Telcos: “We’re on your side. Hurr, hurr.”

In what is seen by many as an attempt to grab onto some of the success (money) of internet power houses like Google, the broadband industry has been floating ideas about charging such companies extra money since they couldn’t exist without the bandwidth provided to them by the broadband industry.

The problem is this: Would the internet be successful if the telephone and cable companies became the gatekeepers of what you could and could not see?

Additionally, we already pay for the bandwidth, and I can only assume that companies like Google already have massive bills to pay for the bandwidth to their server farms, so at first I couldn’t see how exactly one could justify such a move. After further reading I see that the industry’s idea is not to charge for the basic bandwidth that everyone gets today, but to charge extra for things like QoS guarantees. I see this as a potential slippery slope where in a few years time traditional internet access becomes sub-par because it is pushed aside by those who are paying extra for a high QoS…after all, if a packet attached to an account with guaranteed QoS comes along at the same time as your regular ole’ non-guaranteed packet, your packet is getting pushed aside. This has the potential to happen with more frequency as more and more people opt for the QoS-“enhanced” package on their broadband accounts. The broadband providers will of course have every reason to encourage more people to pay for QoS until we get to the point where everyone is paying extra. This coupled with the broadband providers desire to stifle all competition will lead to nirvana for them, and mediocrity for the rest of us.

PS: I’m already living in a state of broadband provider-induced mediocrity since I cannot get either DSL or cable HSI where I live. My only option is the $110/month I pay for an ISDN line plus the $35/month for an ISP…

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