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The Metered Internet: Where Has all the Bandwidth Gone?

. . . Long time passing.

A basic premise of the metered Internet plans Time Warner and other ISPs are cooking up is that there is simply too much bandwidth being used up by too few people. You know, the YouTube users and the downloaders. In order to be able to maintain – and presumably enhance – the network to accommodate such over usage, someone needs to pay for all that loss of bandwidth. As much as I vehemently disagree with the plan on a number of levels, I did at first take this root concept somewhat at face value.

But then, on my ride into work this morning, I happened to catch another one of those annoying Time Warner commercials for their “All in One Package” and it suddenly dawned on me: hey! Isn’t broadband phone service (VoIP to it’s friends) kind of a heavy-bandwidth activity? And aren’t people paying Time Warner extra money for use of said service?

Why, yes. Yes they are. And having now encumbered a fair amount of the overall network bandwidth with phone calls, Time Warner would like to charge Internet users extra to do what they were encouraged to do when Broadband Internet was a new and expensive novelty. I’d say that’s fairly close to “double-dipping.”

Does that sound fair to you?

Late Update: Ok, just for the sake of measurement, I checked the total download size of this video on YouTube.  It’s 13 delicious megabytes of the best comedy on television, and it’s five minutes long.  Longer videos are obviously bigger files.  Just for the sense of scale for those of you not as familiar with Ye Olde Internet Page of Weights and Measurements, if you watched this video 65 times a day – without doing a single other thing on the Internet, at all – you would fill up your 25 gig allotment for the month.  I’m not saying that’s a little, I’m not saying it’s a lot. I’m saying it’s a fact.