FCC Extends Comment Deadline on Spectrum Data Cap Petition





Worried woman reading paper

In July, we reported that Spectrum had asked the FCC for permission to add data caps to its broadband plans. Imposing data caps would go against conditions of the 2016 merger of Spectrum and Time Warner Cable, which were put in place for seven years following the merger. 

The FCC opened the issue up for public comments with an initial due date of July 22 that was extended into August. Spectrum took that time to argue that some customers prefer data caps, and Roku joined the list of those opposed to permitting caps, saying that  “data caps should become a relic of the past.”

Charter went on to say that there are no plans to implement data caps now, but that removing the restriction would offer the company the flexibility to add data caps in the future if necessary. 

On August 14, a federal appeals court threw out two other conditions of the merger – “prohibiting Charter from charging programming suppliers for access to its broadband subs” and “requiring New Charter to provide steeply discounted broadband service to needy subscribers.” However, the court ruled that the “no usage-based pricing conditions” condition would still be enforced. 

Conditions of the merger are set to expire in May 2023. Charter would like to have them removed in May 2021.

In a public notice, the FCC announced that comments are now due on September 2, 2020. Interested parties can file comments electronically on the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System.

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