Charging By The Byte–Consequences?

The three main Internet providers are thinking 0f a new way to increase fees for access: charging by the byte. Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T are saying that charging more will ensure access for everyone. The three giants agree that the way it stands now some people are using the web only for email and little else, while others use it to watch TV as in those who watch the many programs available on, and hog up the Internet. As the digital delivery of entertainment grows, along with such things as multi players video games and talk over video conference with family and friends, the bandwidths are soaked up. The three providers’ case goes on to say that in order to protect the Internet for everyone, curbing the traffic for some is needed. The industry maintains it is an old idea going back to the days of dial up.
It is of course to be expected that corporations with the clout of these three would be in a position to make a good case for themselves. They do have the resources to use the best marketing has to offer, to subtly and not so subtly sway people over to their side. It’s therefore up to us to think it through and see for ourselves how much weight their case carries.
The primary focus of these large corporations is profit. Their task is to increase revenue, and to make a case for extra revenue is a legitimate source of revenue enhancement. That is what corporations are supposed to do. But what about the consumers? What about us the users? The average person has a bill for cable, for phone–cell and\or land-line– for an Internet service provider, along with bills for other modern necessities. At a time when fuel costs are likely to stay high, when food prices are not likely to come down and when housing costs are an increasing percentage of one’s income, even thinking of adding to a consumer’s equivalent of fixed cost seems unfair. But more important, it may be unpractical. At some point there will be the drop that makes the bucket overflows, some increase, some cost, will hit critical mass, and increases will no longer be profitable. We’re seeing it with the number of defections on home loans driving home values down. As current trends continue, many consumers will more than likely find themselves in a position of having to choose between necessities. Profit (or is it its cousin, greed?) has a way of blinding people to reality. If, (or is it as) this happens to the three biggest providers, it’s only a matter of time before the cost of Internet access goes up.