The FCC is getting started on their annual investigation of broadband deployment, a Congressionally mandated look at the current state of U.S. broadband infrastructure and policy. The FCC will consider things like availability and speed, but streaming giant Netflix wants to add one more consideration to the list: data caps.
In an FCC filing last week, Netflix made the case that the FCC should find that “data caps on fixed-line networks and low data caps on mobile networks may unreasonably limit Internet television viewing.”
Data caps are great for ISPs, because they enable providers to charge power users more. But data caps are troubling for proponents of net neutrality, since they discourage the use of high-bandwidth sites (like Netflix, of course). Some providers flout net neutrality even more flagrantly by exempting preferred sites from their data cap rules – effectively promoting some sites and services at the expense of others.
According to Ars Technica, an FCC declaration against data caps would not create any kind of ban, but could put pressure on ISPs to make changes.