How many minutes of Internet are you paying for each month?

If you pay for a 100Mbps cable connection to the Internet and your plan sets a 300GB data cap, you can use your connection at full speed for 8.3 hours per month before hitting overuse charges.

If your cell phone plan supports 50Mbps LTE speeds and has a 10GB data cap, you’re only allowed to use it at full speed for 33 minutes per month.

I think it’s deceptive for an ISP to advertise an Internet connection’s speeds without disclosing how much you can actually use it without being disconnected or racking up extra fees. I’ve written to my senators asking them to introduce legislation to protect customers from this misleading and predatory practice:

I believe that all Internet service providers should be required to disclose, as part of their advertising, how many minutes you may use their service at full speed without hitting data caps.

For instance, a cable company advertising “100 megabits!” but imposing a 300GB data cap only allows their users to download information for about 8 hours per month. A cell phone company that advertises fast 50 megabit LTE speed but has a 10GB data limit only gives their customers about 33 minutes per month of full speed usage.

I believe that simultaneously advertising fast Internet connections while only allowing customers to use it for a short amount of time each month is highly deceptive and should be illegal. Please introduce truth in advertising legislation requiring ISPs to disclose what portion of time customers on a typical plan would be allowed to use an Internet service being advertised.

I don’t reasonably expect anything to come of this, but I’m going to try anyway.

Stop The E Parasite Act

This is the letter I just sent to my representative, urging him to vote against Hollywood’s E-PARASITE Act:

Congressman Fortenberry, please vote against the appropriately-named “E-PARASITE Act” being proposed by Rep. Smith, TX. It’s the counterpart of Senate Bill S.968, the “PROTECT IP Act”.

This flawed legislation seeks to criminalize civil offenses and reverse our Constitutional presumption of innocence for the benefit of a tiny – but very vocal – coalition of Hollywood special interest groups. The Internet has brought untold billions of dollars to our economy and democracy to distant shores. Let’s not discard these advances for the benefit of a few CEOs who haven’t figured out how to do business in the new economy. Given technology legislation that’s supported by the AFL-CIO and opposed by Google, I’ll side with Google every time.

Please stop these parasites from destroying the Internet we built just so they can make a few more dollars before their obsolete business plans finish them off.

Thank you for your time,
Kirk Strauser
Norfolk, NE

Please let your own representatives know that we don’t want this terrible legislation.