This got me thinking. It seems obvious that despite some high caps plans available (and even some unlimited ones) people still think data caps are a limiting factor for effective broadband usage in New Zealand.
For a variety of reasons (some unlimited plans may offer too slow a connection due to a diluted bandwidth pool, high cap plans exist but may be cost prohibitive) people seem to think cap-based plans are a big deal.
Of course one solution would be charge for actual usage, like other utilities - water, electricity. But that could get people complaining all over the place if the prices we set too high (bad planning, ISP marketing and networking guys not talking the same stuff, etc).
How come the energy industry managed to get people to pay for petrol and electricity but the information industry can't do it?
Let's go with a few models:
- You buy a new car and part of the purchase is that you pay a set amount every month and can drive it as much as you want, with unlimited petrol flowing into the tank when needed (unlimited broadband)
- You buy a new car and part of the purchase is that you pay a set amount every month and can drive the car for a limited distance and then it either stops, go very slowly or you have to start paying for the extra distance used (broadband caps)
- You buy a new car and get no plan with it. This means you can drive it as far as you want but you have to pay for the petrol, sometimes paying more but sometimes paying less.