The sky is falling for movie lovers! The post office recently announced that it was closing down nearly half of its processing centers starting in early in 2012, which could eliminate next-day delivery services – and add an extra day of processing to Netflix deliveries. No worries, you can just shift the slack to streaming, right? (Possibly) wrong – as we recently reported, ISPs are considering implementing tiered data pricing to squeeze more cash out of heavy media streamers. So is all lost? Could your ABC Family Movies addiction be in danger of extinction? Not if you’re a Comcast customer. The company apparently has no plans of switching to tiered data pricing.
The picture above might look like a Photoshop masterpiece from your worst nightmare, but let me assure you this is no joke. It came from a marketing webinar put on by two companies that service Verizon and AT&T showcasing a new system that helps providers figure out where your traffic is going so they can charge accordingly. In a nutshell this is everything the EFF warned us about, and is pretty much the doomsday scenario from the net neutrality bible.
It’s hard to imagine the carriers getting away with this type of behavior in the current market, but it does point out that not only does the technology exist, but several companies are on the market trying to hock the concept as we speak. Either way it sounds like the cell carriers have all but determined they need to increase revenues, and this could very well be the future we face. Below is a direct quote from the webinar that Wired managed to lift from a trusted source.
“[We use] a number of different methods to accurately identify the application -- methods like heuristic analysis, behavioral and historical analysis, deep packet inspection, and a number of other techniques. What's key is that we have the best application identification available on the market, which means that even applications that are encrypted or use other methods to evade detection will be correctly identified and classified... We essentially feed this real-time information about traffic and application usage into the policy and charging system. Each subscriber has a particular service plan that they sign up for, and they're as generic or as personalized as the operator wants.”
Cats and Dogs living together? Mass hysteria? Let us know after the jump.
In the wake of the Comcast dispute with Level 3, many have been wondering about the ISP's future bandwidth management plans. Some idea that's been floated often is the idea of usage-based pricing. Users would be charged based on the amount of data they use each month. According to Reuters, Comcast has denied that such a scheme is in the works.
"Right now we have no plan in place to activate usage-based pricing," said Comcast president Neil Smit. The FCC recently announce that ISPs would have some leeway in network management, provided they are transparent about their practices. Comcast currently has a single tier for residential customers with a 250GB data cap.
Comcast maintains almost all users never get near the monthly cap, although some have taken umbrage at having the cap at all. Would you welcome the opportunity to pay for a particular data cap, os is the one size fits all approach best?
We have heard from Various Verizon executives that tiered data was probably on the way, and now we might have the details. The new information is still preliminary, but it's looking like a better situation for heavy users that AT&T offers. If true, Big Red would be keeping the standard $30 smartphone data plan for unlimited data. They would be adding a cheaper $15/150MB option for light users. When AT&T made the switch, unlimited data was cut in favor of a 2GB cap at $25 per month.
Pricing on MiFi data looking like $50/5GB and $80/10GB. Users of feature phones will get the option for a $30 unlimited plan, and a $15/150MB plan. Frankly, we'd like to see cheaper pricing for feature phones. It's basically impossible to use as much data on these handsets as it would be on a smartphone.
These plans might be a bit more expensive than AT&T's, but the option for unlimited data could be kept at the same price. While pricing on feature phones is a little high, we like this approach better than other carriers. These details only pertain to Verizon's 3G service. Expect different rates for the new LTE network when it launches later this year.
Haven't you heard? Tiered pricing plans are all the rage, and every wireless provider is getting in on the action. AT&T already has it, Sprint earlier this week warned that it's keeping a close eye on data usage and may switch to a tiered plan of its own or jack up the price of its unlimited plan, and now Verizon is following suit.
According to Verizon's chief executive Ivan Seidenberg, you can expect tiered data plans within four to six months. Details are still being worked out, but Seidenberg did say it wouldn't be the same structure as AT&T's.
"We're not sure we agree yet with how they valued the data," Seidenberg said at an investor conference on Thursday.
AT&T offers a basic plan for $15/month that includes 200MB of data, and a $25/month plan capped at 2GB. By comparison, Verizon currently offers $30/month for unlimited data.
Seidenberg also briefly talked about the possibility of getting an iPhone, saying Verizon would "love to carry it" but they "have to earn it." 0_o