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Chief Cable Lobbyist Denies “Congestion” Causing Data Caps

Submitted by on January 24, 2013 – 10:21 amNo Comment

This week, the US might have taken a (small) step closer to more reasonably priced broadband access. The cable industry’s chief lobbyist admitted that “congestion management,” long the justification for severe data caps, does not exist.

In a talk with Minority Media and Telecommunications Assosication, former FCC boss Michael Powell (now president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association) was asked about data caps:

Powell said that while a lot of people had tried to label the cable industry’s interest in the issue as about congestion management. “That’s wrong,” he said. “Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.”

The idea of “congestion management” had already been fairly debunked. Research and even the cable company’s own experts knew that with upgrades, the infrastructure was more than capable of handling increased demand. In response, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) last month proposed legislation that would have prohibited data caps except for actual congestion management- which, if enacted, might have revealed just how infrequently that actually happens.

But critics say the cable industry is now just swapping one myth for another. Powell went on to claim that cable companies are trying to get “fair monetization.” But industry observers say that broadband providers are already earning 90% profit margins, without offering reasonable rates to light users of bandwidth.

What do you think?

[via TechDirt]

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