For 4 summers, I worked for AT&T before the break up. The first summer I was a clerk in a telephone office that serviced a government agency. One day the manager came in and said the telephone world was going to change. AT&T was pushing for a break up of itself to allow it to get into the long distance game. In short, AT&T got what they thought they wanted.
When I first got an Internet connection, I had dial-up. I got a second line so I wouldn't miss calls while I was on-line. Then, Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), wanted to charge me a business rate for the second line because I told them the line was for the Internet. The person I argued with told me they really want the ability to charge by the minute because the telephone network was designed to handle calls that lasted, on average, for about 10 minutes.
Later, before cable Internet was available, I looked into getting an ISDN line. I decided not to do it because they charged by the amount of data transferred and, at the time, my consulting business was new I and wasn't sure if I could recoup the cost. But I remembered the discussion with the telephone person saying they wanted to charge Internet use by the minute.
Now, comes this and I think it is inevitable. Home users being charged by the amount of data transferred is going to happen:
Time Warner Cable Will Do Trial on Setting High-Speed Internet Charges
Based on Usage
NEW YORK (AP) -- Time Warner Cable will experiment with a new pricing structure for high-speed Internet access later this year, charging customers based on how much data they download, a company spokesman said Wednesday.
The company, the second-largest cable provider in the United States, will start a trial in Beaumont, Texas, in which it will sell new Internet customers tiered levels of service based on how much data they download per month, rather than the usual fixed-price packages with unlimited downloads.
Company spokesman Alex Dudley said the trial was aimed at improving the network performance by making it more costly for heavy users of large downloads. Dudley said that a small group of super-heavy users of downloads, around 5 percent of the customer base, can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity.
Here it comes but the cable company is going to be the first to really try it. When it sticks, watch Internet innovation come to a crawl.