Wednesday, March 19, 2008

T Time

My first computer had a 128Mb hard drive, now you can pick up a 1TB hard drive for a fraction of the cost; indeed, my mobile phone has a micro SD card the size of a fingernail that is bigger than any computer HDD I had until five years ago.

We live in a world measured in Terabytes (that's 1,000 GB, or 1,000,000 MB or .. well, you get the picture), but if you subscribe to one of the many 3G data packages now available you're limited to 1GB a month and then have to pay heinous penalty charges. To put this into perspective, this is two or three programme downloads from a service such as 4OD.

But the costs still stack up against the expense of using WiFi in your local coffee bar most of the time - provided you're not using your roaming capability to access music or video.

Along with reports that many providers such as Virgin Media are throttling their services, it's becoming obvious that telcos are trying their hardest to play the drought card (whereby water companies in the UK, one of the wettest countries on earth, have continuously complained of not having enough water since they were privatised).

Basic economics tell you that the rarer something is, the more expensive its price will be; so, there are plenty of companies with a vested interest in ensuring the scarcity of bandwidth.

There may even be an argument that treats content as part of the broadband cost with the theory that the more bandwidth you use, the more content you use. Utilities like telcos like volume charging.

But, there's a counter argument that says that the move towards T Time means that, as competition over broadband provision intensifies, more and more bandwidth will come packaged for a fixed cost.

1 comment:

gilad said...

From bps to Byets

Broadband providers are charging us for Mbps. Are they going to move to charge us (directly or indirectly) per TB?

If the answer is yes then what does it mean for the infrastructure companies? Cisco and Alcatel are bps companies.

- Gil'ad