Internet service providers have been pushing customers to buy higher-speed Internet packages, and in some cases, have even started charging customers for extra data.
The result: Internet companies have seen their sales plummet.
The companies are pushing customers toward bundled bundles or unlimited plans that are designed to offer them more bandwidth and speeds, and have also seen their stock prices fall.
The problem: Many of these deals aren’t working out.
Some customers are paying for a service they can’t afford, or the packages aren’t worth the money.
The new deal between the Federal Communications Commission and the companies could give consumers an alternative to the bundling models.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said on Tuesday that he is recommending the commission give consumers “choice” over their Internet service provider.
“We should have a consumer-friendly approach that provides the flexibility to make choices based on a consumer’s need and wants,” Pai said in a statement.
For some customers, the new deal is a victory.
In the first half of 2018, broadband companies said their combined revenues increased by $10 billion, while their profit margins dropped to 16 percent, from 20 percent.
That’s the lowest margin in five years, and some analysts expect the data caps and other restrictions to continue.
The FCC, which has authority over broadband providers, has proposed limiting data caps.
The company says it will provide a guide to help customers understand their options.
The new proposal will likely be discussed by the FCC in January.
The FCC is also reviewing how to improve the Internet for rural customers.
The agency said on Monday that it is investigating whether rural broadband providers can be better integrated into the market.
If the FCC moves forward with the plan, the agency would have to find a way to encourage broadband companies to offer customers more choices, Pai said.
Internet companies have been criticized for trying to make money off customers’ frustration with slow speeds.
The Comcast-NBCUniversal merger was a big blow to customers, with many saying they felt cheated because they were being charged more for their data.
It is unclear what impact the proposal would have on the future of the internet, as some experts say it may not affect many consumers.