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Old 14th June 2008, 09:13 PM   #1
Beckett
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Default Charging by the byte to curb internet traffic

Some U.S. internet service providers are threatening to place limits on the online activity of their most active subscribers and start charging by the bytes downloaded.

On one hand I see their point (that people who are heavy users should pay more than people who are hardly ever online) but on the other hand I have such deep disdain for the cable companies like Comcast that I don't want to pay them a single penny more than what they're currently charging for their (unreliable, inept) service.

http://tinyurl.com/46djzo

I have a cap on my Vodafone internet service in Spain and it's a drag every month, near the end of the month when I'm about to hit my limit.

What do you guys think about tiered pricing for internet service?
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Old 14th June 2008, 09:26 PM   #2
omeyas
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Originally Posted by Beckett View Post

I have a cap on my Vodafone internet service in Spain and it's a drag every month, near the end of the month when I'm about to hit my limit.

What do you guys think about tiered pricing for internet service?
I know how you feel! However, ISP's are desperate here to keep customers, it's now a simple matter of asking for your MAC number, and go to a new ISP. So with that in mind, I asked my ISP for my MAC number, and as expected, they came back and offered me a deal. 2 free months, a new router, uncapped, if I sign for 12 months. About £70 worth of freebies. But I told them, no way would I commit to 12 months, I would only consider my current one month rolling contract, and as I already use wifi, a router was of no interest to met. I told them all I wanted was completely uncapped service, and a monthly contract. "We don't do that, but OK, we'll do that for you" So that's my deal, up to 8mb speed, uncapped, for £13.99 a month.
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Old 14th June 2008, 10:15 PM   #3
deecree
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As a heavy user I can often leach a little more value for money from an internet subscription than I pay for, so if I were to give my selfish opinion I'd probably be against it.

But, practically speaking, there's not much to disagree with. ISPs who lease you your line and funnel your traffic are paying by the byte unless they own the infrastructure, and even then in business terms, they are paying by the byte. (Giving you 10gb is 10gb they can not use, can not sell, and have to pay costs on)

I'd support two methods of payment if they were fairly priced, I think both of them are equally valid.
1) Pay per byte - You only pay for what you use. 90% of "ordinary people" would probably make a small saving. Heavy users have to pay for what they use, just as you have to pay for electricity if you buy 10 TVs and turn them all on at the same time and leave them on all week.
2) Truly unmetred - You pay a fixed monthly fee, probably higher than the one you pay now, and it return there are no download limits, no slowdowns and peak times and no poor service.

The current problem with ISPs is they are over competing and in order to survive have to lie about quality of service, bandwidth limits etc, and impose stupid terms and conditions. In the end most people pay what is in reality a fairly small monthly fee for their internet and have to put up with crap service.
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Old 15th June 2008, 07:52 AM   #4
greytop
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The downside to it all is we often end up using bandwidth to download the endless stream of "updates" forced on us by develop-as-you-go software suppliers. Even with Linux I'm still getting updated modules every few days, admittedly usually less bytes than the Windows ones.
I can see that if I listen to BBC world service 12 hours a day I should pay more than you if you don't. Is there some way they can charge by type of service required? Streaming video would cost a lot, audio/voice telephony less, and file transfer a nominal sum.
It's a little bit like the electricity companies who've been encouraging us to buy all the latest gadgets and are now screaming about the monetary and environmental costs of supplying us with electricity. They had the wrong business plans and we get the blame and the higher bills.
At least we can feel less guilty in Spain than most places as they charge more for ADSL than most of Europe
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Old 15th June 2008, 08:45 AM   #5
omeyas
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Originally Posted by greytop View Post
At least we can feel less guilty in Spain than most places as they charge more for ADSL than most of Europe
I feel soooo guilty having such cheap ADSL!
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Old 15th June 2008, 10:24 AM   #6
gary
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This is all about the telephone companies realising that their revenue stream will be cut off if we get truly unlimited bandwidth. The systems they use are capable of recognising what kind of traffic is passing through and charging appropriately. It aint about downloads its about everyone having a version of something like skype and not using the phones any more...
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Old 15th June 2008, 10:43 AM   #7
Elvis
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I pay 32€ per month for unlimited, wireless ADSL to a small Spanish company.
A neighbour (600 metres away) pays 42€ for the same deal from an English run company because he doesn't speak Spanish.

As competition hots up, prices will drop even more.
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Old 15th June 2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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you will probably find that unlimited doesnt ever actually mean unlimited - there is usually a 'fair useage' clause that lets them shut you down if you are swallowing all the bandwidth... Of course normal websurfing wont go anywhere near this limit
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Old 15th June 2008, 11:32 AM   #9
Elvis
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I don't think so Gary, a Spanish friend is using the same ISP and he downloads films, leaving his PC running all night and so far he hasn't mentioned being shut down.

There is no mention of download limit in the contract, not even in the small print.
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