Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why Thwart Network Usage When the Meter's On?

One of the many disconnects in the network neutrality debate---at least the wireless one-lies in the simple fact that carriers make money primarily when subscribers use the network. Of course ISPs do not want subscribers to use too much of the network, despite having encouraged consumption with so called, but not actual "All You Can Eat" pricing.

So with that in mind why on earth would an ISP drop packets, misrepresent their subscribers or engage in tactics that create disincentives for subscribers to consume? Well it may be a little like the mutual fund that wants to ration customer service representative access as a function of how much a particular customer has invested in the fund. The million dollar investor could have access to a special telephone number that gets answered by a real--and qualified--person while others are left to navigate through a gauntlet designed to migrate them to automated responses. But at least one mutual fund told particularly heavy calling customers with small financial stakes to take their business elsewhere. In practice ISPs are saying the same thing to heavy users and ones that may contribute to network congestion and the possible need for the carrier to upgrade facilities.

Nevertheless ISPs do not want too many subscribers to get frustrated or infer that they ought to take their business elsewhere. Perhaps that explains the announcement by Verizon that it seemingly embraces network neutrality; see Verizon Wireless To Introduce ‘Any Apps, Any Device’ Option For Customers In 2008 New Open Development Initiative Will Accelerate Innovation and Growth, available at:http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-27-2007/0004711790&EDATE=

So never mind about all the righteous indignation about how network neutrality would stifle investment, innovation, competition and freedom.

Regardless of the motivation, I am truly pleased to read that a major wireless carrier wants my business.

2 comments:

pcsolotto said...

Ive read this topic for some blogs. But I think this is more informative.

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