Frontier DSL Stands By Its Caps... Even As It Decreases Broadband Speeds

from the that's-called-not-investing dept

Frontier Communications last year was a big supporter of capping broadband usage at 5gigs (both up and down). The company is still hyping this up, claiming "It is important that customers that use less don't subsidize those that use the most." That sounds nice, and we'll be hearing that a lot from various broadband providers over the next few months and years -- but there's no proof that it's true. For example, no one seems to be offering cheaper plans for those customers who use "less." So if they were subsidizing the high end users before... what's happening to that money now? It certainly doesn't appear to be going into infrastructure improvements. As Broadband Reports points out, many Frontier customers have recently had their broadband speeds decreased from 6Mbps to 3Mbps.

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  1. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 19 Feb 2009 @ 12:05am

    There Are Cheaper Prices For Grandma

    Mike,

    You are not really correct when you say "For example, no one seems to be offering cheaper plans for those customers who use "less."

    Many carriers DO. There are "introductory" and low-speed DSL plans for about $20, which is much cheaper than the average price. This is the case in the US, and all over the world.

    The main difference is that ISPs typically differentiated those cheaper connections by speed, not by capacity. However, capacity is a much better, more fair way to define a "low end" connection. Also, it's better for the low end consumer, because they get access to the high speeds (even if only up to the cap.)

    I think that you're fundamentally wrong here. When DSL hit the US in about 1997, it was targeting high-end customers, with most users still on dial-up. For the first 4 years or so, that continued. Then in 2002, the ISPs really started trying to grow their customer bases by attracting people who demonstrated less demand, and would switch to DSL if it cost less. They have been demonstrably offering cheaper and cheaper products since that time, but trying to limit them in some way (speed) so as not to cannibalize the high-demand users like myself.

    Yeah, and Frontier's proposed caps of 5GB are terribly low, and their customers should help them realize this.

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