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This June 24, 2015, file photo, shows the Netflix Apple TV app icon (AP Photo/Dan Goodman)

Netflix wants the FCC to get rid of data caps


The consensus on Facebook is Netflix is fighting the good fight.

Last week, the streaming media giant filed a claim with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rule whether or not data caps enforced by internet service providers are legitimate, according to Business Insider.

The FCC is mandated by Congress to monitor and evaluate whether or not internet service is being extended to all Americans in a reasonable manner.

Netflix argues that data caps are the opposite of reasonable.

Wait, what are data caps?

Data caps are a limit an internet service provider (ISP) puts on how much data one of their customers can use in a certain amount of time. Depending on how a person accesses the internet, and the terms of that service, they'll have more or less data to use.

Some Americans can stream all they want. Some, however, can only stream for a few hours. Netflix wants to get rid of those caps so their subscribers can binge-watch to their heart's content.

Some people on Facebook have noted just how little data they actually have. 

What's the flip side?

If you go out to dinner with your friends, and they all order salads and drink water, but you order the prime rib and a martini, you would be expected to pick up more of the check, right?

That's the logic that internet service providers use to justify data caps -- if you use a lot of data, you should pay for a larger cap.

The counter-argument

The thing they don't take into account, as CIO Magazine points out, is that the cost of providing data fell a lot faster than the rate of data usage rose.

The reason you pay more for more gas is that gas is finite. There's plenty of data to go around, and it doesn't cost the ISP a whole lot to provide it -- at least according to no-cap advocates.

This Facebook user took this logic right to task. 

ISPs and pay-to-play

Netflix is also concerned that some streaming services are able to pay internet service providers to not have their streaming count against a data cap, driving traffic to those other services other than Netflix.

It's essentially a pay-to-play model: either pay the providers money to not have your streaming get cut off by a limit, or audiences will start to use other services.

What do you think?

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