Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Networking Verizon Wireless Networking

Verizon Announces Pay-Per-Use 'Turbo Boost' For Smartphones 129

Posted by timothy
from the insert-coin-insert-coin-insert-coin dept.
renek writes "In one of the most brazen attacks on net neutrality to date, Verizon has announced it will offer a so called 'Turbo Boost' for smart phones that run on its wireless network. 'Verizon will publish an API that could allow consumers to 'turbocharge' the network bandwidth their smartphone apps use for a small fee, executives said Tuesday. Verizon anticipates that a customer running an app on a smartphone will have the option to dynamically snatch more bandwidth for that app, if network congestion slows it down, said Hugh Fletcher, associate director for technology in Verizon's Product Development and Technology team. The app, however, must be running what Verizon referred to as the network optimization API it is currently developing, and hopes to publish by the third quarter of 2012.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Verizon Announces Pay-Per-Use 'Turbo Boost' For Smartphones

Comments Filter:
  • If... (Score:4, Informative)

    by msauve (701917) on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:28PM (#37954674)
    this is simply local cache (like Akamai), which is what it sounds like, it's a service, not a violation of net neutrality.
    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Funny, from how I read it (even the article!), it sounds more like "pay $0.02 to give your packets priority over everyone else" than any sort of caching, mirroring or other legitimate practices.

      Something like Akamai doesn't even make sense for smartphones, where the biggest bottleneck is usually between the tower and the phone, not between the ISP and the source server.

      • by msauve (701917)
        That's still net neutral. I don't see anything here which favors any particular service/provider.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          It favors those who pay more. That's the whole problem that net neutrality is against.

          Essentially, it promotes monopolies by ensuring that big, established companies can degrade the (relative) quality of competing services by smaller companies, who can't afford to pay for the privilege.

          • Yeah! Charging someone more for a faster internet connection is so anti net neutrality!!!
            ... wait ... uh ... urrrr...
            • I misread it, sorry. I thought they were charging the app developer.

              • by ls -la (937805)
                I thought so too, the summary was somewhat misleadingly worded on that front, I mean who thinks end-users are going to use an API (especially in an app they didn't write)? And because this places a burden on the app developers to implement the API, it is still going to favor bigger and more established companies who can more easily bear the burden, though less so because (presumably) once you have it in, there's no recurring fee to keep it going.
          • Re:If... (Score:5, Informative)

            by msauve (701917) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:19PM (#37954966)
            "It favors those who pay more. That's the whole problem that net neutrality is against."

            Huh? You don't pay your ISP more for more bandwidth today? It's not reasonable/acceptable for an ISP to charge on that basis?

            If anything, this seems like a good thing, since it's granular, and pay-as-you-go -- instead of simply paying for monthly bandwidth you may or may not take advantage of, simply buy a minimal level of bandwidth, and pay more as needed.

            Finally, you're wrong. Net neutrality is all about preventing service providers from charging unfavorable rates for access based on the service (especially competitive services, e.g. charging more for Netflix bandwidth than for a cable Internet provider's own IPTV offerings). There's nothing to indicate that is the case in this instance, that they would charge less for increased B/W to their own services than other ones.
            • I misread it, sorry.

            • But if you think about it, it can easily be against net neutrality, but just in a sneaky way.

              First, it means they have to throttle your network connection, otherwise why would you push to get a burst. And if everybody does it in your area, you get no benefit anyway, unless Verizon holds back some bandwidth from being used at all. And if they do hold back some bandwidth from everybody, then what are they selling you, 90% of 4G? 80%?

              Second, suddenly bandwidth becomes low enough for streaming to be problema

              • by msauve (701917)
                "First, it means they have to throttle your network connection, otherwise why would you push to get a burst."

                No, it does not imply that at all. It works the same way any other network QoS works, by putting a priority on certain packets. There's no throttling required in order to offer a premium service - wireless bandwidth is naturally constrained, multiple users compete for a limited amount of bandwidth. This simply allows a user to pay to have some of their packets placed at the head of the line.
            • by dbcad7 (771464)
              Phones have hardware speed limits.. 3G and 4G have theoretical speed limits .. when you buy 3G or 4G plans, you have the expectation that they will provide you with the fastest speed they can provide for that technology.. For someone who bought the LTE cool-aide they already believe themselves to be on the "fastest" plan.. To now say, your on the fast plan, but we can open it up for a few more dollars begs to be the source of a class action lawsuit.. This speed boost also does not appear to be an "always on
          • by afabbro (33948)

            It favors those who pay more.

            By your logic, a company that offers 1Mbps, 7Mbps, and 14Mbps at-home DSL at different rates is somehow violating net neutrality.

          • by EdIII (1114411)

            That's wrong.

            Net Neutrality ("NN") is the idea that a service provider does not give preferential treatment, or penalize, any network traffic based on any financial interests they have in said traffic.

            This has nothing to do with NN, since it is not the financial interests of the service provider at work, but the whims of the users themselves.

            Sure, Verizon may make more money, but this is *equal* opportunity to any application out there to incorporate this new feature. The feature itself is simply a choice

            • by fferreres (525414)

              For the very reason that it's not upgrading your bandwith. You already had it. I didn't RTFA but from summary, you are prileging your traffic AGAINST others that paid for a given bandwith. Their skype wont run unless they pay, and the price will be exactly that amount that maximizes profit for the carrier, creating infinite incentive for bottlenecks so that my service is usable. Those that apologized are mistaken. This is a horrible precedent. Starting with this API, network congestion is an asset to the ca

          • by einhverfr (238914)

            It favors those who pay more. That's the whole problem that net neutrality is against.

            Essentially, it promotes monopolies by ensuring that big, established companies can degrade the (relative) quality of competing services by smaller companies, who can't afford to pay for the privilege.

            There's a big problem here. A lot of Net Neutrality proponents I have talked to see this as a way to protect VOIP. However in reality, if you can't guarantee quality of service, I don't see how you can reliably converge networks (also assuming Network Neutrality only applies on IP and higher levels, then it wouldn't affect MPLS backbones which could offer QoS guarantees to a circuit-switched client network (PSTN) while refusing to offer them to a packet switched IP-based network.

            So where does that leave

        • by meerling (1487879)
          You have a network that is congested, so you pay the provider extra money, and for a short time, they make your data the priority over everyone else, which of course means they go down in priority. That totally favors not just their own company/customers, but only those customers that pay more money. And yes, it really would degrade service for everyone not paying.

          It's the whole slices of pie thing. If it's fair and everyone gets an equal slice, no biggie, unless too many people want some, then the slices
          • It's the whole slices of pie thing. If it's fair and everyone gets an equal slice, no biggie, unless too many people want some, then the slices get smaller (network congestion, not enough bandwidth to go around). Then along comes Fred who's friends with the guy serving the pie, he slips Fred some cash, and suddenly he's got a slice that's bigger. Since neither the number of people wanting slices hasn't changed nor has the pie gotten larger (the network didn't miraculously gain capacity) everybody else's pieces get smaller. So you see, they not only get a larger piece of pie, they take away pie from everyone else.

            This is exactly the types of shenanigans Net Neutrality is supposed to prevent.

            Exactly. And then it goes on - everbody else is not happy anymore with the smaller slices of pie they get, so they pay, too. And in the end everybody gets the same size slices of pie they already had at the beginning, just that everybody is paying more now (and that anybody who joins now without paying extra gets a ridiculously small slice of pie, because EVERYBODY else is prioritized over him).

    • this is simply local cache (like Akamai), which is what it sounds like, it's a service, not a violation of net neutrality.

      Even if it's grabbing more data channels for a fee, that's just price rationing, so long as it's available to all comers. Burstable bandwidth isn't a new idea - but if it's billable you don't want it automatic (or there'd be another outcry).

      And, hey, the 1% doesn't need to wait for their downloads.

      • Even if it's grabbing more data channels for a fee, that's just price rationing

        The point is that it's "price rationing" for the providers of the content, rather than consumers. Cellphone users already pay for their bandwidth, but this makes it so that you as a provider also have to pay if you want to get priority over other apps (or, rather, to prevent them from getting priority over you).

        So I don't know what you mean by "just" price rationing. This is exactly why we need net neutrality in the first place, practically a textbook example of what people said will ultimately happen.

        • by Sancho (17056) *

          Users could have the option to pay for the extra bandwidth via a separate microtransaction API Verizon is developing and hopes to have in place by the end of 2012, Fletcher said.

          So it's users paying to be put in a higher priority queue. It's possible that providers would have to pay to license the API, but I didn't see anything about that in the article.

        • by msauve (701917)
          "Cellphone users already pay for their bandwidth"

          Actually, AFAIK, today cell phone users typically pay based on the volume of data (newer plans charge based on GB/mo) they use. This service extends that so they can also pay for improved bandwidth/latency (i.e. QoS).

          Net neutrality is all about preventing service providers from gaining competitive (monetary) advantage for their own services, not about pricing based on free market supply and demand.
          • You're right - I had initially missed the fact that they're still charging the user here (though I would be extremely surprised if, pretty soon, there won't be an option for app author to pay in lieu of the user, with some convenient flat rate fee...).

            However, there is still a catch: if they merely wanted to let users pay for extra network speed, they'd just need to make their own app that lets them do so. Indeed, such things already exist, though I'm not aware of any examples among U.S. cellular providers.

            • by msauve (701917)
              "Not so. The canonical example of net non-neutrality is when ISPs provide services at some default (i.e. artificially degraded) speed, but allow content providers to pay extra for the privilege of having their traffic delivered at full speed"

              Yes, so. Why shouldn't both endpoints be treated equally (either "user" or "service" can pay for improved bandwidth/QoS), as long as the ISP isn't favoring their own services? The only difficulty is in how they would "charge" themselves to offer improved service, in or
    • by tsotha (720379)

      I doubt it. The provision for different levels of service on a per-connection basis is baked into LTE. It's the only way you can do VOIP on a congested network without getting unacceptably crappy sound quality.

      That said, I don't have a big problem with this. Bandwidth isn't an unlimited resource, and people who simply must stream HD movies to their mobile can pay a bit more.

      • That's not the point. The problem is that e.g. Netflix can have a seemingly better service than e.g. Vdio simply because they are a bigger company and can afford it.

        Imagine if on your desktop using IE was much faster than Firefox or Chrome just because Microsoft has more money than Mozilla to pay for "priority". How would the browser landscape be today?

        • it's like this.
          I can pay 14.95 for dialup,
          25.95 for dsl
            42.95 for cable modem
          64.99 for fios
          or 499 for a t-1 fraction.

          I choose to connect to vdio or netflix, after I pay for my connection.

          the payee is the USER of the web service, which every service they choose to use, verizon will charge the user for bandwidth

        • Disregard my previous post, I misread the article.

        • by msauve (701917)
          "Netflix can have a seemingly better service than e.g. Vdio simply because they are a bigger company and can afford it."

          And why not? In your example, it's the Netflix subscriber which is actually paying. Why shouldn't they have the choice of paying for better service? Why should Vdio and Netflix be treated differently, as long as both are offered the same price for the same service level? Should I not be able to pay for improved service at both ends of a home media server - mobile device connection, where
        • by tricorn (199664)

          It isn't Netflix or Microsoft paying for the higher bandwidth, it's the end user.

          It sounds like the API is to allow the program to specify which packets are higher priority since each packet delivered at high priority will cost a bit more. Anyone can build the ability into their programs, and it's the end user who will end up paying more on their bill (which means the program ought to have the higher priority as an option).

          I want to see fair queuing algorithms used by ISPs, and stop charging by the amount

    • by stanlyb (1839382)
      When they start to charge for a bottle of water, then you know the end is near...., oh, wait, but they actually do!!!
    • Yes, but does Akamai charge you the consumer as well? That answer is no. Akamai does not charge both the site and the consumer to connect them together.

      Also, Akamai does not get special privileges, special considerations for eminent domain, exemptions from some types of liability, nor subsidizations from the government like most cell networks and other common carriers do.

    • "I think one of the things that you could do is guaranteed quality of service,"
      "I think you could anticipate that maybe you'll have a Skype call that starts going bad," Fletcher said. "Wouldn't you like to be able to hit the turbo button and have that come back up to be a good call?"
      "The network optimization API will likely expose attributes like jitter, latency, bandwidth, and priority to app developers, Fletcher said."
      "When asked if Verizon would put the turbo button as an option that would be presented t

    • by meerling (1487879)
      No, it's not a cache, unless it has time travel to allow it to cache Skype data streams that don't even exist yet...
      (Yes, it was Hugh Fletcher, associate director for technology in Verizon's Product Development and Technology team that used Skype as an example.)
  • by jra (5600) on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:32PM (#37954696)

    Nobody tell David Hasselhoff, ok?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:34PM (#37954706)

    ...from an ISP offering (for example) 1Mbps and 10Mbps connections at different prices?

    It's actually better for the consumer, since you can buy the increased speed for a small amount of time as opposed to being forced to buy for a month or even multiple years at a time.

    As long as this API is open to all developers, it's not a violation of Net Neutrality.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      The difference is that in theory they're supposed to provision a certain amount of bandwidth for 10mbps and a lesser amount for 1mbps, in this case there's a lot of sleight of hand that can go on to make it hard for customers to know if they're getting what they're paying for.

      Testing a connection for the provided bandwidth is relatively straightforward if imperfect, this would be an absolute nightmare to verify.

      • by msauve (701917)
        "The difference is that in theory they're supposed to provision a certain amount of bandwidth for 10mbps and a lesser amount for 1mbps"

        What US cell provider are you on, which currently provides different bandwidth to different users (as opposed to charging by volume, and ignoring 3g/4g equipment capabilities)?
        • by hedwards (940851)

          You're being obtuse, the example was ISP, which implies not cell phone.

          • by msauve (701917)
            You're being off topic. The discussion is about a new cellular network service Verizon intends to offer.
            • by AdamWill (604569)

              but the OP asked "How is this different from an ISP offering (for example) 1Mbps and 10Mbps connections at different prices?", and this entire sub-thread is a discussion of that OP's example. So *you're* the one who's off-topic, bub.

    • by tukang (1209392)
      It's not. In fact, it's EXACTLY the same. They're trying to charge 2 different people for the EXACTLY SAME THING.
      • by msauve (701917)
        "it's EXACTLY the same."

        No, it's very different. Today, US cell providers charge based on volume (GB/mo, but everyone gets the same bandwidth), on a long term contractual basis. This service offers fine-grained bandwidth increases (QoS), on an as-needed, pay-as-you-go, basis.
    • The question is, does the consumer always pay? Or can the app developer choose to foot the bill, so to speak, and get a permanent "turbo boost" for his app?

  • So now software developers will have to pay a fee to get "good" data speeds?

    And to top that off now developers will need to design 2 versions of their application for every type of version phone / OS and everyone else. Way to go guys.
    • by blanks (108019) on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:41PM (#37954752) Homepage Journal
      Did a quick re-read and it turns out they are going to offer it for free to developers in hopes of forcing customers to click on a button to get charged for better network speeds.

      Somehow if their network is too saturated this client api will speed up their network they are saying. Oh, no it wont, they will simply throttle other paying customers while charging you an additional fee for a service you are all ready paying for.

      Oh and a great quote from the article :

        "And just because you request a high quality of service doesn't mean you're gonna get it."
      • Oh and a great quote from the article : "And just because you request a high quality of service doesn't mean you're gonna get it."

        Well naturally. I expect that this will primarily be used in areas with poor signal quality. Prioritization doesn't affect the Faraday properties of the building you're in.

      • Did a quick re-read and it turns out they are going to offer it for free to developers in hopes of forcing customers to click on a button to get charged for better network speeds.

        Just like the Amazon app store, there is also no reason they won't start charging developers for this service (in a reverse-auction fashion) once they have enough of them using it. Reverse-auction seems to be the new buzzword for carriers these days (not just the Amazon app store). Carriers are already starting to reverse-auction us (the developers) for better placement. The next logical step is to start reverse-auctioning us for better latency as well.

  • by rossdee (243626) on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:35PM (#37954716)

    I've been around long enough to remember the Turbo Button - it slowed the CPU to 8Mhz to be compatible with some games.

    • I've been around long enough to remember the Turbo Button - it slowed the CPU to 8Mhz to be compatible with some games.

      Oh, man - I had a bunch of games on 5.25" floppies that where the speed of the game depended on how fast the processor was! I had to give up on Lunar Lander after I'd upgraded to a 20MHz 80286...

      • That happened to me with Centipede. The centipede would get to the bottom of the screen in a fraction of a second. Oddly enough, it wasn't until I read the above post about the turbo button today, that I realized what the button was good for.
    • by matazar (1104563)

      My first computer had that button. I never could actually figure out what it did. Of course that never stopped me from randomly pressing it hoping something awesome would happen.

      • by bentcd (690786)

        If the Turbo button didn't seem to do anything, it probably just wasn't connected to the motherboard. A few years into the Turbo button fad it had pretty much lost its usefulness and had become little more than a source of tech support calls when people had mistakenly put it in slow mode without realizing, so computer shops stopped connecting it and instead just left the PC in permanent turbo mode.

    • by maeglin (23145)

      I've been around long enough to remember the Turbo Button - it slowed the CPU to 8Mhz to be compatible with some games.

      I believe it actually slowed the ISA bus down to be compatible with a slower standard and the CPU was clocked at a fixed multiplier so, as a side-effect, it too slowed.

      Anyway, I just enjoyed it 'cause it was an actual button on my PC. I wired the PC speaker through it to allow me to enable/disable to bleeper if it got out of control. (I changed the turbo setting using the keyboard lock.)

    • by anorlunda (311253)

      In the 70s there was a minicomputer called the Interdata 1. It had a speed knob. The idea was to allow slowing down the CPU enough to watch instructions execute one at a time for debug purposes. In real life, programmers criticized for writing too slow programs would try to crank the knob up another notch. They would twist harder and harder until the knob snapped off. Every Interdata 1 I ever saw had the knob snapped off.

  • Didn't we leave this turbo marketing turd behind in the 80's? Please get NASA started on the B ark, before its too late. I think I saw turbo toothpaste just recently and it lessened my will to live.
  • In other words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milbournosphere (1273186) on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:55PM (#37954812)
    "We'll sell you on bandwidth speed we don't have, and then charge you to actually use it."
    This is bullshit for quite a few reasons.
    • by Solandri (704621)
      It's worse than that. "We'll take away regular bandwidth that other customers have already paid for, and give it to you instead if you pay us extra."

      I have no problem with them charging extra if they're going to add bandwidth and sell it to people who pay extra. But if they're going to implement this without increasing bandwidth, they're robbing Peter to pay Paul, without compensating Peter for the decreased bandwidth they're subjecting him to. Unlike regular economics, network bandwidth is a zero-sum
    • by Memophage (88273)

      Right. Giving Verizon incentive to slow down your traffic in the middle of your Skype call so you'll pay them more money? Doesn't sound like a good idea. I'm pretty sure that would be a deal-breaker for me.

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:20PM (#37954970)
    Nothing seems to work so great without "turbo boost"..
    • by green1 (322787)

      And that's the real problem, I have no problem with them giving extra speed for extra money (that's how it works on my DSL line at home, my 15 meg package costs more than a 6 meg package, but less than a 25) Unfortunately though, it seems highly unlikely that this new feature will magically have more bandwidth than exists today. Instead it seems more likely that they'll simply drop everyone's current speeds down, and then charge people extra to get back to what they thought they were already paying for...

      • Exactly.. there should be some kind of minimum level of service (maybe like their advertised rate to their data center perhaps?) they must provide you or rebate some of your fee.. but no.. there is enough lobbying to make sure *that* will never happen.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Question - does any cell carrier advertise the speeds they give?

        All I see and hear are "blazing 3G" or "awesome 4G superspeed", which doesn't really say anything.

        Anytime speeds are mentioned, it's theoretical perfect network speeds, like 14.4Mbps for the iPhone 4S, 21Mbps for "4G" phones, etc.

        • by green1 (322787)

          And that's the issue, they are already advertising higher speeds than you could ever possibly get in a real world scenario, so how do they plan to get you ABOVE those speeds when you pay more? simple, they don't. Instead they'll lower the real speed further, and then charge people extra to get where they are today.

          Now if they advertised the iphone at 5meg and you could pay extra to get a burst to 10, I'd be ok with that, but that just doesn't seem likely. It's more likely they'll continue to advertise 14.4,

  • Hmm... Twice. Oh well. Version can blow me.

    You know, the vast majority of the time, I and my cell phone are in range of a wifi network. If my cellphone's a suitably unlocked Android and can connect to an Asterisk server somewhere out there on the internet using Sipdroid, the vast majority of the time I really don't need to talk to a cellular service at all. The more Version and the other cellular services make me say they can blow me, the more effort I'm going to be putting into making that strategy viabl

    • by erayd (1131355) *

      ...can connect to an Asterisk server somewhere out there on the internet using Sipdroid...

      Android 2.3+ has a native SIP client that integrates with the dialer - no need for a third-party app at all.

  • by tftp (111690) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:47PM (#37955096) Homepage

    As many already said, this has nothing to do with net neutrality. However it has everything to deal with fraud.

    You, as a customer, are buying a cell phone and a plan that comes with it. You are expecting certain performance of the wireless link, and you are getting it for the moment. But later the cell operator decides to sell your bandwidth to the highest bidder! In the end everybody pays the "turbo" fee to get any bandwidth at all, but everybody is back to square one... except the cell company who has now more money. Time for the "hyper-turbo" sales campaign then, to fleece the sheep once more?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Does no one think that they won't intentionally slow data streams to encourage the use of their shiny new profit maker?

      • Does no one think that they won't intentionally slow data streams to encourage the use of their shiny new profit maker?

        Perhaps, perhaps not - but UNTIL they do lets keep to the discussion to what is ACTUALLY ANNOUNCED, not if they will slow down your data feed or start grinding up babies for executive lunches.

        There is NOTHING wrong with offering a higher quality of service for an increased price, so long as everything else operates at the same speed. I don't even care what the speed is, as long as I can ju

  • So much for their incentive to upgrade. Now if their network is overloaded, it's a selling point. Brilliant marketing actually, even if it is a slap in the face to net neutrality.

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:56PM (#37955138)
    What if the "turbo boost" is still within the advertised, agreed upon, paid for bandwidth.. how can "network congestion" magically appear and disappear from within the same level of service?
  • Umm can we get slower but unlimited data back, please? I don't need tens of megabits to download email.

    This stupid-ass nickel and diming is why banks are having to kiss the asses of half a million people.

  • by Tom (822) on Friday November 04, 2011 @11:06PM (#37955186) Homepage Journal

    Make sure this becomes their greatest failure - either slapped down by court with hefty fees, or driving away customers in droves, and nobody is buying it.

    If this fails dramatically, chances that others will copy it are very much reduced.

  • Ignoring the technical impracticality of this idea, the most equitable solution would seem to be one based on bidding. When local network usage is low and bandwidth isn't constrained its cost is very, very low, and there are hardly any restrictions on both total usage and maximum rate. When local network usage is high and bandwidth is at a premium, each potential user is forced to bid on it. It's a limited resource; those willing to pay the most get whatever amount they're willing to pay for.
    • by Zorque (894011)

      Considering the fact that you generally want faster internet speeds in order to download things in less time, I'm pretty sure a system that takes as much time as an auction would be of any benefit.

      • I'm assuming it would be automated and handled algorithmically. One simple way would be to sell different grades of accounts. When there's contention, "first class" accounts take precedence over "coach". When there's no contention they're exactly the same. That's not really bidding, but it approximates the same principle.
    • by fferreres (525414)

      You are a genius. Let's also solve the traffic as well and reduce taxes: reserve one lane on every highway, and if you want to to avoid a 5 hour trip to work, you just pay a little more than your friend directly in front. If everyone pays, then it's not working. Wait, just raise the toll until many can't pay. Now that's life....arriving at work on time in 20 min. Isn't it worth the $500 per monthyou can afford to pay?

      Let's also solve water scarcity, crowded public parks, access to beaches, electricity scarc

      • Roads and schools are public goods. Their intent is to be available to everyone equally, not based on ability to pay. That is not the case for mobile network bandwidth, which you're already paying a company to provide.
        • by fferreres (525414)

          Not true, roads have tolls, and school quality depends on income of nearby neighborhoods (and thus funding). But that's not the aspect I was using for the metaphor. Maybe abetter methafor is airplanes. Like paying for a flight at 4:00pm but if oversold, you can pay extra to get on the plane. The ones that don't pony up, sorry you'll be late. What is fair is that if there is a bottleneck/oversold, they should compensate those that accept to be delayed, just like airlines do. Verizon is telling that your pack

          • People wander around. Verizon cannot possibly design their network to accomodate, say, 100,000 people packed in close quarters. To adapt your plane analogy, imagine if planes were general seating like city buses. The two obvious choices are: "first come first serve" and "everybody gets to bid". First come first serve might actually be a good idea for cell networks. Everybody gets guaranteed service *if* you can even connect. If the network already has enough attached devices that adding another one m
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      how would you like to go to mcdonalds and then after you've made the deal to purchase the burger they then two minutes later tell you and other customers who need a burger that you must bid on the burger to actually get it?

      that system isn't _technically_ infeasible. it's pretty simple technically. BUT it doesn't go well with signing up for a monthly contract which the operator also wants you to do. signing up people for monthly high speed and then introducing this is just a slap on the face.

      if you just paid

      • how would you like to go to mcdonalds and then after you've made the deal to purchase the burger they then two minutes later tell you and other customers who need a burger that you must bid on the burger to actually get it?

        I'd hate it. Which is why I'd expect any scheme similar to what I suggested to be spelled out clearly in the initial ToS.

  • I don't see this as a network neutrality thing at all, but rather--especially when "micro-transactions" are mentioned--as a temporary SLA boost. As I read the description, if the network is loaded down and you just HAVE to have whatever you're doing get through and are willing to pay for it, you can pay the fee and *BAM* your network priority went up for that app for that transaction or specified period of time: other than the temporary nature, I don't see this as any different than prioritization of traff

  • If this capability is in use, then wouldn't Verizon have an incentive to make their regular, non-turbo service, well, crap? If people are satisfied with the regular service, they'll have no reason to pay extra for the turbo mode. I doubt Verizon will deliberatly drop packets, but I imagine that once the turbo money rolls in they'll be in no hurry to upgrade their network and thus reduce demand for their new turbo service.
  • Time for a car analogy! Cellular bandwidth is like the traffic on your morning commute. Recently there have been complaints of traffic jams, delays, and generally slow transit speeds. However, adding more lanes to the roads is expensive, so instead the road operator has come up with a fantastic solution. They will sell Turbo Boost buttons for drivers to install in their cars. If wielders of a turbo button feel that their commute is too slow, then by pressing the button they can technomagically force al

  • When you go to a theme park, you can buy a "Fast Pass" which allows you to jump the queue. Everybody has paid for entry, but some can pay extra for special access, stroll up and jump on without waiting 40 minutes. Personally, I hate the things, as *I'VE*ALREADY*PAID* but it does make a good day out a great one, sometimes.

    This is exactly the same, except that in the theme park, you *know* that the park is busy, and so can make the decision. But online, you can't see the length of the queues (or even how busy

    • by Leebert (1694) *

      When you go to a theme park, you can buy a "Fast Pass" which allows you to jump the queue.

      FASTPASS is a Disney thing, and it's free. (Perhaps other theme parks have implemented something but DO charge, I don't go to them anymore.)

      Check out the implementation; it's actually pretty fair.

      That said, Disney *does* charge (out the wazzoo) for a VIP tour guide, who can skip lines, walk you through the park in inaccessible areas, and such. Generally, this is done for famous type people; more often than not, it's done for safety. Consider how unsafe (literally) it would be for, say, Justin Bieber to b

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        wait a minute, everyone gets a FASTPASS at disneyland?
        what's the point? isn't it just regularpass then

  • Hey, we're selling this grand dual core 3GHz server grade processor today! And if you ever want to upgrade, simply let us know, pay a fee, and we'll flip a switch on the chip to turn it into a four core 3GHz server grade processor! Why, yes, the dual core is way more expensive than other dual cores at its level!

    Or..

    Yes, sir, your phone does come with GPS. Oh you can't use it without paying a monthly fee for us to unlock it.

That does not compute.

Working...