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Net Neutrality Bill Aimed At ISP Data Caps Introduced In US Senate 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the fire-up-a-torrent-to-celebrate dept.
New submitter Likes Microsoft writes "Yesterday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced a Net Neutrality bill aimed at ISPs using data caps soley for profiteering purposes, rather than the 'traffic management' purpose they often claim. The text of the bill is available at Wyden's Senate page. It would require ISPs to be certified by the FCC before implementing data caps. It says, in part, 'The [FCC] shall evaluate a data cap proposed by an Internet service provider to determine whether the data cap functions to reasonably limit network congestion in a manner that does not unnecessarily discourage use of the Internet.' In a statement, Wyden said, '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. 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.'"
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Net Neutrality Bill Aimed At ISP Data Caps Introduced In US Senate

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  • Sen. Wyden. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:02PM (#42361679) Journal

    Dear Senator Wyden,

    Thank you for actually being a good Senator, that introduces good bills that create or change laws that help out the average US Citizen. I'm glad I voted for you the last time you were on the ballot, and if I still lived in Oregon I'd vote for you again.

    • Re:Sen. Wyden. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:12PM (#42361811)
      If the FCC actually started to regulate the ISPs... it's too much to hope for. But then if even if the FCC starts regulating ISPs, look at what happened in the big pharma / FDA world, the FDA got bent over and ISPs have deep pockets like big pharma, so it may happen again.
    • Dear Senator Wyden,

      Thank you for actually being a good Senator, that introduces good bills that create or change laws that help out the average US Citizen. I'm glad I voted for you the last time you were on the ballot, and if I still lived in Oregon I'd vote for you again.

      I'm too cynical, my immediate reaction is "What is he getting from this, and does it have any real chance of passing?".

      • Because his family members and friends are pissed about data caps on their phones. This is one bit of lobbying I don't mind though.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:39PM (#42362163)

      Senator Wyden,

      I have never lived in Oregon, but I do work in Chicago, and will happily vote for you twice in any future election.

    • Yeah, I'm not sure I like this actually. All this really does it put data caps in the hands of the government - doesn't mean they're going away. I'd rather not have them at all, but if they're going to happen I'd rather the providers control them than the FCC.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Well most likely the government would at least make sure that the damn ISPs own services (like Comcast On Demand or their services via XBox) aren't mysteriously "exempted" from the cap in a bid to get rid of Netflix, Hulu, etc. We all know that the major streaming players put their content into large distributed content management (DCM) systems that live in the same data centers as the ISPs so the bogus claims they have of "wah, increased transit (peering) costs because netflix, wah" are crap anyway. In fac
      • If they're going to happen then I'd much rather have the FCC determine what "data caps" should be, than have the ISPs doing it. The decision to use data caps or not and how high they can be are two important societal decisions best not exposed to massive conflicts of interest for no reason. The FCC can easily do it, and at least the government is in theory supposed to be acting in our best interests when it makes these decisions, not transparently out for themselves and only having to put on a show for suck
        • by peragrin (659227)

          Not only that but have a standard method of measuring said usage.

          Comcast and aT&T both have caps but only count data that isn't theirs.

          So comcast digital phone isn't included in the cap but if you use Vonage it is.Comcast Xinifty TV also isn't included in the cap.

          AT&T charge for TCP header information but only when it isn't there header information.

          basically all i want is someone to lay out what one gigabyte of usage is.

          Or at regulate it so the caps makes sense. As bandwidth isn't really dependant

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I assume you read the bill? Unless my reading of the bill is wrong, there are a few small points you may wish to consider...
      1) IANAL, but it seems the bill makes no allowment for an ISP that does not have a data cap. It seems to codify into law that all ISPs will have a data cap, and provide monitoring of user traffic to determine usage and monitoring tools for those users.
      2) Failure to provide these tools results in fines, the abililty for users to get money from from the government for any overage char

    • 1. This is not net neutrality. Net neutrality is letting the corporations decide what the net is and isn't, when there is an old clear definition. Net neutrality is not discriminating against data by type or origin, and certainly disallows deep packet inspection type analysis. This is to keep the peer to peer model alive, and disallow port blocking, throttling, etc, based on content or destitnation.

      It means what the corporations have to sell to the consumers is infact "internet". We need do need standards a
  • or simply the end of us putting up with corporate bullshit. Must feel like the end of the world for the greedy...
    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      (Looks for suitable cover from retun fire...)

      "Well, It *is* dec. 21 today..."

      [Hits the dirt.]

      • It's already over in Australia. We've discovered here that the Mayan apocalypse was actually only referring to anyone who's still trying to do their Christmas shopping. Seriously, have you been anywhere near a shopping centre (mall) in the last few days?
        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          Not that I'm trying to justify any of this nonsense, but- why would the Mexico-dwelling Mayans have predicted the end of the world in Australian local time?

          Presumably we've got about another 11 hours, until midnight Mexican time, before we're "in the clear", so to speak.

  • Netflix... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sandytaru (1158959) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:08PM (#42361747) Journal
    We start approaching our monthly ISP imposed data cap of 150 GB just from watching Netflix. One room mate nearly busted us through when she started watching the new Dr. Who series, beginning from the first David Tennant episode on up.

    If I remember right, Netflix currently accounts for about one third of all total Internet data usage.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by h4rr4r (612664)

      Netflix pays for transport, so do you. The problem is the man in the middle it seems.

      If this really is a problem for you, you could lower the default stream quality on the netflix website.

      I would instead suggest you try to see if there is another provider in your area.

      • Re:Netflix... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sandytaru (1158959) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:51PM (#42362303) Journal
        Nope. ISPs are given a virtual monopoly on their method of delivery. We have AT&T DSL and that's all we can get through the phone lines. We had tried Charter cable, but their data cap is the same at 150 GB, and their QoS was ten times worse and the bill was twenty dollars more.

        We've talked about going to a business grade fiber connection at $200/month, but that's only on the table if one of us has a true telecommuting job. As it is, our offices are 15 minutes away and neither of us work enough from home to justify it.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          In some areas that is true. I have the option of FIOS, DSL from a couple providers or TWC.

          I did intentionally limit the areas in my city I would live to select for FIOS though.

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          We've talked about going to a business grade fiber connection at $200/month, but that's only on the table if one of us has a true telecommuting job.

          I obviously know nothing about where you live, but you could try and find a neighbor who's willing to split the cost.
          I know a few technically inclined people who live alone, but split a highspeed bill with their neighbor and everyone is happier for it.

    • ...started watching the new Dr. Who series, beginning from the first David Tennant episode on up.

      This is important stuff, worthy of a regulatory fix. I'm not being sarcastic.

      • Gotta wonder why his wife skipped Christopher Eccleston. It got much darker after him (where they instated the new rule where someone had to die in every episode, it seems).

      • Re:Netflix... (Score:5, Informative)

        by cluedweasel (832743) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:19PM (#42362617) Homepage
        My ISP has a 150Gb limit too. When we moved here it was unlimited. Then the ISP proposed a 30Gb monthly limit. After a local campaign, they acted like they were going to go bankrupt after upping it to 100Gb. Now it's 150Gb. I called them when the 100Gb limit came in and asked them how I was meant to use Netflix and the like with 100Gb. their answer was to use their own VOD system. To me, there's the heart of the matter - it's not the cost of transport, it's protecting their own revenue from online competitors. BTW, this ISP (Bend Broadband) is in Mr. Wydens district and he was receptive to complaints about their data caps.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a great idea in theory. In practice, it will give ISPs incentive to actually allow service to degrade to the point where "data cap functions to reasonably limit network congestion". This will result in an overall lower quality of service and even more profits for the cable guys. After all, who are you going to switch to?

  • Wary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:14PM (#42361841)
    Couldn't this serve to discourage ISPs from improving their infrastructure? If they let their infrastructure age, they'd be spending nothing on improvement, and would eventually be allowed to put data caps in place as bandwidth usage increases.

    Disclaimer: Didn't RTFA.
    • Re:Wary (Score:5, Informative)

      by Microlith (54737) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:27PM (#42362007)

      Couldn't this serve to discourage ISPs from improving their infrastructure?

      They don't need any prompting to not improve their infrastructure. Their "solution" is to impose arbitrary limits and offers slow service to stretch their profit margins by not improving their infrastructure. Competition is necessary for them to improve and they fight vigorously to deny it, suing municipalities to prevent them from offering their own lower cost, higher quality services.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        They don't need any prompting to not improve their infrastructure. Their "solution" is to impose arbitrary limits and offers slow service to stretch their profit margins by not improving their infrastructure.

        They are trying to protect their own media services (particularly cable providers). The caps are an artificial way to make Netflix, Hulu, etc look less attractive compared to cable.

    • What is stopping them from doing that now?

    • Re:Wary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:30PM (#42362055) Homepage

      The ISP industry is an oligopoly. In some cases, monopoly depending on where you live. Good or bad, you can thank the government for limiting new players entry into this market. So the idea of 'free market' can be thrown out the window in this discussion.

      Caps are bad in that they foster regression of infrastructure. Simply put, there's massive profits in scarcity. That's econ 101.

      • I would love to hear how you would see the telecoms market play out if government regulation is removed. Keep in mind that monopolistic rent-seeking is the most profitable state for a company, and that companies a legal obligation to their shareholders to maximize profit. Keep also in mind that there are currently large multinationals playing in the telecoms market.

        Show your work, and pay attention to whether costs rise or fall and whether services rise or fall.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Good or bad, you can thank the government for limiting new players entry into this market.

        Be clear about "government" here. It isn't the US government and it isn't the state government. It's your crooked local government, either city or county. Personally, I'd like to see a federal law that forces removal of these insane, crooked contracts between city and ISP.

    • by arielCo (995647)

      If you had, you'd know that he's against about discriminatory data caps, such as "150 GB on anything but our [partner's] streaming video services":

      “A covered internet service provider may not, for purposes of measuring data usage or otherwise, provide preferential treatment of data that is based on the source or the content of the data,” (.pdf) Wyden’s bill reads.

      It goes further to question data caps in general, but that's a pricing scheme and has nothing to do with neutrality.

    • I suspect in some markets, that might be the case. The true problem is government-sanctioned monopolies. There needs to be competition. Where I live, there are two providers of Cable service, and the requisite DSL. Only DSL has a cap, and quite frankly, it's useless compared to the two cable companies. This idea of capping usage at a certain amount is not about traffic management at all. It's about trying to squeeze money out of customers. Throttling bandwidth during peak usage is more logical, but since th

      • by ewieling (90662)
        The problem is not "government-sanctioned monopolies". The problem is random ISP cannot afford to dig up the streets to lay their own cables. The "last mile" is a natural monopoly. No amount of rhetoric about the government is going to change that.

        I wish I could find the picture I saw (or was it a painting?) of the rats nest of telephone lines over the streets of NYC when anyone who wanted to could string telephone cables to their customers. This was BEFORE the AT&T monopoly was created.
        • Digging their own cables is a government problem. They gave the grants in the first place to the original companies via eminent domain and other means (usually shitty ones) to get the cables there in the first place. Now when someone else comes in and wants to do the same thing... the monopoly created by subsidized laying of infrastructure before comes to the government and greases palms to make it impossible to get the job done.

          That coupled with the government sanctioned monopoly status granted by municipa

    • Re:Wary (Score:4, Insightful)

      by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:39PM (#42362171)

      Couldn't this serve to discourage ISPs from improving their infrastructure? If they let their infrastructure age, they'd be spending nothing on improvement, and would eventually be allowed to put data caps in place as bandwidth usage increases.

      They have no incentive currently. In fact, applying data caps is how they decided to make more money instead of building out infrastructure to meet demand. Look, data caps don't help congestion at all (except, perhaps, through fear of using your service?) If the services are over-subscribed then at peak times the load is more than the bandwidth they advertise -- Think rush hour traffic. Would limiting the distance you could drive per month reduce the demand for car lanes during rush hour? Ni, ni and ni... That's just silly! Instead what you'd do is limit your over all use so that you were assured driving distance when you needed it. This means that there would be less Traffic on Off Peak Times -- When there is plenty of bandwidth available! This is also why metered bandwidth is a farce, unless they charge a lot more during peak times.

      There has to be enough hardware in place to handle that peak load, the number of bits doesn't matter over a month -- It only matters during off peak times: The hardware is still there, it's just not being used. The Current doesn't matter, it's the Pressure / Voltage! The Wires have to be big enough for peak usage, not for total power used in a day, week or month, it's not like you use up the electrons and the wires have to be replaced... THINK MAN!

      You must understand, it's more profitable in the short term to over sell bandwidth than to build out infrastructure. The data caps are merely an attempt to squeeze more money out of the system. WTF does it matter if you use netflix or bittorrent all night long when there is plenty of bandwidth to go around? The problem is that there are more folks trying to use the same sized pipe during peak times -- Not that the damn routers run out of bits!

      MY PIPES! DE CAPS DO NOTHING!

      • Remember long distance charges? They were higher during peak hours. This post is spot on, thanks.

    • Ask yourself this: what is less expensive, imposing data caps on customers, or upgrading capital infrastructure? In the short term, it's data caps. Over the long term, it's upgrading infrastructure.

      See, there are people here trying to make a quick buck. Telecom infrastructure needs to be upgraded every few years, and the upgrades are not terribly expensive (we're talking about Verizon here, who can make their own chips / write their own code, easily, if other manufacturers raise costs too high; I mean, they

      • "Angry, with long memories, which even the market cannot understand -> revenge botches all calculations"

        hehe, i stuck with my old SLOW 3rd party DSL for over 12 YEARS .. and.. resisted ordering cable TV. All because they sold me 'lightning fast' internet service that was slower than dial-up at 6pm. Neglected to tell me that 'lightning fast' (1.5M at the time vs 640k DSL max) only applied between 2-6 AM :/ I had the 1998 CAP dsl line (and same modem!) up until 2 years ago or so!

        Least it was easy to get o

    • Simple fix is to make the money collected for going over a "fee" that can ONLY be used to improve infrastructure.. (ie, it can ONLY buy hardware, and transit)

  • More Regulation (Score:5, Informative)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:15PM (#42361869)

    An alternative to this would be to finally break the monopoly faced by many Americans on their broadband cable services.

    I live in an area served by both FIOS and Cablevision, and neither have caps, and have played them against each other to get discounts on my service bills.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Seconded. I used to live near a military base. The town I was in had granted a monopoly to a cable company; the military base had refused to grant anyone a monopoly, and had two competing vendors, one of which was the same company that had the monopoly in the town. Guess who got new channels first, got better rates, and got better service? Yeah - the people on the base.
    • by afidel (530433)

      It doesn't do that much because you still have an oligarchy, I have four serious broadband options where I live, two cable providers, AT&T U-Verse, and a fixed wireless provider. Guess what, they all cost about the same for the same packages despite the fact that they all have about a 40% gross profit margin which is well above the norm for most industries. I don't have any caps, which is nice, but the small number of players means I still don't have a meaningful amount of competition.

      • The list prices are the same. I got my discount by calling Cablevision and complaining their price was too high compared to the FIOS intro price. Wack. $50 off and free movie channels for a year. That year is still in progress. It will be interesting to see what happens when it expires. I will be perfectly happy to switch if need be. It's worth it for that kind of money.

        Cablevision customers who live in a non-competitive area get nowhere near as good a deal if they complain.

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      One way to do this would be to follow Australia with their National Broadband Network [wikipedia.org]: The government established a fiber network, but commercial service providers can connect to the network to provide internet service. It sounds like the service providers can use that network to provide service. I'm unclear if multiple providers can cover the same area though, which would provide the real competition.

      The Wikipedia article also states that they also made sure that "new fibre networks are required to be op

    • by pesho (843750)
      Second this. The market of any ISP that claims that they need to implement caps to prevent congestion should immediately be opened for bidding to competitors that can build better (wink wink) infrastructure.
  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:19PM (#42361911)
    Let's cut to the chase. In the modern political arena our money faces no obstacles whatsoever. It is up to you whether that money supports you in your next run for office or pours into your precious state decimating not only your own campaign but every other congress critter down-ticket along party lines. Not that we enjoy threatening our investment opportunities, far from it. Its just business.

    Hugs and Kisses,

    ISPs
    • If you had any idea how Oregon politics works, you would know that being replaced isn't going to happen. Senator Wyden won't face a primary challenger who is also a Democrat, because the Democratic Party is still pretty happy with his voting record. In a general election against a Republican, Wyden will only have to carry 4 or 5 counties in order to win re-election, and he'll carry them by ~77% of the vote because Portland and Eugene are wildly liberal, and unless a major political shift happens, they won

  • by jettoblack (683831) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:30PM (#42362067)

    While this law sounds reasonable on the surface and seems well enough intentioned, looking at the past history of government regulations, I can't help but assume that even if this were to pass, the law will be twisted and manipulated to the point that it actually hurts the end users or stifles competition. Perhaps the requirements for compliance with the law will be so onerous that small ISPs cannot compete, leaving only the big players and a high barrier to entry, or it will prevent new innovative business models and force us to stick with the status quo even if a better alternative is found.

    For example, the regulations for bidding for government contracts were intended to level the playing field, reduce corruption, and lower costs. But as the regulations became more and more complicated (trying to plug the loopholes), only the biggest contractors with government bidding officers and on-staff lawyers can actually get through all the red tape. The result is that small players cannot compete and costs go up. The regulations ended up doing exactly the opposite of what was intended.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      For similar reasons, we should deregulate assault, theft, and fraud. Because government regulation always leaves the little guy at a disadvantage.

  • When did monopolies official become not only OK, but pretty much government enforced.

    Back in the day the government was used to prevent monopolies and ensure that reasonable alternatives existed who did not all work together to fix prices. Now all the government seems interested in doing is ensuring that monopolies exist and survive, and placing ineffective restrictions on them.

    • Re:Monopolies, AOK? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by preaction (1526109) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:54PM (#42362335)

      The government exists to regulate monopolies that must exist, like power, gas, water, waste disposal, police, fire, and transportation, and break those that must not, like telephone, computer hardware, and computer software.

      Those monopolies I listed must exist because of the barrier to entry and the potential consequences of a monopoly. Electricity and gas being necessary to survive winter, or even summer for some folks, a company cannot be allowed to hold someone's life for ransom. Water is a necessity of life, which is why it's provided by the city government (who holds a monopoly on it). On the other hand, there are things a monopoly can do better than competition, like take a loss on serving certain customers because the loss is made up by less costly customers, or make a large capital investment because they can take a credit risk and be assured that customers have no other choice (in a more competitive market, risk is heightened).

      Of course, what I've just said is a good argument for government-owned fiber to the home (except for the "necessary for life" thing, which is only a matter of time).

      • by celle (906675)

        "Of course, what I've just said is a good argument for government-owned fiber to the home (except for the "necessary for life" thing, which is only a matter of time)."

        Actually, it is necessary for life. What do you think 911 calls go through now? Carriers use public networks for life support services like for most others. /rant
        The shit should have been nationalized years ago and the isps should have seen breakup and prison time after the rip-offs in the nineties and maybe a few death penaltie

    • by tepples (727027)

      When did monopolies official become not only OK, but pretty much government enforced.

      Since utilities had to cross non-subscribers' land to reach subscribers.

    • by TheSync (5291)

      When did monopolies official become not only OK, but pretty much government enforced.

      AT&T president Theodore Vail wrote in 1907 that the telephone by the nature of its technology would operate most efficiently as a monopoly providing universal service, and that government regulation, "provided it is independent, intelligent, considerate, thorough and just," was an appropriate and acceptable substitute for the competitive marketplace.

      The United States government accepted this principle, initially in a 19

  • I've heard talk, from a few different Execs at a few different ISPs in private meetings that the new thing they are getting ready to test is data caps that only count up during prime time. Kind of like how cellphones has "unlimited nights and weekends" but it would be more the opposite... you'd get unlimited from 12am to 4pm or so... Then have strict caps during prime time.

    Not so great for Netflix users... but those are the real problem for the ISPs. File sharing users could schedule their downloads outside

  • I recommend Senator Wyden should stay off small planes, lest he suffer the same kind of 'accident' as Senator Paul Wellstone (D).
  • this would put an end to bait-and-switch service contracts, such as "unlimited service" which cuts you off after 4 gigs a month, and insure you compare apples to apples when you buy data services. however, I would like to see spelled out as a national benchmark a solid disclosure of when caps are placed. "to protect network" does not mean a damn thing. "we will cap the top 1/2 percent of users and/or anybody who is utilizing over X gigabits of data per day" tells you what you need to know. nobody does

  • I wonder if this would apply to the wireless (cell phone) carriers as well. I mean, recently I watched one hour of a movie on my smartphone (and yes, I watched it using my data plan because the nearest free wi-fi wasn't capable of handling the kind of bandwidth required for streaming video -- that's something that's got to change, too), and that one time of viewing ate up close to 1 GB of my 4 GB plan. Sure, in this case it was entertainment, and I could have used more discretion, but what if it was an in
  • How about: ISPs are freely allowed to impose data caps, but if they do, all their monopolistic franchise agreements are null and void.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about: ISPs are freely allowed to impose data caps, but everything sent over the connection has to be in those caps.

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:22PM (#42362641)

    If your going to legislate anything how about opening up the last mile cable monopolies to competition as was done with the telephone network for DSL?

    You will never solve anything if your answer to side effects of lack of effective competition is legislation. Most of our pricing and service issues can can be traced back to effects of prior decade of nonstop consolidation in the ISP market to the point where in too many areas there is no other ISP to choose from.

    I have a feeling if you pass such legislation the ISP will just drop your speed for the rest of the month to work around the inconvience... see your not capped..wink wink..... good luck with that netflix video.

    With few exceptions caps in USA have some analogy to electricity usage and rush hour in that peak usage is all that matters. While you could argue pricing structures more closely matching the cost of production are better..another argument could be made that caps are easier for the user to understand, minimizes cost of any metering infustructure and puts least mental constraints on natural tendancies of users.

    There is also the idea that any legislation benefits large ISPs who have staff, power and money to get their way disadvantaging the smaller ones we ought to be doing everything possible to promote to increase competition and systematically reign in fat, lazy, selfish tendancies that accompany being a monopoly.

  • by detain (687995) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:30PM (#42362745) Homepage
    This has been needed since netflix type video services started getting popular. You cant use internet video streaming without hitting a bandwidth cap pretty fast unless your ok with gameboy resolution in your stream. Movies simply dont look that good unless you view them at full resolution, and netflix at HD resolution is up to 2GB/hour. Leaving your internet tv streaming during the day will eat up most any bandwidth cap.
  • Fine idea, but I'd think unlikely to pass, given the relationship between Comcast, Verizon, etc. and Congress.

    I propose that the FTC do their job and regulate advertising. ISPs must state what caps they might impose, in very simple terms, along with EVERY advertisement—that is, any mention, of their service. Then trust us well-informed citizens to make decisions, make noise, whatever. Oh yeah, and there's going to have to be some reasonable competition to decide among. Oops.

  • This is retarded, it's based on a complete lack of understanding of the practicalities of running an ISP.

    While I'm sure some service providers are royally screwing their customers, this approach WILL NOT BE PRACTICAL.

    I'm not sure about excess usage charges in the US of A, but here in Down Undah Land 2x or 3x is fairly typical. The idea being that if you often go into excess you *really* should be buying a larger amount of included usage.

    BY FAR the BIGGEST issue in the US of A is NOT data-caps (and the pr
  • No, seriously. WHO THE FUCK CARES whether the senator represents party 1, party 2 or party ..oh, wait, American voters can't count to three.

    Is the proposed legislation good, or bad.

    If it's good, support it.
    If it's bad, seek to prevent it.
    Either way, look to improve it and find appropriate compromises between the inevitable multiple views.

    Stop worrying about whether the senator wears the same colour socks as you.

  • Here is a simple and effective way for deciding if a data cap and extra charges are for profit, or for network congestion:

    Enforce a cutoff upon reaching a limit. Let the customer decide if they want to continue to get internet at a higher price, or if, upon reaching their cap, if they choose to be prevented from further Internet action, and wait for it to reset at the end of the billing period.

    Had a sibling get a bill for internet access via their iPad for $4,000 in one month. I'm sorry, there simply isn't

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