Broadband companies are still dreaming about a future where Internet subscribers pay for service based on how much bandwidth they use.
GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham: Verizon Chief Technology Officer Dick Lynch said today that in the coming years, wired broadband will likely be sold in packages based on the amount of data a person wants to consume, much like wireless broadband is sold today. In comments made to press at the 2009 fibre to the Home Conference Expo in Houston, Lynch stressed that he wasn’t announcing a shift in pricing for Verizon, but that: “We’re going to have to consider pricing structures that allow us to sell packages of bytes, and at the end of the day the concept of a flat-rate infinitely expandable service is unachievable.”
Translation: Get ready for the day we get to charge you for every Hulu video you dare watch!
Good luck. While it’s obviously to Verizon’s advantage to wring more money per month from its subscribers — and as capitalists, we support their mission to try — it’s going to be a very difficult conversion.
Verizon and other ISPs made the decision to sell all-you-can-eat Internet service a decade ago because it was an easy, effective way to boost subscribership. They are now stuck with that model until they can figure out an effective, convincing way to market a different business model.
Recall Time Warner Cable’s failed attempt to do that in just a few markets earlier this year.
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