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The Almighty Buck The Internet Wireless Networking

AT&T Lowers Data Access To Just $500/GB 339

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the cheap-at-twice-the-price dept.
GMGruman writes "No doubt in a move to demonstrate how having fewer carriers (once it buys T-Mobile) will be good for US cellular customers, AT&T has announced lower data pricing for customers not on contract: On a per-gigabyte basis, GoPhone users will only pay $500 rather than the previous $5,000. Such a deal. The pricing is indeed lower, but even the best option for such users is five times more than regular customers pay. And given that pay-as-you-go pricing is what the poor and people living paycheck to paycheck use, the result is those who can afford the least still pay by far the most."
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AT&T Lowers Data Access To Just $500/GB

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  • for pete's sake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @03:52PM (#35798202)

    there isn't an industry in as sore need of regulation

    most of all, i am quite tired of paying the same mandated data plan price for rural 2g

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @03:52PM (#35798218) Homepage

    ...is, of course, a necessity of life (in addition to cable television).

  • How silly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @03:54PM (#35798240)
    "And given that pay-as-you-go pricing is what the poor and people living paycheck to paycheck use, the result is those who can afford the least still pay by far the most." What a silly comment. First, I doubt that people who are poor and use pay as you go generally have smartphones, and if they do, they are far less likely to be data users. Second, we are not at the point where smartphones with data are a can't-exist-without-it commodity. If you are this poor, should you be wasting money on any data plan? Certainly data prices from mobile providers are shockingly high, but this is a silly "think of the children" style fallacious appeal to emotion.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @03:55PM (#35798252)

    With proper regulation it could be a more efficient use of money than having a landline and internet. The problem is that there's no competition at all in the American telecommunication industry, and I'm really curious as to what exactly they're referring to when they claim it's competitive.

  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Redbaran (918344) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:00PM (#35798330)
    Let them charge as much as they want! All the better for companies like MetroPCS and the pay-as-you-go shops. Walmart has a $45 30day unlimited everything plan: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-Talk-Unlimited-Text-Talk-and-Web-Access-30-Day-Service-Card-Email-Delivery/15443344 [walmart.com] This isn't discrimination against "the poor and oppressed" like the summary implies, it's more like a stupid tax for someone who can't find a better deal.
  • Re:Oh no! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:04PM (#35798390) Homepage Journal

    I think the point is that those people are getting soaked. If you want a smart phone you better not want to go prepaid. Of course there are other carriers that do not abuse their customers at that rate. The problem is that one of them is being bought by AT&T... Hey FCC and FTC did you see this?

  • Re:How silly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stenchwarrior (1335051) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:17PM (#35798582)

    "And given that pay-as-you-go pricing is what the poor and people living paycheck to paycheck use...

    And people with bad credit.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:23PM (#35798686) Journal
    Yes and no. Yes in that willingness to pay is the proximate criterion on which prices are set. No in that one of the major determinants of somebody's willingness to pay is what other providers of similar or identical commodities are charging. In reasonably competitive markets, price competition between approximately equivalent providers of a given good or service means that, in the end, willingness to pay is approximately equal to the lowest price, which is based on the cost structure of the outfit providing that price.

    In hilariously non-competitive markets, of course, willingness to pay and cost are more or less completely decoupled. The same is true for 'ahead of their time' products(where everbody's cost is much higher than anybody's willingness to pay, so the product stays in the lab). In a competitive market for a mature product, though, willingness to pay and cost are fairly closely related.
  • Re:for pete's sake (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:27PM (#35798740)

    I just don't understand why anyone would use ATT's shitty service when there is one that is so very much better that is readily available.

    Because in many areas, there isn't.

  • Re:Fundamental (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shadowrat (1069614) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:33PM (#35798848)
    Indeed. I'm glad i can afford to buy a year's supply of toilet paper at Sam's Club. If i had to buy each pack of 4 rolls individually, i'm certain the price per gigawipe would increase tenfold!
  • Re:for pete's sake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by halivar (535827) <(bfelger) (at) (gmail.com)> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @04:53PM (#35799150) Homepage

    Owning a smart phone with a data plan isn't a human right. Don't want to pay that much for the data plan? Don't. Live without it. Billions do it every day.

    If, on the other hand, you choose, of your own volition, to pay the exorbitant fee for the data plan, you only serve to prove that the pricing was reasonable and correct.

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

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