Bandwidth Caps be damned!

Skype officially released an iPhone / iPod Touch application to the world. Many pundits have posited that this will be the end of traditional Phone service as we know it. Well, it may be at some point, but it’s not, as of right now.

The reason I say that isn’t because of the Skype application being a bunch of junk, quite contrary. It’s because of Apple’s partner’s choosing to not to allow the use of the application on their networks, only because it directly competes with their primary business model.

Granted, this does make complete business sense to limit direct competitors. But this is just going to provide major backlash from customers who, like myself, expect to be able to use their service as they want, however that might be. I see telecommunication providers just as that, providers.

Providers need to wake up to see that soon enough they will only become pipes, nothing more, nothing less. They will all be providing bits, and charging on a per gigabyte basis. I’d like to see a price point where it still makes it economical for the provider to provide the service, and make money, allow for expansions and the like; yet still be economical enough for users to get.

Bandwidth will no longer be limited, there will be no ‘caps’ in terms of usage, it’ll become limitless, you will pay for what you use. The argument, at least in terms of bandwidth, is what about tiers. For electricity, water, and gas, it’s all quite simple because the rate of ‘flow’ is constant and consistent. You can only fit so much water through a pipe, and once that’s full, that’s it. You aren’t going to gain any additional water through the pipe.

With throughput you could provide different tiers, or speeds of connections. And, this maybe you pay a bit more for, since you’re wanting a bigger pipe, you have to pay for it.

I understand that infrastructure costs money, and having to maintain and upgrade. However, it’s no different than any other company. Let’s try out a scenario.

Let us say you have a provider and part of your agreement is 10Mbps download, regardless, nobody has less than that. Let’s say the cost, per gigabyte, is $0.25. Let’s say you use 100GB of bandwidth in a month. You would pay $25.00 for that month. Then let’s say the next month you use only 50GB of bandwidth. You’re cost would be $12.50 for that month. Thereby, it reduces your cost.

Now, since everybody gets the same amount, what about those who want more throughput. What happens with them. Well, if a provider opted to allow faster throughput, they could, and they could charge appropriately. Let’s try this one out. Let’s say you get faster speeds, 15Mbps, and you’re charged $0.30 per GB. With this example, 100GB would cost $30.00 a month. and the 50GB usage would cost $15.00 a month. This seems equitable to me.

This method, would allow for the elimination of bandwidth caps, provide a base standard for every customer, yet provide flexibility and make it entirely equitable for everybody.

Now, that I think about it more, it’s possible to keep the current system along with the proposed system. Those who know they wont’ exceed a cap, can be capped and pay a fixed amount every month, but those who might use it a lot one month, and not a whole lot the next, could go for the per GB usage plans.

I know I’m being an optimist, and a dreamer, and the greedy corporate suits won’t even think of implementing this, but I know if a broadband provider in my area provided something like this, I’d hop on board and support it; particularly, if they gave us some fiber to the curb, like they promised back in the 80’s.

Feel free to contact me on why I’m right, or why I’m a complete nut at

I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.