Netflix is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to do something about the data cap users have on their plans.
Netflix is the largest user of bandwidth on the Internet, accounting for over 38% of all traffic during primetime viewing hours. WKBW reports that cable companies, which also offer Internet services, cap users’ bandwidth in order to compete against companies like Netflix and Hulu.
“Watching television shows and movies on the internet is no longer a novelty,” read Netflix’s letter to the FCC. “Consumers increasingly expect more from their broadband connection, and they expect that broadband Internet will deliver a television experience that is the same or better than what they receive from their cable service, satellite provider, or local broadcaster.”
According to Fortune, Netflix’s letter comes at a strategic time, as the FCC is preparing its annual report for Congress outlining the state of broadband access in the United States — the “Broadband Progress Report.”
Netflix believes the data caps aren’t consistent with the Telecommunications Act’s ruling, which calls for advanced telecommunications to be delivered to all Americans “in a reasonable and timely fashion.”
“A data cap or allotment of 300 GB (gigabytes) of data per month or higher is required just to meet the Internet television needs of an average American,” Netflix added.
Another main reason for Netflix’s complaint is the use of “zero ratings” for large phone companies. These companies are now using promotions that allow consumers to watch certain types of content without reducing their monthly data allotment. Netflix is claiming that those promotions violate the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules, which prohibit Internet providers from giving special treatment to certain types of content.
“The Commission would keep an eye on new developments in this area and we are continuing to do so,” said Kim Hart, a spokesperson for the FCC.