Why Tiered Broadband Is the Enemy of Innovation

It should come as no surprise: Incumbents are beginning to act like incumbents. But while the cable companies are the first ones to jump on the tiered-broadband bandwagon, they won’t be the last. Their argument for limiting bandwidth and data transfers based on price sounds like a good idea, especially as a way to get bargain hunters to buy. In the long run, however, tiered broadband is a terrible idea that will bring the innovation inspired by flat-rate broadband to a screeching halt.

Flat-rate broadband–however cheap or expensive (depending on your point of view) it might be–inspired the formation of Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Apple’s iTunes and MySpace, amongst others. It allowed us to freely experiment, to embrace both the applications and the ideas they represented, such as VoIP, online video, digital downloads and social networking.

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