Your Internet Is Going To Get More Expensive in Tech Section: A Hard Drive at Risk Posted February 1, 2011 So, I fully agree that the way the ILEC's have set their pricing scheme doesn't make that much sense. But that doesn't make the idea bad. The only point about that in your excerpt is that the internet is capacity based. I don't agree. First I'd like to point out that the terms are awkward. So to be clear lets talk about "instantaneous capacity": The amount of data that can be simultaneously transmitted and "integral capacity": the amount of data that is transmitted over a period of time. In reality both are the same thing (integral capacity would be the integral of instantaneous capacity). This is important because ILEC's have to provision for both. If you have a 10 MBit backbone, then you can sell 2 5 MBit lines, or 4 2.5MBit lines. I assume that in practice, the ISP sells more than the instantaneous capacity of their link. They would do this because they don't expect all users to be using full bandwidth at all time. This is the same as how a city only builds a 4 lane highway, even though 400 cars pass a given point at rush hour. A 400 lane highway would maximize throughput at peak, but would cost a lot, and not be running at capacity for a lot of the time. ILEC's want to be running at capacity so that their trenched in fiber is doing it's job. So the amount of integral capacity you use (your usage) is just as important as instantaneous capacity to the ILEC for provisioning. If all the users are going to be saturating their link at all times, then the ILEC needs to add capacity; if users saturate their link sporadically, then the ILEC might not need to add capacity. So both integral capacity and instantaneous capacity have a real impact to them. Admittedly, even sporadic saturation still has an impact since network traffic models are bursty, unlike phone traffic. Since both have a real impact, and cost the ILEC money to provision for, then they have a real case for charging you the cost of that provisioning. You don't complain that you pay more for a higher link rate, so why is it an issue to complain that you are paying to be constantly using that link? An alternative for the ILEC's would be for them to provision (and charge) based on 100% saturation. This would force them to deploy much more network capacity, and probably drive your cost up even higher (though at that kind of amortization they wouldn't have any reason to imply limits or UBB). So, in the end we need to look at the reasonability of the prices, and the plans need to make sense. But UBB as a model is valid.