DiMA: AT&T's New Plan to Throttle Wireless Mobile Data Users Could Stymie Competition and Innovation
Washington, D.C. (August 10, 2011) - In response to AT&T's recent announcement of its plan to slow down the speed or "throttle" wireless service for its heaviest data users, Lee Knife, Interim Executive Director of the Digital Media Association, issued the following statement:
"If implemented, AT&T's plans to throttle or place arbitrary caps on mobile wireless data users will likely hinder the substantial economic progress, innovation and improvements to the general public welfare that have been witnessed since the advent of the Internet. On issues ranging from education to healthcare to online gaming and other forms of social entertainment, Internet access has given rise to countless new opportunities by offering an important pipeline of information and services that were unimaginable just a few short years ago.
"The widespread use of smartphones, coupled with the recent adoption of tablet computers, opens a greater universe of future possibilities – but only if individuals can use these devices to gain access to the Internet at an affordable price. The 'one-two' step of continuously enticing consumers to use smartphones to access more and more data and media, at faster speeds, and then subsequently establishing steeper pricing and limited access to those very services seems particularly unfair.
"Considering the current state of our nation's fragile economy, now is not the time to turn back the clock on the progress that access to information and media has made possible. Policymakers should be pursuing policies that will encourage the continued development of new online services, applications and technologies. Our sights should be focused on more innovation, increased competition and greater job growth creation."