Verizon CTO says metered data pricing necessary; ‘bandwidth hogs’ should pay more

January Clearance Blowout ends 1/14“The technology chief of Verizon Communications Inc. says wireless companies will eventually have to change how they bill customers, charging them for how much ‘bandwidth’ they use to prevent networks from getting clogged up,” Jeffry Bartash reports for MarketWatch.

MacDailyNews Take: Layin’ the groundwork for something? wink

Bartash continues, “Chief Technology Officer Dick Lynch said current data plans, which allow unlimited Internet access for a flat monthly fee, encourage overuse of wireless networks, mainly by a small number of ‘bandwidth hogs,’ or individuals who send and receive lots of large files.”

“Lynch said wireless companies will be able to handle increasing Internet usage over the next few years by upgrading to the next generation of wireless technology. But in the longer run, he said carriers will need additional spectrum and new ways of billing that encourage more efficient use of wireless airwaves,” Bartash reports. “‘We will end up billing differently in the future,’ said Lynch, repeating his long-held view that carriers should charge on a metered basis just like water and power companies.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Just another excuse to overcharge customers and retard the growth of wireless internet use for things like video or VoIP.

    If it’s just “a small number” of bandwidth hogs, why not just go after them, instead of punishing everyone?

  2. Oh and we need to chare a minimum as well because you under users cost us money to maintain your account, we have to have it both ways in order to extract as much money from you as possable!

  3. He’s right, IF, as Tommy Boy has mentioned, the metering goes both ways. I cannot START at current prices and simply go from there. Bill it like any utility. A very low base price, just for the hook up and overhead of having an account, and then pay for usage after that.

  4. The problem is that “overuse” is about to be re-defined as data usage over wireless moves farther and farther away from checking your email and even web-surfing. Video, for one, is going to become commonplace over the next few years.

    Verizon, AT&T;, and others – better to buckle your seat belt and prepare for how to serve and encourage this new market, rather than lay down tire-shredders across the width of the wireless web.

  5. Well my next two year subscription will be with whichever company has unlimited we pay our money we should use just because some people don’t use that much shouldn’t affect me I pay and I will use currently I use over a gig a day I listen to my fav radio morning show then at night go to bed with dragnet archive I couldn’t imagine nor want a iPhone without unlimited. Use our money to build a better network pretty simply

  6. The telcos are in a commodity service business.

    Their customers determine what they buy by how much they can get for as little as possible, so… they’re in the mess they’re in because they oversold and underdelivered on what they offered.

    So here’s a suggestion to the telcos. Build more infrastructure to fix your problems and stop trying to gouge consumers.

  7. I think we’re coming to a point where the following will happen:

    1) Apple will come forth with a carrier-agnostic iPhone: either with a dual-band radio (CDMA/GSM), or with carrier-specific models. But somehow, they will solve the problem of identical user experience, regardless of carrier.

    2) Once Apple makes the carrier a non-issue with regard to the user experience, then the carriers will differentiate themselves with the only thing they can – access plans. Maybe it will be ATT with “all-you-can-eat” and Verizon with “pay-as-you-go”. Who knows, but this is exactly where Apple wants them.

    In this scenario, notice the absence of the old dynamic of the carrier dictating to the manufacturer what features they want, or how the phone should operate. This won’t just apply to Apple, but all other manufacturers are going to have the same expectations going forward.

    At that point, Apple will have successfully changed the landscape of a huge marketplace, rightfully re-defining the carriers as simply “dumb-pipes”.

    And it can’t come a moment too soon….

  8. With utility companies, consumers typically don’t have any choice. You only have one company that you buy power, water or whatever from.

    No choice.

    In most areas, consumers have some choice of who serves their telco needs.

    The telcos aren’t public utilities and shouldn’t be treated as such, nor given the kind of monopoly authority/power that most public utility companies have over their customers.

  9. OK, except don’t force us to guess how much we’ll use in advance then hit us with huge overages if we’re wrong, No packages or tiering, just $10/month for the connection and x¢/Kb for all comers. No discounts for large users or exponential rate plans. The current scheme of forcing people to pay for more than they’ll use for fear of huge overages is a scam. I have 12000 ATT rollover minutes, because of that fear. The other carriers are worse. They just keep the minutes you paid for and laugh all the way to the bank. So go for it, if you dare.

  10. It’s not just the bandwidth hogs – what about all the people who might want an iPhone but don’t know how or don’t care to use data? There should be a $10/month data plan for folks like my mother, who might get a second hand iPhone from me or my father, but probably wouldn’t use more than 10MB / month. The $40 tier seems fair for “normal” use, which is up to say 250 MB / month. Any more than that should be charged at something like $10 / 100MB.

  11. When Verizon gets the iPhone, its just a means for Verizon to limit iPhone data hogs from crashing Verizon’s touted and vaunted network! And to prevent AT&T;from creating a tv commercial laughing their a$$ off as the Christmas Island of Misfit Toys gets a newcomer… The Verizon 3G Coverage Map!!! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  12. Part of the problem is the difficulty in getting a handle on how much data bandwidth you are using. We all understand “minutes” of voice bandwidth, but “GB” of data is much more nebulous.

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