In early July, the Commission of Consumer Protection of the Brazilian House of Representatives approved the draft bill preventing Brazilian Telco Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from applying limits on data usage on fixed line broadband connections.

Background

An announcement last year by Brazilian ISP's that they would impose data caps on broadband subscribers, caused a lot of controversy amongst the public and consumer protection agencies. The National Telecommunications Agency (Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações – "ANATEL") suspended the implementation of caps for 3 months but then allowed them, with certain conditions. The controversy led the Brazilian Senate to consider the issue and call for research testimony which showed 99% of those surveyed were against the cap. This led to the bill prohibiting caps being proposed to the Brazilian Senate and the Senate passed the draft bill in March 2017. During this time ANATEL undertook a public consultation with the vast majority of respondents against such caps. Following the public consultation the Commission approved the bill as noted above.

Context of Decision

The decision is taken against the background of a developing market for broadband with only around half of Brazilian homes having access to the internet. Ultimately arguments advanced by the ISPs justifying the caps on the basis of network congestion and better network management were unsuccessful in this context.

Next Steps

The current draft bill here (in Portuguese) is now subject to final approval by a vote in a plenary session in the House of Representatives.