Consumers seeking to download heavy-duty apps such as streaming video could find themselves paying much more for their Internet service than those who simply want to surf the Web.According to a story in The Wall Street Journal [subscription required] Thursday, big telcos and telecom-equipment makers are plotting a new fee structure that would charge consumers based on the bandwidth they use rather than a flat fee. The Journal mentions BellSouth as one telco mulling a pay-as-you-go broadband plan.
Telcos are also thinking of billing Internet content providers for premium delivery of their services, a move not well-received by companies like Google.
"The new ideas such as pay-as-you-go are being fueled by operators looking to make up revenue after spending billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to boost capacity and by equipment makers that create the gear needed to technically implement the changes," writes reporter Dionne Searcey.
Searcey reports that equipment makers such as Ellacoya Networks, Cisco Systems, and Lucent Technologies have pitched ideas to phone and cable companies for new types of business models that their gear can make possible. He quotes Ellacoya's CEO as saying: "The stars, the moon, and the sun have really aligned for us that we can play a significant role [in providing services related to] network neutrality."