Time Warner Cable is currently testing technology that would allow it to bill broadband users based on their internet consumption. Currently the company is merely testing meters that calculate internet usage, and doesn’t have any immediate plans to start consumption-based billing.
If implemented, the company would likely charge set amounts for specific usage levels, so the guy who just checks Facebook a day won’t be paying the same amount per month as the guy who does nothing but stream Netflix movies all day.
On a basic level it makes sense to charge the heaviest users on a network a higher price. It’s not exactly fair that the guy streaming video constantly to his home can pay the same amount each month as the guy who just checks his email occasionally.
Starting consumption-based billing; however, is a pretty slippery slope. At one point it was easy to get unlimited data for your smartphone, and now that’s an option you either won’t find or will pay a pretty penny for.
The more people who start using broadband networks, the higher the cost for those providers. Consumption-based billing is something I’m personally fairly certain we’ll see in my lifetime, although I sincerely hope not in the next few years.
What do you think? Are you ok with broadband providers charging based on consumption? What do you think a fair price would be?