Netflix in USA has declared a war on data caps

The Verge reports that Netflix recently sent a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission requesting that it consider banning data caps on wired internet connections and “low” data caps on mobile connections.  Netflix, wants to convince the FCC to declare, once and for all, that home Internet data caps are unreasonable, and sometimes even discriminatory.

Netflix hates data caps, and it’s not really surprising that Netflix would make such a strong push. Data caps are its biggest enemies, maybe even bigger than proxies or even pirates. Data caps, whether on mobile data or home broadband, severely limit how much users can watch from Netflix, which, in turn, affects Netflix’s overall business.

If the FCC agrees with Netflix, it could put pressure on internet service providers to get rid of data caps, or raise them, though it wouldn’t strictly require them to kill them, according to Ars Technica. Should Netflix get its way, it could spark a trend in the gradual raise if not removal of data caps in other countries as well considering 4K video and other high-data-density content will soon be populating the web.

“Data caps (especially low data caps) and usage-based pricing. discourage a consumer’s consumption of broadband, and may impede the ability of some households to watch Internet television in a manner and amount that they would like”, argues Netflix in the filing.  A big aspect of data caps that seems to irk Netflix is their “pay for play” nature, by which some video services can pay to have their traffic not count against data caps and hence Netflix also tries to argue that data caps are redundant as well as discriminatory.

“Because of a low data cap, an online service may need to pay an ISP to zero-rate its traffic to enable that ISP’s customers to access the online service,” Netflix wrote. “Such arrangements create an incentive for ISPs to maintain artificially low caps.”

And exactly how much internet does the average household need each month?

Netflix said the average American needed 300 GB a month of just internet TV (like Netflix) — not to mention everything else you want to do on the internet.

Source: FCC


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