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The Almighty Buck The Internet Verizon

Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks 302

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the end-of-an-era dept.
itwbennett writes "The rumors have converged and now it appears that Verizon will be dropping its unlimited data plans on July 7, says blogger Peter Smith. Droid-Life lists pricing, starting at 2 GB for $30/month and going up to 10 GB for $80/month. 'The one ever-so-slightly bright side,' says Smith, 'is that 4G LTE will cost the same as 3G. Of course, you'll be able to burn through your data even faster.'"
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Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks

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  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:06AM (#36513122)

    This is a battle that I have no idea who will win. The lines are drawn.

    On one side, we have companies like Comcast and Verizon that are developing faster and faster technologies, but cap the amount of data that their users can consume. They are also companies that that have dreams of vertical integration of products, where they control the content creation, distribution, and consumption, and the profits that come with each.

    On the other side, we have companies that are located in the "info space", who are innovating new ways to deliver stuff (entertainment, business services, communication, whatever) to the people. They are the ones advertising "the cloud". Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, etc. They want access to consumers over an open communications network. However, they can't have users afraid to use their bandwidth allotment in order to use the cloud.

    So, here we have competing goals, and only one can dominate. Who will it be? I, personally, hope that the Netflix/Google crowd somehow wins. "Give the people what they want." That is a quote that Comcast and Verizon have never understood. They are anti-competitive by nature. This battle will spill out into mass-media debates and government regulation. It will be ugly.

    -d

  • Re:Pay-you-go (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:10AM (#36513200) Homepage Journal
    Just in time for the netflix app. Coincidence? I think not. Honestly, as a member with 5 lines, they'll feel the sting as more people like me switch. I'll go through the hassle of switching before I take it up the ass with a plan change like this.
  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:20AM (#36513380)

    This is just part of what will be a contentious battle between the bandwidth owners and the content / service providers. Both sides want to extract as much of the consumer dollar as possible for themselves. Bandwidth owners see content / service providers using their lines to make money and as usage increases they see an opportunity to extract some of that money through tiered rate plans. content / service providers, OTOH, want the pipe to be as big and cheap as possible so they can sell more things to the consumer.

    As bandwidth gets more expensive, consumers will use less and be willing to pay less for content since it carries an added cost for bandwidth. By introducing tiers early in the bandwidth demand growth phase carriers can start getting their customers used to limiting uptake of new services (and pay more to boot). Why is this important - it gives carriers some leverage to extract money form content/services providers to unthrottle the pipes since the providers want to keep growing and grab as many customers as quickly as possible.

    I expect this battle will play out in the commercial and political arena as well - with lamentations about jobs, infrastructure costs, "staying competitive withe (insert country of choice)" being heard as each side tries to gain and maintain the upper hand. In some cases, a company is both - my cable provider is more than happy to sell me a subscription to HBO which I can access on the go via my phone as well (which is provided by another company). My phone company no doubt looks at that and says "Why are we helping our competitor for free?"

    Make no mistake, it's an important battle since, if rate caps become the norm, this cool vision of getting everything anywhere over the internet will be a long time coming. I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of tyins between content /service providers and carriers that allows you to get premium services w/o being charged for data and the company's splitting the revenue. In fact, I think that may be the end game some have in mind.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @12:16PM (#36514532)

    I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of tyins between content /service providers and carriers that allows you to get premium services w/o being charged for data and the company's splitting the revenue. In fact, I think that may be the end game some have in mind.

    This. This is indeed the end-game, at least for the major carriers. They realize that they're sitting on what is basically an access monopoly, and are trying to figure out how to leverage it for rent-seeking. They realize no one cares about access itself, they care about what they can access. Hence all the major carriers buying out content providers: they get the content they don't have, and can now work on extracting maximum price for that content. The easiest way to do that is to make other content more expensive. And the easiest way to do that... is through bandwidth caps and special Facebook/Twitter/NBC/Hulu offers. End-users are forced into accepting the choices offered by their carrier, and content-providers are forced to pay the carriers extra to gain access to the carriers' users.
    It's a wonderful end-run around net-neutrality: it won't matter, because users themselves will make the choice not to go to Netflix, but to whatever Comcast decides to host for "free".

    There will still be an Internet, but at least in the US, it will be expensive, and only hardcore geeks with money will be on it.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @02:00PM (#36516344)

    and it needs to be stopped by the people voting w/their feet

    It needs to be stopped by a real FCC that doesn't have a crotch that looks like a Ken doll.

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