Wheeler: Get Ready for Title II and Metered Home Internet

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Wheeler: Get Ready for Title II and Metered Home Internet

Jan 14, 2015 12:01 PM, Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD DRB

LAS VEGAS�FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was interviewed in Las Vegas last week by CES CEO Gary Shapiro, according to RCRWireless.com. The interview revealed details about the �new and improved'' open internet rulemaking that will be released on February 5, and voted on by the commissioners on the 26th.

During this interview, Wheeler said that early last summer, he came to the conclusion that �commercially reasonable� networks could not be provided to innovators using section 706 � known as the �non-Title II� path. From that point onwards, the FCC began to evaluate �just and reasonable� measures, a key term in Title II regulations.

The article goes on to say �While these seem like subtle changes, they are not. Wheeler clearly understands that the consequences of moving toward Title II will be a combination of: a) increased metered service; and b) decreased competition, particularly in rural markets. Given no incentive to lower prices, cable companies will continue to offer faster speeds, but there will be data caps. These levels might start at 60 gigabytes per household, two-times average DSL usage, today, but, with increased 4K video usage, a 2 GB per-day average could easily be exceeded. With more �synching� occurring with cloud-based services, monthly home data usage for a family of four could easily exceed 80 GB in 2016.�

Further: �The details of the FCC rulemaking on the wireless industry are hard to determine at this point. While Wheeler clearly indicated that the new rules would not take the wireless industry back to the days of state tariff filings and ARMIS reports, he failed to articulate how the proposed rules would satisfy congestion at cell sites during peak data hours. He also neglected to provide any details on how current plans that contain offending practices, for example, millions of T-Mobile US Simple Choice plans that throttle after certain monthly data levels have been reached, would be treated. While he did stress �the future of spectrum is in spectrum sharing,� Wheeler knows that the implementation of this practice is three to five years away.�