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Doug's Mailbag: Internet by the Mile, More

Earlier this week, Doug wrote about a new plan in the works among some service providers to charge Internet users based on bandwidth use. Most (though not all) of you think that would be pretty unfair:

"My monthly bill is getting close to $150 month, and that's bad enough. My message to the providers is: Raise the price and I will declare my freedom -- from them."
-- Anonymous

"I shell out about $200 a month for phone and Internet. I even dropped my home phone to save a little. I agree, tacking on another fee would be too much."
-- Anonymous

"Americans have had it too good for too long. Here in Australia, we've had tiered Internet plans from day dot because a large
percentage of Internet traffic goes overseas on costly undersea cables or satellite. As the Internet originated from networks put together by U.S. universities and defense departments, a large portion of all Internet traffic went to American sites and therefore ISPs could sell unlimited plans because only a small amount of traffic was going overseas. Now, however, the Internet is truly global and Americans are now surfing the world for content, not just in their back yards. This is why your ISPs no longer wish to give you unlimited accounts; it's costing them money when you 'travel' outside the USA.

Usage payments should be embraced and it should encourage low-bandwidth users to the Internet by giving them cheaper accounts (i.e., $10 per month for 1G of data, $30 for 25G, and $50 for 100G). People who are clogging up the Internet by using high-bandwidth applications will pay for the privilege, and if you just want to read e-mails from your family occasionally, you'll be able to find a cheaper plan than your current all-you-can-eat plans."
-- John

"Interesting you had to mention shelling out extra money for Internet at your summer home. You could use some help in the sensitivity department. There are lots of people out of work right now that are lucky to even have a primary home, given the foreclosure mess and unemployment rates.

As for the rate hikes, they are ridiculous. No one can afford this nonsense in the current economic climate. I'm all for everyone earning a buck, but do it the right way and don't be greedy. Time Warner Cable continues to hike prices at every opportunity and if I had a choice where we live, we would NOT continue paying their exorbitant rates."
-- Anonymous

"The DSL/cable companies alike are making more than their fair share of the money with no significant improvement in service to justify the cost(s)."
-- Anonymous

And one reader is dismissing cloud computing until it settles some security issues:

"Until they take security seriously out-of-the-box and forego 'backwards compatibility' for new applications that also take security seriously, or get automatically shut down and locked out by the operating system (sort of like network access control), this 'cloud' stuff is all vaporware. That is my belief and that of the SMBs I work with here in Louisville, Ky."
-- Anonymous

Posted by Doug Barney on May 15, 2009