Data caps enable Internet service providers (ISPs) use data caps to sell blocks of data to customers, creating an artificial scarcity to monetize an otherwise valueless commodity. ISPs will then further monetize on data caps by selling content providers data-cap-free access to the ISP's customers. This could be seen as a violation of network neutrality principles since network traffic would no longer be treated equally. Conversely, it could be seen as a way to manage ever-increasing Internet traffic. This article first explores the arguments for and against data caps as a means for maintaining the network's traffic flow from the perspective of the consumer, the content provider, and the ISP. This article then recommends several solutions to current and potential problems. These solutions would still allow data cap use but in a more transparent and fair manner to dissuade abuse by ISPs and surprise to consumers.
Data Caps: Creating Artificial Scarcity as a Way Around Network Neutrality,
31 Santa Clara High Tech. L.J. 139
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/chtlj/vol31/iss1/4