Monday, March 03, 2014

Verizon Wants To Charge Gamers More For Data

So that whole Net Neutrality thing, the one that says in the U.S. all internet usage should be treated equally - that it doesn't matter if you download 2GB or 200GB a month, data use can't be prioritized or given special treatment. The appeals court struck down the law in January saying that it's something that the FCC can't enforce. It doesn't completely invalidate net neutrality, but it does allow for more freedom to companies on how they want to distribute data use. More importantly: how much they want people to pay for it.

The Chief Exec at Verizon wants to start making those changes by making those customer who use more data pay more money. Possibly as soon as this quarter.

With the clauses in net neutrality no longer valid, it's giving companies such as ComCast, Time Warner, Netflix, and Hulu the ability to charge their customers more for how much data they use. Eventually we may see a cellphone plan-like system where you buy a monthly bundle based on your data usage. Obviously if you're a gamer or a frequent movie watcher, you are so going to get screwed over by pricing. And remember, this isn't just PC usage. Your PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox360, and One all factor into your internet plan.

From a business standpoint, it makes sense. You're using more, therefore you should pay more.

Why are we as internet users not so happy about it? Well for one, we're already paying out the ass for slower speeds. Verizon FiOS for most households is $99 a month for the minimum package. Jump to South Korea where users experience the net for up to 200 times what we have access to, for under $30 a month.

Second, there are still parts of the country with little to no internet access. We're having enough trouble keeping up with the rest of the world on the technological scale. While a good portion of the states can access broadband, most can not or are fortunate to receive dial-up. How can companies expect us to pay more money for the pleasure of the web when we can't even get our neighbors online?

Third, web usage isn't the same as a utility like gas or electricity that come in a limited supply. By using more water, there is less for others so you pay for it. Downloading more movies doesn't really prevent others from downloading or watching movies. It doesn't stop people from accessing the internet. It's just another means of companies to make more money. Hell you're already going to have to pay more in electricity by running that computer all day long. A larger bill to Verizon or Time Warner is just another kick in the balls.

I wouldn't be surprised if these changes occurred over the next few months. I'm already cringing at the thought of my bill.

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