Internet pricing

Bandwidth-based pricing for Internet will only discourage future innovation.

If the American Cable Association (ACA) has its way, your Internet may soon become much more expensive. At its annual summit last week, the ACA predicted that in the future, cable companies will be forced to turn to tier-based bandwidth pricing when charging its customers for Internet usage. This translates to higher costs for people who use the Internet the most while lower costs for users who use it less. In a recent article in TomâÄôs Hardware, Patrick Knorr, general manager of Sunflower Broadband, stated that âÄúa grandmother who just wants to read e-mail should not have to subsidize the college kid âĦ âÄù Yet instead of prohibiting the growth of the Internet, the ACA should instead evolve and realize that cable television is a technology of the past. Cable television has been hit hard by the Internet as services such as the online video rental giant Netflix have really taken a bite out of their business. Most networks have also put their full lineup of primetime shows on their websites, in effect making cable television obsolete. But by adapting a tier-based bandwidth charge model, growth and innovation of the Internet will only be prohibited. The new innovations that the public has taken for granted, such as online video streaming and music downloading, all require a set amount of bandwidth. If that bandwidth is privately taxed in this new pricing model, the people who take full advantage of what it has to offer will be severely penalized while âÄúgrandma,âÄù who in this case is a figure-head in discouraging innovation and growth, will wreak the benefits from such a measure. Also troubling is how already companies such as Time Warner have failed with such bandwidth-based business models as of late. Companies should take this as a sign that the consumer will not stand for such a moronic act. The Internet has brought a new and more efficient medium for everyday activities. Cable companies should not prohibit its growth but instead encourage it and conform to its standards. A bandwidth tier charging system will make this impossible, which is why all talk of such needs to end now.