WASHINGTON D.C. (KAMR/KCIT) — Thursday, Officials from the office of U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) report that Luján and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced legislation that attempts to stop data caps that may force families to pay high costs and fees to access high-speed broadband.

According to a news release from officials, the need for data is increasing along with pricing for broadband services. Officials said participation in the digital economy, could promote competition and innovation possibly ensuring investment in national broadband infrastructure is used to its highest capacity.

“As internet usage continues to be a necessity for work, education, and health care, no family should have to worry about extra fees and costs because of unnecessary limits on their data,” said Luján, Chair of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband. “Today, I’m introducing the Uncap America Act to put a stop to these costly data caps and increase competition and innovation in our growing digital economy. This legislation also empowers the FCC to protect Americans’ access to data while incentivizing additional investments in our national broadband infrastructure.”

Officials said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, monthly data usage has increased rapidly. According to a study on American broadband consumption conducted by OpenVault, the average household now exceeds over half a terabyte in bandwidth per month.

“Internet access is a basic necessity and has been increasingly important throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Booker. “Unfortunately, many internet providers have imposed predatory data caps, making it difficult for many vulnerable families to access high-speed internet. I am proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Luján that will help ensure that the American people have access to affordable, high-speed broadband services and that providers are not taking advantage of their consumers by imposing predatory data caps.”

“Consumer Reports strongly supports the Uncap America Act authored and introduced by Senator Luján. This bill will ensure that ISPs are not allowed to include frivolous data caps at the expense of consumers. Americans need fast, reliable and affordable internet connections that are free from the burden of data caps that chill internet use and make it more expensive. We encourage Congress to vote yes on this bill so Americans will be able to install new security updates, conduct a job interview, or let their children complete their homework online without the fear of being penalized for exceeding data caps. Broadband can help spur economic growth, innovation, and connect millions. Where caps are legitimate and justified, so be it. But we can’t allow ISPs to maximize profits at the expense of consumers,”said Jonathan Schwantes, Senior Policy Counsel at Consumer Reports.