Their has been much debate about relating the flow and pricing of water and data. It seems that becasue we price water by the cubic foot we should price data by the gigabyte.
This is like figuring the price of potatoes by what is charged for beer.
First water is a scare resource. while it does fall from the sky it has a cost to get to us and is limited in quantity. The pricing structure was created to limit the use of water, not charge more for water hogs. In fact large volume business users get a very different pricing structure, less per cubic foot although they use a lot more and pay a larger bill.
There is a cost to recovering the water for distribution. Dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts for water movement, and leaning and processing the water for consumption is what we pay for. There is no supplier of water paying for their side of the pipe and you pay just for your side. No public entity is making a profit from the movement of water, just recovering the costs. Sometimes not even that, bonds have been sold to pay for water system upgrades allover the country.
Data on the other hand is not in short supply, we create pedabtes of data each day in the form of email, searches, database entries and blogs. Each author of data is paying for their own connection and each consumer of data pays for their own connection. We pay our providers for the speed we need or can afford. They do not generate the data, just move it around. The ISP’s are in it for a profit.
Now I am not meaning they shouldn’t make a profit, just not a windfall profit like the oil companies. I think the providers should charge enough to maintain their equipment and plan for the future. They should continue with the tiered speed and no data caps. Anything else will stop the growth of IP based services.
Allowing the ISP’s to create a tiered cap for use and per byte charge after the cap is going to cost us and is not fair. The equipment will not wear based on gigabyte s that pass through it.