Friday, April 18, 2008

Thin Edge of the Broadband Wedge?

BendBroadband's plan to offer faster connections but charge heavy users extra inspired the technology site Gizmodo to post an article headlined: "The Future of Broadband:

Posted By on Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 12:29 PM

BendBroadband's plan to offer faster connections but charge heavy users extra inspired the technology site Gizmodo to post an article headlined: "The Future of Broadband: We're Totally Screwed."

In the short run, "we" will consist mainly of Web developers and other heavy users like Jake of who upload and download massive amounts of data. But in the not-too-long run, the screwees are likely to include a lot more of us.

Under BendBroadband's four-tiered scheme the most basic plan will let you send and receive up to 10 gigabytes per month free, with a surcharge of $1.50 per gig after that. The 10 GB quota is enough, according to BendBroadband, for all but about 8% of its users.

For now. But according to tech-savvy people of The EYE's acquaintance, before too long most of us will be getting movies to watch at home via the Internet rather than going out and renting a CD from Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. And if you download movies you can run through your 10-gig monthly allotment pretty damn fast.

What motives could BendBroadband have? Well, in the short term they'll make a little more money from heavy users. In the longer term they could make a lot more money from ordinary users. And the surcharge could discourage people from downloading movies and other entertainment from the Net in favor of getting pay-per-view offerings over cable - thereby generating more revenue for BendBroadband's cable TV operations

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