Originally Posted by allenottawa
If it was something like 20 cents per GB then it'd be fair. However, I somehow doubt it'll go like that.
That is one thing I'd like to see studied. The way I view it is that if we decide that the Internet is actually "important", we can make it like a public utility, and operate in that manner. Pay per GB could entirely work, just like electric meters do. If someone uses more power - then they pay more in a billing period. I could even see it metered by time of day, with lower rates during the lull hours of the night, and higher rates in "prime time". I could also see "bulk rates" for people that are using it for, say, telecommuting, since there would be a net benefit in the "subsidy" of a lower rate for working from home because it would yield less pollution, less energy use, and less wear and tear on roads.
But to sell this requires to know what the fee might actually be. Like if it was $20 a month for a fiber optic connection, and a cent per GB - people would entirely go for that, considering that rate wouldn't be just for data, but for the provision of video signals as well. The average person would come out ahead, and heavy users really would not be paying all that much. Really, if it cost me a cent or two to download Linux, I'd not be sweating. And if my VPN costs me a few dollars per month so I can work from home - it's cheaper than gas to drive in when I don't need to be there physically. Even if it was 10 cents per GB - Linux would be 10 cents, a movie would be like fifty cents, VPN would be like a $1.50, and so on.
But if the ISPs are thinking they can continue to swindle us, by using their shoddy and shamefilled "technology", capped and throttled and deeply packet inspected - where they see fit to stifle what I want to do because they are using the bandwidth I pay for, to give it to some dude that wants cheap, low quality long distance - then that's all a scam. And we all know they would want $60 a month, for "technology" that is devoid of any real speed, and want a $1 or more per GB for the priviledge.
The way I look at it, with dial-up, I am paying $3 for the ability to download perhaps 12GB per month - so any alternate service that is compartable, like $30 for 120GB per month, would be acceptable in my books. And if the want it to have an Internet that is more about Media, like video, voice, and stuff like that - then we need more bandwidth; over say, traditional uses like downloading, email, etc. I would think that $1 GB would be a deal killer, it would be hard to justify VPN at the cost of $150 per month - even if it does save a bit of gas.
So really, it comes down to the real "cost" - and that is a number I have never, ever seen published or even studied. Until we have that number, the verdict is really out, because really, it is the amount one can download, rather than the ultimate speed, that is truly important.