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techdirt – Broadband Providers Pretending Metered Billing Is About Helping The Poor

From techdirt:

Broadband Providers Pretending Metered Billing Is About Helping The Poor (Broadband)

by Mike Masnick from the yeah,-right dept on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 @ 5:59AM

Broadband Reports has a trio of posts pointing out the latest in ridiculousness coming out of the cable broadband industry. It kicks off by pointing out that, despite the claims of the industry, moving to metered and capped broadband is certainly not inevitable. Flat rate broadband has been amazingly profitable for these companies, but they’re looking to squeeze even more money out of people. Yet, those on Wall Street who take an incredibly short-term view on how broadband companies make their money are pushing hard to get them to start offering metered billing and broadband caps. And, to top it all off, the cable industry’s top lobbyist is trotting out the old ridiculous line that metered billing is really about helping out the poor by offering them more reasonable broadband deals.

Except almost none of that is true. While various attempts at putting in place metered broadband usually will include some “low end” offering so that the companies can make these kinds of claims, if you look more closely at those offerings, they are almost universally terrible. They’re not designed to “spur adoption by price-sensitive consumers at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder,” as the industry claims, but to aggressively upsell people to higher rate plans by making the low end plans as crappy and unusable as possible.

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