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

Zach Epstein
January 31st, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Cable Data Caps Congestion

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 has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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