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Look Forward To Per-Service, Per-Page Fees 400

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: "[Two] companies, Allot Communications and Openet — suppliers to large wireless companies including AT&T and Verizon — showed off a new product in a web seminar Tuesday, which included a PowerPoint presentation (1.5-MB .pdf) that was sent to Wired by a trusted source. The idea? Make it possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using Facebook, Skype or Netflix. For instance, in the seventh slide of the above PowerPoint, a Vodafone user would be charged two cents per MB for using Facebook, three euros a month to use Skype and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube."
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Look Forward To Per-Service, Per-Page Fees

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  • by alain94040 ( 785132 ) * on Saturday December 18, 2010 @12:25PM (#34600054) Homepage

    One wireless carrier alone like Verizon couldn't implement such a net-killing feature: their customers would abandon them cold. And if all the US carriers adopted that together, that would be the best case to start an antitrust investigation and shake the wireless landscape once and for all.

    That being said, you got to look a slide #6: it's one of the best expression of greed I have ever seen.

    -- have you signed up your co-founders yet? []

  • by nysus ( 162232 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @12:28PM (#34600074)

    ...where corporations are free to fuck you in the ass.

  • Disneyland Analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by webdog314 ( 960286 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @12:44PM (#34600206)

    There was a time, not so long ago, when a good business strategy was to make you product as appealing as possible so that everyone would want to buy it. That's exactly the opposite of today. Today, the business models for the major carriers all focus on just how much they can screw us for before we yelp. They are literally destroying their own market. The reason the internet has been so successful is that once you have paid for access, where you go has been mostly free. This is like Disneyland going back to a ticket system. The only real question is, who will be the "E" ticket rides...

  • by redemtionboy ( 890616 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @12:51PM (#34600266)
    Your entire argument falls apart when one company simply decides not to join in with the ridiculous and cumbersome practices and instead offer superior service. If profit is motivation, then surely one company would realize that "hey, if everyone else is being a dick, I can make a ton of profit by not being a dick and simply getting all the frustrated customers." The legion of doom argument that supposes all corporations sit and plot the downfall of the working class together always seems to amaze me, because it goes against the very fundamentals of capitalism. It's no different than game theory. Everyone talks about it on paper, but no one uses it in reality, because EVERYONE has to use and play along, or it doesn't freaking work.
  • Populist Revolt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ffejie ( 779512 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @12:53PM (#34600276)
    I never understood the side of the Net Neutrality argument that most commenters are taking here. Why shouldn't a company that has built out infrastructure (in some cases taking enormous risk) be free to charge what they want to access that infrastructure? I understand that your current contract may allow unlimited use of the internet, but the economics are changing and service providers should be encouraged to think up new business models, or there is no reward for them to ever upgrade their networks.

    A small side comment: I remember a few years ago when people were livid that AT&T would consider going to a metered plan on their mobile data access plans. You know what? It worked. The plans they offered were competitive and people used what they bought. The price point for basic data access was lowered, more people got online with their mobile devices and AT&T got more revenue out of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18, 2010 @01:02PM (#34600340)

    No no no!

    You misunderstand libertarian thought entirely.

    You are free to disconnect from the internet and build your own internet. This is obviously fair, and your freedom to do this will clearly keep folks who want to gouge you from doing so.

  • Re:Populist Revolt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18, 2010 @01:04PM (#34600358)

    Why shouldn't a company that has built out infrastructure (in some cases taking enormous risk) be free to charge what they want to access that infrastructure?

    Because in many/most cases, the company did *not* take any risk whatsoever - or if there was risk, it was still highly mitigated at the taxpayers' expense.

  • by bradbury ( 33372 ) <Robert.Bradbury@gmail . c om> on Saturday December 18, 2010 @01:06PM (#34600380) Homepage

    OMG, I'm scared to death that they are going to start charging me for this stuff. But, but, but, wait a minute, I only look at my Facebook page once every couple of weeks, certainly don't use it as a twitter substitute (which I also don't use). I only rarely look at a YouTube Video and am unlikely to download NetFlix videos over the net until they support Linux. And then there is the fact that I've only got a Net10/LG NTLG300GB cell phone without one of those fancy displays that is on an expired usage contract [1].

    So as far as I can tell, the only "newsworthy" aspect of this is that the evil phone companies are attempting to tax (cough extort) money from those wealthy enough to own (or have a contract) that supports a "fancy phone" habit and/or those who have nothing better to do than waste time updating their Facebook pages or watching NetFlix on their phone [2].

    God, I hope that some liberal congressperson gets wind of this and arm twists the FCC to stop this evil corporate activity which would apparently discriminate against those in the 10-20 y.o age group.

    My net. This appears to be a "lottery"-like tax on those who don't have better things to do with their time/money. YMMV.

    1. Means I have to go down to Walmart or BestBuy and buy some minutes to reactivate it.
    2. Because surveys have found that most "engineers" (aka those who have better things to do with the time like actually build something) view Facebook as a complete waste of time and the only Netflix videos they are interested in watching would be the new update to Tron to see if it lives up all the money being spent advertising it.

  • Re:Inevitable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swrider ( 854292 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @01:43PM (#34600720) Homepage
    Bits is bits! Bandwidth is not free, but it is only bandwidth that the carriers should be selling. They should not be charging different rates for different flavors of bits. They should not even be aware that the bits are reaching my phone from Google, or YouTube, or my e-mail server. All, they need to know is that I requested a specified number of bits to enter their network to be relayed through to my mobile device.

    This is why the cellular carriers should not be omitted from any type of net neutrality rules put into place by the FCC. And this is why the Republicans actions to prevent the FCC from issuing net neutrality rulings needs to be prevented. See []
  • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @02:30PM (#34601156) Journal

    You seem to be letting a personal dislike of certain technologies cloud your view. Firstly, net-capable phones are by no means limited to iPhone price territory - a perfectly capable smartphone can easily be found for about £100 unlocked or less than £20/month on a contract. You call Facebook a waste of time, I call it a useful supplement to my other choices of mobile communication (i.e. calls and texts), especially for group conversations or 'broadcast' messaging (think "We're in the pub, feel free to join us", or some such. Not life-or-death, obviously, but a damn useful tool nonetheless). Just because you judge something to be worthless doesn't make it so - plenty of people would consider posting on slashdot to be a waste of time, yet you still do so.

    What's much more important, though is that many of us are of the opinion that (aside from edge cases regarding certain peering arrangements or QOS) a MB is a MB, and thus any distinction places artificial restrictions on net access, almost inevitably leading to carriers coercing content providers to pay more for the use of their network despite the fact that upstream was paid at the datacenter and downstream was paid by the consumer. The fact that the first moves in this direction happen to be on mobile connections rather than fixed lines, and that the services mentioned happen not to be ones that you personally use, surely shouldn't be enough to prevent you from seeing that any kind of restriction will lay the groundwork for you, the consumer, being screwed over.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @03:41PM (#34601688)

    Like so many others, you don't seem to understand what Net Neutrality is actually doing. The regulation as I understand it is about controlling the speed and access to various hosts - as in, they al need to be able to be accessed at exactly the same speed (no traffic shaping for VOIP for example) and you will not be blocked from any host (well, except possibly the ones the government doesn't like - that would come later though).

    Net Neutrality doesn't say anything about the ISP's altering what you are charged based on the host you are accessing. You see, that's the problem with creating a tool or regulation to solve a problem that doesn't exist, is that when the real problem comes along you have nothing to stop it.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday December 18, 2010 @06:51PM (#34602842) Journal

    I'm afraid you are wrong, and here is why: The "big money" for the telecos is NOT in scamming customers from each other, it is in ridiculous "butt raped to the 900th power" long term contracts that they offer with the latest iShiny. If they were to leech massive amount of customers from another, why then they'd have to build new infrastructure, and that would cut into the quarterly earnings which is bad. No instead just like how ALL FOUR TELECOS raised the price of SMS at the exact same time, they will simply get together and set a date for the raping to commence.

    No you can scream anti-trust all you want, nobody in Washington gives a shit anymore, and hasn't in decades. If they did the telecos/cablecos would have been busted a LONG time ago for their sleazy tactics and ass raping of customers. Instead a couple of the fringe politicians will give lip service to doing something about it, will have some meetings in some committee, where it will promptly die hard thanks to bribes....err I mean lobbyist suggestions.

    So I'm sorry friend, but your premise hinges on having a "free market" which hasn't actually existed in a long time, if it ever did in the telecommunications industry. In reality most have their own little monopolies, where the competitors if you want to call them that have truly shitastic service if you can even get a signal. Look up something like "teleco cherry picking" to see how they only really compete with each other in a few really juicy markets, whereas everywhere else is lock in city. And the simple fact is they can compete in the cherry pick areas by offering nicer iShiny phones than the other guy while STILL ass raping on the contract, so it will be profit city! Meanwhile we will get farther and farther behind everyone else, the equivalent of the short bus on the information superhighway. Welcome to corporatist Amerika! Please enjoy your free groping on the way in and out!

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.