Friday, August 22, 2008

This Does Not Bode Well: ISPs Are Eying Higher Rates For "Big" Users

It's the "public utility" model, run for private gain. I guess, if one wanted to quibble, there are differences between entry costs and opportunity costs. But it's anti-democratic as hell...

This is but the latest attack on the anarchy of the Nets, from a different direction. Already there's been the attack on Net neutrality, and the 'content' attack on porn/nudity/violence. Allied to this is the "child protection" racket, always just barely in view. This next one is the "commodification of information" by quantifying the bauds and bits (truly large numbers for feature films, etc) and charging by the unit, attack. It's purely economic. You got the money, you get the bandwidth. Otra ves, nada mas, como que tristes...

This is not, necessarily--unless your a lazy old pensioner like me--a barrier to entry into ITLand. But it is an obstruction to exploiting the liberatory potential of as close to the 'objective' conversation (cf, i.e., Habermas, on 'communicative rationality') as we're likely to get. As we write, post, and read, all over ITLand corporate and government headquarters, and in labs scattered from Massachusetts to New Mexico and California, literally thousands of flunkies, functionaries, sycophants and satraps, managers and merchandisers, psychologists and propagandists in the ranks of the CorpoRat Emirate are (to the extent that ANY of them are distinguishable from any of the others) bending their every thought, word and deed to neutralizing the Internet. (Personally, I believe the most efficient way to reduce 'offensive' traffic on the Tubes is to institute a requirement that, if you want to blog, and offer criticism, and use the Net as a forum, you will be required to buy a $1,000,000 Libel Liability bond.. That'd shut li'l ol'me right the fuck up...):
by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer
Fri Aug 22, 10:36 AM ET

NEW YORK - Three months ago, Guy Distaffen switched Internet providers, lured from his cable company to his phone company by a year of free service on a two-year contract. But soon the company quietly updated its policies to say it would limit his Internet activity each month.

We felt that were suckered," said Distaffen, who lives in the small village of Silver Springs in upstate New York.

The phone company, Frontier Communications Corp., is one of several Internet service providers that are moving to curb the growth of traffic on their networks, or at least make the subscribers who download the most pay more.

This could have consequences not just for consumers — who would have to learn to watch how much data their Internet use entails — but also for companies that hope to make the Internet a conduit for movies and other content that comes in huge files.

Cable companies have been at the forefront of imposing and talking about usage caps, because their lines are shared between households. Frontier's announcement is noteworthy because it is a phone company — and it is matching a seemingly low ceiling set by a main cable rival: just 5 gigabytes per month, the equivalent of about 3 DVD-quality movies.

"We go through that in a week," Distaffen said. "If they start enforcing the caps we're going to have to change service." Other subscribers on, where the cap was first reported, echoed his feelings.

But since the other option for wired broadband in the village is Time Warner Cable Inc., switching providers isn't necessarily going to get Distaffen away from a bandwidth cap. The cable company is trying out a 5-gigabyte traffic cap for new users in Beaumont, Texas. Every gigabyte above that costs $1. More expensive plans have higher caps — at $54.90 per month, the allowance is 40 gigabytes. Depending on the results of the trial, Time Warner Cable may apply the same pricing structure elsewhere.

Frontier's biggest market is in Rochester, N.Y., where it competes with Time Warner Cable.

"This isn't really an issue that's just going to be about Frontier," said Philip Dampier, a Rochester-based technology writer who is campaigning to get Frontier to back off its plans. "Virtually every broadband provider has been suddenly discovering that there's this so-called `bandwidth crisis' going on in the United States."
There's more at the link, but you get the flavor of the problem from this approximately first half of the story. With the consequence of soon enough reducing everything written to the crabbed and cramped--albeit clever, occasionally--style of 14yo girls jabbering at the mall...? To be 'parsimonious' with language will soon be the quality of reducing words to their smallest recognizable lexicographical components. In some ways, it represents the final conquest of Fonix...I was afraid I'd live this long...

(P.S.: 8/24/08, we beat Raw Story with this by almost 40 hours. TEE DUBYA AAY ELL!)

1 comment:

Buck Thrust said...

yes, ban that awful nudity and violence

(wait, there won't be any hollywood krap movies then)