One congressman seems to feel that large ISPs cannot be trusted, and has introduced a bill to impose limitations on tiered broadband pricing. Congressman Eric Massa plans on several provisions in an effort to protect consumers from price gouging by ISPs. In his bill he proposes the following guidelines:

  • Requires ISPs to submit plans to the FTC, in consultation with the FCC, if they plan to move to a usage-based plan;
  • Prohibits volume usage plans if the FTC determines that these plans are imposing rates, terms, and conditions that are unreasonable or discriminatory;
  • Sets up public hearings for plans submitted to the FTC for public review and input;
  • Only affects Internet providers with 2 million or more subscribers;
  • Imposes penalties for broadband ISPs that ignore these rules.

Messa also hopes that if the ISPs want to charge a higher fee for additional broadband tiered services, they should have to go through what the utilities go through and have the rate approved.

AT&T responded that this type of legislation only hurts consumers.

Comments welcome.