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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 WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:46AM (#36512802)

    pricing, starting at 2 GB for $30/month and going up to 10 GB for $80/month.

    With prices like that I bet they start encouraging tethering (or maybe even give it away for free). The overage penalties are high so the 10GB will actually appeal to some. Will they let victims, er, users change their plans on a monthly basis?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by garcia (6573)

      RTFA:

      Adding tethering gives an additional $2 GB and an additional $20. So for example, 4 GB with tethering will cost $50/month. Additional data will cost $10/GB.

      They're not giving it away for free.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:48AM (#36512834)
      From the Droid-Life article:

      Data plans w/ tethering:
      4GB – $50/month
      7GB – $70/month
      12GB – $100/month

      If you go over your purchased amount of data, it will cost you $10 per 1GB.

      I can't call that encouraging tethering ... yikes!

    • by errandum (2014454) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:43AM (#36513878)

      The funny thing is, from what I see, most of the world (with the exception of Australia and maybe Canada) has been moving towards unlimited data plans everywhere. The USA are the ones regressing.

      There is too much lobbying by people with big pockets and, in the end, the only one losing is the final consumer. Sigh.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        The funny thing is, from what I see, most of the world (with the exception of Australia and maybe Canada) has been moving towards unlimited data plans everywhere. The USA are the ones regressing.

        There is too much lobbying by people with big pockets and, in the end, the only one losing is the final consumer. Sigh.

        Canada moving to unlimited data plans? The only one I've seen right now is by mobilicity, so if you can put up with shitty 3G and shitty coverage, then yes, it's unlimited. (Not being near a Mobili

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        Hate to tell you this, but its unofficially called bribing. Bribing has been legalized by SCOTUS and the law now protects the identity of those who bribe. Legally, all we are entitled to know is that our officials have been bribed but we can not know by who or for what. If you don't understand why bribing has literally been legalized, you're not a good citizen. The really sad part is, this isn't hyperbole.

        Sigh is an understatement.

  • From the article:

    Nice spin, eh? Here's an idea, Verizon. If you want to "tailor" things to our unique needs, how about going all the way. If we're paying $30 for 2 GB, how about you refund us $15 for any month we use less than 1 GB? If bytes are the commodity you're making them out to be, that sounds fair to me. Alternatively, give us 'roll-over' data.

    Uhhh, why stop there? Why doesn't everyone just pay for what they use? My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal. There could be a set of people that would actually pay more in this scenario but at least the charges would feel justified (I don't even know if I would be in that set).

    And also, now that I've just recently signed myself up for your standard two year have-me-by-the-balls-via-smartphone-subsidy "plan" ... what of my preconception that I will have unlimited data? I'm sure somewhere in the depths of the weighty tome that I signed for you has some fine print about how not only can you alter our agreement but you can also rape me with a pineapple in front of my wife and children. Could you at least grandfather us in though? I did make an agreement and purchase on that assumption.

    • by garcia (6573)

      My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal.

      Because the electricity delivery industry (as well as many utilities) are closely controlled by the government and sometimes even require special permission to raise rates.

      Mobile phone companies don't fall under those same guidelines and thus they're going to charge you how they want to charge you.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        True true. Things have to get much worse before they get better. It took all sorts of stupidity and abuse before Bell got broken up and regulated. After that, things got somewhat better. But since the medium has changed from wired to wireless, the rules no longer apply. (Actually, I think they should apply. The rules put into place were earned by the abusive industry and that same industry should not be allowed to escape the rules simply by shifting the medium.)

        • With the break up of Ma Bell and a change of medium, we have gone from a monopoly to an anti-competitive price setting oligopoly. It's much harder to prove collusion than monopoly, so we'll be stuck with this garbage for some time. Instead of competing for our business, they're busy competing for the most inventive way to screw us.
      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        Funny thing is, as a customer, I pay what I want to pay and not a penny more. If their service costs to much I will switch to T-Moble or AT&T. There service sucks? Perhaps Verizon's higher price is worth it. Perhaps I should just go back to a land line. Just because the produce cell phones, doesn't mean they should be required to provide cell phones.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          T-mobile will not be around much longer. AT&T is more expensive and Sprint will probably grow. I don't even have a landline, nor would I go back to one. I would go without a phone before that. Since they use public easements, get government loans and subsidies they should sell at a reasonable price, or return the tax payers money and buy or lease any piece of land they want to crossover.

          • by bws111 (1216812)

            Sprint will probably grow? What are you basing that on? Over the last 3 years they have lost more than 4 million customers. In addition, last year they lost more than 3 billion dollars.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              The death of T-Mobile will grow Sprint. Those are not customers that will want to be with AT&T. I am leaving Verizon as soon as my contract is up. Between locked bootloaders, ridiculous data pricing and horrible customer service I am done with them.

    • by edmicman (830206)

      I'm pretty sure they've always grandfathered plan changes like this...if you have unlimited now you should have it for the duration of the contract. It sounded like it was up in the air as to whether if you renew a grandfathered contract you would continue to have unlimited data or not, but I guess we'll see. Hopefully there are some good controls to measure your data usage and projections.

    • by SirGeek (120712)

      Why ? Because people had been sold "Unlimited Plans" which mean unlimited. Its not the end users' fault if they oversold their network or "oversold" the network.

      If I paid for unlimited electricity and found it being metered, I'd be pissed.

      If you have an active contract for unlimited, and they're defaulting, ask a lawyer about it. They would be in breech of contract at that point and you could (potentially) sue for damages.

      • They aren't going to default on existing contracts. They just won't offer unlimited contracts in the future.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          They aren't going to default on existing contracts.

          It's not called 'defaulting' when you can change the TOS on a whim because the contract says you can.

          Do you really think there isn't a clause in there that says they can change the definition of 'unlimited' or simply stop offering it to existing customers at their discretion? Those contracts are written in such a way that they can do pretty much anything they like.

    • by c0nner (123107)

      I would be almost okay with a real pay as you use pricing except that I have no faith in the wireless industry to not "make mistakes" in calculating the charges.

      At least with the electric company there is a box on the side of the building with a little spinning disk and a count up meter that lets me look and see how much I am using at any time I feel the need. Want to know how crazy that new bandsaw is going to be for your electric bill? No problem. Mark the meter for 5 minutes and see how much power you u

    • Why doesn't everyone just pay for what they use? My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure

      And you know what, they are telling what your 'rate' is, you are allowed to consume an unlimited amount of electricity. Verizon (and most cell companies) is responding to a bandwidth problem with a fixed amount of usage, not a 'rate' of usage.

      I don't think anyone would have a problem if Verizon limited your daily bandwidth speed to what their network could actually support. But that wouldn't look good in the marketing proposal.

      • by vlm (69642)

        I don't think anyone would have a problem if Verizon limited your daily bandwidth speed to what their network could actually support. But that wouldn't look good in the marketing proposal.

        I disagree, I'd sign right up. I'd much rather get a random and unknown but probably usable download rate with no really horrible worst case scenario, than a random and unknown bill with a worst case scenario of something absolutely crazy like $25K.

        I'm a fixed income guy because I have a full time job in tech.. I'm not like one of those retired guys who get COLA raises every year... So I'm not interested in uncontrollably random high bills.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal.
      Well, I for one would be more than happy to go metered as well. Rather than pay $40 for an unlimited amount whether I use it or not, I would happily go to a plan where they charge a reasonable amount per GB and you just pay that. 50 cents a GB seems like a reasonable amount to pay.
    • by travdaddy (527149)
      My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal.

      Shhhh!!!!! Don't give the electricity company any ideas!
    • Uhhh, why stop there? Why doesn't everyone just pay for what they use? My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal. There could be a set of people that would actually pay more in this scenario but at least the charges would feel justified (I don't even know if I would be in that set).

      It's psychology. People don't want to be worrying about being billed every time they look something up on the Internet, even if it costs less money. It is easier for consumers just to pay one price and never think about the costs of data for another month. The caps are high enough so it creates the illusion of an unlimited data plan for the majority of customers, so it isn't different than the broadband service they receive at home. Being billed per actual usage brings them back to the days of dial up m

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        Correct. POTS used to be 'message rate' (pay per minute) based. People absolutely hated it.

    • I know no one RTFA, but at least someone should read their legally binding contracts:

      Changes to the Agreement or Charges. except to the extent prohibited by law, if we: (a) increase the charges included in your monthly recurring access rate plan, or (b) modify a material term of our agreement with you and the modification would be materially adverse to you, we will notify you of the increase or modification and you can cancel that service without paying a cancellation fee (which is your only remedy) by following the cancellation instructions in the notice. if you do not cancel your service by following those instructions, or you otherwise accept the change, then you agree to the increase or modification, even if you paid for service in advance. if the notice does not say how long you have to cancel, then it is within 14 days after the date of the notice, unless a longer period is required by law. except to the extent prohibited by law, charges for products, services, optional services, or any other charges that are not included in your monthly recurring access rate plan (such as directory assistance, roaming, downloads, and third-party content) are subject to change at any time without notice, and if you continue to use those services, or you otherwise agree to the changes, then you agree to the new charges. visit our web site, retail locations, or call customer care for current charges.

    • One is hopeful that existing subscribers will be able to keep their existing plans until their current contract runs out. That's how AT&T usually does it at any rate. I was actually (pleasantly) shocked recently when we went to replace my wife's iPhone and they told us that she was grandfathered into her unlimited 3G data plan and would keep it with her new phone. I imagine that whenever a "4G" iPhone comes out we'll be herded like good little cattle to buy a "limited" 4G plan along with the new pho

  • At least they're not getting rid of the unlimited text messaging plan, I just might go over my data quota
  • by Mr_eX9 (800448) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:51AM (#36512890) Homepage

    2GB is plenty for me. The most mobile data I've ever used in a month is a gig, which included heavy 3rd party tethering use. I usually use 500-700MB. Maybe 4G LTE speeds will change my usage, but I doubt it will more than *double* my usage.

    I understand that won't be enough for some people, but with apps like Llama https://market.android.com/details?id=com.kebab.Llama [android.com] it's really easy to set up location profiles that turn wi-fi on and off at places you trust. If that still doesn't sate your usage needs, get your workplace to pay for it or *gasp* put your damn phone away and interact with the real world.

    • Re:Meh (Score:4, Informative)

      by garcia (6573) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:58AM (#36513016) Homepage

      I'm not a VZW subscriber (I have AT&T unlimited data) but just with regular use alone I'm bumping up close to 2GB monthly (just e-mail, web, and social media use).

      That said, I can burn through 2GB in a day in an airport watching Netflix over 3G. Hell, I've burned through half of that on the Stairmaster doing the same.

      The bandwidth caps are entirely too low especially as the carriers roll out bigger pipes to the devices. This is nothing more than a money making venture for them (much like GSM networks charging for SMS) and it needs to be stopped by the people voting w/their feet to some new startup carrier that is smart enough to buck the trends.

      • I am a VZW subscriber, for a little while longer. Once my current contract runs out and I'm forced into the 5GB cap, I won't be any longer. Verizon used to be reliable. My wife and I have a new joke: "Can you drop me now? . . . DROID!" Strangely enough the Ntelos/US Cellular/small carrier network/market covers more area around me than Verizon does. Now if they could only get decent phones.
      • by bws111 (1216812)

        So the carriers are "rolling out bigger pipes", and somehow that means you should not have to pay more? Please explain that logic. The bigger pipes are for your (not the carriers) benefit. If you are requiring bigger pipes, you should be expected to pay for it.

        • by garcia (6573)

          Strangely enough my home Internet connections haven't risen significantly in price since 1998 when I got my first my first DSL modem yet my bandwidth is 30x faster.

      • 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.

      • by ajs (35943)

        I'm not a VZW subscriber (I have AT&T unlimited data) but just with regular use alone I'm bumping up close to 2GB monthly (just e-mail, web, and social media use).

        That said, I can burn through 2GB in a day in an airport watching Netflix over 3G. Hell, I've burned through half of that on the Stairmaster doing the same.

        The bandwidth caps are entirely too low especially as the carriers roll out bigger pipes to the devices. This is nothing more than a money making venture for them (much like GSM networks charging for SMS) and it needs to be stopped by the people voting w/their feet to some new startup carrier that is smart enough to buck the trends.

        Here's the problem from VZW's perspective: the usage you just pointed out is rare, right now, and completely new in terms of how their network gets used (e.g. movies). So, what should they do when usage, and thus costs start to go up? Just raise rates to pay for the extra towers and upstream bandwidth? Sure, they can do that, but joe average who just wants a way to phone, text and occasionally check email is probably not going to be able to justify the extra expense when his plan goes up dramatically.

        So, w

    • 2 gig isn't a hell of a lot when tethering.
      Especially if you're using it for your primary internet.
      That's a whole 60MB/day.

      I am having trouble sticking to 30M/day - and that's using opera with 'turbo' mode on to compress text, and turning off images for most websites.
      Not to mention that one several minute video eats your days quota, and a movie eats the whole thing.

      • by Mr_eX9 (800448)
        But, clearly, Verizon either doesn't want you to use your data connection like that, or they want you to pay out the ass for the privilege. I think it's very backward that they're doing this, but it's not going to make me switch to another provider since the major telcos are all doing the same thing.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:53AM (#36512922)
    I dont really mind tiered pricing, but I do mind having my data plan change without options. So guess I'll be moving on to another carrier.
    • by nomadic (141991)
      I do mind having my data plan change without options. So guess I'll be moving on to another carrier.

      Isn't that an option?
      • by cforciea (1926392)
        Less so as the years go by and carriers consolidate. If he needs any chance at rural coverage at all, his alternatives after T-Mobile gets bought are AT&T and Sprint?
    • by necro81 (917438)

      So guess I'll be moving on to another carrier.

      Who to? At this point all the U.S. carriers have capped data plans that cost (gouge) more or less the same. Time goes on and you get less for paying more no matter who you are with (I'm looking at you: $0.20 per SMS). It almost as though they are in collusion! But that's ridiculous - everyone knows that capitalism and competition invariably leads to a consumer's utopia.

    • by Junta (36770)

      I might have forgiven the tiering, but the new bottom tier is no cheaper than the older 'unlimited' tier.

  • if they had a sub-1GB plan for less money, i would be pretty excited

    as it stands, AT&T's 200MB plan is still the best value for the majority [nielsen.com] of cellular data users, even compared to unlimited plans

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      T-mobile has a 200mb plan too. I'm on it. So far its okay. I'm on wifi 90% of the time anyway. Costs about the same as AT&T but the big benefit is that I'm not on AT&T. *shudder*

  • I already have a 3G android smartphone. It works just fine for what I need to do on my phone. I get email, I can surf the web, and I can stream music (but I don't go crazy with it). I very rarely use it for watching video. I just checked my usage this month, and I've just now cracked 2GB, about three weeks into my billing cycle. If I'm using this much data now, what happens when I get one of those 4G smartphones that they advertise showing people watching videos on them? If you're to watch those commercial
  • by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @10:56AM (#36512974)
    That's OK, I'll just switch to one of those other carriers providing unlimited wireless data.
  • Switch from Verison to Sprint several years ago. I get unthrottled, uncapped, unlimited data access for $15 extra, and I can tether my laptop when I'm traveling.
    • by OverlordQ (264228)

      I get unthrottled, uncapped, unlimited data access for $15 extra, and I can tether my laptop when I'm traveling.

      For now.

  • I've got a Droid2 myself. Almost all of my data traffic gets routed through someone's WiFi (I've got a long list saved). But when I'm away, it's generally only Google Maps data and e-mail traffic. How about the rest of you out there?

    • by noc007 (633443)

      I use my phone more when I'm away from an AP. Having to setup an AP profile and use the web login at a restaurant, coffee shop, or store just to look up something is a bit of a PITA and I'd rather use the wireless connection I'm already paying a hefty fee for the privilege. When I'm at home or in the office, I use my computer and really don't have much of a need to use my phone. I stream music and occasionally use navigation while I drive. Even when I don't stream music over the internet, I can still hit 2

    • by MaWeiTao (908546)

      I ended up using the phone a lot more than I had expected but my 3G usage has remained low. I generally only use the 3G network on my Android phone for email and looking up random things while shopping. Any time I download something I switch to WiFi. Since I'm usually only compelled to do that when I'm at home or at the office it's not an issue.

  • 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

    • by PhxBlue (562201) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:25AM (#36513472) Homepage Journal
      Seems like the easiest way for Google and Netflix to win would be to get into the business of delivering bandwidth. There's obviously a market for it.
      • by Jon_S (15368)

        Especially if you are Google. Google makes its money from advertising. If I am metered on my downloads, I sure as hell will not be downloading ads. There's lots of ways to do this. I don't now because I don't really care. When I start paying to download those ads, then I start really caring.

    • All it takes is at least one network provider in each major market to go along with the Netflix/Google model. There may be legitimate smaller (than Verizon or Comcast) operators in most cities that can do it. Now all we need is for the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Netflix to recognize those players and incentivize them.

      Never forget, it was the cable companies that once charged for a commercial free service, because we were paying them directly. Now we have a product with comm
  • And in Poland, I pay 33pln (less than $10) per month and I use that for calls/sms AND get FREE 6GB of data.
    • How fast is it? I envy the cost of your plan, but I also wonder how it compares to Verizon's LTE network. It is not unusual to see 20Mbit downstream on their LTE network. The 3G EV-DO on Verizon could do something like 2Mbit.

  • I can see why Verizon is moving down this path. Higher speed, more reliable connections, and more users makes for a very expensive network. If people really don't like it, they will switch to another carrier who offers unlimited data, or resort to only connecting via Wi-Fi or tethering. What I don't understand is this low cap. 2 Gb is not very much data, especially considering all the advertising that shows streaming video and watching TV on your phone or tablet. The 2Gb limit is especially confusing w
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:15AM (#36513310)

    This is utterly ridiculous. The 2GB plan is what their current Unlimited plan is set at price-wise. I do about 2.5GB per month on my phone and I literally use the data solely for email, VERY sparse Facebook/Twitter/Web usage (about 90 minutes of active usage per month tops), and podcast downloads (the bulk of my data usage).

    I barely use the data plan and I'm still over that mark. If these numbers are true, and there is no grandfathering, then I will NOT be sticking with Verizon.

    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Informative)

      by ultramk (470198) <ultramk@pa[ ]ll.net ['cbe' in gap]> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:49AM (#36513968)

      Erm, download your podcasts over wi-fi and cache them on the phone for later listening pleasure. There goes 9/10ths of your data usage.

      That isn't really your complaint, though. Your real complaint is that you were sold an unlimited plan and that's what you want. I understand, I really do. Went through it myself not too long back. However, if you take just a little step back you'll realize that radio spectrum isn't an unlimited resource, and with data usage growing at such phenomenal rates there's no real way to get people to be more efficient about their usage (like, for example, pulling your podcasts over landlines instead of clogging up cell towers with them) without usage limits of some sort.

      The standard response at this point is to say that the bandwidth saturation problem is the carrier's problem because they are just being greedy, won't improve their network blah blah blah. OK, so put yourself in their shoes. Come up with a 5-year network hardware expansion plan that can compensate for unrestricted *exponential growth*. Let that sink in for a minute.

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        Erm, download your podcasts over wi-fi and cache them on the phone for later listening pleasure. There goes 9/10ths of your data usage.

        Sometimes they do download over wifi when I'm at home, but realistically I don't want to wait until I get home to download new episodes of things. I got the damned phone so I'd have access to such things at all times. If I was willing to download via wifi I'd have simply kept using my iPod Touch and not worried about getting a smartphone in the first place.

        Understand this: I really, really, truly, don't give a damn about their problems. We're not holding hands and figuring out something that will work fo

    • Yeah this is exactly where I am too. 2.5 GB / month usage, the bulk of my data is Pandora (lower bitstream)/Amazon Cloud Player/Google Music beta at work on weekdays. I'll be hopping ship to Sprint when my contract is up in November, hopefully they won't axe unlimited plans too before then.
  • by tompaulco (629533) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @11:19AM (#36513360) Homepage Journal
    This is good news. You see I have an unlimited data plan with Verizon and my bill is about $60 a month. With this new 2 GB cap plan, they must surely be offering it at a much lower price than the unlimited plan, and so I should be able to switch and save money.
  • 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.

  • I know it's not the popular comment but it's true. Verizon and Sprint had unlimited data plans as long as they were offering ghetto phones (Android, Samsung, etc). What's the difference if you're downloading unlimited data on an iPhone or a ghetto phone? Give up? Apple gets a cut of the revenue (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/the-real-cost-of-at-ts-basic-data-plan/7362) that's why. And don't feel like you're sneaking by with Sprint. They are next to be assimilated (http://www.eldergadget.com/report-s

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      ghetto phones? I hate summer because the kids are out and have nothing to do but post on Slashdot.
      I chose my Evo 4G on Sprint over going with an iPhone or AT&T.

    • And don't feel like you're sneaking by with Sprint. They are next to be assimilated (http://www.eldergadget.com/report-sprint-testing-iphone-4s/).

      Sorry... how does that logic work again? Just because they're supporting iPhones, that means they're "the next to be assimilated?"

      Weak, man. I've been running my (much better than the iPhone) Samsung Epic on Sprint since Christmas. It's awesome. And no bandwidth cap.

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