posted Oct 06, 2000

Why the Internet won't be metered
Technology & Sociology
10/6/2000; 11:00:53 AM

'One of the reasons that the Internet has become so popular so fast in the U.S. is that nearly all users pay flat rates regardless of their usage. But many experts, especially pundit Bob Metcalfe, have argued that Internet access should be metered so that light users don't have to subsidize flat rates for heavier users.

'In a fascinating paper, AT&T mathematician Andrew Odlyzko looks at the history of the economics of communication -- from the English Post Office in the 1840s to the telegraph, telephone, television, and the Internet -- and offers some surprising but well-argued conclusions (see Resources). He says that metering would fly in the face of hundreds of years of history and that the economics of the Internet will not be driven by multimedia content as is often claimed.'

That paper is actually buried a couple of links away from the link on the resources page.  It's on http://www.research.att.com/~amo/doc/recent.html and looks like this:

 

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