There has already been at least one complaint filed with the FCC against a company alleging violations over tiered pricing. MetroPCS, a broadband provider, is offering unlimited internet access for the extremely competitive price of $40 per month. It includes everything except content from a few bandwidth hogging applications like Netflix and Skype (Skype is a competitor of MetroPCS in voice telephony service). Full access is $60 per month.
It is true that that companies like MetroPCS may block certain applications in part because they belong to competitors, not solely due to bandwidth or space usage. Even so, knowing the government’s history at regulating industries, this may be an annoyance worth living with. Remember when the government tried to force Microsoft to include competitors’ applications with its Windows platforms? It ultimately proved unnecessary, as rapid advances in technology provided market correction; consumers can now download any product to their operating systems.
The FCC rules were drafted to appease a few of the largest technology companies, not consumers. What is the likelihood that FCC determinations on what constitutes “unreasonable discrimination” will favor certain favored companies over others?
This is unnecessary government intervention seeking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Congress needs to curtail the FCC’s authority. Five appointed members on a commission have no business making such far-reaching decisions affecting all of our lives. Expect to see lawsuits filed by companies like MetroPCS challenging the breadth of the FCC’s oversight.