Comments on news posted 2012-02-27 12:02:08: In 2005 then-AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre told Business Week that because people use Google, Google should help pay for AT&T's network deployment (or as Ed put it, Google "ain't usin' his pipes for free"). ..
AT&T should just stop, no matter what way the try to do this, it's still double billing the content provider for bandwidth that the customer has already paid for, this will not save customers money at all, if say Netflix agrees to these AT&T charges so customers can use there service more, you will get billed for that, in the form of higher prices for Netflix per month, their is no where in the process were you can double bill content providers and not raise prices for consumers.
In AT&T's insatiable thirst for more profits and to screw everyone over at the same time, this is pure genius.
Remember when we discussed caps, and people said that, over time, as data consumption continued to increase and the cost of data to the wireless and wireline carriers decreased, caps should be adjusted upwards? Yeah, right! With this little gem of a scheme, AT&T will do no such thing. They'll simply tell content providers that, if they want their customers to be able to reach them with their ever-shrinking caps (if data use increases and caps remain the same, they'll effectively shrink in terms of their usefulness), then they'd better be prepared to pay the carriers. And, as time goes on and people feel the squeeze of the caps more and more, the pressure will increase on content providers to pay up.
Ain't it funny how these companies could somehow make boatloads of money off of Internet users for years with no caps, and now, suddenly, they just can't seem to break even without them?
EDIT: It just occurred to me that this is an even lousier deal than I'd previously thought. See, if we look at the current caps, then you as a customer would only pay overages if you exceed them. However, with this scheme, the content providers will pay that additional fee when you interact with them, whether you've reached your cap or not. And, as you can imagine, they're going to pass that cost back to you one way or another, so you're essentially paying for exceeding your cap even if you don't actually exceed your cap. Pretty slick on AT&T's part, don't you think?
there is a huge difference between paying for an extremely low bandwidth 3G connection for your customer and paying for data that flows to your customer, for which the customer has already paid for access.
I wonder what technical methods they can use for this
Would they have some kind of database at every router around the country, with a list of web addresses to exempt? Or would they be querying some central database for every network packet? It sounds expensive, especially if few websites pay for it.
This type of business model would potentially make it impossible for certain types of industries to endure with any real sustainability. In fact, it would be real easy for AT&T to set costs that are far too high for any competitive or innovative idea that might threaten their total control.
Apps like Sling Media player, Netflix, Skype, or anything else that AT&T does not want to compete with will simply be priced out of the equation.
What exactly am I getting for my 22GB metered data service with my wireless carrier? It's very expensive, and now these carriers are searching for a way to get me to pay twice for the same thing? Enough already!
Isn't this what Amazon already did with the Kindle?
Amazon did deals with 1st Sprint and then later AT&T to let the Kindle Reader(not the new Fire tablet which is WiFi only) download data and prepaid a fee to the carrier that Amazon ate on behalf of the customer. Amazon, of course, expected to sell things to their customers to cover their data transfer costs to the carriers.
I guess AT&T could plan on doing similar deals for other devices that use LIMITED amounts of predictable data as opposed to laptops and smartphones. Extending that kind of deal to SPECIFIC apps on a smartphone could work in some unusual instances. I would really have to read AT&T's thoughts about what kind of apps might fit in to that kind of thinking before deciding if it would work or not.
So far, I haven't found any other sources of Donovan's interview that aren't behind the WSJ paywall, to see if he elaborated on what types of apps he was thinking about. -- The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help. »www.politico.com/2012-election/
Re: I wonder what technical methods they can use for this
They'll probably adjust their routing so that data going to these content providers is routed differently and bypasses their meters. Participating content providers will probably get an AT&T-assigned IP address where data can be routed to and from, and that IP will be written into their apps.
It's mainly due to a lack of critical thinking skills. Many people seem to have lost the ability to think on more than one level at a time. That's why you see so many ads that scream "FREE*" when they're no such thing. Sure, that little asterisk is there, and, if you follow it to the bottom of the page, you find the fine print that shows you that the offer really isn't free, but that's there simply to provide legal cover. The advertisers know good and well that many folks will never read it, and even fewer will understand or heed it.
Once again, I would just like to thank Google for rolling over on their original net neutrality stance and caving on wireless nn. Odd how your compromise ended up basically becoming FCC policy. Thanks a million!!!
Before the "double your data" incentive, which was in place before the holidays last year, and it restarted again on February 10th of this year, the metered data plans allowed for 2GB@ $30, 5GB@ $50, and 10GB@ $80. Now they are offering to double the metered data limits for the same pricing; or 4GB@ $30, 10GB@ $50, and 20GB@ $80.
See "Toll free" Applications in the text, I'll wait.
The implications are that it needs to be implemented the same on all carriers. A nigh-impossibly tall order.
The most impressive part is that toll free apps would mean everyone's phone could conceivably use them -- a phone with no data plan, or maybe a prepaid data plan -- could use as many toll free apps as they wanted with no financial impact on their account since the app provider/publisher/whatever is footing the bill.
That means if you have a phone you aren't left out of the mobile internet, and you are a consumer on the mobile internet, enabling all sorts of crazy new commerce.
Unless of course the carriers remain deregulated to where they can continue to obliterate all market-creating and market-expanding innovations like this would be.
Its not so much that they need to be broken up, which I agree they do, but what really needs to happen is to take all of the cellular company's (ATT, VZW, Sprint, TMobile, etc...) and create a new company with regulated rates that control's the spectrum and towers turning the current company's into resellers. This would also eliminate the bullshit "spectrum crisis" that they are all whining about and possibly create more competition and lower prices when there is nothing to differentiate the different company's other then the phones they offer.
Lets face it, all of these cellular company's in the US have gotten out of hand with there bullshit and there really is no need for all these separate standards (CDMA vs GSM vs LTE) and frequency's when they can all be bundled into one GSM/LTE standard and spread out over a lot more spectrum shared with all of the resellers.
Who should pay for advertising using up your allotment!
I think that there are some situations where the website should pay. Particularly when they are using up users allotment sending advertising to their browser. Windows Update, Virus signatures and other security updates, should be applied without impacting users allotment or website.
There should be three classes of data. 1) No usage charged to website or subscriber for security, virus signature updates and patches including Windows Update. 2) User paid for accessing selected websites for traditional browsing. 3) Advertiser paid for sending advertisements to your browser whether requested or automatically downloaded.
After all, any solicitor wanting to make a sales pitch does not make collect calls or send advertisements postage due, why should internet advertisers, be any different. There is a law against sending junk faxes because the receiver has to incur the cost of ink and paper, why not the same rules for internet advertising. On the other hand if a user wants to download Open Office the usage for the download should be charged against my allotment.
As the article points out, this is just like the 800 numbers from years ago. Consumers demanded them because long distance (LD) was incredibly expensive. Because of technological advances, the FTC and regulation, today LD fees are a relic about which few concern themselves. Most of us pay for an unlimited plan that does not distinguish between 15 or 1500 miles.
The same will be true of data and that's why AT&T, Verizon and the rest are running scared. Technological advances will eventually provide plenty of data bandwidth and the need to constantly upgrade networks will fade. When that happens, data connectivity will end up as a low-margin commodity business. AT&T desperately seeks to write a future where OTT service providers funnel cash in their direction.
However, if there's competition, how will AT&T distinguish itself? If there's plenty of bandwidth and coverage, what will they provide that makes consumers choose them over Verizon, Sprint or other providers? The only thing left will be to remove the tolls paid by service providers. Won't service providers then wage immediate war on those networks it still has to pay? They'll immediately incent customers to move to "free networks" through lower prices. Defection will be massive until all carriers drop the fees.
In my opinion, as long as there's competition, isn't this just a flash in the pan on the road to getting us to the ultimate network destination?
Given the decades that AT&T held us hostage with horrible service and unbelievable phone bills, perhaps I shouldn't discount the power of a monopoly and it's ability to grease palms to maintain the status quo. I hope we're all smart enough to demand competition and network neutrality.
I'd rather pay for metered service than head down this hidden cost/fees road. At least then those doing the metering will have to justify what they charge. If the margins remain incredible and get better as the network costs less and less, that will make it very profitable for others to enter the market and compete. That means we should arrive in a future where data connectivity ends up a low margin, commodity business. Of course this is theoretical capitalism.
...and you think we have privacy problems now on smartphones. They are already intruding into privacy already and those based on free apps. Wait till they have to start paying for us to use those apps, they'll want to intrude into everything.