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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Comcast tells NY PUC data caps aren’t actually “data caps”

Comcast tells government that its data caps aren’t actually “data caps” | Ars Technica: "The FCC doesn't seem to offer its own definition, but the commission asked its Open Internet Advisory Committee to examine a variety of concerns related to Internet service, resulting in an August 2013 report titled 'Policy Issues in Data Caps and Usage-Based Pricing'. The working group that wrote the report consisted of seven people—including Kevin McElearney, senior VP for network engineering at Comcast. Comcast’s friends at Netflix were represented as well, along with T-Mobile, the Writers Guild of America, the National Urban League, Union Square Ventures, and Northwestern University.

Here’s how Comcast VP McElearney and his colleagues defined data caps in their report (emphasis ours):

"Data caps are often considered to be a form of UBP [usage-based pricing]. The term data cap is characterized by several phenomena. In general, if a user is within a cap, he or she pays a set price. That is, the cap defines a limit on amount of data per month per household expressed in gigabytes). Exceeding the cap could subject a household to alterations to its Internet access, possibly after one or more warnings, such as reduction of access speed,additional charges, suspension of service, or even termination of service.

The termination of service has received particular attention in public discussion, though to date, this appears to be a rare event, as noted below. A cap is rarely, if ever, a hard and fast ceiling on a customer's ability to access the network. A cap is usually better understood as a threshold after which the user is subject to a different set of conditions for access, such as movement to a higher priced tier, different product or different speeds. As discussed below, another way of thinking of this is as the boundary between different ‘tiers' of service."
Fudge - and fudge served up to the NY PUC that is considering its proposed Time Warner merger. Will they eat fudge? 'via Blog this'

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