It seems to me that all the good arguments against sponsored data rely on the Domino Theory. That is, "Well, this is barely OK, but it's just one step away from being wrong. Therefore this is as good as wrong." But, much as I dislike sponsored data, I can't agree in Domino Theory criticisms. It's like thought crime, and you're the precog:
"it seems like only a matter of time before AT&T mutates the Sponsored Data idea into something notably more awful"
Now, you argue that, based on their history, AT&T can be expected to take the next step, and topple the next domino, entering into shady bad-guy territory. I agree with this. But...precog argument again...I don't believe in pre-crime policing.
"some consumers...weren't understanding the awful precedent AT&T was setting" - but precedent to crime isn't a crime.
I think freedom dictates that we let the stakeholders to the borderline shady plays. Now, it would be better if there were more competition, so we could vote with our wallets, but that's another problem on which we agree.
"[the sponsored model] model puts smaller companies and developers at a distinct disadvantage to their deeper-pocketed counterparts."
Perhaps. But what about a startup that has a service targeting a segment of consumers that just don't have data plans, or have tiny ones. Let's say I'm a startup with one service/app aimed at seniors, and another aimed at latino immigrants. I know my target market has particularly low subscription rates to mobile data. With sponsored data, I have the flexibility to create a biz model where I pay the freight, and can actually have a market to address. In this case, Sponsored Data enables the biz model.
The important thing is that the network is still neutral, meaning that the company that pays for Sponsored Data doesn't have their packets prioritized over a competitor that chooses a more conventional model. This is unrelated to whether the user pays the freight or the content company. I know, you don't trust AT&T not to prioritize in some sneaky way...and you may be right. But then your beef is against the prioritization, not the payment model.
I'm glad this idea is not taking off. I hope it flops. But I think it's a fair idea that opens up different biz models, and that's OK.
In short: For fair biz, each packet needs to be billed the same fair rate, somebody needs to pay, and Sponsored Data should get the same prioritization as regular data. So long as somebody pays, there is no preference, there are just different biz models.
You could still fly your DJI Phantom around DC. The device uses GPS to improve flight stability and navigation. But it can also be flown in manual modes if GPS satellites are not detected.
So...make a tinfoil hat for your Phantom, blocking the view of the sky, and the Quad will never know that it is in the DC no-fly zone, and will happily fly in manual mode, which simply takes more skill from the pilot.
As a DJI flyer, it seems to me the following two questions are very important:
1) Is DJI being very clear about the reduced functionality the update will bring PRIOR to customers accepting the update?
2) Is there an option to NOT take the update, and continue flying in Grandfathered mode for all eternity? This would preclude opt-outers from improvements, too, but the functionality they bought would still exist.
If this kind of update is done with YES answers to the two questions above, then it satisfies your requirements about retaining the functions of the products you own. Sadly, my guess is that the answer to 1, at least, will be no.
That problem was huge pre-2008, but has been largely addressed. Now, - most phones can vary their WiFi RF power, as they do with cellular. - better sleep cycles with mobile device use in mind are integrated, where early WiFi was designed for plugged in devices, then laptops. - in fact, the smartphone power issues having been solved, the WiFi Alliance has been more focused of late designing in the ability of WiFi to compete with Zigbee or Bluetooth in the IoT, where batteries might power embedded modules for years.
I've had one of their phones since pre-launch. Works pretty well. Android smartphone, choose your model, and the phone price is subsidized a bit. Then, $20/mo, unlimited voice, sms, data. (My understanding is that you might get a nastygram if you use too much cellular data.)
CrushU, I'm not sure if you're right about SMS on Republic. Google Voice and Hangouts, and iOS iMessage all do SMS on wifi in one way or another. But either way, SMS over wifi is probably not pursued, since the effort is fruitless due to the minimal data traffic impact of SMS.
Right. Metered service is very fair, and can correctly account for capital investment as well as operational expenses...except that you'd have to have time-of-use price changes to be totally fair and account for peak-load pricing - just as many electricity utilities now do.
And then, also, nobody wants the mental math of calculating the cost of each bit of data they transceive, as Nasch's comment illustrates.
So, another economically sound idea loses out because it is very much the opposite of simple.
Tiered service basically achieves a similar goal, but removes the detailed mental math. Choose a tranche that seems to fit you, and move up or down depending on your usage. BTW, rollover (as discussed in this article) really helps smooth out the individual user's demand from month to month, making Tiered service an even better solution for consumers.
"I'm sure they would, but caps don't have anything to do with that. It's not like the only two feasible options are caps vs an insanely complicated billing scheme."
No, those aren't the only two options. But caps help solve three of the goals: They offer simplicity, they get carriers the ability to upsell and get more profit, and they reduce aggregate demand, both per month and peak.
Sure, there are other options, but the proposal by JP was to charge people in ways more closely tied to reality. Well, reality is really @#$# complicated. Peak load pricing being just one, static element. For reality, we should also factor in the long-term capital expenditure rents, and allocate those to the correct customers.
So, what we're looking for as an ideal billing model is maybe not closely tied to reality, but will be a simplification of it. It would get "those who want data more" and "those who want more data" to pay more, would fund capital investment in network capacity, and would let light users join in for lower rates.
Tiered rates with caps do that.
Please offer better suggestions. You may well come up with one. But "I want unlimited because caps don't make sense." isn't better.
Tragically, in NYC two policemen were shot last month by a deranged lunatic. He saw the cruiser, moved up and assassinated both officers.
In committing the crime, he made use of his eyes and vision. These tools can be used to see police cars when they are stopped at roadsides and other locations, thus, the National Sheriffs Association is petitioning people to remove their eyes, which pose a marked risk to officer safety.
The data doesn't lie: Cases in which eyes have been used to harm officers: basically all Cases in which Waze has been used to harm officers: basically zero
Ha. Funny, and largely true. An example I often have used is that, while US celcos certainly competed pretty hard on the price for the "bucket of minutes" in the first decade of this century, and now compete on the price of a bucket of data, there has been almost NO competition on the price of international roaming for voice or data.
Basically, the industry has learned that when consumers shop for a phone, they can only juggle one or two factors on which to compare carriers. That removes any pressure to compete on other factors, which can still be used to gouge customers.
But as a point of order, to an economist, a competitive market is one in which the participants are "price takers" not "price makers".
If the sellers, as VZW is doing in this article, are able to choose their price at will for a commodity product, the market is not competitive.
It's not a technical reason, beyond what you described above. It's about simplicity, and psychological reasons.
1 - Psych - As you noted, if people are capped, they will make some conscious decisions about their use, and reduce it. They will reduce constantly streaming apps, total video downloads per month, etc. That helps reduce aggregate demand a lot. Though, as you said, peaks are still peaks. But then, they are lower peaks, yes?
2 - Simplicity - I'm sure every ISP would love to tell customers:
"You can have X GB of data between the hours of 1am and 6am, X GB between 6am and 3pm, X between 3pm and 10pm, and x between 10pm and 1am. For mobile use, you can have unlimited when in non-congested cell sectors, but are limited to a slower bandwidth when in congested cells. Premium customers will have access to priority data in congested cells, and economy customers will have their traffic shaped based on real-time congestion issues. Thank you, please sign up now."
But how many people do you think really want to get into the sausage making when they shop ISPs? Truth is, most people can't even comprehend the concepts in the paragraph above, even though it's based on what you have identified as the actual technical facts, and real-time supply and demand. Nope. People want it simple. That's what cell carriers and long-distance carriers learned when they ditched complicated rate plans with time-of-day complexities and regional local-toll fees. People gravitated to "one rate" and "no roaming" and "unlimited" plans, because they could understand them, and not be surprised at month's end.
Here, read this, and tell me if you think the average american wants their services priced using this logic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak-load_pricing The logic is sound, but 40% of Americans don't believe in evolution, so I've a feeling they're not down for this kind of complexity.
Perhaps in a more competitive market, with dozens of carriers, one would emerge as the geek-speak carrier with real-time demand-based data pricing. But the consumer market has indicated it wants certainty and clarity, not spot market pricing.
So, in conclusion, simple caps achieve an imperfect balance of two goals: - the carriers want you to use less data during peaks, and to extract as big profits as possible at all times - the majority of consumers want simplicity, a billing plan they can understand, and predictable & lower bills.
More competition in our market would most certainly lower the bills, but I wouldn't hold your breath for peak-load economics pricing, even if we increase competition.
I love this closure. It is about a learning moment for the TSA and the Philly Police, and a nominal payment for the victim.
Our country has too many multi-million dollar court-ordered payments. Like the xxAA cases, and hot coffee, and thousands more. If fines were equal to lost time + suffering x 2, our insurance rates would be better, and we would sue less, and we would seem fewer restrictions for fear of lawsuit, and greater freedom.
I wonder. Not living in LA, I can't say. But don't you suppose that, in the film industry and among its workers, there would be the common knowledge that:
"If you leak a film, the studio and the full weight of their legal team will come the fuck down on you like a ton of bricks."
My bet is that the DO let that out, they DO make that threat known among the industry, because it is true, and because it behooves them. The thing is, neither of us is in that microcosm, nor reads Variety mag on a regular basis.
There's no point in publicizing that industry insider threat to the wider public, since they don't handle pre-release studio copies.
I'm disappointed you got "insightful" for this. Seems you are entirely wrong.
What evidence or reason do you have to believe that the MPAA and studios aren't ALSO trying to reduce the number of leaks at the source?
Here are some readily observable things indicating they are: - security and gates at the studios - they send movies to theaters under fake names, and use fake names in production
Here are some things one could easily imagine they also do: - protect final edits of films with great care, making sure only specially authorized personnel have access - pursue leakers to the full extent of the law - keep final edit copies in locked rooms / locked down computers, encrypted - tag, watermark, and ID existing copies to be able to trace leaks
Now, I'm not pro-MPAA, but you can't just make shit up, like "why don't they prevent movies hitting the net" and "there's no investigation into who leaked the screeners".
Even the sloppy Sony Pictures had the movies password protected, and is seeking the source of its leaks!