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Technology Marches Backward 

Letter of the Week  

I am disappointed with the new Bend Broadband billing method that penalizes customers for their Internet use. One reason I moved to Bend was because they had high speed Internet service. I use the high speed Internet to its fullest. I download media content through my wireless TIVO interface for viewing on my TV, I stream Internet music through our stereo, and I use Skype to web cam my friends and family. Isn't this exactly the type of usage that Bend Broadband fostered with their TV and print ads?

According to you, most Bend Broadband customers (91%) use less than the 10 GB per month. However, isn't the trend towards greater usage? Aren't the people who are simply surfing the web and reading their e-mails likely to start using newer media services? I believe that while I might be "pioneering" uses for the Internet, I am not that far ahead of the majority of customers. Isn't this a step back in technology? Will customers be discouraged from trying new non-Bend Broadband services for fear that they will overuse their service?

Now that you are moving to digital TV, why shouldn't I be concerned that you will put bandwidth constraints on TV viewing? In the future, will I need to pay more for watching TV more than the average?

Is bandwidth a problem for Bend Broadband? If so, now that you are throttling usage of your top 9% customers, why haven't you reduced the price for service to the remaining 91%?

Is this new pricing scheme just a method to raise rates? Is it a method to control media to homes, so that your Pay for View service is the only viable method to get digital media? It appears that you are one of the few ISP's in the nation to cap Internet usage.

I understand if you need to control the top 1% of customers who you say use 33% of your bandwidth. But instead this appears to put the kibosh on all proponents of broadband and the next generation of users. Please review your new pricing scheme and let us enjoy the excitement of the Internet without concern that our $47 a month fee is not enough!

Sam Handelman

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