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.
4 thoughts on “The telcos are beginnning their PR campaign for a metered Internet”
What rubbish. A “simple video stream” at 300kbps isn’t low bandwidth.
barry, this was probably my first and only attempt at taking a crack at writing about the US vs European divide…you won’t believe the amount of hatemail i am getting on this!
of course, my interest is purely from a media consumption and business models perspective, but some people took it personally.
That’s interesting. Did the Euros object to being called socialist? The world has changed more than I thought.
Another big source of the divide is that the Europeans have a lot of their national pride invested in these big (often formerly state) enterprises. A lot of the pride that was attached to national airlines is probably invested in the national telcos. And it gives them a bit of license to soak their customers. The analogy to the airlines holds up well here. No one wants to hurt BT or France Telecom by making them compete in their home markets because those monopoly profits help make them viable international players.
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