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The End of the Internet? The End of the Webcomics?

Quote:
The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.
The Nation. With corporations all out to privatize the Internet, will this affect webcomics? Should we call to arms and make the Internet free and public?

Net Neutrality - Almost A Year Later

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I still can't believe Comixpedia turned into a tech board for this thread :) but a year later the Internet is still standing. The debate over this subject is still ongoing and there's plenty of potential for mischief but there's also nothing particularly bad for the Internet that got put into law or rule this year.

____

Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

I'll definatly vote for NN

Halley's picture

I'll definatly vote for NN if it ever really comes up. but I can't imagine that it woul actually effect stuff that much... all it will take is ONE IP that will give us internet fairly and everyone will use them. anf then all the other guys will either have to be fair too, or go under.

 so I'm not worriredÂ

_________________

Halley'c Comic

Not All Hype - There is some smoke out there....

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Aleph wrote:
What this particular phone company is trying to push for the right to charge the major commercial sites pushing their pipes to offer their services virtually cost-free to the end-users, not the end-users themselves. Since they don't put down any pipeline or infrastructure, their drag on the backbone far outstrips their contribution to it, and they are pulling an escalating amount of data from all points, which the phone companies are expected to support, or they take a hit from their customer satisfaction. Phone companies, whether they ought to or not, want some payback for all that action. It's up to the commercial content providers to figure out how to defray that cost, whether by raising their advertising rates, charging per-transaction (a really dumb idea), or entering into endorsement deals with providers willing to provide them the gateways they need.
I wouldn't panic - this thread's headline is a bit over the top but I wouldn't chalk things up to "oh this always happens" - there was a big change in government regulation last year that kicks in about the beginning of 2008 (memories a little fuzzy at the moment). Phone company (and cable companies are already in this category) sales of broadband Internet access don't have to be on a common carrier basis anymore. That means roughly that phone companies can start acting like other companies in other industries - giving certain customers (and by customers that includes you buying a broadband connection and other carriers, big content providers who want to plug into the network end of things) a better/different deal then others, refusing even to deal with certain customers, it's speculative to predict how it will all play out but legally the govt has opened up a path for a distinctly different evolution of the post-broadband access Internet then before. I'm still fairly confident the Internet will stay roughly the same b/c the Googles of the world have too many options to let the carriers hostage them (and this is about gatekeeper fees - not bandwidth costs - the googles of the world already pay for bandwidth in a competitive market, this is about AT&T extracting something from them purely to get to their customers - like a cable company often does with lesser programming channels) and customers are going to throw a fit if a phone company does something truly stupid like cutting off a Google or Yahoo. But the scarycat stories aren't all hype. There's a little smoke already out there.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Aleph's picture

These kids today don't know how good they have it. I used to have to hack my way at 200baud uphill both ways in the snow every day just to get to raw telnet. We had phone couplers that you had to hand-crank. We didn't have these fancy mo-demms and mo-ni-tors, no sirree bob. We LISTENED to the code on those phones, and had to IMAGINE what the data looked like.

Punk spoiled kids, I tells ya...

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Yeah I wouldn't lose any sleep over this. I've been hearing similar talk way back in the early 80s when I was cruising the carrier waves with my Commodore 64 and a 300 baud modem using a VT-52 emulator I wrote myself to hack into my college's mainframe.

"YIRMUMAH"

YIRMUMAH wrote:
Actually, they already tried to lock up the internet and send you only where they wanted to send you for a price--- it's called AOL. And I heard that kinda didn't work out... Oh, and WebTv. SHIVER.
Ah, WebTv... the Ogden Edsel of the internet. (The car, not the guys who sang that Dead Puppies song... ;) )

...

The End of the Internet? The End of the Webcomics?

Quote:
The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.
The Nation. With corporations all out to privatize the Internet, will this affect webcomics? Should we call to arms and make the Internet free and public?

Tim, you might probably need

Tim, you might probably need yottabytes worth of hard drive to save all those pieces of media. Seriously, you guys seemed to be, well, untroubled by this development going on. Should we do something about it, or should we leave to fate to decide what will happen to the Internet, and webcomics?

This new, expensive internet

This new, expensive internet is going to have a hard time competing with the old free internet.

I see this as inevitable,

The William G's picture

I see this as inevitable, too much money not being made. But I think it'll take decades for it to completly change over. Just enjoy the ride while it lasts.


You know, I'm a big old

Joey Manley's picture

You know, I'm a big old fuzzy-headed liberal myself, but I've been hearing this kind of thing from the left for ten or eleven years now (have a look at Gary Groth's indictment against Scott McCloud for an example that hits closest to the webcomics home). I just don't buy it. Yes: some corporations will attempt to use Internet technologies to build closed corporate entertainment/information systems. It's in their nature. And they will fail. They always have. Too many powerful interests -- governmental, corporate, and otherwise -- have, accidentally or on purpose, begun to depend on the open nature of the Internet, for that open Internet to be rescinded or taken away without causing damage to them. And if the open Internet still exists, you can launch as many closed versions of it (or closed systems on top of it) as you want, and the open version will always win. Joey www.webcomicsnation.com

"joeymanley" wrote: Of

The William G's picture

joeymanley wrote:
Of course, ten years from now, when we're all living in The Matrix, my words here will look smug and wrong-headed! (grin).
But think about how cool we'll all look in our sunglasses and leather pants while we look back on them and laugh.


Actually, they already tried to lock up the internet and send you only where they wanted to send you for a price--- it's called AOL. And I heard that kinda didn't work out...

Oh, and WebTv.

SHIVER.

"joeymanley" wrote: Yes:

rabbitpie's picture

joeymanley wrote:
Yes: some corporations will attempt to use Internet technologies to build closed corporate entertainment/information systems. It's in their nature. And they will fail. They always have.
As much as I agree with you, think about this: I cry inside whenever I hear folks refer to the Internet as "AOL". AOL's close network may not be succeeding in taking over, but if enough people are convinced that AOL is the Internet, well... it'll be like a mass optical illusion!

When activist organizations

Joey Manley's picture

When activist organizations that actually follow these things, and know what's what when it comes to the Internet, notify me of actions I need to take, I'll heed those warnings, and take those actions. I am talking about groups like the EFF, EPIC, the Free Software Foundations, etc. People who actually work on these issues. Meanwhile, The Nation hasn't shown any real understanding of the Internet in the past, just a paranoid distrust of it. And I speak from experience: I'm a subscriber, and pay attention to a lot of the things they say about other subjects. But when it comes to the Internet, I'll take the things they say with a grain of salt. My favorite example of Internet fearmongering on the part of The Nation: Noam Chomsky had heard of Intranets -- private corporate networks, connecting private corporate computers -- which happen to use Internet technologies and protocols to make their connections to one another. Chomsky started screaming about how "corporations are fencing off broad swaths of the Internet into their evil intranets!" Never mind that the existence of intranets has zero effective impact on the actual public Internet -- any more than the existence of another house, built on the same blueprint, has any effect on the substantial nature of my own house. There's still a lot of fear and misunderstanding of the Internet on the left, I'm afraid. Of course, ten years from now, when we're all living in The Matrix, my words here will look smug and wrong-headed! (grin). Joey www.webcomicsnation.com

Re: Not All Hype - There is some smoke out there....

Joey Manley's picture

I can't imagine that the telco's would hang onto any customers at all if they're blocking Yahoo or Google or Amazon or whatever. I don't see where they have any leverage over those established online institutions. There's a possibility that they may have leverage over new high-bandwidth start-ups (audio/video type websites) -- but even so, if a telco isn't providing access to "all of the Internet," then it isn't providing access to any of the Internet, really, and customers will leave in droves. With wireless, satellite, and other alternatives to land-based telecommunications infrastructure finally starting to make some headway (see T-Mobile's broadband network, which can connect real laptops to the Internet at Starbucks, and which is basically repurposed cellphone infrastucture), this would be the worst time in the world, competitively, for the telco's to try something like this. But I could be wrong! We'll see. Joey www.webcomicsnation.com

Aleph's picture

I still doubt they'll pass the costs on to end-users, but I do think they will offer streamlined/higher priority use to select groups of consumers. Neither indicates the idea of per-transaction fees though, which was the fundamental thrust of the scare here.

I don't think the telcos will ever cut off a google, or yahoo, etc. I think the leverage they have is slowdown. If the packets transmitted for a non-client site are given low-priority treatment by the pipes, and the site begins to 'run slow', the customer is likely to tire of using it rather than hate the telco. Cutting off google would cause customers to riot, but google running slow while yahoo runs like magic-- customers might complain but they'll start loading yahoo more often. As long as people can get their content somewhere, they won't whine much about how they get it. The slowdown of non-client sites will just become part of the hassles of the network, like the pain of overloading a tripod site or the annoyance of loading a geocities page at all.

Network content providers really pissed telephone companies off in a bad way when they started trying to take over the phone business-- they don't pay the usurious kickbacks the state and federal government puts on the phone business, and they use equipment laid down by the phone company to do it. That kind of resentment lights a fire under companies that are otherwise slow to shake off things piggybacking on their success. Phone companies want the free ride to be over now, and they're taking aim at everybody who's making money more or less for free with equipment they have to pay for, maintain, and repair. Google didn't do anything to provoke this, they're just caught in the crossfire.

I just don't think end-users are at risk for too much shrapnel. Anti-convenience mines at the very worst.

Scott Story's picture

I heard on NPR today that Congress is trying to push through some legislation to protect the net from getting gobbled up by corporations. Good luck to them, but Congress mucks everything up, so ....

ccocking's picture

While we of the US and our mighty landlords hold a great deal of power and authority in the world, the Internet is a GLOBAL phenominon and the whims of American MegaCorps are not going to be able to put such a strangle on it.

- Chris C

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[URL]http://www.vortexchronicles.com/[/URL]
Dark Sci FI WebComic
new episodes every monday

This is a popular network

Aleph's picture

This is a popular network horror story, it's been the bogeyman of the internet for a long time. First time I heard it was in '95 when the big intranets started opening up to the internet. But what the Nation is basing this on is basically vapor. They also chopped that quote up. Here's the actual quote in context How concerned are you about Internet upstarts like Google (GOOG ), MSN, Vonage, and others? How do you think they're going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them. We have them. Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain't going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there's going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they're using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes? The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! (YHOO ) or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts! What's your approach to regulation? Explain, for example, the difference between you and Verizon in how you are approaching regulatory approval for Telco TV [digital-TV service offered by telecoms].The cable companies have an agreement with the cities: They pay a percentage of their revenue for a franchise right to broadcast TV. We have a franchise in every city we operate in based on providing telephone service. Now, all of a sudden, without any additional payment, the cable companies are putting telephone communication down their pipes and we're putting TV signals. If you want us to get a franchise agreement for TV, then let's make the cable companies get a franchise for telephony. If cable can put telephone down their existing franchise I should be able to put TV down my franchise. It's kind of a "what's fair is fair" deal. I think it's just common sense. ---------------------------------- What this particular phone company is trying to push for the right to charge the major commercial sites pushing their pipes to offer their services virtually cost-free to the end-users, not the end-users themselves. Since they don't put down any pipeline or infrastructure, their drag on the backbone far outstrips their contribution to it, and they are pulling an escalating amount of data from all points, which the phone companies are expected to support, or they take a hit from their customer satisfaction. Phone companies, whether they ought to or not, want some payback for all that action. It's up to the commercial content providers to figure out how to defray that cost, whether by raising their advertising rates, charging per-transaction (a really dumb idea), or entering into endorsement deals with providers willing to provide them the gateways they need. Paying for bandwidth is something we're all familiar with, and it's never crushed free expression. Passing the cost to end-users via per-transaction charges has never worked (see Prodigy, 1995). Phone companies and communications providers have been trending in the exact opposite direction, preferring 'per month' plans and 'unlimited' plans for the consumer. Like the 'email stamp' and the 'click tax', this myth is here to scare people and convince them of the evil of big business. No matter how evil the phone companies may be, they know what people want, and people don't want to pay piecemeal.

"ccocking" wrote: While we

Aleph's picture

ccocking wrote:
While we of the US and our mighty landlords hold a great deal of power and authority in the world, the Internet is a GLOBAL phenominon and the whims of American MegaCorps are not going to be able to put such a strangle on it.
Wow. That's some grade-A quality blither. I can see you're posting in a hurry trying to get noticed, but could you stop and actually read what you're replying to before you chime in? This kind of hyper-reactionary America-is-evil capitalist pigdogs yadda yadda stuff is not as cool as it was when we were all 13 year old kids thinking information WANTS to be FREE! (oy) There isn't anything nationalist about this and there isn't anything strangly going on either. The pipelines they're talking about charging for use on are not global at all, and nobody's talking about strangling anything. They're talking about trying to share the burden of maintaining the network. They're just tired of having their equipment be used for free when they have to pay serious cash just for the right to maintain that equipment. Have you SEEN what telephone companies are forced to pay just for the right to have equipment in a municipality? You think it's so dang megacorp-evil to resent internet companies getting to use those trunk lines for free to sell you phone service at a lower price with a higher profit? The rest is just fallout because somebody poked the bear, it woke up grumpy. I don't care how global the jacket-wearing phenomenon might be, nobody in Belgium is gonna have the automatic right to wear my parka.

I've been hearing about this

Tim  Demeter's picture

I've been hearing about this forever too, from a corporate standpoint, it makes sense for them. I don't see it as something to worry about either. Thinking strictly about the way business functions today, the internet is a huge part of it. So if nothing else, yeah the big info companies are going to keep trying this, but if they get too close, other big businesses will almost certainly find the cause and the means to stop them. So I say let them duke it out and waste their time and money in the process, because we, actual people, will probably be just fine. But I think I'm going to BitTorrent every piece of media in the known universe tonight. Just to be safe.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

"Altercator" wrote: Tim,

Tim  Demeter's picture

Altercator wrote:
Tim, you might probably need yottabytes worth of hard drive to save all those pieces of media.
My computer runs on THE MAGIC OF MYTH.
Altercator wrote:
Seriously, you guys seemed to be, well, untroubled by this development going on.
Honestly, no, not all.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

Tim  Demeter's picture

I just caught that AOL and Yahoo plan to offer a 'premium' email service that bypasses some filters or something and travels faster for something between a quarter of cent to a whole penny.

Probably see a lot more poking around like this before anyone tries anything earth-shattering, like we were discussing last week.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

Halley's picture

The internet is too big now... i can't imagine that at this late date there's any way that it could be taken in anyother direction... I think anyway... well i HOPE!... :shock:

and besides, there are already so meny ways so make lots of money off the internet as it is... all people have to do is figure it out.

and if they ever did do anything crazy like this to the internet... everyone and thing in the world would be put so out of wack... it would be scary... O_O

_________________

Halley'c Comic

If it happen, it is another incident of coporate Amercia trying to screw us consumers.

Now ethical companies that deliver good services will defintely get my dollars.

I vote with my dollars and we should vote with out dollars. If you hate that telcos company, if you can...ditch it and look for a better one.

I don't support MS by not buying MS products (All I need is to get rid of the operating system which I have come closer of getting rid of it by installing a linux distro)

I don't buy a product that I hate. Nor do I support a company with questionable tatics like suing everyone including people who never use a personal computer in their life.

Where do I get my musics? From Japan-A-Radio; they pay a lot of money just for people to listen for free with no ads in their radio. I wish I can support that radio station......

So vote with your money.....

Re:

[quote=joeymanley]Of course, ten years from now, when we're all living in The Matrix, my words here will look smug and wrong-headed! (grin).[/quote]

Easy to say but wasn't the whole point of the Matrix that it's not ten years from now but that we're already in it and blissfully ignorant of the fact? Perhaps we should all read the article again and start passing the blue pills around ...

(No, not those blue pills!)

_____________________________
Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Website: www.brokenvoice.co.uk
Contact: edit_bvc@yahoo.co.uk

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

I may be naive...

I may be naive, but this is how I see it. Every time someone's tried to take a free webservice and charge customers for it, it's failed, because people are used to EXPECTING it for free.

Even if the US government goes cuckoo and allows this kind of stuff to go through (I'd call it political suicide, but, oh yeah! 18-34 year olds DON'T VOTE!), I doubt other countries will.

I think, if anything, we're moving towards a LESS restrictive world, full of free speech, unlimited access to information, and fluffy bunnies. But I may just be naive.

In the Context of Webcomics...

Sean C's picture

I don't think it will hurt them. Advertisers will realize the sacred 18-34 males demographic reads a lot of webcomics, and if they can better push them, then they shouldn't be held down by corporations - especially if they recognize advertising potential, which could become a real possibility if they suddenly control the net and start analyzing the numbers.

It would still suck, and suck hard that corporations could control the internet, but for webcomics, I just don't forsee that many difficulties.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate.
See my stuff at http://www.cuteninjagirls.com

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. My brand new comic: http://cain.bombsheltercomics.com

Too late

The William G's picture

The US government owns ICANN, IANA, and the physical root servers for the internet. If they decide that everyone has to wear pink tutus, feather boas, and "I heart Iraq civil war" tank tops (You'll all look great) in order to use the web, then it's a done deal.

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The William G - Romantic Drama, Post-Apocalyptic Monsters, and More Comic Experimentation


Re: Too late

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

[quote=The William G]The US government owns ICANN, IANA, and the physical root servers for the internet. If they decide that everyone has to wear pink tutus, feather boas, and "I heart Iraq civil war" tank tops (You'll all look great) in order to use the web, then it's a done deal.[/quote]

Technically true, but as a practical matter US influence is constrained here by emerging organized opposition at the UN and ITU and the fact that China might just set up it's own Internet if it doesn't get a big enough role in future Internet decisions.  (Also ICANN and IANA are "owned" by the US? - ICANN is quasi-public, it has a contract with the Dept. of Commerce and I can't remember exactly now but IANA is largely an administrative counterpart to ICANN's policy role.  Neither are formally part of the US govt though.)

 

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Well, they're paying for all

Joel Fagin's picture

Well, they're paying for all our pirated TV downloads - which will, apparently, soon choke the internet and mean that everything will need upgrading. They, being the carriers, will have to pay for this. Meantime, VOIP is cutting into their phone call profits and that's only going to get worse.

I believe the current setup, should it continue, will result in the cables being paid for by the carriers and making them no money at all in return, because the internet must be free.

That said, anything that puts their fingers around the free-speech nature of the web is bad news.

We need a third option. Maybe a web levy on line rentals or a connection fee for broadband. Some way they can actually make money in the emerging new information era which seems to be abandoning phones and demmanding that the cables stay maintained for free...

- Joel Fagin

Webcomic Tutorials

Re: No they're not...

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

[quote=Joel Fagin]Well, they're paying for all our pirated TV downloads - which will, apparently, soon choke the internet and mean that everything will need upgrading. They, being the carriers, will have to pay for this...

I believe the current setup, should it continue, will result in the cables being paid for by the carriers and making them no money at all in return, because the internet must be free.

That said, anything that puts their fingers around the free-speech nature of the web is bad news. We need a third option. Maybe a web levy on line rentals or a connection fee for broadband. Some way they can actually make money in the emerging new information era which seems to be abandoning phones and demmanding that the cables stay maintained for free... [/quote]

 Who is getting services from phone (or any other company selling communications capacity for that matter) companies for free right now? Raise your hands...

<crickets chirping>

Okay then - let's not pretend that the phone companies are giving you and me or Google and Yahoo for that matter "free" service. We're all paying the going market rate right now.

There are plenty of things to argue about in this "net neutrality" debate but this part is a big fat red herring.

____

Xaviar XerexesÂ

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: No they're not...

Joel Fagin's picture

xerexes wrote:
 Who is getting services from phone (or any other company selling communications capacity for that matter) companies for free right now?  Raise your hands...

Okay, I'll clarify. As I understand it, the companies who maintain the cables are not earning any money from their overuse by the web community.

The point is that they are (slowly) losing one of their major revenue sources to VOIP and people are clogging up their available bandwidth without actually paying them for it. They're going to have people screaming at them to do a major upgrade to the infrastructure soon and less money to do it with.

Or, more likely, the current model will not pay sufficient dividends to their shareholders for them to be happy, but none the less they still have valid concerns.

- Joel Fagin

Webcomic Tutorials

Re: No they're not...

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

[quote=Joel Fagin][quote=xerexes]

 

 Who is getting services from phone (or any other company selling communications capacity for that matter) companies for free right now?  Raise your hands...

[/quote]

Okay, I'll clarify. As I understand it, the companies who maintain the cables are not earning any money from their overuse by the web community. The point is that they are (slowly) losing one of their major revenue sources to VOIP and people are clogging up their available bandwidth without actually paying them for it. [/quote]

This is what I'm getting at.   Companies with cables (and spectrum) charge consumers and businesses (your local business all the way up to Google and other large corporations) to use their wires.  So they're making money.  Whether they're making enough?  Good question, but obviously one the general public may have a different opinion on then the CEOs of AT&T, Verizon, etc.

Overuse?  People clogging up their bandwidth without paying for it?  All of this assumes a lot that just isn't there.  If company X sells customer Y a service, customer Y gets to use it according to the terms of use for the service (this is going to be in a contract or a tariff).  Company X may later complain that customer Y is using too much of the service but if customer Y is within the terms of the contract it has with Company X than Company X has only itself to blame.  That's capitalism.  That's the way the American economy is supposed to work.

Like I said before, there's a lot to the "network neutrality" debate, but this myth that everyone is freeloading on services they have paid for is nonsense.

 

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Well, in Australia it's like

Joel Fagin's picture

Well, in Australia it's like this...

Telstra is the only telephone cable company. I have my phone with them and pay $30 (AUS) line rental a month plus local calls. This is a system put in place to deal with, well, telephone calls. It predates the internet. With dial-up, of course, you still make local calls so that's fine.

However, I get my broadband through a company called iiNet. It's over the same cable but I don't pay Telstra anything further for it's use, only for the line rental. If I then started using VOIP, Telstra would only ever be getting the line rental. In effect, I would be using their line without paying for it. If I then downloaded all day, everyday, it would clogg their network to boot.

They can't afford that. The system was built on the pre-internet premise that I pay for the line as well as for my use of it. Without the latter, over half their money has vanished and must be found elsewhere. Telstra is, indeed, suffering from this.

Which, all in all, is a long way of saying there are two sides. Yes, they're corporations and therefore focussed on the bottom line to the extent that they're probably borderline evil about it, and yes they picked the wrong way of getting more money, but they also have a right to make a profit.

- Joel Fagin

Webcomic Tutorials

I don't want to turn

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I don't want to turn Comixpedia into telecom 101 but -- even in Australia - Telstra gets compensated for each and everytime it's facilities get used.

iiNet does pay for using Telstra's facilities to provide you with DSL (probably it's buying out a Telstra tariff). 

As to who bears the cost if you're a "power user" maxing out your DSL line - it depends really on how iiNet has structured its Internet service - it's possible that it doesn't impact Telstra at all because iiNet might be using a competitors inter-office fiber (like Primus).  In any event, any prudent management at any company selling communications services is going to impose on you a terms of use (sometimes shorthanded as AUP) and that's their chance to tell you what you get or don't get under the bargain you strike with them when you sign up for service.  If they don't limit your use then they only have themselves to blame.

This isn't a debate about profit - none of these companies are charities.  It's a debate about a lot of things but it's not a question of users not paying network owners what they are currently charging for using the networks despite some clever ads and press releases to the contrary. 

 

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Scott Kurtz just made a blog

Scott Kurtz just made a blog entry about what i've raised. Check it out: http://pvponline.com/