Yesterday, I said that the telcos would make us pay by the bit for Internet access if they could. Today, PaidContent pointed up an article that shows BT, the UK’s access monopoly, wants to charge by the bit.

it’s based on the specious argument that a few heavy users are being subsidized by everyone else:

It sounds like a good idea, as no-one wants to pay over the odds for unused services.

“All consumers are not equal,” says Mr Gadekar. “You have some of the heavy users who are using so much of the network that a user who wants to do a simple video stream or talk to someone over the internet suffers.

Rafat Ali at PaidContent suggests this is because Europeans have a “socialist” desire to make heavy (presumably rich) users subsidize light (presumably poor) users. Of course, per-bit pricing will limit the communication options of the poor, defeat creative applications of the net, and result in higher charges for everyone. But you can bet that the access monopolies will appeal to our sense of fairness when they’re selling this dangerous nonsense.