Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 10:20 UTC
Internet & Networking You know all that talk about net neutrality in the US? How for instance Verizon and Google want net neutrality to apply only to something they call the 'wired' internet, which is apparently somehow different from the 'mobile' internet? Well, while you Americans are only talking about it, us Dutch are once again way ahead of the curve: the largest of the three main carriers has announced its intention to start charging extra for services like VoIP, instant messaging, Facebook, and so on, with the other two carriers contemplating similar moves. The dark future of the web, right here in my glorified swamp.
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Purely a matter of money
by avgalen on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 13:21 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

KPN was selling subscriptions that were making them enough money if people made phonecalls, send SMS messages and used the UNLIMITED databundel that you get for only 10 Euro for a bit of browsing and emailing.

Now people are using that crazy cheap, unlimited databundle for making phonecalls (Skype), sending messages (What's App, Twitter, FaceBook) and for LOTS of datatraffic like videos, tettering, dozens of apps, etc.

It is no longer profitable for KPN to keep selling those unlimited databundles for 10 Euro. Instead of raising the price for everyone they are trying to find a way to keep the baseprice low, but make people pay extra for things that are making them money now (phonecalls, text) or costs lots of bandwidth (youtube, tettering)

Of course this isn't a good approach! It will mean subscriptions will get much more difficult (this is called "choice" by KPN) and costs much less transparant for their customers. What they should do is admit that unlimited for 10 Euro is no longer possible and charge x Euro for every y MB (1 Euro for 100 MB?). This doesn't solve their problem of losing income from Voice and SMS replacements though, so I can see why they choose this solution

Reply Score: 2

RE: Purely a matter of money
by danieldk on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 14:16 in reply to "Purely a matter of money"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

I disagree. They should charge by bandwidth. E.g. 10 Euro per month for 1MBit/s, 20 Euro per month for 3.6 MBit, etc.

Such subscriptions may amount to bandwidth limits, but have two advantages:

- No hidden bills for customers if you go through a monthly allotted limit.
- Even if you have an 1Mbit/s subscription, you could use VOIP services, but the quality will just be worse than 3.6 of 7.2 MBit/s.

Anyway, the main issue with KPNs new policy is that it discriminates against new services. Suppose that I make a great new service that changes the mobile world. KPN could decide they want their share of the pie (by adding it to a more expensive package), or block the service completely. This of course, is not fair, they are just providing the infrastructure.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Purely a matter of money
by avgalen on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 14:51 in reply to "RE: Purely a matter of money"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Charging for bandwidth (per second) instead of used bandwidth (per month) is probably not a viable option for KPN. The problem is that with 1 Mbit per second you can still cause about 300 Gigabyte of bandwidth per month.

Charging for bandwidth (per month) is actually a very good motivator for KPN NOT to block "the next killer-app" because it would earn them money. Also, the Opta (supervising organisation) seems to allow charging extra for access to applications. It is extremely unlikely that they would allow blocking applications entirely

I am not happy at all with this change by KPN, but I think we will have to realise that the current situation (unlimited internet for 10 Euro) is simply not sustainable. If it DOES turn out to be sustainable for other companies KPN will see lots of people switch to those companies and not make any money anymore (free market FTW). Of course, that requires a healthy, competitive market and this might not be the case (oligopoly with a very high limit for new companies to enter the market). The end result would then be that consumers will have to pay more and that all companies in this oligopoly will make more money than before. And then Opta should intervene

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Purely a matter of money
by WereCatf on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 15:37 in reply to "RE: Purely a matter of money"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I disagree. They should charge by bandwidth. E.g. 10 Euro per month for 1MBit/s, 20 Euro per month for 3.6 MBit, etc.


I agree. That's exactly what I have in fact: I pay 9.90e a month for 1Mbps bandwidth, no restrictions on the amount or type of the data transmitted except for BitTorrent data which they do not want to have to deal with. (I can understand that, though, and I atleast have no reason to complain about such when everything else is so great) Absolutely fantastic to use.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Purely a matter of money
by JAlexoid on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 20:42 in reply to "RE: Purely a matter of money"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I disagree. They should charge by bandwidth. E.g. 10 Euro per month for 1MBit/s, 20 Euro per month for 3.6 MBit, etc.


Technically would result in an overburdened network. Your phone will be trying to connect to the tower at maximum speed available, thus using up the same bandwidth you would be using up by actually using the network that powers the tower. There is no bandwidth problem of the network that powers the towers, the problem is the actual radio spectrum overcrowding...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Purely a matter of money
by werterr on Mon 25th Apr 2011 19:43 in reply to "Purely a matter of money"
werterr Member since:
2006-10-03

I do not agree... this 10 Euro a month thing is FAR from cheap.

Mobile Internet services are shady, connectivity is often laking and you get shaped and throttled all the way to Tokio and back. It's not nearly the same kind and quality of Internet you get from a 10 Euro a month DSL or cable line.

Besides I actually pay 5 Euro's a month extra on top of this 10 Euro's to legally be allowed to use Skype/Voip with my Vodafone contract.

At the same time, as Tom said, if you actually read your contract + the "Algemene Voorwaarden" (terms of service) you find out that you agreed to not being allowed to do anything with your expensive monthly subscription.

Almost all these terms state that your not allowed to 'keep a active connection open', which automatically kills any form of chat application, streaming applications etc.

Then things like Internet radio, Internet video and 'large downloads' are explicitly banned, as are pinging services, voip, non-sms texting, any content that is deemed 'unfit'.

All written in nice vague broad terms of-course... Strictly speaking my IMAP e-mail connection from my phone is breaking the terms of service.

So no, I do not think this is cheap.... I actually think this is very expensive... Then I have not talked about them (legally) stealing a bit of my money each month...

Because to be able to buy/rent this extra voip service on my phone I also have to agree on a large contract with many 'calling minutes' each month. Now every month I'm allowed to keep a maximum of 2x my-subscription worth of minutes. (normal practice in telco land i believe) Which means that every month many minutes I bought and paid for suddenly disappear.

And now they are saying there not making enough money ?? while they are (imho) legally stealing my money away each month.... and still charging ridicules amount of money for an almost-zero-cost sms message ?

I say telco's are like the entertainment industry. They created a world in which they can legally rob people blind and when something better comes along there crying about how terrible it all is.

Reply Parent Score: 2