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Mixed Reception To AT&T's New Data Pricing Scheme 514

Several readers have sent in followups to Wednesday's news that AT&T was eliminating its unlimited data plan. Glenn Derene at Popular Mechanics defends the new plan, writing, "Imagine, for a moment, if we bought electricity the way we buy data in this country. Every month, you would pay a fixed amount of money (say, $120), and then you would use as much electricity as you wanted, with an incentive to use as much as you could. That brings price stability to the end user, but it's a horrible way to manage electricity load." Others point out that this will likely engender more scrutiny from regulatory agencies and watchdog groups. A Computerworld article says that one way or the other, AT&T's decision is a huge deal for the mobile computing industry, influencing not only how other carriers look at data rates, but how content providers and advertisers will need to start thinking about a data budget if they want consumers to keep visiting their sites. AT&T, responding to criticism, has decided to allow iPad buyers to use the old, unlimited plan as long as they order before June 7, and Gizmodo has raised the question of "rollover bytes."
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Mixed Reception To AT&T's New Data Pricing Scheme

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  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @06:30PM (#32464654) Homepage

    Mixed Reception To AT&T's New Data Pricing Scheme

    That's true provided your definition of "mixed reception" encompasses the pitchfork and torch carrying mob ready to storm AT&T headquarters.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @06:46PM (#32464834)

    You don't pay by the watt hour for electricity your telephone uses, your house power could be done in a similar way.

    Instead of paying per watt hour... your electricity usage is capped at any given point in time, you use as much or as little for a flat rate, but a special regulator circuit stops you from going over the cap... there are 3 plans.. the Lite plan, which includes 45 watts usage (Power a light bulb!), $60 a month; basically, the equivalent to the iPhone 2GB plan. The Bronze plan, which includes a 100 watts, "light up the whole house", for $100 a month... Gold includes 500 watts usage, "watch TV", $200 month, Platinum includes 1000 Watts usage, "perfect for cooking, and finally there is the high-power connection Energy Plus, 2000 Watts usage, "run an HVAC" system, only $500 a month.

    During times when demand is higher, people trying to use too much electricity get their cap dropped.

    Also, just because you have 45 Watts of usage, doesn't mean you are allowed to continuously use it all the time.

    If usage is deemed excessive, power will be turned off, your account may be terminated at any time, at the sole discretion of the power company.

    You may be forced to buy a more expensive plan if you continuously use 45 watts 24/7.

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @08:25PM (#32465744) Homepage

    Incidentally, "mixed reception" is the perfect description of AT&T's service.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @09:05PM (#32465976)

    The airline industry has grown quite a bit in the past several decades despite this. I don't see why charging for bandwidth use would affect competition over network speed.

    You wouldn't happen to have an employee named Dilbert, would you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 05, 2010 @02:35AM (#32467272)

    If I buy something, I can use it however I like.

    Unless of course, it says in the contract that you can't. Don't like it? Then don't sign up for the service.

    (What is up with the spoiled brat attitude of everyone these days?)

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