Monday, June 2, 2008

Bad Idea In Progress

Time Warner is testing metered internet usage in Beaumont, TX. Net neutrality harpies should be going nuts over this, because it's one of the truly bad things you can do to neutrality.
Time Warner's tiers will range from $29.95 a month for relatively slow service at 768 kilobits per second and a 5-gigabyte monthly cap to $54.90 per month for fast downloads at 15 megabits per second and a 40-gigabyte cap. Those prices cover the cable portion of subscription bundles that include video or phone services. Both downloads and uploads will count toward the monthly cap.
If you go over your threshold, they're gonna charge a buck a gigabyte.

The problem with this is that it's setting a precedent whereby small commercial endpoints are going to be encouraged to be data-stingy, which provides the big guys (who are all leasing their own lines anyway) with a competitive advantage. This is exactly what the neutrality advocates want (rightly) to avoid.

I will repeat (again and again): The way to do this is to charge for quality of service. This puts everybody on a level playing field while still allowing the ISP to plan their networks appropriately.

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