Thanks to April Fool Day, Google decided to repay Topeka, KS by changing its name to, well, Topeka. Aside from giggles that this “retaliation” produces, the real question is how soon will Topeka gets Google’s gigabit service?
I wish Google’s Gigabit would come to Austin, TX too. Aside from having a large student population, Austin also has a questionable pleasure of being a testbed for Time Warner’s attempt to force everyone to pay by byte. Sure, first attempt has failed, as users are not that stupid, and understand perfectly, that company can’t report record profits from its internet service arm, along with falling expenditures on equipment and transport of internet traffic and being hurt by those evil bandwidth hogs, that dare to use up to the promised bandwidth.
For provider ideal situation is when everyone pays heaps of money and use very little of bandwidth. And what can be better than claiming that your internet connection is somehow limited by the number of bytes you downloaded? Unlike, say, water, that actually is limited by the number of gallons in local lake (or whatever the source utility uses), internet connection is more like charging for the right of flight through a certain territory, and then claim that corridor can only support no more than a certain number of planes per month. Yes, it’s limited, but only by throughput, not by the number of bytes.
So marketoids decided to dress this as a “question of fairness”. That those evil bandwidth hogs should pay even more, and preferably for each byte they download. Yet somehow grandma won’t pay significantly less, because despite the fact that cost of single GB delivered to user’s home is a few cents, cable company would love to charge several bucks for it.
Regardless, I hope Google’s project will at least give a pause to these plans to squeeze out as much money as possible from customers. Yes, I agree that private enterprise should charge as much as they can, but only in case of open market. Cable and telco companies are not in open market — they enjoy significant protections by being monopolies in certain geographical areas (and work actively on banning localities’ ability to provide alternative means of connecting to the internet). If Google can afford to run fiber to the home, so should ATT.
Google, please wire Austin.