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The End of the Era of "All You Can Eat" Internet

Back in January, wxpnews reported that due in part to the push by some for "network neutrality," ISPs were likely to head back to the bad old days of charging for Internet access according to per-hour or per-megabyte/gigabyte usage. George Ou was warning us (wxpnews) about this unintended consequence of the net neutrality movement, and that warning has proven prophetic.

First Time Warner began "testing" the new pricing model in Beaumont, Texas. Time Warner reportedly has several tiers of plans, with the most expensive one ($50something per month) capping your usage at 40 GB. Go over that, and you pay a dollar per gig. Some pundits predicted that they would never get away with extending that to other markets, and it would die a quick death. Instead, this week AT&T announced that they, too, are considering a similar type of pricing...

...The big problem here is that what's considered "high bandwidth usage" today may well be just normal Internet usage tomorrow. The wave of the future is HDTV over IP - but will you be able to afford to download high quality movies and television programs with usage caps of 40 GB per month and less? One hour of HDTV equals about 7 GB of data, so if you downloaded four average movies (two hours) per month, you've already exceeded that 40 GB limit with another 16 GB in overage charges - and that doesn't count any of your web surfing, email, and other Internet applications. And it also doesn't count your spam - which, of course, counts against your bandwidth usage even though you don't want it

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nice_cuppa3747d ago

as long as they want people to stop using the internet.

athlon7703746d ago

Here you have all these people saying that Digital Downloads are the future and that BD is not going to get off the floor, and Microsoft basicaly saying we are putting all our eggs in the one digital basket (so to say), then you have the ISP's thinking "hey, we could make a lot of money on this, lets go back to a pay-per-use system and throw a wrench into the Digital Download before it even streatches it wings.