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Phone Co. Wants To Bleed Users Dry


Posted by Non-Hamster on October 31st, 2008

If you think that the title of this post is a Halloween prank, think again.  This isn't about some ghoulish silliness inspired by the hell driven Halloween mess that goes on all over the place at this time of year, I am not a hamster, I don't have time for that brand of idiocy.  It's about a telephone company deciding to be a blood-sucking vampire and dictate how much Internet it's users are allowed to have.

Frontier Communications Co. is planning to charge it's subscribers an extra dollar or two per gigabyte of traffic that goes over a limit they're going to set.  How high is that limit?  As of this writing it's set to be a measly five gigabytes a month starting next year.  This means that if you're one of the rapidly growing number of people who like to watch movies or live streaming video online, you're going to be running into that bandwidth cap really fast.  Sit back to watch a movie or six online this week and it's no vegas hotel stay for you next vacation time!  You're going to be spending your vacation money on bandwidth surcharges instead!

Frankly, you could burn through 5 GB watching just two or three movies.  If you like to kill an evening watching YouTube, you could find yourself banging into that cap nearly as fast as if you were watching full length movies.

And it's not just downloads it's applying to, the way the article I saw reads, the cap applies to "total amount of data that users download and upload in a given month", which means you don't REALLY get 5gb of download, you get more like a little over 4 and a half gb because some of that data is outbound.

What really frosts my cookies is that Frontier's big thing is rural markets in 25 states.  Lemme tell you city folks something about rural markets since I live in one.  You see, when you live in a rural market there's a VERY high probability that you only have ONE internet provider that serves where you live.  If that one chooses to do something this monumentally stupid you get a choice of either forking over or going off-line.  There is NO other provider that you can switch to because they've got a brain where the one doesn't.

Then there's another bit of nonsense:

The company is at the forefront of what CEO Maggie Wilderotter believes is a trend among Internet service providers

Ah, Hello?!?  Maggie?  Is anybody home up there?  How the God's name can you say it's "a trend" when you're "at the forefront"?!?  That means it's NOT a trend but Maggie W. & Co. WANT it to become a trend.

Sorry Maggie, sell your snake oil someplace else, I'm not buying.

I think that ISP's that try to implement stupidity like this are going to find themselves without customers, in the cities anyway where people actually get a choice that is.  Those who are in rural areas and have no choice but Frontier (or another outfit with similarly stupid ideas) will end up having to choose between paying excessive fees and going off line because they can't afford to or refuse to pay what will end up being excessive fees for Internet access.

I think that what these people should be doing is working on expanding their network capacity instead of spending all this time and money coming up with cockamamie ideas like only allowing 5gb a month.

Strangely enough, Comcast was mentioned in that same article as implementing a 250 gb a month limit.  That's a lot better, but still no good.  Any cap needs to be a minimum of twice that before it's going to be reasonable.

Reasonable on the other hand is to just expand the network capability.  The telephone system grew and grew, using more capacity all the time and old Ma Bell never tried any asinine crap like this with phone service ... "you can have x minutes a month of service, after that you have to pay so much a minute..."  They didn't do it because they knew what happens to blood sucking vampires, somebody puts a stake in their heart.  Ma Bell also knew full well that it was a stupid thing to do when all they really needed to do was increase network capacity.  So they increased network capacity to fit the demand.

Hello?!?  Maggie?  Anybody home?

Technorati Tags: 5gb month, bandwidth cap, frontier communications, increase capacity, bandwidth limits, blood sucking vampire

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