Yes, there wasn’t a typo in the subject title. Metering, not marketing. Metering, as in paying for internet based on consumption. Sounds great, right?! : )
As of right now there some muckity mucks in washington, more specifically the FCC, are toying around with the idea of having internet service providers charge based on how much content you download on the internet. Like, under a certain plan, you’d have a 20 GB limit per month. Doesn’t sound too bad until you think of the file size of online video (a high-def movie online can take up to 2-3 GB). So the basic premise is the more online video or music or other files you download or play, the more your internet will cost.
For those reading this, skeptical that something like this would take place, you need to look no further than north of the border. That’s right, this experiment has just been tried in Canada and boy, was it not pretty. The Calgary Herald reports that there have been over 220,000 signatures on a petition to reverse the internet metering. The article mentions a graphic designer who does freelance work professionally having to download large files everyday for his customers, finding his internet bill $34 higher than usual.
In the defense of the service providers, they’re in a scrambling sort of mode right now. Things were fine for them back when watching video online was a rarity, but now that video streaming has gone mainstream, they have a problem with dramatically higher bandwidth costs. And how do you charge more for the higher cost when you have a chunk of people who watch a ton of video versus those who use the internet sparingly. That’s the root of the problem.
Call me captain obvious, but my conclusion is that people loathe bills that have different prices every month for reasons beyond their understanding. I’m hoping that the service providers can take an average and charge a fair, fixed monthly price, without the government getting involved.