Internet fairness

A new act will rightfully force ISPs to justify restrictive bandwidth based pricing schemes.

At least someone in American politics is finally ready to make a stand to Internet service providers. The Broadband Internet Fairness Act, proposed by New York Democrat Eric Massa, forces ISPs with more than two million subscribers to explain to the Federal Trade Commission why they are moving to bandwidth-based pricing schemes before they are actually implemented. This constricting new pricing system has become worrisome to consumers due to its restrictive nature, which forces them to stay below a monthly bandwidth cap or else face fees. Telecommunication companies such as Time Warner deny that the higher charges from the bandwidth pricing schemes are an attempt to save their television business. But proponents of the bill, such as Congressman Massa, are correctly arguing that the telecommunication industryâÄôs move to charge per megabyte downloaded is an attempt to protect their television advertising dollars. Changing Internet pricing systems to punish people who use the Internet the most will only hurt innovation and growth. Instead of prohibiting this growth, ISPs should instead look at ways of integrating television and Internet. Time Warner and Comcast Corp. recently announced the companies would provide television over the Internet for paying subscribers. Plans like this that do not punish users for high bandwidth consumption are much more practical. The Broadband Internet Fairness Act is a bill that will require telecommunication executives to rightfully explain and justify to the consumer and Congress why they plan on creating a system which restricts and prohibits use. The new act will require companies to claim full liability in forcing the consumer onto this restrictive system. The Internet is an elaborate system that has become the lifeblood of the United States economy. Protecting its access for consumers should be an important item on political agendas moving forward.