We know many of our readers have strong opinions about the idea of consumption-based broadband, and we’ve come out against plans that constrain folks’ access to broadband, especially by way of metered packages that consist of low ceilings and high overage fees. But Rob Pegoraro over at The Washington Post is making a case for consumption-based broadband that many consumers could get behind.
His argument consists of these four essential points, although I also suggest you read the article in its entirety:
- Implement a reasonable cap that’s higher than 1 GB per month. A really low cap can be maxed out downloading security patches and updates that folks need to keep their computers safe.
- Provide a meter so folks can see if they’re close to maxing out their service.
- Don’t treat excessive use as a money-making opportunity. He singles out Comcast’s (s CMCSA) 250-GB-per-month cap as a good example of a provider implementing a cap for reasons other than revenue-enhancement.
- A capped plan should cost less than an unlimited plan (I would add that every provider should offer an unlimited plan).
His argument may win over consumers, but any sort of cap or metering plan encourages them to think of bandwidth as a scarce resource. For most providers, it’s not. ISPs want to price broadband like a precious metal, but few seem willing to accept their arguments. Readers, what do you think? Is there such thing as a good broadband cap?