Netflix is taking a stand against restrictive data caps.
In a new filing submitted to the FCC, the streaming service claims that data caps placed on broadband usage, like the ones imposed by Comcast and other internet service providers, “discourage a consumer’s consumption of broadband, and may impede the ability of some households to watch Internet television in a manner and amount that they would like.”
In simple terms, the streaming service wants everyone to be able to watch TV on the internet easily and suggests the FCC should determine whether internet services to American households are truly adequate.
As DSLReports notes, Netflix’s filing comes at a time when ISPs are implementing usage caps in order to exploit the lack of competition in many markets. Companies like Comcast and AT&T raised their usage caps to one terabyte this year to preempt a possible crackdown by the FCC, however, DSLReports states many smaller ISPs still do not offer caps that high.
Netflix has made statements against usage caps in the past, saying they are not part of a “successful business model.”
Despite the company’s apparent discontent, as Gizmodo pointed out, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings seemed excited when Comcast raised its limit in April. He couldn’t help but tweet about the fact that he would “never be able to watch enough” to hit the cap.
In its filing, Netflix claims that “data caps on fixed-line networks do not appear to serve a legitimate purpose,” calling them “ineffective” and “an unnecessary constraint on advanced telecommunications capability.”
The company argues that average Americans’ internet television needs require a 300-gigabyte data allotment at minimum, with “much higher” caps for “above average” watchers, multi-occupant households or customers who want to watch in high definition. And those requirements will likely only grow.
“In this way, today’s ‘above-average’ Internet consumer is tomorrow’s average Internet consumer,” the streaming service states.
The FCC has never shown much interest in doing anything about usage limits, according to DSLReports, nor has the commission given much attention to price gouging. Expecting any action in response to the filing might be a little too hopeful.
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