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

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Introduced in Senate (12/20/2012)

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[Congressional Bills 112th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 3703 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  2d Session
                                S. 3703

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



                           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,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Data Cap Integrity Act of 2012''.


    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.


    (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 
                    (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 
                    (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 
    (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 
                    (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.