dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
People Noticing FCC Has Failed Utterly To Police Bandwidth Caps
Agency Won't Comment on Whether They'll Police Broken Meters
by Karl Bode 09:28AM Wednesday Oct 03 2012
We noted recently how FCC boss Julius Genachowski has been wishy washy in both supporting and being "concerned" about bandwidth caps at the same time, depending on which audience he's giving a speech to. Worse perhaps is how the FCC has failed utterly to tackle the inaccurate meters many ISPs are using to track usage, a problem that has resulted in customers in some instances being billed for usage when their modems are off.

Click for full size
As such, it's nice to see Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOM notice that the FCC has been asleep at the wheel. Higginbotham asks the FCC several pointed questions about their inaction, ranging from AT&T's failure to provide meters for their capped DSL services at all, to the FCC's inaction in confirming meter accuracy. She gets a hearty "no comment" to all of her inquiries:
quote:
When asked about the growth of broadband caps, and if the agency planned to collect more data an agency spokesman declined to comment on the record...When asked in general about the lack of meters and about AT&T’s strategy in particular, the FCC declined to comment on the record...The FCC again declined to comment on the record about whether it would eventually track and ensure the accuracy of meters, and also demurred when asked about the need for any sort of data collection around the topic.
Apparently the FCC really doesn't want to talk about it. Why? You could argue it's an election season, and a regulator doing its job to protect consumers from over-charges would be politicized and portrayed as heavy-handed regulation of the Internet -- but the FCC has been mute on this issue for four years now, suggesting they're just timid. Higginbotham makes an important point: if you're having problems with meters (and judging from our forums many, many people are) -- make sure you file a complaint with the FCC.

Perhaps they'll notice there's a problem and decide to do their job -- someday.

view:
topics flat nest 

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

They just FAIL period...

They have no spine to deal with the issues that need to be dealt with, why bother having an FCC if they can't do the job right?
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

Re: They just FAIL period...

the FCC isn't afraid to do anything about the issues, they don't want to do anything (except pay lip service)...it's called regulatory capture.

and I agree - you could abolish the FCC and probably wouldn't notice any difference.

anybody want to take a be that when Genachowski's term is over he goes to work for a telecon company or industry lobby group?

txpatriot

@or.us

Regulatory capture?

said by nasadude:

the FCC isn't afraid to do anything about the issues, they don't want to do anything (except pay lip service)...it's called regulatory capture.

Regulatory capture indeed. That must explain why the FCC rolled over on the AT&T/T-Mobile deal . . .
Telco

join:2008-12-19
Nothing to do with having no spine. The Republican establishment has severely limited the reach of such organizations. Therefore, their hands a tied.

Under the GOP manifesto, anything that stands in the way of profits is to be eliminated.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: They just FAIL period...

said by Telco:

Nothing to do with having no spine. The Republican establishment has severely limited the reach of such organizations. Therefore, their hands a tied.

Under the GOP manifesto, anything that stands in the way of profits is to be eliminated.

You are absolutely correct. Under prior administrations the FCC has alwayd been a paragon...no...a beacon of hope for consumers everywhere; enforcing and enacting regulaion with the best interest of consumers everywhere without being beholden to the whims of any corporate influence.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???

DataDoc
My avatar looks like me, if I was 2D.
Premium
join:2000-05-14
Martinsburg, WV

Re: They just FAIL period...

You'll need to put your satire flags on for some. :P
Telco

join:2008-12-19
Who controlled Congress for the majority of the last 30 years? Who do you think has the most say in any of this? Congress.

While the future president may have magic underwear, contrary to popular (ignorant) belief, the president does not have a magic wand.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by Telco:

Nothing to do with having no spine. The Republican establishment has severely limited the reach of such organizations. Therefore, their hands a tied.

Under the GOP manifesto, anything that stands in the way of profits is to be eliminated.

What happened when Obama was President and he had a Dem Congress for 2 yrs. Nothing changed then either. Can't blame GOP for an FCC cowed by industry players.
--
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-plat···onalism/
Telco

join:2008-12-19

Re: They just FAIL period...

said by FFH5:

What happened when Obama was President and he had a Dem Congress for 2 yrs. Nothing changed then either. Can't blame GOP for an FCC cowed by industry players.

It's amazing what he is magically supposed to fix in under 2 years flat. From the worst recession since the depression, balancing the $1.4 Trillion deficit handed to him, ending to two wars, to healthcare, to the FCC etc etc.

Interesting how your ilk never had any of the same expectations from a president in office for 8 years, with Republicans controlling Congress for a full 6 years; well since 1995 actually.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
said by Telco:

Nothing to do with having no spine. The Republican establishment has severely limited the reach of such organizations. Therefore, their hands a tied.

Under the GOP manifesto, anything that stands in the way of profits is to be eliminated.

I repeat - the FCC DOES NOT WANT to do anything; they are fully committed to the status quo and are perfectly willing to let said status quo inch more and more to the benefit of the industry they (supposedly) regulate.

democrats love having the excuse of "the republicans made me do it", it lets them pretend they are on the side of the people.

lack of regulation is one of the more bipartisan issues that exists.
Telco

join:2008-12-19

Re: They just FAIL period...

Indeed. Which legislators on a state level are the large Teco's lobbying and having them vote against municipalities or cities rolling out their own FTTH? The actual voting records are there for all to see.

Which party's creed for the last 30 years straight has been no Government, private sector do whatever you please?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just not their own facts.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

1 edit

1 recommendation

The FCC lacks authority...

I don't see how tis is an FCC issue anyways. It really falls under e FTC or some other Federal Agency.

Edit: Spelling

--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: The FCC lacks authority...

Can't enforce it but the FCC gets what they want by coercion. Do what we want or we'll feet drag and run interception on everything you want to do.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by battleop:

I don't see how tis is an FCC issue anyways. It really falls under e FTC or some other Federaal Agency.

+1
--
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-plat···onalism/

pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

It An Election Year

Folks don't loose sight of the fact the FCC is a politically appointed group. Also it is an election year and the candidates need contributions/financing from the likes of ATT, Verizon, TWC etc. So in the spirit of don't bite the hand that feed you, the FCC will look the other way to protect the benefactor who appointed them.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: It An Election Year

So do you think FCC-related issues will be heavily debated this evening? Yeah it's an election year. But no one cares what the FCC does as it relates to the election. It's not even a blip on the political radar.

pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: It An Election Year

Not looking fpor a debate topic, This is just a statement that ATT/Verizon/Comcast/etc are major political contributors and FCC does not want to upset the apple cart.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA
said by pende_tim:

Folks don't loose sight of the fact the FCC is a politically appointed group. Also it is an election year and the candidates need contributions/financing from the likes of ATT, Verizon, TWC etc. So in the spirit of don't bite the hand that feed you, the FCC will look the other way to protect the benefactor who appointed them.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winnah. Both sides of the political aisle accept payoffs from the telcoes. The U.S. has the best government that money can buy.
--
Visit Planet POB
Twitter

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: It An Election Year

said by POB:

said by pende_tim:

Folks don't loose sight of the fact the FCC is a politically appointed group. Also it is an election year and the candidates need contributions/financing from the likes of ATT, Verizon, TWC etc. So in the spirit of don't bite the hand that feed you, the FCC will look the other way to protect the benefactor who appointed them.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winnah. Both sides of the political aisle accept payoffs from the telcoes. The U.S. has the best government that money can buy.

Yepper!!

Ding! Ding! Ding!!

That's EXACTLY what our government is all about! I sure wish every single member of any political party, whether local, state or federal, was investigated. I bet we could clean house that way, seeing as how people are to blind (stupid) to do it by the power of their vote!

While we're at it, let's just flat out get rid of this chicken s**t outfit called the FCC!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA

Re: It An Election Year

Watch the REAL presidential debates among third party candidates
23-Oct-2012 8p.m.Central Standard Time on »freeandequal.org/live

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

FCC toothless hags

The FCC hasn't done squat and won't do squat to ensure anything except protect the interests of those who own them and keep the political whores happy enough to keep them in their cozy jobs. They are a bunch of gutless "yes boys". The US public is delusional if they think the various Washington departments are there to protect the citizens, they've demonstrated their failures all too often. Washington is for sale to the highest bidder nothing more nothing less.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Bandwidth

Most of the people at the FCC do not even know what bandwidth is.

nobodyhome

@verizon.net

promote and police

govt agencies have conflict of interest where they essentially have to both police and promote the industries they regulate. so the promote wins over police. plus congress regularly pushes the agencies to promote and has gutted their enforcement departments hurting their ability to police.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: promote and police

It's not the government's job to promote anything.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Solution is simple

1000x damages for overcharging customers. The problem would be fixed tomorrow. Good luck though, consumers don't have lobbyists to get them extraordinary penalties like the MafIAA does.

txpatriot

@or.us

No basis for a complaint

I guess nobody bothered to read the GigaOM article. Higginbotham relies on the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules as the basis for filing a complaint about ISP caps and metering practices.

But of course those rules have been appealed to a federal district court so their status is up in the air. I don't think the rules have been suspended pending the outcome of the litigation, but I think the FCC is taking a wait-and-see attitude before going all-out to enforce rules that may later be overturned. I think that is a prudent approach.

I can understand why others might not feel that way. But before you vent, at least read the article and educate yourselves. Venting for the sake of venting accomplishes nothing.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: No basis for a complaint

Those rules will never see the light of day. The problem with that is the FCC lakes control over the Internet. the Internet was defined by them by Information Services NOT communication services.

The FCC's job also was NEVER to police the Internet nor TV, nor Telephone. They're job was to police the airwaves for radio stations. Instead it's expanded and now they just do what they want when they want. 95% of their "rules" can be over turned in court if people really wanted to push them. And Companies do that know that the FCC is over steping its boundries.

txpatriot

@or.us

Re: No basis for a complaint

I agree that there is no statutory authority for the NN rules, but that's just my opinion.

We'll have to see what the Court says. But I disagree that the FCC has no statutory authority over telephone service. That's exactly what Title II of the Communications Act gives them.

Telcos may not be happy about that, but that's the fact.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

Caps are not a solution

Its purely profit is all it is. Comcasts 250gb Cap was reasonable by 2007 standards and they have suspended it in my area.

However, caps can be totally unreasonable. Like on my smartphone. $15 a month with AT&T for data gets me...200MB.

Thats right...200 MB a month. I cant afford texting, so thats not there either. (Unlimted for $30? Nope, no thanks. Not paying for a service built into the network that costs nothing to run and is funded by voice revenues.)

I dont know anywhere in the world outside of North America (first-world mind you) that charges that much for so little. Its pathetic.

The next step up? 2gb for $30something.

Meh.

There really should not be caps on DSL or Cable, and there is zero excuse for a cap on a Fiber connection.

Caps dont solve congestion.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

Re: Caps are not a solution

said by Zenit:

Its purely profit is all it is. Comcasts 250gb Cap was reasonable by 2007 standards and they have suspended it in my area.

The 2007 part is hyperbole as most people still don't use near 100 GB. And the new cap is going to be between 300 and 600 GB depending what tier you have. I'm not saying I agree with their caps I'm merely pointing they are not 250 GB anymore so to use that as a point is moot.

However, caps can be totally unreasonable. Like on my smartphone. $15 a month with AT&T for data gets me...200MB.

That's mobile and that's different. Though their caps are crappy and are lower than they could be. People who think mobile should be able to offer unlimited data for $30 are obtuse though.

Also for $15 more you can get 3 GB. Yeah that sucks too but stating that you get 200 MB for $15 is a bit exaggeration because it infers $75 per GB.

I cant afford texting, so thats not there either. (Unlimted for $30?

It's $30 for unlimited family texting. Unless at&t does it differently.

I dont know anywhere in the world outside of North America (first-world mind you) that charges that much for so little. Its pathetic.

A) You could move. B) you could speak with your wallet and not pay those prices. No one is forcing you to stay with at&t.

The next step up? 2gb for $30something.


3 GB actually with at&t.

There really should not be caps on DSL or Cable, and there is zero excuse for a cap on a Fiber connection.

Unless it's FiOS no major ISP is 100% fiber. And even with fiber I doubt an ISP could have even 20% of their customers using 10 TB a month or more.

Caps dont solve congestion.

Just flat monthly caps, no of course not. Doesn't stop any possible congestion at the beginning of the month since no one has hit the cap yet.

Caps with a FAP free period from 12 Am - 6 Am to encourage people that download/upload large files to do it at night when the network isn't as heavily used WOULD solve any congestion issues if they actually existed.

YesToBWcaps

@charter.com
Yes they Dat Caps are the soluition. You have to pay for the amount of power you use, the amount of water you use, why not bandwidth? It is not fair to charge grand maw the same as some young person that use 100Gb+ a month.

Until you run your own network and understand the cost involved and the issues with high end uses don't act like you know wht you are talking about. It takes larger backhaul, microwave connections, bigger routers and much more to handle the higher Bndwidth and all the cost money. It's not free to me why should it be free to you?

john

Mr Anon

@k12.il.us

If my bandwith is measured

I'm not saying I'm for caps at all. My question is, if I pay for this product and it is billed by measurement, why is the meter not inspected by my state's office of weights and measurements?

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: If my bandwith is measured

Because ISPs want to charge like a utility but don't want to be regulated like one.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Irony is ironic

Man of the same people demand the FCC regulate ISPs are the same ones that will vote for Romney and his anti-regulation beliefs. It seems many people hate regulation until they have some need for it.

ARGONAUT
Have a nice day.
Premium
join:2006-01-24
New Albany, IN
kudos:1

Looking for work at the FCC

Julius Genachowski is not wanting to offend one of his future bosses.
rdmiller

join:2005-09-23
Richmond, VA

Romney has a plan

Romney will remove the "oppressive regulatory burden" from the internet and everything will be okay.
Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

1 edit

Re: Romney has a plan

R or D in control...doesn't much matter since they and their corporate bed-fellows are all crooks and we are all screwed. It's always been that way and always will be. Things may change if the day comes where "lobbying" by those at the top carries the same penalties that "bribery" carries with us peons.
--
Zach

txpatriot

@or.us
said by rdmiller:

Romney will remove the "oppressive regulatory burden" from the internet and everything will be okay.

It's funny that nobody wants regulation of the Internet . . . except when they do.
cybercrimes

join:2003-12-24
Honey Brook, PA

ISP give you high speed

they gived they you high speeds and they cap you in order to make more money off you ltes say you have 300 down and 75 up from comcast. and they cap u at 250 gigs. and you stream 2 movies a night from netflix a night at around 3gigs or little more in hd even more if you have kids.and plus all the computers tvs ipods.books.nooks.phones.gaming systems and more you can hit that cap in no time.cable companys are trying to save their markets.from what im hearing verizon may be thinking on caps.ISP's put out all this speed and they hammer you with caps
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

shift of priorities..

in many of the reforms started under a democrat congress, there was an overriding public interest and emphasis on competition...

under a republican congress.. the shifted priorities to deregulation and anti-consumerism led to a dysfunctional market and one successful and one unsuccessful greedy attempt at merger by aT&T..

this is further complicated by rising prices and collusion-- a perversion of the ideas proffered by democrats about getting into each other's markets becomes telco getting into bed with cableco and price collusion..

people have been so desensitized to the way things used to be before the war president & big spedning republican war profiteering congress mucked everything up.. that profiteering led to signficant damage to the world economy.. big business in the USA are just playing the roles given to them.. on a taxpayer platter
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL
Reviews:
·MTCO Communicati..
·DIRECTV
·Frontier Communi..

Re: shift of priorities..

TMC808....The truth is exactly the opposite.

In Illinois, the Democrats have control of both Legislative chambers, and the Governor, and the AG.
They are in the pocket of AT*T.

Verizon sold their ILEC landlines to Frontier, because they would not pay the tab to "lobby" Springfield to change Illinois' laws to help Verizon install FTTH FiOS. I know this from insiders in Springfield. The Springfield establishment was so used to AT*T throwing big $$ around, that they thought that Verizon should pay the same big tabs.

However, Verizon had many Square Miles of ILEC territory in Illinois, but most were rural/suburban in Downstate IL. Nothing in the Chicago city/suburbs for actual ILEC service. (Of course, much actual hardware in Chicago, because of business services there.) Largest Verizon Illinois Metros were Bloomington-Normal, Carbondale, DeKalb. If you have never heard of them, it's because you're not from Illinois.

Verizon had previously bought out GTE's ILEC landlines about a decade before that. GTE was well known thru the Midwest for mediocre service(at best). However, GTE had kept their Midwest HQ's in Bloomington, IL for decades. Once Verizon bought GTE, they shut down Bloomington's Midwest regional HQ down.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: shift of priorities..

Maybe state-level pay-to-play was on the table precisely because the federal policies were that telco could finally sell cable-tv(video) services and would have access to BILLIONS in revenue.. however if you look at the timeline on who was running congress and setting policy in the 90s vs the 2000s my main point stands..

verizon's choice to shift priorities were in a sense directly related to a few main goals... not spend/overspend on pay to play, and at the same time picking winners and losers... the easiest places to pick the winners were the northeast, texas, and the west coast... almost everyone else was a loser..

Verizon will have to make a decision on what it has not already sold down the river to Frontier & Fairpoint. It is doubtful states will let these incumbents in at least part of the remaining geographies keep their current franchise free of competition-- forever..