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[ NNSquad ] Verizon offers to let you pay for a "better" one-shot data connection

Verizon offers to let you pay for a "better" one-shot data connection

http://j.mp/vdztN0  (PC Mag)

   "Verizon will publish an API that could allow consumers to
    "turbocharge" the network bandwidth their smartphone apps use for a
    small fee, executives said Tuesday.  Verizon anticipates that a
    customer running an app on a smartphone will have the option to
    dynamically snatch more bandwidth for that app, if network congestion
    slows it down ..."

 - - -

The "gotchas" in this approach should be obvious.  Since Verizon
controls the underlying shaping and other characteristics of the data
connection (their portion of it, anyway) in the first place, they
could easily configure paths to "encourage" users to punch the "pay
extra" button -- just to get back to where they really should have
been in the first place.  Would Verizon accept FCC oversight to ensure
that this scenario doesn't play out?  Don't hold your breath.

Verizon's stated example of a Skype connection going bad is
particularly suspect and illustrative, since Verizon -- even if you
punch the "charge me more, please!"  button, can only affect their
portion of the overall data path, and the issues degrading Skype (in
this example) might have little or nothing to do with the Verizon part
of the connection.  Do you get a refund from the extra charges if you
push the "charge me more, please!"  button and your Skype connection
*doesn't* improve?  In your dreams.

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org 
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org 
 - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance: http://www.gctip.org
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com 
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com 
Google+: http://vortex.com/g+lauren 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com