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TimG

@comcast.net

"Net Neutrality" is a codeword for "make others p

The reaction to what the wireless carriers are doing is very uninformed. The religion of "network neutrality" is all about forcing the vast majority of us to pay for high bandwidth usage of a few companies and individuals - this drives up wireless internet pricing for all of us. This is NOT about changing the service we have now - those who want the existing options can keep them. This IS about making it possible to create service plans that are much less expensive for people who need basic connection to the internet and don't need to suck down a huge amount of bandwidth for video and pictures. The way things work right now, only 25% of the US population, and much smaller percentages in places like India, can afford wireless internet service for their cell phone. The reason is that carriers don't have a way to make specialized service plans for less expensive services. If they did, they could offer inexpensive services like basic search and browsing, location services, driving directions, all you can eat text, all you can eat email body (the words but not downlaods) with the option to pay a little extra when you need a download on your phone - all at a price everyone who has a phone can afford. The carriers could also charge facebook and netflix to get them to pay for the bandwidth they are using instead of forcing the rest of us to pay for their business expenses to get to the releatively small percentage of users who consume the vast majority of the data services for these companies - while the companies freeload. The problem with a "once size fits all" plan is that the 95% of us who use about 500 mega bytes per month end up paying $30 to $40 per month rather than a smaller amount because there are less than 5% of people who hog bandwidth by doing things like connecting their computer or even entire home network through their cell phone, camping on facebook or downloading DVD quality or even HD quality movies. Bandwidth costs the carriers money - about $0.04 per megabyte on 3G and half that or so for 4G AFTER the 4G $20 billion cost is paid for the spectrum and equipment. So, on 3G it costs a carrier about $40 if you download a standard definition movie on your smart phone during peak hours and about $200 if you download an HD movie. The way things work now, you and I pay for the people who do this by paying more every month for our service so that the users who are doing it and netflix get a free ride. My vote is to let people who want to do this kind of thing pay for it and the vast majority of the rest of us who use our smart phones for internet search, light internet browsing, text, email body, driving directions, location services etc. can get these services for less money - and people who can't afford internet now will become connected. Of course the other option is to let the government dictate terms on how the carriers charge for wireless internet service - then we can all pay a big extra price for our wireless service so that netflix's and facebook don't have to pay for the bandwidth their business models consume and so that the small percentage of us who watch movie downloads on cell phones can keep doing this without really paying for what it actually costs. Then we can get the government to make the utility companies give us "net neutral" power and "net neutral" cable TV - so we can all pay extra for those carrier services too. My vote is let the carriers offer more service options for those of us who want to stop paying for bandwidth hogging companies and individuals.