Shocking: ISP Study Finds that We Should Give them More Money

Ryan Whitwam

ISPs are often issuing dire warnings about the unsustainable course the Internet is currently on.  They would have us believe they can't afford to make the necessary network improvements. In many places around the world, these companies are making nose about changes in billing and network management that they'd like to see. For the good of all of us, of course. According to ArsTechnica, four major European ISPs have commissioned a study to "A Viable Future Model for the Internet." As you might expect, this involves pretty much everyone giving the ISPs more money.

The study calls out four changes that need to happen for ISPs to remain sufficiently flush with cash to keep us online. First, consumers have to pay more per month. Specifically, about $8 (€6) per month more. Second, large internet companies should pay ISPs about $0.07 (€0.05) per gigabyte of traffic delivered to their network. For traffic delivered to mobile networks, that charge would be an astounding $4 (€3.03) per gigabyte. Next, the ISPs will need to be allowed to do paid traffic shaping for service like Netflix. A site that offloads lots of data would basically be forced to pay so their bits don't get held up. Finally, ISPs should set up more "managed services" that operate from within the ISPs network.

The report is available here (PDF), and it is worth a look. We’re not sure about this supposed unsustainable level of economic pressure on ISPs. After all, one American ISP has enough money to just buy NBC-Universal.  The entire thing seems tailor made to fit into the ISPs' vision of the future, and that's really its value here. This report lets us know how these businesses think. This is a look into the intentions of your ISP.

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