Friday, February 03, 2006

I Have to Pay for What???

An anonymous comment on my last post forced me to do some research. What I found was more than disturbing. The title link goes to a website detailing information about a move by the big telecoms to make most facets of our internet use a pay service. This means everything from the number of websites you visit and the number of emails you send, to the number of media downloads will be subject to a pay by play service. I can understand how there may be beneficial uses for this kind of structure. For example, a very inexpensive form of DSL. However, the average user who already pays between $20 and $60 a month for DSL probably wants the ability to do what they want on the web for what they shell out each month. Simply put, this is a bad idea for the mass market. It will disrupt other parts of the economy. Could you imagine trying to search for Christmas gifts on Amazon, or searching google for just about anything. Your five minute endeavor would cost $10. Moreover, imagine what it will do to the business and legal communities that rely on email or research services like Westlaw. Not only do you pay for the West service, you have to pay per click to your ISP. How about iTunes? Now you pay $1 for your download, but $3 to download the file. What's next, a pay per boot version of Windows? Actually, I probably shouldn't give them that idea. Regardless, call your ISP, write your Congressman, keep this from happening.

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