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[ NNSquad ] Re: Canada goes crazy

We have seen the opposite trend here in Portugal (and Europe in general), users were invoiced for how much traffic they would consume, and now, most ISPs charge a flat rate. Exceptions are the mobile operators that still charge by the byte.

I'm not sure I fully agree with your argument on scarcity. Sure, paying for usage inhibits usage (we usually call this - user-payer paradigm). But, on the other hand, that's the basic underlying principle for tolls, waste taxes and so on. Its there, you use it, it costs money to set up and maintain, so, pa y it up!.

Please note that some ecologist groups are fierce defenders of this principle as they think that you don't use much, you are (overall) helping the environment. For me, the cost-benefit tradeoff on this issue is not so clear.

BR from Portugal,

Nuno Garcia

2010/5/7 Bob Frankston <Bob19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
(Thanks to Aleks for this pointer)


The idea of charging people for bits consumed is a crazy idea since you
aren't consuming bits. We've been through this before - do I need to explain
once again how bad the idea is?

.         It creates scarcity. A copper wire (or fiber or radio) is just
sitting there idle. We limit how much can be used.

.         Even if there is a temporary constriction somewhere else it means
we can't use the capacity locally. To take it to an extreme imagine if there
is such a limit in your house - you can't copy too many files between your

.         FiOS VoD, for example, goes over IP through my router. I can't
watch much "TV" [sic] if the limit is applied to those bits. If the limit is
not applied we have a vertical playing field where the provider has all the

.         Any sane price doesn't allow making video affordable if we're
going to make the cost of other uses visible.

.         As with SMS any market that permits prices to be millions of time
cost (determined by competition with Moore's law) isn't really a market in a
useful sense. It's rent taking gone to hostage taking.

But basically it shows a deep inability to comprehend the very concept of
connectivity using best efforts. It's railroaders banning the use of roads
unless you buy a ticket for a ride every time you leave your driveway even
if it is just to reorder the cars in the driveway.

Others care to add to the reasons why this is crazy?


  [ And coming soon to a U.S. ISP near you (and me) too, I'll wager.
    Since the FCC chairman has shown no interest in including any
    sort of pricing or realistically effective competition-enhancing
    elements in his proposed "third-way" regulatory plan, the
    dominant ISPs are ensured a captive audience of users who will
    "pay through their noses until their skulls are a vacuum" (as one
    high level ISP executive expressed it to me yesterday --
    picturesque, this guy, and a master of invective as well ...)

        -- Lauren Weinstein
           NNSquad Moderator ]