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AT&T Claims Content Companies WANT a Troll Toll
They Also Want Giant Boot in Face, Shingles, Poison Ivy
by Karl Bode 02:41PM Monday Jun 04 2012
Back in February we noted that AT&T, the company that really started the network neutrality debate to begin with, had come up with yet another awful new idea: charging app makers a fee if they wanted to reach consumers without hitting their usage caps. While AT&T presented the idea as akin to a 1-800 number for data or "free shipping," what it actually is a troll toll imposed by AT&T allowing them to rake in new cash -- and impose their power on a content ecosystem that operates better with AT&T out of the way.

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To further sell his new troll toll, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told attendees of a recent investor conference that content developers are actually asking to pay AT&T a completely arbitrary and unnecessary fee:
quote:
Stephenson noted that customers are beginning to understand tiered data pricing, which may cause them to avoid data-heavy types of over-the-top content services. And since content providers are trying to monetize their content over mobile, he said he can envision a model where content providers are willing to pay to bring customers to their content. "I think you'd be stunned if we weren't getting those phone calls. We are getting those phone calls," he said. "The content guys are asking for it."
Stephenson fails to specify which content companies are begging to throw their money in the toilet. If any companies are on board, it's likely because, like Netflix was early on, they're completely oblivious about the potential for anti-competitive abuse inherent in usage caps and overages. That kind of stupidity is dangerous, given than once some content companies sign up for such a plan, AT&T hopes others will be forced to join in just to keep pace.

In reality, AT&T's layering their network with completely arbitrary usage caps and overages untied for network or financial realities, and now wants to charge content companies a completely unnecessary toll to bypass them. The result is content development costs that get passed on to consumers, with AT&T picking application winners and losers based on who ponies up the most cash.

Despite the layers of nonsense added on to the discussion over the years, the network neutrality debate has always been about stopping companies like AT&T from imposing completely unnecessary fees on top of already expensive connectivity charges. AT&T wants somebody else to pay for their own network upgrades, and any content companies or consumers who think this idea ends well for anybody (other than AT&T) clearly doesn't know how AT&T operates.

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en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Double dipping ?

What is to stop AT&T from increasing prices (or just lowering the amount of data without someone else paying a Toll) ?

Current: ==> Customer pays for x amount of unrestricted data

Future: ==> Customer pays for x amount of unrestricted data, site/app vendor pays for extra data for their app.

Further in the future: ==> Customer pays for x amount of restricted data, vendor pays for extra data for their app.

Even further ==> Customer pays for vendor data, vendor pays for vendor data, unrestricted data becomes very expensive.
phazah

join:2004-05-02
Findlay, OH

att the extortionist

wow... nice scam there ATT...
first it will be "pay this and no cap"
then it will be "pay this or slower speeds with a higher cap"
then it will be "pay this or extreme slower speeds with a low cap"....

once you give into the extortionist, they keep coming back

GlennAllen
Sunny with highs in the 80s
Premium
join:2002-11-17
Richmond, VA

Well, yeah...

that's for all of the customers who get their service from at&t for free.

(A CEO lying to investors? That's new, huh.)

Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN

Sure it may be great now

We all know that AT&T would never increase the rate that they charge, because the resource, bandwidth, becomes less expensive. They would give that money back to these wonderful companies. If you believe that fairy tale just send all of your cash to me.

Hopefully these companies see how AT&T treats their customers, see cash cow. Even if the rate they charge is low and reasonable now, once they start charging the sky is the limit. Want to stop paying? We'll just stop delivering your content.

This is just bad for everyone, except AT&T.
--
When will the people realize that with DRM they aren't purchasing anything?

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

But I thought they were bandwidth restreained?

That's the supposed reason for caps and high overages. But if everyone pays the toll to not count against the cap the cap is basically non existent thus wouldn't that cause congestion because they are so low on bandwidth? At&t I call BULLSHIT on you.
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: But I thought they were bandwidth restreained?

I'm sure that AT&T will say... the extra revenue will pay for capacity build out.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: But I thought they were bandwidth restreained?

said by en103:

I'm sure that AT&T will say... the extra revenue will pay for capacity build out.

yes because they'll be able to INSTANTLY convert that cash into infrastructure.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: But I thought they were bandwidth restreained?

said by 88615298:

said by en103:

I'm sure that AT&T will say... the extra revenue will pay for capacity build out.

yes because they'll be able to INSTANTLY convert that cash into infrastructure.

Naw instead it will be instantly converted into Lobby dollars or SuperPAC funding.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX

Re: But I thought they were bandwidth restreained?

said by Kearnstd:

said by 88615298:

said by en103:

I'm sure that AT&T will say... the extra revenue will pay for capacity build out.

yes because they'll be able to INSTANTLY convert that cash into infrastructure.

Naw instead it will be instantly converted into Lobby dollars or SuperPAC funding.

which just screws the customer more and more

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Growth for stock gains

If they implement this they will anger consumer groups and lawmakers to push the FCC to regulate broadband access which will cost them, then us, more.

Its like children pushing to see what they can get away with.
The FCC is weak, all they get is a small fine and told not to do that again. Gots to keep those lawyers on the payroll busy I spose.
--
Let them eat FIBER!
millerja01a

join:2005-10-03
Durham, NC

If I were a content company, what's my SLA?

If AT&T is saying content provider apps can get preferred treatment like '800' numbers, then what are the SLA's to the content provider?

How do they know that the preferred access their app is getting is for real?

Such a Scam...can't wait for my contract to end.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: If I were a content company, what's my SLA?

said by millerja01a:

If AT&T is saying content provider apps can get preferred treatment like '800' numbers, then what are the SLA's to the content provider?

How do they know that the preferred access their app is getting is for real?

And that is why corporations pay ungodly amounts of money for their lawyers. So it is all spelled out in the contract. Even a rookie incompetent lawyer would know to make sure verification of service levels is measurable and that penalties apply for non-compliance.
etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1

Just one thing

»www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl···3dTOJi0o

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

And what in god's name is a troll toll?

Sure AT&T wants to have content providers pay part of the cost - and I can see the toll part of that. So where does the troll part come in? It seems like a catchy phrase with absolutely no meaning or relationship to the word troll.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Re: And what in god's name is a troll toll?

said by FFH:

Sure AT&T wants to have content providers pay part of the cost...

They already do as they pay to be on a part of the internet that makes available the content that ISP, like AT&T, are paid by consumers, like me, to get.

Do you think I pay AT&T every month for internet access so I can only access their email and their flavor of the day of news portals? If it was not for the Netflix, DSLReports and many other sites I would have no need or desire to pay AT&T for network access.

I will take it a step further and say I only pay this DUMBPIPE of an ISP anything at all so that I can get an IP address so that I may get the actual services of actual service providers. Beyond that there is not a single need for them.

Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09
Come on TK, didn't you every read fairy tales?
faberoptic6

join:2001-05-13
San Antonio, TX
The Nightman Cometh!
Core0000
Premium
join:2008-05-04
Somerset, KY
Reviews:
·Time Warner VOIP

AT&T makes me sick

I'm libertarian.. and for the free markets and capitalism.. But AT&T, how do I put this eloquently? IS a bastard company from all I've read . Their like the people who come along and abuse the system..(or you know those people who crap on the the toilet?) and unfortunately its not like we have a huge choice in last mile carriers.. So its not like you can just go tell them to piss off and vote with your wallet.

*sighs* Glad I don't have to deal with em.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Works for me

This is no different than calling-party-pays for cellphones.

Better to have Netflix, Amazon, and other massive bandwidth producers negotiate away the caps than have the consumer worry about it.

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY

Re: Works for me

said by elray:

This is no different than calling-party-pays for cellphones.

There is one major reason why it is NOT like calling-party-pays which is that CPP means that the person placing the call is paying for the right to call me (while I only pay for the right to make calls and to have the ability to be called). With the Internet it is the user who is placing the call/request and paying for the bandwidth to receive the data from the content provider. The content provider is paying for the bandwidth to provide the content when requested. AT&T is trying to double dip by charging me for my request (ie: Bandwidth) while at the same time charging the content provider for servicing my request.

skj91

join:2007-10-19
West Sacramento, CA

Re: Works for me

Which is what they do for pay-per-use text messages... They charge for both incoming AND outgoing text messages. That means both parties at either end of the line are charged for the same one text message.

GRRRR! They make me irate!

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY

Re: Works for me

said by skj91:

Which is what they do for pay-per-use text messages... They charge for both incoming AND outgoing text messages. That means both parties at either end of the line are charged for the same one text message.

GRRRR! They make me irate!

Paying for incoming as well as outgoing text messages is a US phenomenon. In Europe (and I think the rest of the world) you do not pay to receive a text message - only to send one. In addition the actual transmission cost of text messages is $0.00 (the transmission and reception is handled at no cost since they are in the normal handshake between the phone and the tower and the handshake is the same size with or without a message).

skj91

join:2007-10-19
West Sacramento, CA

Re: Works for me

Right, which just proves how much of a scam it is for them to do so. At&t is such a rip-off, if I had ANY other choice for my so-called High Speed Internet service I would gladly take that option and drop them for both it and wireless.