Netflix wants data caps to be declared illegal, at least in the US

Netflix wants bandwidth data caps to be declared illegal
Netflix wants bandwidth data caps to be declared illegal

Data gaps can be annoying, especially when most of your programming involves watching streaming videos from websites like Netflix. This is why Netflix wants the US government to declare data caps as illegal. Netflix believes that putting data caps is an inefficient way of managing Internet congestion.

Data caps can be a big problem if people want to shift over to high-density video streaming such as 4K video streaming. Suppose monthly you are allocated 250 GB of bandwidth by your Internet service provider. You’re going to run out of your allocated bandwidth just in a few days if you watch HD movies on a service like Netflix or Hulu. The problem is more serious when people try to watch programs on their mobile phones because mobile data is not just more expensive, it is also more constraining compared to wired Internet or Wi-Fi available within the boundaries of your home. This is why Netflix has asked the US Federal Communications Commission to declare home Internet data caps unreasonable and illegal because they limit their customers’ ability to watch online videos.

The success of online media companies like Netflix largely depends on people’s ability to watch videos without data cap constraints but due to data cap limits people often refrain from watching Netflix and other programs. Many users simply don’t subscribe to services like Netflix because they think their data caps won’t allow seamless streaming. Since data caps are harming Netflix business, the company wants data caps to be declared illegal.

According to the document submitted by Netflix in which it wants data caps to be declared illegal, “Data caps (especially loaded a caps) and usage-based pricing (‘UBP’) discourage consumers consumption of broadband, and may impede the ability of some households to watch Internet television in a manner and amount that they would like. For this reason, the Commission should hold the data caps on fixed-line networks and low data caps on mobile networks may unreasonably limit it in a television viewing and are inconsistent with Section 706.”

In India, as far as domestic Internet connections go – wired Internet – Internet service providers under fair usage policy make the Internet browsing extremely slow once you have surpassed your data limit. For example, I’m allocated 350 GB per month. I’m getting a 20Mbps connection at the moment. If I go beyond 350 GB, my browsing suddenly becomes 512Kbps. I’m not charged extra. This lower limit of 512Kbps is provided by almost every Internet service provider in the country, although there are rumours that the government is trying to fix the lower limit to at least 2Mbps.

Netflix wanting data caps to be illegal would be like going too far, instead the company should go for getting consumers more bandwidth, as the amount of streaming increases and people view more HD videos.


About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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