I may not make a lot of friends with this post, since most people prefer “all you can eat Internet plans”. Other utilities are already metered like water and electricity, so why such an uproar over Internet access is not obvious to me. Internet usage here in India is already metered. This morning Time Warner is attempting that in US. The main reasons why metering makes sense for the cable provider are obvious.
1. It prevents freeloaders. Many people in the US do not secure their wireless router with a passcode since they dont pay by amount downloaded. If you are going to pay by amount used, you will secure your wifi and ensure your password is guarded.
2. There’s incentive to invest in the network as application bandwidth intense applications are more prevalent.
3. Allows for structured provisioning and capacity planning of their network, thus ensuring that more Earthlink type fiasco’s dont happen.
For consumers, there are benefits though:
1. Makes your home network more secure. If you do put a password on your network, you tend to prevent unauthorized usage, typical to not allowing people to come by and use your network for illegal means – I dont mean downloading free music or the like, but for really nefarious activities.
2. You pay for what you use and dont have to pay for those that abuse the network at the high end of usage.
There is an negative (positive depending on the way you look at it). I have stopped viewing videos on the net and my use of YouTube has dropped by 80%. I used to view all videos that my friends recommended to me, but now that’s rare.
The downside is there are over 500 pictures I have taken in the last few weeks that are still waiting to be uploaded.