More Sidgemore on per-bit pricing

Jay R. Ashworth jra at
Sun Dec 6 06:12:20 UTC 1998

On Sat, Dec 05, 1998 at 03:35:19PM -0500, Barry Shein wrote:
> In my experience it rests on largely a moralistic view rather than an
> economic model. For example, the underlying presumption is that it's
> somehow "wrong" to charge for the cost of billing (why?), and worse
> yet to charge cost+profit on just the billing activity (why?) Yet in
> essence every business which bills customers sells billing services at
> a profit or they're not in business very long, if you want to look at
> it like that.

Not at all, Barry.  My assertion rests on two things: 

1)	Routers are too damned busy as it is; too busy, we're told, to run
	the filters that would keep much of the crap off the net.  It's
	unlikely the money made by packing more customers into a given
	amount of uplink would outweigh the costs of gathering and
	processing the information at that fine a granularity.

2)	The telcos currently control the local loop, and are pricing
	that on a flat rate basis, mostly, frame and ATM
	notwithstanding (there's _still_ a flat cost, somewhere).

I don't at all object to "usage-sensitive" pricing, burstable T's and
the like; I'm looking at one right now.  It's this "slap a byto-meter
on it" mentality that demonstrated, I feel, a fundamental
misunderstanding of the net.  But then, I expect that from telco suits.

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra at
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