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Tech at Night: Incentives demand we get metered Internet access

Tech at Night

This is going to be quick tonight, but I have an important point to make. Our wired Internet is a lot better than critics make it out to be in this country, when you adjust for population density. Naturally no matter how good it is, we still want it to improve over time. If we want that to happen, we need to create incentives for investment.

And it’s basic economics: If you want to incentivize ISPs to increase your data rates, then you want to give them an economic incentive to get you as many bits as possible: It’s time to return to metered Internet access. Pay for what you use.

I know that this sounds wrong to some people. “We had metered in the old days. We can’t go back to that.” But in the old days we were using a tiny fraction of the data we use now. Video is the key. Audio, email, web pages, GIFs, Twitter, Facebook, phone calls, everything pales in comparison with today’s video use. Sites like Netflix, Youtube, and Twitch with their huge amounts of high definition video dominate today’s Internet use. We need more than we ever needed before, so we need to get the investment going to improve our Internet connections.

Unmetered access results in a tragedy of the commons, where connections get throttled, ISPs have no incentive to invest, and the extreme fringe of high users get subsidized by the vast majority. T-Mobile’s unlimited access is getting abused in the wireless world. You know the same is happening in wired.

High volume copyright infringers distributing video, and a few people who watch many high-definition streams at once, they ruin it for the rest of us. Let’s make them pay for what they use.


California mandates phone kill switches. What could go wrong?

Ajit Pai remains the man, recognizing FCC’s blackout rules need to go. Let NFL enforce its own blackouts. “The FCC shouldn’t get involved in handing out special favors or picking winners and losers,” he says.

Patrick Leahy is right. America should speak on Net Neutrality. Which is why such policy should be set by legislation, not regulation.

Seen at RedState: Part One of a series on Title II Reclassification, the extreme left fringe’s plan for an FCC power grab under the pretext of Net Neutrality.

Funny how the left-libertarians at sites like Daily Dot have been screaming about how “revenge porn” is such a horrible thing, and should be illegal, but they’re practically cheering it on when it’s an NSA defender. Amoral, results-oriented views from these folks. When they speak it is in bad faith. Hey, just like Edward Snowden!

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