From the time internet service providers began offering internet access until about 1997 the local exchange carriers loved the ISP's. All that new revenue coming in made the commissioned employees, from account executives to the CEO's drool.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end. In this case the traffic generated by all of the dial up customers on line at the same time caused network blockage. As a result of the increased traffic the telephone companies would be unable to maintain the service objectives set forth by the state public service commissions. They would be forced to upgrade their switched networks if traffic continued to increase. Who was going to pay for the upgrades?
The Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers had the answer. Convert all of the ISP's modem access lines from flat rate service to measured rate service. That way the ISP's would have to raise prices and make internet access financially prohibitive by forcing consumers, to pay through the nose.
The lobbyists for the telephone companies and the FCC got into a brawl. Fortunately for consumers the telephone companies lost the battle otherwise the internet would have died on the vine.
Why did the LEC's loose the battle. It was simple. Telephone Companies had always under designed their networks assuming that each residential subscriber would be on the line no more than 250 Seconds per Hour. (2.5 CCS per hour.) When dial up internet subscribers began staying on line 1,800 Seconds an hour the switched network took a crap. Fortunately the government took the position that the ISP's should not be held responsible because the Local Exchange Carriers had under designed their networks, The FCC required the LEC's to fix the problem by upgrading their networks at their expense.
It appears that Mr. Ed is taking the same position the Local Exchange Carriers CEO's took in 1997 when it comes to upgrading AT&T's broadband networks to meet increased traffic. Make content providers and customers pay more so the AT&T's does not have to pay for upgrading their networks. It is time to take the feed bag away from Mr. Ed.