I came across a very interesting article earlier regarding Time Warner's proposed new internet access pricing. They'll begin limited trials later this year on a pricing structure that charges for internet usage rather than bandwidth.
This concept is so logical, I'm not sure why it hasn't been tested yet. Electric companies don't charge you based on voltage (bandwidth), they charge you for the power you use (internet usage). Water companies may charge you partially for the size pipe into your house but they mostly charge you based on the water you consume. I could see internet service providers (ISPs) moving to a pricing model similar to the water company, with a base service charge and then usage fees.
While this will more fairly distribute the cost of internet use, the more profound effect will be on the download of bandwidth-hogging pirated content. Current limitless internet access essentially makes it free to pirate movies, music and TV. Charge people "by the bit" or at set usage tiers and suddenly there's a very real cost associated with that kind of internet use. You better believe that the MPAA and RIAA will be lining up behind this concept.
Additionally, this presents a way for ISPs to charge consumers for piggybacking VoIP services like Vonage and streaming audio/video services like Rhapsody and Yahoo! Music. In particular, ISPs are none too pleased with Vonage for using their networks for "free," particularly when they offer their own competing internet phone services.
I'll be keeping an eye on this concept to see if it goes anywhere.
Choice Downloads - May
7 years ago