Consumer advocacy groups are up in arms after a closer look at XOHM’s acceptable use policy reveals the following interesting distressing information:
“To ensure a high-quality experience for its entire subscriber base, XOHM may use various tools and techniques designed to limit the bandwidth available for certain bandwidth intensive applications or protocols, such as file sharing.”
Not only do we have Sprint/XOHM saying they have the right to throttle the WiMax connection but they provide no information on how they will do it, nor what criteria will actually trigger the throttling. Haven’t they learned from the whole Comcast debacle where Comcast faced a lawsuit by the Florida Attorney General for arbitrarily shutting down those deemed to be “heavy users” without providing the exact bandwidth cap that triggered the penalty? We wont even get into Comcast’s recent bandwidth throttling plan that resulted from the FCC’s investigation into their BitTorrent packet hijacking disaster. Or how about T-Mobile that just last week had to retract their 1GB cap after public outcry and replaced it with an even more vague policy that will throttle only a “small fraction of our customers who have excessive or disproportionate usage”. We think Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, sums it up nicely:
“We are very troubled by this development and the larger moves across the wireless industry to limit consumer access to the legal content and services of their choice. We hope that Sprint will quickly disclose exactly what tools and techniques it plans to use, and demonstrate why it is necessary to maintain a closed network when consumers demand an open Internet.”
We and many others anxiously await Sprint’s answer.