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Top cable industry lobbyist admits data caps have nothing to do with congestion

Published Jan 31st, 2013 11:46PM EST
Cable Data Caps Congestion

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The cable industry has long maintained that data caps were a necessity in order to keep their networks from toppling due to congestion. Data and logic both suggested their collective argument was a reach at best, and now former FCC boss and current top cable industry lobbyist Michael Powell has admitted that cable companies have been misstating their case, Broadcasting and Cable reported earlier this month.

During the recent MMTC Broadband and Social Justice Summit, Powell was asked to comment on data caps. The lobbyist responded that while many have argued that the solution came about in order to combat congestion, “that’s wrong,” he said. “Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.”

“If you buy a hot tub and string it up with a whole bunch of inefficient lighting and run it all night long, you are going to pay more than your neighbor who puts his thermostat at 68% and tries to conserve energy,” Powell continued. “It’s only right. If you want to go to the Denny’s buffet and fill up your bowl, you are going to pay more than the person who chooses broccoli spears.”

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.