Fort Smith, AR
The circle of monopolies
We've come full circle.
Back in the beginning of the internet, all internet access was metered. Earthlink, Compuserve, AOL and other ISPs were all on a per minute metered scheme. When the cablecos and telcos got involved in it, they initiated the flat rate per month plans and the old per-minute ISPs roared that it was unfair and would put them out of business. It was the cable/telcos who argued that unlimited access was necessary to promote innovation and boost penetration among the less affluent to justify their unlimited access business models.
Now that the cable/telcos have pushed most 3rd party ISPs out of business both with reduced prices and regulation lobbying, they want to reclaim the immensely profitable metered billing plans that made those early ISPs hugely profitable mega corporations. And with the much greater penetration of the Internet and Internet based services today, the turn to a metered system would make those old ISPs look like small potatoes businesses.
At least, until regulators get enough pressure from other parties who would begin to suffer with metered billing plans such as online retailers, advertisers, and pretty much anyone who makes money by presenting people with bandwidth heavy things used to entice people to buy things. When companies like Amazon start losing money to B&M stores because people can't afford to browse though thousands of items online because it eats too much of their e-mail bandwidth and instead go to local stores, regulators will be pressured by those companies to open the Internet up to 3rd party ISPs offering lower priced access who will do to the Cable/Telcos what they did to the old 3rd party ISPs and thus begin the whole circle all over again. But by then, the current regulators, investors and executives will have reaped the benefits and it'll only be the consumers who suffer, and who cares about them?