YouR CaRRieR WoN'T GiVe A RaT'S aSS WHeTHeR You CaRRY An AnDRoiD oR aN iPhoNe

williambanzai7's picture


A Troubling Vision

While putting my new Etch-a-Sketch through the paces, I came across a troubling vision of the future of mobile broadband in Wired Magazine. 

I was one cool mobile telephone caballero when I bought my first generation iPhone in New York a few years back. I was wowed by the sudden ability to surf the mobile internet on ATT's monthly flat fee plan. Then I left the US and bam, I was hit by international roaming fees based on the amount of bandwidth consumed. International use based roaming fees sucked all the broadband fun out of my iPhone.  I quickly deactivated my ATT account and unlocked my iPhone for a local sim card and a WiFi plan. My how easy it was to put a damper on the fun of mobile broadband.

Here is the vision I came across in Wired.


This was prepared by a net neutrality advocacy group to demonstrate what it would be like to have to pay your fixed broad band provider toll fees for access to specific internet destinations. Does this remind you of somebody you already know? How about your friendly neighborhood Cable TV company. The one with the horrendous billing plan that is driving record numbers of customers back to terrestrial broadcast TV.

This is what your ISP billing plan would be like if they could have things their way. Parasitic broadband is what I call it. 

As it happens, the FCC is getting ready to pass a revised set of net neutrality rules this week which will apparently allow tiered pricing plans by fixed wire ISP's. Comcast is already duking it out with Netflix. 

As you know, the long term trend for internet use favors wireless devices. Here is a power point presentation obtained by Wired from an unnamed source. It sets forth the recent vision of two providers of wireless equipment to providers like ATT and Verizon.



According to Wired, in this vision "it will be possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using Facebook, Skype or Netflix. For instance, in the seventh slide of the above PowerPoint, a Vodafone user would be charged two cents per MB for using Facebook, three euros a month to use Skype and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube. But traffic to Vodafone’s services would be free, allowing the mobile carrier to create video services that could undercut NetFlix on price." 

I am going to stop right here. You can worry about why APPL is the poster darling of the robotraders or you can worry about whether Google and Microsoft are going to somehow euchre Steve Jobs in the mobile space.

But you know what, this slide show is what you should really be worrying about. Because the people who want to do this to each of you really don't give a rat's ass in heaven whether you prefer an iPhone or an Android, just as long as you sign on their dotted line. 

How much extra would you be willing to pay for utube and Facebook?

How about Zero Hedge?

It won't make any difference in the end. The phone companies are not like 2Big2Fail banks. You won't be able to withdraw your money from ATT and take it your you local mobile carrier. You will pay through the nose or go cold turkey.

Next stop, phones instead of credit cards. Sound familiar?




Link to the Wired Article

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
hangemhigh's picture

To: by CPL
on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 14:30

dude, throw in an ipad with a bluetooth hearing aid and you got the future...can't see, hear or chew my food.........

ThisIsBob's picture

Harden you hands and hoe a row tough guys.

ThisIsBob's picture

Toys.  Fucking toys.  And grown men bitching about the cost of playing with them.  Brings a big fat tear to my eye, it does.

thecoloredsky's picture

So what if you watch an embedded utube video in facebook? Are you getting charged double? All these social medium sites are linked together anyways.

Always enjoyed your posts banzai. Thanks.

williambanzai7's picture

hey will find a way, Tnx TCS ;-)

metastar's picture

Banzai - Thanks for the asian under the tree. Now where is the Oracle of Kypseli???

williambanzai7's picture

Have not seen her in these parts ;-)

Dr. Acula's picture

"the FCC is getting ready to pass a revised set of net neutrality rules this week which will apparently allow tiered pricing plans by fixed wire ISP's"

Is it a sign of how statist USSA is that a government agency has to explicitly allow tiered pricing. I guess we should be greatful that government bureaucrats in the "Land of the Free" allow a modicum of freedom rather than hampering the market completely.


Dr. No's picture

I am not against paying for internet access and for people to pay for their usage.  Net neutrality is welfare.  If we were to charge according to bandwith/mb/etc, would get rid of most of that trash freeloaders post.  If someone had to pay for the crap they post, would get them to add a little value I would hope.  I would love a $.10 per e-mail charge.  Would kill 99% of spam.

williambanzai7's picture

How about 10 cents per ZH post ;-)

Dionysus's picture

What is the purpose of the random upper-case characters in the titles of your articles?

williambanzai7's picture

My plan is multifaceted but you need a security clearance to see it.

But for the time being, consider it my rebellion against standard fonts ;-)

Kilgore Trout's picture

Apparently not random, but just the consonants.

CPL's picture

iT's EliTe SPeaK. Old SgHouL BbS CreW TaWK.

NotApplicable's picture

But he didn't do it on the Etch-A-Sketch, so he's gonna lose some style points.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Have you ever tried to write anything on an Etch-A-Sketch? As a child I quickly discovered how uncoordinated I was. :>) 

SlorgGamma's picture

[Cackle]. Fear not, my good ZeroHedgers, this is how Empires don't just die, but commit spectacular acts of suicide.

Instead of net neutrality, we're going to get net securitization -- replace a regulated space governed by some degree of competition and accountability with a rat-maze of scams, oligopolies, and secret pipelines. What Wall Street did to mortgages, the bankster elites and their telco partners in crime want to do with web access -- turn it into an opaque and unregulated jungle of fraud. Government Sachs and the other banksters will then start spinning off web 3.0 securities, backed by bogus charts and happy talk of "the booming market for proto-hyper-macro-mongo-donglo-9.0". We're going to see scams which make Worldcom look like a model of accounting probity.

The US is already sinking fast in the world broadband ratings. But once the new net scamopoly rules get passed, US firms will put zero money into broadband for all, and all their resources into monopolizing the most lucrative parts of the US online audience. Meanwhile, some plucky entrepreneurs in the BRICs will figure out how to deliver cheap, affordable mobile web-access to 3 billion new consumers.


williambanzai7's picture

I don't know why you got junked...we certainly are the slackers when it comes to broadband penetration.

Drag Racer's picture

not to mention having to pay to run a blog. And those out of work who could be the most pissed off about the system may not be able to afford anything like this. SOOO, the slow awakening we see about issues with the free infomation exchange of the internet will be wiped out and everyone goes back to sleep...

morph's picture

Oh well thank god for SOCKS over SSH. 

CPL's picture

Amen Socks4/5 over SHH, can I hear a handclap?

velobabe's picture

william your at it again, raising trouble in my mind. i would pay for ZH, but doubt it will come to that. i don't use any of those sites. who would pay for FB usage? i don't even think my daughter would, who is completely addicted hourly. she uses skype. i don't even use my two phones much at all. i never have any bars on my iphone, all the bandwidth is taken up by all of the college kids and adults that don't have anything else to do cept talk and txt.

i need to figure out how to unlock my iphone. my daughter's bf told me he could do it for me, just not to upgrade to the latest software. i tried to upgrade cause just got an app out and said i had to have at least 4.1 OS. it never uploaded, so i guess i should consider that a good thing. what a mess this whole world is in. run by ads, banks and now cell phone carrier's.

library card & TCM, bitchez

CPL's picture

Look up jailbreak iphone, million and one places that can point you out in the right direction.

Update the Iphone to the latest patch level and then jailbreak. Repeat the process after each update.

Dr. Acula's picture

"what a mess this whole world is in. run by ads, banks and now cell phone carrier's."

Why is it a "mess"? If you don't like advertisers or cell phone carriers, don't use their products.

As far bankers go, you don't have much choice - they get free bailouts and Ponzi collapse insurance through the government's mechanisms of violence and wealth redistribution. So I'm not sure how to help you there.

I don't agree with lumping criminals together along with entrepeneurs who have succeeded by alleviating consumers' felt uneasiness.


gangland's picture

WilliamBanzai7 hot!  very nice!

Dr. Acula's picture

"You will pay through the nose or go cold turkey."

There are other options: you can band together with other consumers to create a cartel demanding lower prices. Or, you can create your own network and satellites.

"How much extra would you be willing to pay for utube and Facebook?"

The real question is: why do you think you are entitled to have other people pay for your wireless and Internet service?

However much Youtube and Facebook cost, you can be sure that the people who pay for it ex ante prefer having the service over having the money that was paid in exchange. Otherwise, they wouldn't have paid for it.

"This was prepared by a net neutrality advocacy group"

"Neutrality" is an unnatural concept, for, practically, only a statist edict can bring it about. Not even the postal service uses "neutrality": there are different qualities of mail delivery service for different parcel sizes and different locations, each with varying prices. Mandating only a single price would have predictable disastrous consequences: everyone would demand the highest quality service, which would result in increased prices or lower quality service overall.

If "neutrality" is really what consumers desire, then they will pay for it. But personally, I wouldn't mind paying lower Internet bills overall in exchange for less uniformity.


CPL's picture

I still haven't figured out how people can stare at a tiny little screen to browse the web. My prediction of the future involves going long in eyewear and eye exams.

tallystick's picture

AOL for the 2010's



CrazyCooter's picture

Just my two cents if anyone is thinking of getting a phone to feed their ZH addiction. :-)

I just bought a G2. I paid cash for the phone. With TMobile my bill is roughly $65/mo with unlimited data and texting. I make very few calls, so I have a 500 minute plan.

And I spend lots of time on ZH, TFMetalsReport, Harvey Organ, Market Ticker, and so on. The sites are functional, navigable, and readable with minimal effort.


Dagny Taggart's picture

+1386. You had me at Etch-a-Scam.

williambanzai7's picture

Etch a Scam, this year's must have gift

JohnKing's picture

blame google. When the dust settles, it will be apparent this all about googleTV.

b_thunder's picture

stubbornly sticking to my old "dumb" phone.

until and unless i get free 3g or wimax connectivity from google or another generous source


onlooker's picture

------How about Zero Hedge?---------

At this point I might pay a small yearly fee for ZH and Drudge. The Porsche site Rennlist requires a membership fee to post ads or pictures. Not sure what a ZH classifiied would be, but if there was a finanical advisor section with a rating system, it would be handy. Some of us have lost faith with the traditional "investment houses" and would like to have a source for paid advice--- that is not bogus.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you too Bill. May you have a Banzai New Year.

bergsten's picture

Funnily enough, one of my kids asked last night what would happen to civilization if the Internet went down.  I said pretty much nothing.

Looks like we're going to find out.

minus dog's picture

You underestimate the number of business functions that are now tied to email, VPN's, etc.  The sort of things that people used to do using telephone and paper - but the personnel, supplies, and skills are generally not there to do it anymore.  You'd think that the largest companies would be in the best position to soak up charges for this sort of nonsense, but they also tend to be the ones sending vast quantities of data.  I know people who receive upwards of 1000 work emails a day, most with attachments.

Also, prices in many areas would shoot to the moon pretty quickly without the ability to easily order products elsewhere.

I don't use a smartphone currently.  There is no way in hell I'd get one, or pay for any sort of 3g/4g access, using some fucked up cable-style billing format.  And I don't think this sort of billing will fly with traditional ISP's...  take the video game industry, for example - they pull in more money than box office receipts in this country, and this sort of billing format would simply kill them.  Bandwidth usage for both PC and console gamers is often measured in dozens of gigabytes per month, simply for gaming related data.

williambanzai7's picture

Stupidity never stopped the phone companies from tryng

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Have you ever been around someone going through withdrawal from drugs, alcohol and even smoking? Trust me on this one, if everyone were suddenly disconnected from the addiction of being connected, 24 hours later there would be a lot of frantic people running around without adult supervision.

williambanzai7's picture

All you have to do is watch a Seinfeld episode.

velobabe's picture

i bought a 40's CADET typewriter. well, i did buy it for this unfortunate event were to ever happen, i could still type out love letter's to zero hedgies and mail them.

CPL's picture

OooOOooOooooo...we had to load a CD Rom and review the encyclopedia...when the electricity was off...OOOooOOOooo

We read books and talk in person to one another. OOooOooOOoooo

Scary shit right there.

pitz's picture

Well certainly they need to come up with a model for paying for the Internet that doesn't involve advertising (unsustainable), and scales well.

Basically, the tech industry, over the past decade, has brought out all these services, but hasn't figured out a way to actually make people pay for them.  Salaries are stagnating, and tech stock promoters are running out of suckers to sell their garbage stock to for more ponzi financing.

"Free", and network neutrality worked great when the government paid for the entire network (ie: NSF, pre-commercialization), but today, almost nobody is paying their own way.


freemarketfantasy's picture

I call bullshit.  No one is paying their own way?  I pay for a data plan on my phone and a DSL connection to my house.  Google/every website in existence pays for the bandwidth they use.  Everyone is already paying their way and the Internet is "Paid for".  The premise of your argument is supremely flawed.  I might not "pay" for facebook per se, but I pay for my internet service and facebook pays for it's internet service.  All a "tiered" internet will do is allow the ISP's to legally double dip, charging both facebook AND me for the exact same bits that go over their network.

The internet is the greatest economic engine of my generation.  Go ahead and let the ISP's strangle it and see how that affect's the economy.  While we're at it let's make every road in the US a toll road and see what that does for commerce in this country.

velobabe's picture

yeah, Amazon going way down. my sister orders something online from everyday. she hates to physically shop so the alternative is virtual shopping. i guess physical delivery turns her on. i can't stand to buy things online anymore. hit or miss if you ask me.

SwingForce's picture

All I need is a microphone on that new Chrome Netbook, and I've got a phone. 

CPL's picture

There you go. Does skype and a million other voip services. lol

Or you could just buy a headset.

knukles's picture

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Fuck it up good

Coast Watcher's picture

Billy Banzai, did you once go by the handle dEitER?