Having consumers pay to consume raises questions.

As details emerge about the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial proposal for regulating Internet providers, a provision that would allow companies to bill customers for how much they surf the Web is drawing special scrutiny.

via Washington Post

Other than it being a different model than people are used to when purchasing their packets, I don’t see why this is such a big deal. Do you get unlimited watts from the electric company? Does the gas company sell you unlimited BTUs for $30 per month? Does Cheaper Than Dirt sell monthly subscriptions to unlimited 9mm ammo? If so, won’t someone please tell me where to sign up. Why do we think the Internet providers should have to give us unlimited access to a limited resource?

The article says that:

Public interest groups say that trend will lead to a widening gap in Internet use in which the wealthiest would have the greatest access. And it could place limits on how much consumers use Web video, which eats up an enormous amount of bandwidth and could carry higher costs under a tiered pricing plan.

I’m sorry but this is a feature not a bug. The wealthiest have the greatest access to sports cars and European vacations where the girls take their tops off on the beaches. I hate that, but the desire to have those things is what makes people endeavor to improve their lives and is responsible, despite what V.P. Biden says, for every great achievement of civilization (Yes, I just said all of society’s achievements are due to the pursuit of fast cars and hot women. Sue me.)

I feel about pay-as-you-go Internet about the same way I feel about shopping tax-free on Amazon. I am sure glad I can do it, but I don’t know why I am allowed to do it.

I hope my cable company keeps providing me unlimited packets forever. But really I don’t see how they can. Because one thing I know is that if you give me access to unlimited good things I am going to get all I can. And I bet my selfish neighbors are going to do the same thing, the bastards.

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Comments

  • Bob S.  On December 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Isn’t the unlimited aspect of the connection already figured into the price?

    When the ISP set the price, they run calculations. X number of people will barely use it, Y number will use it moderately and Z number will always be on.

    The price is fairly set to allow for those conditions.

    • trackerk  On December 9, 2010 at 11:23 am

      That was true before the Netflix tsunami. Netfilx now consumes 20% of all Internet bandwidth during prime times. With customers dropping cable service to watch programs on Hulu, YouTube, Google TV and Netflix the bandwidth demands of even “occasional” users will be very high.

  • Kurt P  On December 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    When the demand gets high enough, they’ll figure out another way to shove that information volume through those intratubes and raise the price a little more.

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