shouldn't we also have usage-based pricing for the TV they sell us? So that we pay "fairly" for for the fixed cost of establishing the network? Why would that model be different, since it's not really about congestion, as admitted in the article?
The electric bill and buffet examples in the article are terrible: when we pay for electric usage, we actually are paying for utlization/generation; use more and something (coal, natural gas, etc.) actually gets consumed more. And most buffets are all-you-can-eat; if you're paying by weight or something, the analogy is the same — you're actually consuming something. But both bandwidth and TV channels are there no matter how much they're "consumed." Bandwidth can be saturated (the congestion problem) but it can't be actually consumed.
If we're going to talk about "fairness", let's talk about:
- 1. Fair access to the wired networks built out, frequently, under monopoly guarantees
- 2. Fair levels of monetization of the network: does the telecom industry really want the equivalent of a utilities commission deciding how much they profit?