Public Knowledge Files Comments to Stop High Data Roaming Prices and Bandwidth CapsJuly 11, 2014
Yesterday, Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Institute at New America Foundation, the Benton Foundation, and Common Cause filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of T-Mobile's petition for expedited declaratory ruling. The comments uphold T-mobile's claim that the Commission's framework has failed to fix the problems within the data roaming market. Now the problems with data roaming prices are beginning to leak into the services that T-Mobile offers its subscribers.
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:
“T-Mobile's comments provide evidence that bandwidth caps have little to do with technical constraints and more to do with AT&T and Verizon holding most of the spectrum used for mobile broadband. Public Knowledge has highlighted in the past that congestion and other technical concerns should not serve as a basis for bandwidth caps. This is clearly AT&T and Verizon using their market power to stop their competition from offering competitive services. T-Mobile shows in its comments that users with capped or throttled broadband use 20x-30x less broadband than users with uncapped or “unlimited” broadband. T-Mobile went on to show that 37% of subscribers don't use streaming services because of the fear of going over their caps.
“In 2011 the Commission determined in its Data Roaming Order that AT&T and Verizon have the incentive and capability to raise data roaming rates to disadvantage competitors. Very little has changed since 2011 to alter these conclusions. Now the after effect of high data roaming rates could be passed on to consumers. When T-Mobile is forced to pay artificially high prices for data roaming, features like unlimited data could become a perk of the past. Also, the continued concentration in the industry since 2011 and the growth in demand for smart phones and data has only enhanced the ability of these two large companies to leverage their market power to impose higher costs on their rivals to the detriment of subscribers.”
A link to the comments can be found here.