Situation: US providers are asked to remove thresholds for downloading data – which in the end

In March, some US providers temporarily lifted traffic limits for individuals. However, senators and consumer advocacy organizations are calling for a permanent change.

/ Unsplash / Guillaume de germain

Temporary solutions

Many tariffs of large American providers set a threshold for the maximum amount of “incoming” data. It ranges from 150 GB to 1 TB. You need to pay an average of $ 10 for every 50 GB over the limit, which in a difficult economic situation not everyone can do.

Therefore, in March, a group of senators sent the management of the largest Internet providers of a letter with a request to remove restrictions on downloading data for broadband access to the network. Such measures should help people keep in touch with families, colleagues and employers.

Recommendations were followed immediately by several companies. One of the first is AT&T and Comcast. Last even raised connection speed for low-income families.

Normal flight

Providers showed flexible infrastructure capabilities, as evidenced by research. According to report BroadbandNow aggregator, in large cities (for example, in New York), bandwidth dropped by 24%, but in most cases, users did not notice the changes. Therefore, a number of politicians suggest abandoning tariff restrictions for good.

Additional reading on Habré:

  • Unusual and quite obvious factors affecting the traffic of corporate networks and the work of providers
  • How the fight against robotic calls is developing in the USA – on the measures of politicians and telecommunication companies
  • We are discussing the EARN IT Act – a new US bill that could lead to a ban on E2E encryption

Consumerism experts at Free Press they saythat restrictions only create dangerous precedents. In 2018, Verizon reduced the data transfer rate for special services putting out fires in California, because they exceeded the monthly traffic rate. As a result, firefighters found it difficult to coordinate.

But, most likely, this logic cannot be extended to all kinds of situations, and limits on the amount of downloaded data will be returned. Representatives of Comcast they sayThat it is the mechanism which really allows to save the users consuming a small amount of traffic. Verizon also noted that for customers who want unlimited access, they have separate rates. Another argument confirming the temporary nature of the changes is that initiatives of large streaming services like YouTube are helping to reduce the load on the network. They are temporarily lowered the quality of the content, and as they return to full-fledged “broadcasting”, the quality of connection for individuals can fall.

What’s up with regulation

The issue with restrictions for tariffs, taking into account the amount of downloaded data, can be solved at the legislative level. The first regulatory attempts were made eight years ago.

In 2012, Senator Ron Wyden formulated Data Cap Integrity Act. He forbade Internet providers to set limits on the amount of incoming traffic without the permission of the FCC. But the bill was rejected despite the support of consumer protection organizations.

/ Unsplash / Joshua hoehne

Therefore, even a temporary waiver of restrictions is an unusual decision that returned the attention of the public and the FCC to this issue. Some Commission staff are already urge management to engage in active regulation of tariffs. Whether the head of the FCC will pay attention to this call will become clear when the situation in the US begins to stabilize.

What we write about on our blog:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *