those who can afford their steep prices.

Time Warner's deal started nearly a year ago when they first announced it. Now it's become a much bigger issue than just them. Could, ultimately, this problem be dealt with via legislation? It's possible and recently, one step has been taken that could indicate that's the direction it is taking. A Congressman from New York has called for Congress to investigate and possibly ban the implementation of bandwidth caps on ISPs in the U.S.

It's also possible such a legal move never gets off the ground. After all, there are some ISPs, such as wireless and satellite providers, who simply do not have the capacity to cope with large bandwidth demands. Still, a good point was raised in cases like Time Warner, there's definitely a conflict of interests going on. Online video has the potential to harm sales of cable services, and bandwidth caps are an effective way to curb that. It sounds very familiar to the debates of telephone companies refusing to carry VoIP traffic. It may be that down the road, ISPs will be forced to remove caps or make them fairly high altogether.

User Comments: 7

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BlindObject said:
If my ISP gave me a cap, I'd break it then I'd ditch the service. I'm not paying for internet access that has a limit.
skitzo_zac said:
You guys don't know how lucky you have/had it. I have a 12GB limit here in Australia. I admit that this is a poor plan that I am on currently, but when we first started our contract with our ISP it was a good deal (@ 512Kb/s). Our plan ends in 2 months and I am planning to switch to a better ISP when that happens.
BlindObject said:
Damn, 512kb/s for me is slow, I'm use to AT LEAST 2mb/ if not my stable 5mb/s.
peacefulchaos said:
The plan I have for myself is up to 12mbps. Granted it is $60 a month for just me, but I think it's worth it. There is only one choice for cable in my area so I can't say I'd leave it if they had caps, but I would be angry.
windmill007 said:
Caps suck... I hope they stop them now and I for one support this law!
anguis said:
All these new caps do is give the customer less service for the same price.
tengeta said:
Turn off your TV. You have exceeded your watching cap.Yeah, thats the future when they keep this crap up.
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