If Per Byte Pricing Is 'Only Fair' Why Have Telcos Ditched It For Mobile Data Plans?

from the hypocrisy-in-action dept

For the past couple of years, telcos and cable companies have been pushing for metered broadband, usually with the bogus claim that "it's not fair" for a light user to be subsidizing a heavy user. This is a neat little disingenuous trick that implies "light users" would see their bills decrease under metered billing plans. However, the same telcos pushing for metered broadband on connections are the same telcos who have wireless operators as well... and for mobile users, they're doing away with the metered billing option at the lower end, forcing everyone into a much higher priced all-you-can-eat model. Oops. Metered billing has nothing to do with fairness. It's an attempt by telcos to squeeze more money out of customers in a market where they often have little in the way of competitive options. Because, as we've seen, when there's real competition, it's a lot more difficult for providers to offer such plans.

Filed Under: metered billing, metered broadband, telcos


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  1. identicon
    hegemon13, 22 Oct 2009 @ 8:39am

    "Light" plans

    If the telcos want to start offering lower-priced "light" plans with usage caps, more power to them. My grandparents would benefit from something like that.

    Unfortunately, they're not. Instead, "light" users will pay the same, while charges for heavy users will become absolutely ridiculous.

    In the end, though, doesn't bitrate really take care of this? Time Warner offers a 1MB plan in my area that is only about $25 a month. That's about the same as dialup. It's perfectly fast and convenient for e-mail, basic browsing, and the occasional YouTube video, but those heavy users watching hi-def streaming video and downloading content won't be happy with that speed. They are already paying more by paying for the additional bandwidth of a 7MB or 15MB connection. At least with TW, the light users already have an option not to subsidize the heavy users. So where is the supposed problem?

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