Consumer group sends letter to FCC over broadband caps

The new broadband caps that AT&T put into effect for its DSL and U-Verse customers on Monday are still stirring the pot in terms of getting people mad. On Friday the consumer groups Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation sent a joint letter to the Federal Communications Commission. It asks the FCC to launch an investigation of broadband caps in general and AT&T's move to put in such caps in particular.

In the letter both groups point out that the FCC has already stated that "broadband internet access is critical to the continued economic and cultural prosperity of our nation." However it adds, "Caps on broadband usage imposed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can undermine the very goals that the Commission has committed itself to championing." It slammed AT&T's new caps as being especially troublesome. The caps (150 GB for DSL customers and 250 GB for U-Verse customers) are supplemented by overage fees of $10 for every extra 50 GB. The consumer groups state in their letter that such practices are turning customers "into a profit center" for AT&T.

The letter asks the FCC to look into the broadband caps issue and to ask ISPs with such caps questions such as how often such caps are enforced, what steps are being taken to warn customers that they are approaching their cap limit and more. As we reported earlier this week, AT&T has admitted that its broadband meter tool is not up and running yet for all of its broadband customers.

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