Press Release Data Caps

GAO Releases Preliminary Results of Data Cap Study

July 29, 2014

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released preliminary finding on the impacts of data caps to users and innovation, in response to Representative Eshoo's request in May 2013 for further information. 

The following can be attributed to Michael Weinberg, Vice President at Public Knowledge: 

“Public Knowledge commends Rep. Anna Eshoo and the GAO for recognizing the impact that usage-based pricing and data caps can have on the growth of an open internet.  Since at least 2011, Public Knowledge has been raising concerns about problems connected to data caps.  These preliminary results suggest that these concerns are very real and that they may ripple across the entire internet. 

While there are still many questions to be answered, this preliminary study sheds some light on the real world impact of data caps. When faced with data caps, consumers appear to simply use less internet overall. This response to data caps will have a chilling effect on online innovation generally.  Furthermore, many consumers recognize that data caps are likely to be used by ISPs to increase the cost of their internet access.
 
Public Knowledge looks forward to the GAO’s complete study in the coming months.  In the meantime, we hope that both the FCC and Congress begin taking steps to limit the negative impact that data caps can have on the internet.”

Bartees Cox is moving on to a new position at the FCC. While Public Knowledge is going through this change, any inquires or questions can be directed to Brynne Henn. 

More on the GAO's findings can be found here.