Today, Rep. Eric Massa filed H.R. 2902, the “Broadband Internet Fairness Act of 2009″. If enacted, this would require Internet service providers with over 2 million subscribers to submit volume based pricing plans for review to the FTC.
In a press conference today, Massa directly linked this bill to the attempt by Time Warner Cable to deploy consumption-based pricing in Austin and three other cities. Massa notes:
The drafting of the bill was prompted by thousands of constituents and industry experts who voiced their concerns in regard to the outrageous increase in fees proposed by broadband providers. [...] The Broadband Internet Fairness Act will prevent the monopolistic rate increases of broadband companies by promoting the interests of broadband customers.
By selecting the FTC, Massa aims to bring about consumer protections by treating this as a market competitiveness issue. In a press conference today, Massa noted that the FTC has experience handling such issues, and, in fact, the language of H.R. 2902 is based on existing models the FTC uses to assure competition in other markets.
The text of the Massa press release, including a link to the bill text, is here: Congressman Eric Massa introduces Broadband Internet Fairness Act
12:35pm Update: Here is some other coverage on the bill: