ISPs Threaten Metered Broadband As Net Neutrality Looms

Remember when you called up your ISP and, after an unholy modem screech, were billed for every minute you spent online? (Actually, it occurs to me that many Consumerist readers probably don’t remember this.) If ISPs’ current efforts pay off, we may all soon be paying for every little byte of Internet that we use.

ISPs have experimented with the metered broadband concept, and consumers (and consumer advocates) have kicked and screamed, but the looming specter of Net Neutrality has forced ISPs in turn to threaten consumers with tiered or metered broadband.

Some broadband providers argue that a pay-as-you-go Internet is unavoidable. “A flat-rate, infinitely expandable service is unachievable,”Dick Lynch, chief technology officer of Verizon Communications Inc., said at a recent industry conference, referring to the industry in general. “We’re going to have to consider pricing structures that allow us to sell packages of bytes.”

Advocates say unlimited monthly Internet service has been critical to the Internet’s growth and the formation of online start-ups. Paying by the amount of Internet traffic used could damp usage and the sort of tinkering that can lead to breakthroughs, they warn.

Well, streaming video, it was nice knowing you.

Carriers Eye Pay-As-You-Go Internet [Wall Street Journal] (Thanks, Joanne!)

(Photo: TheTruthAbout…)

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