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FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans 414

An anonymous reader writes "As details emerge about the Federal Communications Commission's controversial proposal for regulating Internet providers, a provision that would allow companies to bill customers for how much they surf the Web is drawing special scrutiny. Analysts say pay-as-you-go Internet access could put the brakes on the burgeoning online video industry, handing a victory to cable and satellite TV providers. Public interest groups say that trend will lead to a widening gap in Internet use in which the wealthiest would have the greatest access."
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FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans

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  • by TheL0ser ( 1955440 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @04:58PM (#34492638)
    Whenever you have to ask where something is in the Constitution, the answer is "Interstate Commerce". Even when it shouldn't be or isn't. Especially when it shouldn't be or isn't.
  • Bandwidth huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 ) <> on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @04:58PM (#34492640) Journal

    TFA = about 20k
    Web 2.0 crap plus ads= 1.6 megs
    or some such

    Lynx Lives Again!

  • A la carte cables (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sonny Yatsen ( 603655 ) * on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:00PM (#34492676) Journal

    It's funny how cable companies all want us to pay as we go for internet access, yet still insist on pushing bundlings of hundreds of TV channels on us if we want to use cable TV.

  • by chemicaldave ( 1776600 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:02PM (#34492708)
    ...if the telecoms also give me pay-as-i-go cable TV plans. Why haven't they caught up with customer demand? Just let me pick which channels I want to watch and pay less for only those channels instead paying a premium for a bunch of channels I wont watch. The options they give are baffling. Pay very little for local channels, or pay a fuckload for 200+
  • Problem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:03PM (#34492718)

    They will also want to charge content creators on the same bandwidth so they can profit more on the same bandwidth, but not actually invest into upgrading their infrastructure to handle the traffic and thus negating the need to have tiered or metered plans.

    Captialism, ho.

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:24PM (#34493052) Journal

    I'm looking at it and it says "to regulate commerce", not "to regulate trade wars". If one of the reasons was to prevent trade wars, then it succeeds, sometimes. If another was to ensure the equitable distribution of federally-funded trade protections and infrastructure improvements, then it succeeds, sometimes.

  • Ad Blocking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by colinnwn ( 677715 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:29PM (#34493126)
    I've never much minded internet advertisements as long as they weren't popups, popovers, or popunders. But if I have to start paying for every bit delivered to me, my hosts file is gonna get big fast, adblock and javascript blocking will become required addons for all my web browsers. Every business that advertises on the web should be screaming bloody murder at internet providers to not implement this. It will decimate the internet revenue model for many companies.
  • by falsified ( 638041 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:20PM (#34493978)

    The government's meddling in business is what has kept this from occurring ten years ago, champ. Note that this is the FCC considering a RULE CHANGE. If the FCC had never been around to create such a rule, we would have already seen this happen.

    Having said that, I'm very, very, very cautiously optimistic that this will only have a short-term effect. Streaming HD (in my case, via Netflix) has gone from a "that would be cool" to something I do almost every day within three years, and despite my /. account, I'm not a bleeding edge type. The difference between "normal internet user" and "person who streams a shitload of video" is blurring and is probably going to disappear within the next 18 months. And people just aren't going to pay $200/month for internet unless there's a massive speed increase, and even then, probably not.

  • by jimrthy ( 893116 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:21PM (#34493986) Homepage Journal

    This mis-interpretation is pretty much exactly how that clause has made the Constitution completely meaningless.

    It was a harmless little addendum that pretty much everyone considered perfectly safe. The point was to keep trade "regular" among the States. So that, for example, Virginia isn't allowed to attach extra tariffs to goods passing through from New York.

    Now everyone thinks it means "Congress can do anything it wants.

  • Re:Man, if only... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:38PM (#34494260) Journal

    Electricity and gas are unlike bandwidth. They are limited in a way bandwidth isn't. If you use a unit of gas, you have to generate more. On the other hand, if you use a unit of bandwidth there's another unit waiting for you. Conversely, if you don't use a unit of gas you can save it for later. If you don't use a unit of bandwidth it's gone forever, and it costs the same to maintain the network whether you use it or not.

    Pricing structure should encourage people to conserve gas and electricity. Networks (computer and phone) have to be maximally utilized to provide the lowest cost per packet. Pricing per megabyte discourages maximal utilization which leads to waste.

  • by jdcope ( 932508 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @07:24PM (#34494882)

    I think you're looking at this from the wrong perspective. It isn't the ISPs that are pushing for it, even though they will benefit...

    It's the MIAA and RIAA that are pushing for it. They're banking on making it expensive to pirate media in order to diminish how often it happens!

    I think this would encourage piracy. If a person has to pay as they go, wouldn't it be cheaper to download a single compressed file, maybe even of lower quality, instead of streaming with commercials & all the other crap?

  • I'd go a step further...cable boxes and satellite boxes are pretty I should only pay for the time that I'm watching the channels too.

    Weeelll, you see, the thing is: It doesn't actually cost us anything let you access 10 of our channels vs 500 channels.

    This is because Satellite TV transmits all channels all the time to just about everywhere around you. So, it really doesn't cost us anything more if you watch TV constantly instead of only 10 minutes a day, and satellite distribution to 1 million customers doesn't cost us any more than distribution to one customer.

    We've successfully tricked most people into thinking that a huge price increase for twice the number of channels is reasonable when, in fact, all we do is change the DRM keys in your set-top box so that you can decode the extra channels that we are sending to you (and everyone else in your city) anyhow.

    Oh, and extra monthly fee for having a 2nd set top box? Ha ha ha, we make you pay for the set-top box, then charge you extra per month for something that costs us nothing to transmit! People gladly hand us more money Hand over Fist, it's amazing how dumb they are!

    With Cable it's a bit different, we pay to maintain the lines, but other than that, it's the same.

    TV is a purely distribution only system, there is no "on demand". The Internet is a totally different beast (which we use to provide some on-demand services). With the Internet, we try to send you only the data you request. Actually, we don't do that, we send any data destined for your IP, whether you wanted it or not, so beware of DDoS attacks because your pay-as-you-go bill will be humorously expensive.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.