Washington, DC—Today, the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative released a report comparing bandwidth caps for high-speed Internet—including cable modem, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) or fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP), and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks-in the United States and Japan. As the report documents, a large discrepancy exists between the two countries, suggesting that U.S. policy makers should investigate market conditions in Japan to determine why their network capacity supports far more per-customer throughput than U.S. broadband networks.
"Consumers are getting a raw deal when it comes to broadband service in the United States," stated Open Technology Initiative Director, Sascha Meinrath. "Not only are U.S. residents paying far more per month and getting slower speeds, we now have conclusive evidence that U.S. broadband customers are also subjected to bandwidth caps that are far more limiting than we find overseas. As a part of our efforts to promote an effective national broadband policy, regulators and policy-makers need to immediately investigate why Japanese residents get faster speeds at lower prices with fewer limitations than we do here in the U.S. and integrate these lessons learned into our national policies and regulations."
The Open Technology Initiative's analysis compares the bandwidth caps implemented by major Internet service providers (ISPs) in the U.S. and Japan. The results reveal a large disparity between the two countries with Internet service in the U.S. trending towards being more restricted and limited. In the U.S., the lowest bandwidth cap identified for an ISP was Cable One, with a 1GB per month for combined up- and downstream traffic, while none of Japanese ISPs studied set caps lower than 150GB per month. Another key difference between the U.S. and Japanese business practices is that while U.S. companies regularly set bandwidth caps for download traffic, Japanese companies only cap upstream traffic.
"These analyses document how consumers in the United States are losing their freedom through the use of severe bandwidth limitations imposed by ISPs. Policy-makers should reexamine the widespread use of low bandwidth caps by U.S. telecommunications companies" stated Chiehyu Li, research fellow at the Open Technology Initiative and the report's co-author.
"Continuing restrictions on bandwidth limits how consumers can use the Internet," explained James Losey, a Program Associate at the Open Technology Initiative and a co-author of the report. "Not only are U.S. bandwidth caps more severe than those found overseas, more providers have proposed restricting bandwidth. As we formulate a national broadband policy, and move towards becoming global leaders in broadband, we need to ensure that U.S. broadband policy is more open and accessible, not less."
The report, Bandwidth Cap for High-Speed Internet in the U.S. and Japan, can be found online here.
About the Open Technology Initiative
New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative formulates policy and regulatory reforms to support open architectures and open source innovations and facilitates the development and implementation of open technologies and communications networks. For more information, visit, http://www.newamerica.net/programs/oti.
Director, Open Technology Initiative
Research Fellow, Open Technology Initiative
Program Associate, Open Technology Initiative
Please contact Kate Brown with media requests at 202-596-3365 or email@example.com