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Author Topic: Metered internet?  (Read 1649 times)

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Offline DizziTopic starter

Metered internet?
« on: January 25, 2011, 02:04:01 PM »
Alright.  so here we have something shitty.

Lets say that you are paying 25$/month for internet here in Canada.  you're happy with it, watch Netflix, youtube, etc.

Now, imagine that, suddenly, You are given an allotted amount of bandwidth and then charged outrageous fees for each byte/kilobyte/megabyte/gigabyte you you (Not like 1$/byte, but WAAAYYY more than what it costs the company to provide it to you)

This is tottally something that should not be allowed, in my eyes at least.  Discuss?

(Note.  IF you are canadian, you can sign the petition here http://openmedia.ca/meter )


Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 02:10:28 PM »
Ah.. the ultimate goal of folks like Comcast. They want to make you pay for bandwidth. Net Neutrality is involved with keeping the bandwidth fairly open. IE. You pay for speed, but not sheer volume but the big providers want to squeeze every dime they can in anyway.

The wireless providers are already making moves, regulating how much you have and which services you can use on a data plan. (Like blocking youtube/Netflix on a basic plan, I think that was Metromobile but I'm not sure)

Offline Vekseid

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 02:18:09 PM »
The main fear of violations of Network Neutrality is a return to the 'walled garden' era - that is, unless I (as the operator of Elliquiy) pay Time Warner, Comcast, British Telecom, etc a fee to be included, Elliquiy may not be accessible from those providers. Right now they're 'only' blocking video streaming sites that take up an immense amount of bandwidth.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 02:24:48 PM »
The main fear of violations of Network Neutrality is a return to the 'walled garden' era - that is, unless I (as the operator of Elliquiy) pay Time Warner, Comcast, British Telecom, etc a fee to be included, Elliquiy may not be accessible from those providers. Right now they're 'only' blocking video streaming sites that take up an immense amount of bandwidth.

Yeah, then it will be online games like WoW/DC Universe and such. Then they'll start with the 'big boys' like Google and Yahoo and start looking at everyone they can stick it too. Most likely by going the folks who maintain the websites.

Offline DizziTopic starter

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 02:36:23 PM »
The thing is though, is that this technically isn't net neutrality (To my understanding).  Net neutrality is big companies being paid by websites for better accessability.

this is big companies making me pay more for more internet.  Turning something that should be unlimited into a quantative thing.  For example, right now I can pay 30$/month and watch 50 netflix movies in a month (Or... Other movies)
When this comes in, I could pay 30$/month and suddenly I might only be able to see text based sites because otherwise it will take up too much bandwidth

Offline Vekseid

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 03:01:38 PM »
No, Network Neutrality was the status quo "thou shalt not discriminate based on source" that was law up until several years ago.

Someone buys a connection to the Internet, and they are connected to the whole Internet, not just a piece of it.

Yeah, then it will be online games like WoW/DC Universe and such. Then they'll start with the 'big boys' like Google and Yahoo and start looking at everyone they can stick it too. Most likely by going the folks who maintain the websites.

Facebook is actually getting hit before Google proper is (outside of Youtube).

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 03:04:51 PM »
No, Network Neutrality was the status quo "thou shalt not discriminate based on source" that was law up until several years ago.

Someone buys a connection to the Internet, and they are connected to the whole Internet, not just a piece of it.

Facebook is actually getting hit before Google proper is (outside of Youtube).

Definitely, you know they (the providers) are looking over site usage to see who they can screw first. :D

A lot of folks are a bit miffed at the President for his lackluster support of Net Neutrality, but then he has a VP who was solidly in the pocket of the providers.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 03:59:10 PM »
I'm not sure that the internet 'should' be unlimited. It costs money, lots of money, to maintain the physical infrastructure and to upgrade it when appropriate. I do think that if you pay to access the Internet, all of the Internet should be available to you (I support net neutrality in that way). However, the Internet is not a right, let alone a right that should be unlimited. Internet companies are allowed to want to operate at a profit. The thing is that if they reach for too much profit, people won't be able to afford the Internet and they will have to lower their prices. I'm not normally a fan of raw 'free market' thinking, but in this case, where the product is purely a luxury where it's not a tax writeoff, I support it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 04:03:12 PM »
I'm not sure that the internet 'should' be unlimited. It costs money, lots of money, to maintain the physical infrastructure and to upgrade it when appropriate. I do think that if you pay to access the Internet, all of the Internet should be available to you (I support net neutrality in that way). However, the Internet is not a right, let alone a right that should be unlimited. Internet companies are allowed to want to operate at a profit. The thing is that if they reach for too much profit, people won't be able to afford the Internet and they will have to lower their prices. I'm not normally a fan of raw 'free market' thinking, but in this case, where the product is purely a luxury where it's not a tax writeoff, I support it.

To an extent I agree, but the market model the providers are using isn't one that is fair to the consumer. They want to put a price tag to every action they can get as well as bill folks coming and going. Not to mention I dislike the idea of 'favored' sites, ie.. you type in Google and get Yahoo because the ISP is getting a kick back. (or B&N when you are looking for Amazon, ect).

It's not happening ..yet, but with the growth of the net equal access is an issue that needs to be addressed otherwise small businesses will never get a chance to grow.

It's a slippery slope and I definitely don't think the internet providers can be trusted to play fair and 'self regulate'

Offline Trieste

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Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 04:08:55 PM »
On the one hand, I'd be pretty annoyed if I typed in Google and my ISP redirected me to Yahoo.

On the other hand, if they get kickbacks and payments, does that mean I pay less?

I could see it working if there were two types of membership (and maybe tiers of bandwidth within each level, priced accordingly). Basic membership is that you pay for the internet at a lower price but you get directed to favored sites first. Premium membership is twice as expensive but you get unfettered access.

It seems fair, in my head, but I don't trust them to self-regulate either.

Offline DizziTopic starter

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 04:36:00 PM »
Trieste;
The problem with paying more for unfiltered access to the internet, in my opinion, actually isn't fair.  It is allowing companies to force you to their site because they paid more.  The fact that you are paying more money for an open internet is what's so wrong.  Paying for the internet is fine.  Paying more for faster internet is also fine.  However, paying more money for more access to the internet is not fine in my opinion.

If the ISP gets kickback/payments from websites, you will not receive cheaper internet.  It will cost the exact same but you will no longer have access to some sites/have to pay extra to visit some sites because those sites did not pay the companies.


As for metered internet; I agree that internet should not be free.  It does cost money to uphold, repair the wires etc. etc.  However, I feel that I should not have to pay more so that I can access more internet, which is of no/almost no cost to the company.  I pay X amount of money for my internet (Technically I don;t.  It's included with my rent) I have unlimited access to that internet.  Why should I pay X amount of money and then Y amount to have the same access?

This is a time of growth in the internet.  More people are using it, it is bringing people together.  collaborations are being formed, friendships made.  Content is being produced at an enormously high rate, being pushed out to the internet and people are being discovered.  People that no one would see any other way, but if bills like this keep going through that can bring us back to where the only content we get is from the larger companies.  The only way to be discovered is to live in a city, work your ass off, and be lucky where as now, it is only the latter two.


Offline Trieste

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Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 04:42:11 PM »
Dizzi, I'm not entirely sure that you're getting out of my comments what I am putting in, since you are responding to only half of what I am saying.

As it stands, if you don't want ISPs to block out certain high-bandwidth sites (I'm talking here about blocking them out because of the bandwidth they consume, not because of monetary kickbacks), then metered internet is probably about the only other fair and easily implemented manner of compensating ISPs for higher bandwidth. Higher bandwidth costs more money for the ISP as well as for you, and while it does suck that those costs are being passed on to the consumers, it's either that or have no ISPs. Internet is getting more expensive, if nothing else because it's constantly being expanded into remoter and remoter areas - this is a reality that consumers have had to face for a while.

Offline Jude

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 04:50:21 PM »
The only time I think government should be meddling in free market affairs is when failing to do gives the companies involved an advantage that consumers cannot reasonably defend themselves against or (and this part is irrelevant to the current discussion) when government intervenes to hold corporations liable for the consequences of their actions (such as EPA type policing).

When it comes to network neutrality, I don't think it's reasonable to expect consumers to know the ways in which the information they are being presented with is being manipulated.  In as much as companies actually acknowledge their tampering with redirection and bandwidth choke-points, it's buried under so much legalese that the average consumer can't be expected to be aware of it.  And even if you are aware, there aren't always other options available for broadband, especially if you live in the country.  Clearly there needs to be legislation that protects consumers in monopoly situations, and when alternative broadband providers are available there needs to be legislation to force companies to disclose their shady practices regarding network-bias so that consumers can make an informed choice (which is the basic facet on which the free market is built).

Metered internet is a different issue, but I employ a similar logic, especially towards the end of the argument.  I don't have a problem with it in principle, but that changes when consumers are robbed of their ability to make informed decisions or choose to switch to a competitor.  For that reason, I think in areas where there is a broadband monopoly government needs to be involved in metered internet decisions the way it's currently involved in utilities pricing.  If there's competition in the market, the free market can work as it's supposed to, so I don't have a problem.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 04:55:22 PM by Jude »

Offline DizziTopic starter

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2011, 05:49:13 PM »
Dizzi, I'm not entirely sure that you're getting out of my comments what I am putting in, since you are responding to only half of what I am saying.

As it stands, if you don't want ISPs to block out certain high-bandwidth sites (I'm talking here about blocking them out because of the bandwidth they consume, not because of monetary kickbacks), then metered internet is probably about the only other fair and easily implemented manner of compensating ISPs for higher bandwidth. Higher bandwidth costs more money for the ISP as well as for you, and while it does suck that those costs are being passed on to the consumers, it's either that or have no ISPs. Internet is getting more expensive, if nothing else because it's constantly being expanded into remoter and remoter areas - this is a reality that consumers have had to face for a while.

The price of bandwidth is not a factor.  ISP's buy bandwidth from larger ISP's (since I don't know for sure which company it is, we will just call them Overarching Company, or OC for short, to prevent false information) however, the problem is, is that it doesn't actually cost OC anything to provide bandwidth, other than upkeep etc. 
In example: Eastlink, buys thier bandwidth from OC, who does not have to pay for bandwidth, and bandwidth is just an allotted amount of data, which is just light/electricity going through wire/optics depending on the system, but they have to make money in some way so they sell bandwidth.  fine, nothing wrong here.

A much fairer way to compensate for more data being pulled through the ISPs, in my opinion at least, would be to raise the prices overall.  a metered internet is a way for them to make more money than they already are, and they aren't exactly struggling.  People ARE using more data, yes, but it is not making them lose money.  In fact, Bell Aliant, a large company here in Atlantic Candada, made 8.4% MORE in 2010 than in 2009.  this is without a metered system, or even raising prices.  Even though more data is being used, Bell made more money in it's internet branch than it did the previous year. 

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
One of the theories of why companies (Large ones like Rogers and Bell) are trying to run for a metered internet is that they make most of their money through TV.  And, with more and more people switching to the internet for their TV watching goodness, so some people believe that companies are trying to make you pay more for internet so that you will watch more TV on, well, TV but there is no proof, that I know of, to back this up



Offline Jude

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2011, 05:59:29 PM »
The cost of bandwidth isn't just maintaining the lines (which is quite expensive in and of itself both physically and logistically), the initial infrastructure investments (building new cell towers, laying fiber, changing existing copper infrastructure) and operating costs come into play too (electricity isn't free).  One of the reasons they're looking to curb individual user's bandwidth usage is because if it continues to rise as it has, they're going to have to make more investments to support the same number of users and thus incur more operating and capital costs.  Thus if the amount they're charging remains constant, their profitability will decline.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 06:02:54 PM by Jude »

Offline Sure

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2011, 07:51:11 PM »
Yet they're already charging enough to make a profit even with those investments. ::)

By the way, Trieste, not everyone agrees with your assertion that the internet isn't a right. This includes France, Finland, Greece, Estonia, and quite possibly the U.N. soon enough.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2011, 07:58:55 PM »
I'm more pissed that they are still aloud to advertise their plans as "Unlimited" then that they are about the charging of bandwidth.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2011, 08:03:03 PM »
Yet they're already charging enough to make a profit even with those investments. ::)

By the way, Trieste, not everyone agrees with your assertion that the internet isn't a right. This includes France, Finland, Greece, Estonia, and quite possibly the U.N. soon enough.

Not to mention the fact that American companies habitually UNDER invest in their infrastructure compared to other countries. It's bad enough that the US, which developed a LOT of the underlying technology that that the internet is built on, isn't among the fastest and most stable countries when it comes to the internet. Reinvestment isn't a big priority with the US providers, and lets be honest if they could gouge more they won't put that into reinvestment and infrastructure they are going to put it into their COEs wallets.

Too many folks in the US corporate culture follow the creedo of Gordon Gecko. ie: 'Greed is good'.

In the past phone companies tried to justify a higher rate for phones that were attached to modems and this is more of the same. They, the companies, know that business and personal internet use will only grow. The more they can bill, the more they will make no matter what.

If they can bill more for the same service, they will. And they want to.

Just like all the foolishness with the US cell providers. Sigh, I had a lot of hopes for  Open headset alliance but it looks like that got bulldozed out of the way for the cell providers business as usual practices.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2011, 08:05:53 PM »
On the one hand, I'd be pretty annoyed if I typed in Google and my ISP redirected me to Yahoo.

On the other hand, if they get kickbacks and payments, does that mean I pay less?

Not if they have a monopoly in your area.

Most of them are already reporting obscene profits for the substandard (compared to the rest of the developed world) service that they provide.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Metered internet?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2011, 08:31:02 PM »
Not if they have a monopoly in your area.

Most of them are already reporting obscene profits for the substandard (compared to the rest of the developed world) service that they provide.

Yeah... and making excuses when their infrastructure fails. I'm waiting on a major failure that kills net connection in a wide area for a protracted period. I know that a lot of the ISPs I have dealt with in the US when compared to the ones I dealt with in Sicily and Rota sucked wind on many many levels, not to mention how much better my connects overseas were to what I have had in the US since.

And I paid less (even after converting from the Euro) and the folks I know in the service in Japan and Korea say that they got even BETTER service.