Is Tethering Stealing Bandwidth?
from the hell-no dept
If a bandwidth provider is selling you bandwidth at a particular rate, it's none of that provider's business what you then do with the bandwidth. Claiming that only certain devices can use it is silly. We had this back in the early days of WiFi when some ISPs insisted it was a terms of service violation to use WiFi or (in some cases) any router that allowed more than one computer to use the bandwidth. However, as more and more people just started doing it anyway, the ISPs all realized they were fighting a silly battle (and moved on to the next silly battle: "net neutrality.")
But, really, the ridiculous claim is Kendrick's insistence on calling people who do this "thieves," even though they're paying customers who are paying for the bandwidth they use. Vaughan-Nichols properly points out that, at worst, it's a terms of service violation that has absolutely nothing to do with "theft." He also points out that he's paying for the bandwidth:
I don't see why it matters if I use gigabytes of data on my phone or on my phone and laptop. At the end of the day, I still pay for it.Kendrick's response appears to be to just keep repeating that it's "theft of service," but can't back that up by explaining what's missing. That's because nothing is missing. It's not theft of service in any way, shape or form, and it does Kendrick a disservice to his usually excellent analysis to beat this particularly misguided drum.
To me a data service is lot like my water line. I pay for what I use. Now I can drink that water, use it on my phone; wash clothes with it, use it on my PC; or shower with it, use it on my iPod Touch. Whatever. When all is said and done, I've still paid for the water or service and I've not stolen anything.
No, the real problem here isn't users. It's the carriers who charge us extra for the 'privilege' of deciding how we're going to use the data/water we receive from them.