Re: Congress votes on access charges:

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri May 19 2000 - 18:08:40 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > House Votes to Ban Per-Minute Internet Access Charges
> > ...
> > If Internet users were charged by the minute when they surfed the web or
> > e-mailed their friends and family, it would drastically increase the cost,
> > and dramatically inhibit the use, of the Internet. This bill would help
> > keep the Internet affordable for all Americans.
> >
> > It's good to see these guys can get something right.
> I don't see this as "getting it right" at all. In the short run, this
> is one regulating agency patching a problem created by another, made
> necessary because of the artificial monopoly they both created. But
> in the long run it will make access /more/ expensive, not less, than if
> both agencies got out of the way and let the market work. In a free
> market, prices are lowest when they are structured most closely to the
> reality of the costs of producing the product. Network access time is
> a scarce commodity measured by time; two minutes of access time really
> is twice as valuable as one minute. If consumers are forced by law to
> buy it by the month and average their use, some group of consumers will
> realize that they can overgraze the commons by hogging their full month
> and subletting time to others; and they don't have the infrastructure
> that the original providers do for maintaining the equipment, supporting
> users, etc., so they will contract for those services from the original
> provider at the expense of the its non-hogging customers, further
> increasing costs, etc., etc. It's cheaper just to cut out the middle
> and let the big boys sell minutes in the first place.

These aren't ISP or phone company fees, these are FFC taxes on per
minute use of the web. The proposals that the FCC has been playing with
is to use these per minute FCC taxes to fund a big government welfare
agency to 'close the internet gap' that the democrats claim exists.

There are also plenty of ISP accounts that people buy that are unlimited
use for a flat fee per month. Unlimited use means unlimited use, not
just a lot of use.

Mike Lorrey

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