said by bent:
Stating an unpopular opinion isn't trolling, it's opening up discussion.
The vast majority of internet users aren't anywhere near 50 or 60 gigs a month, much less the 100 gigs in a month that might
get you in dutch with your ISP currently. Maybe those that are in those upper reaches of data consumption should pay a premium?
The idea itself, "pay for what you use" is not a bad idea. But then I don't want to pay $50 for my broadband connection either, I want to pay a $10 flat fee, just as you would pay a flat baseline fee to your electricity provider that is about the same amount, and then pay for usage on top of that.
I don't mind paying $10 for broadband, maybe have 2 Gb of free data included to prevent complaints about spam and un-authorized traffic you didn't ask for, and then pay $1 per Gb. If I download 15 Gb, my bill will be $25, and if I go crazy one month, it may be $100.
I don't mind that. But don't go adding charges to my already expensive broadband. If you offer "unlimited", don't complain if I have a 1 Mbps video stream running most of the day because the cable company don't offer that particular channel on the TV lineup. :P
Having said that, the amount of traffic is ever-increasing. It's not the torrents or p2p that ISP's now are complaining about, it is the bandwidth from online video sites. In Great Brittain the BBC launched its online TV service last year (only for Brittons on a Brittish IP address due to broadcast rights) and it is so hugely succesfull it has ISP's complaining about users actually using it.
Here in the US, more and more channels are putting their TV shows online after they have aired (with built in commercials) and quite frankly, if I forgot to record a show and they have it available, I use those kind of services.
VOIP is becoming increasingly more popular, especially for long distance calls. There are actually people that I know of that have a Vonage line just to chat with their parents on the other side of the country.
iTunes is increasingly popular, just like other legal MP3 websites. Youtube is bookmarked on pretty much every teen's computer and used extensively. My 14 year old niece has answered "I am youtubing" on my question what she was doing on the internet.
If you have a family of four, mom, dad and two teenage kids, chances are you will actually hit 50 Gb of traffic a month just using the internet. My Windows Update just downloaded about 500 megs of updates because of Vista SP1. Two months back it was 300 megs because of Office 2007 SP1. Imagine having 4 or 5 PC's in your house running different versions of Windows and Office or MacOS, all needing updates..... just updating your PC's, including the virus definitions 3 times a week or so, can add up to 2 Gb a month alone.
And it's going to get more and more. Steam sells you games online with 4 Gb downloads. World of Warcraft gives you 800 meg updates and sells the 2 Gb expansion online. Netflix just launched its download service, for a fixed price a month you can download movies that you can burn to DVD yourself, which I can only imagine are at least 1 Gb or so downloads (compressed) per movie, if not more.
If you are a techie like me, you sometimes like to try new Linux distros. 600 megs for the basic CD's, but 4 Gb for the DVD version. I have downloaded as much as 4 different distros on DVD in 1 week.
We are not living in the age of "e-mail and browse the web" anymore. You could get by with 10 Gb.... about 10 years ago. Now, it is not uncommon to have to add a 0 to it if you have an active, online family.
ISP's need to increase their bandwidth, because people are continuing to be hungry for it. Punishing them will only hold technology back.
Who's gonna pay for it? Well, I know for a FACT that bandwidth on the high-end scale is getting cheaper. DS3's are selling for $3k now, about 5 years ago you would have to shell out at least $7k for a DS3.--
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" -
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father.