Genachowski: Consumers Need Sufficient 'Monthly' Broadband Capacity
Signals FCC has its eye on impact of usage-based pricing on broadband ecosystem
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/25/2012 3:27:20 PM
He reiterated that usage-based pricing can be a useful tool -- the FCC's network neutrality rule order cited that upside -- and was consistent with "driving efficiency, investment, and faster and more robust network infrastructure," he also suggested those tools could be misused.
In a speech, "Winning the Global Broadband Race," at VOX Media headquarters in Washington, the chairman made a point of saying that consumers need sufficient "monthly" broadband capacity so that families don't have to fight over who gets to do homework or have a remote health checkup or stream video, and "monthly" capacity to make sure that the e-commerce goods flow freely.
He said he understood the challenge to ISPs of managing the growing demands on their networks while earning enough to invest in upgrades and expansion, both FCC goals. But he also said he expects monthly usage limits to rise and the cost-per-bit of those usage-based plans to decrease as technology improves. He also said he continued to have concerns about: "practices that harm competition, including from over-the-top providers [he did not name any names]; unnecessarily depress broadband usage; or reduce incentives to increase broadband speeds and capacity."
In the speech, the chairman laid out his vision of fast, ubiquitous broadband, available when and wherever people needed it, a goal that could be reached by investing in infrastructure, promoting competition and protecting the open Internet.
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