An article on the The New York Times discusses the idea being proposed by big US ISPs that “internet metering” would make a come back and possibly stay for good.
Some people use the Internet simply to check e-mail and look up phone numbers. Others are online all day, downloading big video and music files.
For years, both kinds of Web surfers have paid the same price for access. But now three of the country’s largest Internet service providers are threatening to clamp down on their most active subscribers by placing monthly limits on their online activity.
One of them, Time Warner Cable, began a trial of “Internet metering” in one Texas city early this month, asking customers to select a monthly plan and pay surcharges when they exceed their bandwidth limit. The idea is that people who use the network more heavily should pay more, the way they do for water, electricity, or, in many cases, cellphone minutes.
That same week, Comcast said that it would expand on a strategy it uses to manage Internet traffic: slowing down the connections of the heaviest users, so-called bandwidth hogs, at peak times.
AT&T also said Thursday that limits on heavy use were inevitable and that it was considering pricing based on data volume. “Based on current trends, total bandwidth in the AT&T network will increase by four times over the next three years,” the company said in a statement.
All three companies say that placing caps on broadband use will ensure fair access for all users.
That’s in the US, here in the Philippines there is little talk or discussions about this problem. Though Yuga has hinted about this in a blog post last year in which he learned that 60% of internet traffic in the country comes from P2P and Torrents usage, the local telcos/ISPs seem to be comfortable with how things are right now.
Heck, all their “instant installation” promos and gimmicks for their broadband internet services gives the impression that our local telcos/ISPs have the capacity to accommodate the growing population of Filipino internet users. For now?
This reminds me of a quote from Karl Marx, “The country that is more developed industrially only shows, to the less developed, the image of its own future.”
Once we achieve the same level of internet penetration in the US, and this could be just a few years away, this same issue will move up our list of major concerns. Add to that the internet usage behavior of Pinoys who love torrents and P2Ps, this will really become a major issue. Question now is, will the local telcos/ISPs take the same route as their foreign counterparts did and start putting a cap on our bandwidth?