Verizon to Customers: Can I Have Some Money Now?

By Published March 02, 2014 at 10:42 am

If it hasn't yet become clear that we give no quarter to ISPs, Verizon has now blipped on our +1 Radar of Detect Evil. And it's a big, red, checkmark-shaped blip.

Full comic on XKCD, found here.

Verizon CEO and Thesaurus-Waving Champion of Double-Speak Lowell McAdam says his company totally won't not-use the struck-down FCC regulations as a means to charge you negative less money in the future. You see, McAdam says that the thought of a mega-corporation misbehaving when left unregulated is -- what was his word? -- "histrionics," and that you should just "contribute to the investment to keep the web healthy."

Translation: "Can I have some money now?" (Thanks, Homer).

Although it may appear as though I've taken a purely objective and not-at-all-vitriolic approach to this topic, I'm secretly seething at the thought of Verizon's unbelievable incompetence. Here - read it for yourself:

McAdam dismissed concerns that his company would selectively block or slow some Web content. "We make our money by carrying traffic," he said. "That's how we make dollars. So to view that we're going to be advantaging one over the other really is a lot of histrionics, I think, at this point."

But McAdam suggested that broadband power users should pay extra. "It's only natural that the heavy users help contribute to the investment to keep the Web healthy," he said. "That is the most important concept of net neutrality."

McAdam further stated that "Everything from health care to telematics to the energy grid need to be balanced with someone who's trying to watch last year's episode of [TV show] NCIS." (Quote source).

And that last part is what brings it full-circle to our senator friend Ted Stevens. If the name looks familiar, it's probably because he famously ranted that the "internet isn't just a big dump truck" and that it's a "series of tubes." Or because he accepted $250,000 in bribes while Alaskan Senator -- one or the other. Regardless, there seems to be this underlying notion that the internet is somehow incapable of handling both your desire to stream "NCIS" and a doctor's desire to post diagnosis questions to Yahoo! Answers. Fortunately for Verizon's CEO, that's not quite how the internet works (perhaps they should consult an internet company for advice -- I do freelance work).

The most important part of this little speech, though, was when McAdam explained that his company aims to discriminate against "heavy users." Err, sorry -- they want to 'leverage' their heavy users to support a healthy Internet. That's it.

The company would do this by charging extra for more bandwidth consumption, or perhaps by implementing a similar system to AT&T's additional charges for streaming. Given that Verizon's price structure already offers tiering for various speeds -- you know, the kind that only a "heavy user" would need -- this seems a bit redundant. And that's because it is. Because they want more money.

Verizon apparently doesn't understand that when users pay extra for faster speeds, they want the ability to actually utilize that speed. It's sort of pointless otherwise. As far as they're concerned, though, you should pay more money for faster speeds and pay more money again for higher datacaps. When we've got 48GB games like Titanfall coming down the pipes (to be fair, 21GB compressed), any kind of cap immediately becomes a concern to gamers.

Reddit user 'rickatnight11' summed things up nicely, responding to the thought of 'paying extra for more bandwidth:'

"...we are paying extra: by purchasing higher-speed plans. Speed tiers is how you sell your service, so we pay extra for more bits/bytes per second, and we expect to be able to use that rate we paid for. When a letter shows up at our door warning about excessive usage, we don't know what you're complaining about, because even if we were using every bit/byte per second from the start to the end of the month, we'd be using the rate we pay for and you agreed to!

TLDR: Don't advertise an all-you-can-eat buffet and then bitch about your customers eating all the food."

Verizon, AT&T, and TWC, if you're reading this, I'd like to leave you with an apology for my forward nature:

In other news, concert venues will now charge more for closer seats and then charge you an hourly rate to sit in them. 

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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