Text: S.3703 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (12/20/2012)


112th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3703

To improve the ability of consumers to control their digital data usage, promote Internet use, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
December 20, 2012

Mr. Wyden introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To improve the ability of consumers to control their digital data usage, promote Internet use, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Data Cap Integrity Act of 2012”.

SEC. 2. Truth-in-labeling requirements.

It is the sense of Congress that the Federal Communications Commission should continue its work to ensure that consumers of Internet services are clearly and consistently provided information that describes the services they are purchasing, including—

(1) the cost of the services they are purchasing;

(2) the rate of the upload and download speed that the consumer is paying for;

(3) service limits the Internet service provider establishes for purposes of network management, including bandwidth throttling or rate limiting;

(4) contract term; and

(5) legal and privacy policies.

SEC. 3. Managing broadband congestion.

(a) Definitions.—In this section—

(1) the term “Commission” means the Federal Communications Commission;

(2) the term “covered Internet service provider” means an Internet service provider that imposes a data cap on consumers of the provider; and

(3) the term “data cap” means—

(A) a limit on the amount of bits a consumer of an Internet service provider may download or upload during a period of time specified by the Internet service provider; or

(B) a fee-based structure with the purpose of limiting the bits a consumer of an Internet service provider may download or upload during a period of time specified by the Internet service provider.

(b) Certification of internet service providers.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—An Internet service provider may not impose a data cap on the consumers of the provider unless the provider is certified by the Commission under paragraph (2).

(2) CERTIFICATION BY COMMISSION.—

(A) ACCURACY IN MEASUREMENT.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall consult with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other experts, including those in the private sector, to establish standards to which an Internet service provider shall adhere in order to accurately measure household data usage of consumers of the provider and such standards must apply to the—

(I) hardware devices used in homes of consumers and throughout the network of the Internet service provider to measure data usage; and

(II) the mechanism, including firmware and software, used by the Internet service provider to measure data usage.

(ii) PUBLIC COMMENT.—Prior to finalizing the standards required under clause (i), the Commission shall allow for, and take into consideration, public comment on proposed standards.

(B) SMART DATA CAPS INSTEAD OF DUMB ONES.—The Commission shall evaluate a data cap proposed by an Internet service provider to determine whether the data cap functions to reasonably limit network congestion in a manner that does not unnecessarily discourage use of the Internet.

(C) CERTIFICATION.—The Commission shall provide certification to an Internet service provider, if the Commission determines that—

(i) the Internet service provider is accurately measuring household data usage consistent with the standards established under subparagraph (A); and

(ii) the data cap proposed by the Internet service provider functions to reasonably limit network congestion without unnecessarily restricting Internet use.

(c) Discrimination of content.—A covered Internet service provider may not, for purposes of measuring data usage or otherwise, provide preferential treatment of data that is based on the source or the content of the data.

(d) Consumer control of data usage.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A covered Internet service provider shall, upon the first day of Internet service provided to a consumer, identify commercially available tools that allow the consumer to—

(A) monitor, in real time to the extent feasible, the amount of bits that the consumer has uploaded or downloaded, and the relationship such information has to the terms of the data cap of the Internet service provider; and

(B) control uploads and downloads on all wireline and wireless devices that have access to the Internet service network of the consumer.

(2) PROVISION OF TOOLS.—If any of the tools described in paragraph (1) are not commercially available, the Internet service provider shall provide such tools to the consumer on the first day that Internet service is provided to the consumer.

(e) Enforcement.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall—

(A) establish a procedure to enable individuals to file a complaint with the Commission relating to an Internet service provider and whether the provider is accurately measuring data use in relation to a data cap; and

(B) promptly investigate any complaint filed in accordance with the procedure established under subparagraph (A).

(2) AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE CIVIL PENALTY.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission may impose a civil penalty on an Internet service provider that inaccurately measures data use in relation to a data cap that is inconsistent with the standards established under subsection (b)(2)(A).

(B) ESTABLISHMENT OF FUND.—There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the “Data Cap Integrity Fund” (referred to in this paragraph as the “Fund”).

(C) DEPOSITS.—Notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31, United States Code, or any other law regarding the crediting of money received for the Government, there shall be deposited in the Fund any civil penalty collected by the Commission under subparagraph (A).

(D) EXPENDITURES FROM FUND.—Amounts in the Fund shall be available to the Commission to make payments to any individual who has filed a complaint in accordance with the procedure established under paragraph (1)(A) in order to make the individual financially whole as a result of an inaccurate measurement of data use by an Internet service provider.

(E) EXCESS AMOUNTS.—Effective on September 30, 2013, and each year thereafter, all unobligated balances in excess of $5,000,000 shall be transferred to the General Fund of the Treasury for the purpose of deficit reduction.

(f) Regulations.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate regulations to implement this section.