Saturday, June 14, 2008

What Happens with Metering

Netflix, iTunes, AppleTV, and other VOD companies were betting on unmetered bandwidth. But now "Bend Broadband, Comcast, Time Warner Cable — they’re all considering or going the route of the tiered (aka metered) broadband. Now add AT&T to that list, according to a report in CED magazine." [GigaOm] This plan is a response to propping up the TV revenues for years to come. However, metered bandwidth throws a monkey wrench into a ton of other things, like Web 2.0 apps, online banking, online shopping, video conferencing, and VOIP.

Yep. I said it. This will drive down Internet usage. As gas prices went up, Internet usage was important. Tele-working now can get real expensive. (AFAIK business broadband is not metered yet, just residential broadband).

Spam will become a bigger issue as it will now cost real dollars to the consumer. Just when companies were seeing some positive effect from email marketing, it will get more difficult, because now people really will have to choose to read your email / newsletter / message --- and better be good! Every moved to an e-bill, now might want to move back -- every bit counts! VOIP is now more than the $25 per month or $200 per year.

I have a real problem with this, because one day's email including the ton o'spam I get is over 40MB with attachments (efax, videos, documents, power-freaking-points, etc).

What gets me is that (A) it will hurt the economy and innovation (argue all you want but it will) and (B) cell companies have stopped metering, so have residential LD plans, so WTF?

My big problem is that I don't have digital cable or FiOS, I have DISH. I pay about $60 for the plain vanilla RoadRunner. And I am a heavy user. But for $60, I should be able to use it unmetered. That's a 6MB pipe from Cogent! But because I do not buy digital cable, I am not a desirable customer. The MSO's have approximately $100B in debt from DOCSIS 2.0 and need to upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0 or fiber to keep up with FiOS and U-Verse, but that will cost about another $80B. (No one has any idea how much VZ and AT&T have paid to upgrade FTTx and the cellular networks through 2G, 2.5G, 3G and now coming up 4G. Probably more than $100B.) Everyone has to recoup that money and can't do it with triple-play at $100.

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