Usage-Based Broadband Pricing Backed by FCC Chief

Usage-Based Broadband Pricing Backed by FCC Chief


The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, has backed a metered-broadband Internet pricing system. This happened Wednesday as he officially made public the rules that will defend against possible traffic interference by Internet providers.

Genachowski stated that such rules are necessary to “preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet.”

The rules put forward by the chairman of the FCC bars Internet providers from intentionally interfering with legal Internet traffic. It also provides a bit of protection for users of wireless Internet. The proposed rules and its implementation will be put to a vote this coming December 21. Major debates over the proposed rules are also expected in the coming weeks.

Craig Mofett, an analyst at Bernstein Research, said that the endorsement of usage-based pricing by the FCC “must be viewed as very positive” for broadband Internet providers. While there have been efforts to shift to metered-Internet pricing in the past, such measures did not sit well with consumers.

A senior FCC official, in a briefing with reporters, said, “The standard that the chairman talked about in the speech was the right of consumers and innovators to a level playing field and usage-based pricing is consistent with that level playing field.”