Netflix Wants The FCC To Eliminate Data Caps

Netflix thinks that data caps are unreasonable, and now has filed a formal request addressed to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to declare them as such. According to the filing Netflix feels this applies to both the fixed-line and mobile networks, citing that a major issue of data caps is the limitation it places on the ability to watch online video, in this case through their own service. The filing was submitted last week for the FCC's annual investigation of broadband deployment. As part of the investigation, the FCC must be prepared to "take immediate action" if they find that the deployment of broadband across the US is not happening in a reasonable and timely fashion. Usually, the annual review focuses on the speed and availability, but Netflix has requested that data caps be included in the review.

The company thinks that "Data caps (especially low data caps) and usage-based pricing ('UBP') 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." Although Netflix has requested a review of data caps, the FCC may not opt to listen to the company and even if they do listen and eventually declare them "unreasonable," it wouldn't require internet service providers to eliminate the data caps, but it could pressure them to do so. In the filing, Netflix states that a 300GB-per-month allowance is essentially a bare minimum requirement that "just meets the Internet television needs of an average American," without taking into consideration other web-based activities. Netflix even references Comcast's recent increase on data caps from 300GB to 1TB as being more than enough now, but that it will at some point end up a bare minimum.

Regarding mobile data caps, the company did not provide a "minimum" amount of data it believes is necessary, but they did argue that consumers were less likely to watch online video when "data caps are too low" and overage charges are high. Also, the company argued that because data caps tend to be relatively low, it forces online services such as Netflix itself to pay internet providers to zero-rate their service in order for users to utilize their service and not have to worry about exceeding their data limit. Now, although Netflix is hoping that its filing will see the FCC push internet providers towards eliminating data caps, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association has said that these factors should not be reviewed by the FCC under its annual investigation and should instead be looked at when it delivers its Measuring Broadband America reports, the only downside to this is that the latter doesn't carry the same regulatory weight as the former.

Now, although Netflix is hoping that its filing will see the FCC push internet providers towards eliminating data caps, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association has said that these factors should not be reviewed by the FCC under its annual investigation and should instead be looked at when it delivers its Measuring Broadband America reports, the only downside to this is that the latter doesn't carry the same regulatory weight as the former.

You May Like These
More Like This:
About the Author
2017/02/IMG_20170108_211344_256.jpg

Joshua Swingle

Staff Writer
Born in London and raised in Spain. I Love traveling, taking pictures and, most of all, anything tech-related. Also a pretty big fan of binge-watching TV, especially Netflix shows.
Android Headlines We Are Hiring Apply Now