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article imageSomeone admits Internet data caps not about clutter but money?

By Elizabeth Parker     Jan 24, 2013 in Technology
Canadian Internet service providers have long been trying to implement and enforce Internet data usage caps on home Internet users with the argument to the government that they need it to regulate congestion on the networks and keep them clutter free.
The practice of home Internet data caps has been in and out of court and the media in Canada for several years now, with the big data suppliers implementing, then removing them and then implementing them again. See this article in The Inquisitr from February 2011. Court had ruled the caps were unfair but gave the companies a stay almost immediately to rectify issues. The big companies rectify what the government needs and they again implement caps under the guise of managing data congestion.
A typical example of network management is explained here by Comcast in the Frequently Asked Questions. For years now this practice has been stated as needed to manage congestion but suddenly this month Michael Powell, president of the NCTA explains to a small audience that it's more about pricing fairness?
According to Broadcasting and Cable when Michael Powell was asked about data caps and congestion, he said the public conception of data caps to manage data congestion is wrong,
"That's wrong," he said. "Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost."
He went on to explain it was more about getting people who use the model the most to pay fairly so you can keep it affordable for those that don't or can't afford to use it as much, comparing it to buying a less expensive hot tub then your neighbor and your neighbor would have more lighting and toys. Also noted at Broadcasting and Cable he made mention that it was to help keep web developers in check on their development of applications and web sites bandwidth usage.
"If you have an unlimited pricing model, you can basically say: 'I can build an app or a service and I don't really concern myself with how much bandwidth consumption it will take...There is no disciplining element."
With the cable companies large profit margins, as shown at Stop the Caps, it appears extremely doubtful as to whether they are truly after fair pricing so the 35% that aren't on line could get on line, as stated by Mr. Powell.
"We worry about the 30%-35% who aren't on the Web yet, but aren't willing to entertain pricing approaches that might bring them there in a cost-effective way," he said.
We would see costs going down for the smaller users, but this has never happened, and often the smaller users prices go up more then the big users as in January's announced price in creases at Rogers also shown in the Stop the Caps article, "Some of the steepest rate increases are reserved for budget-minded customers who only want the basics."
As stated by The Inquisitr back in 2011, I wouldn't hold my breath for any fast pricing model changes, but maybe there is now some truth in it being about the money.
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