Usage-based service caps prompt broadband fairness bill

Time Warner Cable has temporarily shelved plans for usage-based internet service caps, but U.S. Rep. Eric Massa is still concerned, PC Magazine reports. Massa, a New York Democrat, introduced a bill on June 16 that would require internet service providers that plan to introduce usage-based caps to submit their plans to the Federal Trade Commission prior to implementation. If the agency found that these plans were unreasonable or discriminatory, they would be banned. The Broadband Internet Fairness Act also would require the FTC to hold public hearings on proposed plans and impose fines on ISPs that did not comply. The bill would only affect ISPs with more than 2 million customers, and it applies to all ISPs, whether they offer cable, phone, or satellite internet access. The Washington, D.C.-based public interest group Free Press issued its support for the bill, while AT&T slammed it as a "radical and unprecedented government mandate that will demand that consumers have only one all-you-can-eat pricing model for internet services…"

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