theodp writes: Molly Wood is tired of multiple data plans, artificial caps, and arbitrary monthly usage charges. Not to mention paying the same companies multiple times for the exact same 'service' — data. Between multiple cell phones and their add-ons, high-speed Internet connections, and digital TV subscriptions, most households are paying for data delivery at least three times over, often paying the same provider twice. It's time for a universal data plan, Wood declares: 'I want to pay once for data, I want that data to be unlimited, and I want to be able to use it in any fashion I choose.' Still, she has hopes that the-times-they-will-be-a-changin': 'It's only a matter of time before regulators catch wind of just how many times we're being charged for the exact same thing. Everyone's usage is going to start to increase, and this parsing and nickel-and-dime-ing and 'plus' and 'pro' plans is all just a smoke screen. And, frankly, a rip-off.' Michael Weinberg also notes that we're at an AOL-fork-in-the-road moment, but the jury's still out on whether competition will force a consumer-friendly path to be taken.
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