OTI Urges Close Scrutiny of Harmful Data Cap Practices

New Report Highlights Consumer Harms Stemming from Data Caps Practices

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, New America’s Open Technology Institute is releasing a new report examining the use of data caps on wired and mobile broadband service in the United States. The report analyzes the financial incentives that major Internet service providers have to implement these usage limits and research that demonstrates the behavioral effect of these policies on consumers.

The following statement can be attributed to Danielle Kehl, Senior Policy Analyst at New America’s Open Technology Institute:

“After several years of experimentation and research on the effect of data caps, the results are in: it’s clear that these policies are motivated by a desire to enhance ISP revenue streams at the expense of consumers. This is especially troubling because the effects of data caps and other usage-based pricing schemes are felt most acutely by low-income and minority populations who are already on the wrong side of the digital divide in disproportionate numbers. It’s time for the FCC to act in the interest of consumers and open up a serious inquiry into data caps as an acceptable business practice.”

Read the full report here. This report builds on OTI’s previous research on data caps, including the 2012 paper, “Capping the Nation’s Broadband Future? Dwindling Competition is Fueling the Rise of Increasingly Costly and Restrictive Internet Usage Caps” and2013 policy brief, “Capped Internet: No Bargain for the American Public.”