E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Beaumont, Texas, has become the testing ground for a new way to charge Internet users for access. It's meant to make heavy users pay more. Time Warner will begin rolling out an experimental program that will meter users' Web usage and bill them extra if they download or upload more than a set amount of data. Data caps aren't entirely new. You'll certainly get some attention from your ISP if you start downloading in the neighborhood of 300 GB per month, especially if you get access from a cable provider.
I'm 57 years old and nearing retirement. However, I maintain a number of websites - each with multi-gigabyte files onboard. I'm assuming measured bandwidth is two-way ... and while I download very little, I upload a HECKUVA lot.
In the USA, "flat-fee" service for a number of things has become standard practice ... unlike things are in other countries. In short, we have become "spoiled" by it. So, Time-Warner is taking a big gamble in attempting to foist measured service down customers' throats. Slowly but surely, newcomer ISPs are exploiting the wireless-via-cell-tower realm (ie., millenicom.com) and, in time, will surpass cable and DSL entities in their ability to move traffic cheaply. "Wired" internet access is becoming "old-school."
So, besides being confronted with upstart wireless entities, Time-Warner and other ISPs championing measured service are championing it at a time when consumers have less money in their pockets (higher gas bills, higher food bills, etc.). Even so, these consumers continue to demand more (unlimited) not less (measured) service for their internet dollar.
Time will tell. But, putting on my futurist hat, I think measured service will be proven penny-wise and pound-foolish. And those who "limit" the consumer will sink as those who "stroke" the consumer will swim.
I am all for metering band width. I pay for fast service I don't need it bogged down with other users downloading from P2P and streaming sites 24 hours a day. If they want to download thats fine pay for your bandwidth.