ATT says that Metering is Inevitable. Funny. I don't see metering in much of the rest of the world. Take Africa for instance. It costs HUGE bucks to get a T1 there, according to the ISP's I have met at ISPCON. But they don't meter.
You know why we meter in the US? Greed and Weak Government. The cablecos will meter because they can't afford to lose the TV revenue. $100B in combined debt for the DOCSIS 2.0 upgrade needs to be paid off before CableCo can upgarde to DOCSIS 3.0. At a time, when there is heavy competition for the consumer space from RBOC and DBS and the Internet. Triple-play bundling and promotions mean that overall revenue is down. Profits as well. Cable stock is at a new low.
Telcos will meter because, hey, it's how we do things at Telco World. In Telco World (similar to Bizarro World), Unlimited is limited. Regulation is Deregulation. Competition is Monopoly. The FCC is your friend. Once we all just swallow this Kool-Aid, we'll all feel better.
Also, DSL is flattening for RBOCs. (see here and there). With Naked DSL rising and Unlimited Cell plans, revenues are down and will likely stay down for a while. But RBOCs have to pay for fiber build plus cellco 4G build while also paying off the massive debt that telcos have.
In the meantime, independent ISP's have chance to steal market share, if they actually run a marketing campaign - and if they can manage the network to give what they sell.