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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Don't underestimate consumer power
by mgarba on Sat 23rd Apr 2011 22:49 UTC
mgarba
Member since:
2011-04-23

Here in Argentina, six years ago, one of the broadband oligopoly, Telecom, wanted to limit the bandwidth usage of their crappy Arnet service up to 4GB a month, I/O. They used the rationale, among other things, that they wanted to stop piracy, that normal users wouldn´t use more than that, etc. For usage exceeding 4GB a month, they would start charging extra.

Such a disgust arose from this, that a nationwide, grass-roots movement took place. Someone set up a site to collect signatures and comments. Hundreds of thousands of people, if I recall correctly, signed. Such was the disgust with this measure (among other things, because we knew that if one of the carriers did this, the rest would follow) that it attracted media attention, and famous people started talking against this carrier. Many people, who already were Arnet subscribers, out of disgust cancelled their subscription, even though the carrier promised not to touch existing subscriber conditions...

The end result: they not only backed off this stratagem but, in time, their service started to suck a lot less. And no other carrier (for wired services, that is) even hinted to move this way.

Consumers are not defenseless babies. This all started with the outrage of thousands, but the initiative and web site of just one. People even donated to support the costs of hosting of his petition site.

Edited 2011-04-23 22:50 UTC

Reply Score: 5

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. If the market steps up and puts it's money where it's mouth is the situation will correct itself fairly swiftly.

Reply Parent Score: 2