10 April 2008

Metered residential bandwidth: wave of the future

Over at Gizmodo, they’ve got something to say about what they think might be a new trend in Internet service pricing.

Meanwhile, I’ve been paying for metered-over-cap bandwidth for quite a while — almost two years for which I can speak from personal experience. My ISP has had metering infrastructure in place far longer than that.

When I asked one of their engineers what the deal was, he pointed out a highly relevant fact: bandwidth usage tends to follow a Pareto curve. In layman’s terms, that means that everyday users wind up subsidizing the leeches — that’s no good.

However, I see something else at work, too: I get the itchy feeling that the ISP’s planning to meter their customers’ bandwidth usage offer video on a different service tier.

Could it be that cable companies are anxious to discourage their customers from partaking of the smorgasbord of video options available from the public Internet? How could it be?!


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