BellSouth and the Death of the Internet

BellSouth, one of the most awful monopolies ever to exist in the United States, is out to stick it to the consumer yet again. After overcharging for phone service for years and then offering crappy DSL services, now BellSouth wants to jack up the cost of using the internet.

BellSouth Corp. confirmed Monday that it is pursuing discussions with Internet content companies to levy charges to reliably and speedily deliver their content and services.

Bill Smith, chief technology officer at BellSouth, justified content charging companies by saying they are using the telco’s network without paying for it.

“Higher usage for broadband services drives more costs that we have to recover,” he said in a telephone interview.

He suggested that Apple Computer might be asked to pay a nickel or a dime to insure the complete and rapid transmission of a song via the Internet, which is being used for more and more content-intensive purposes. He cited Yahoo Inc.’s plans to stream reality TV shows as an example.

“It’s the shipping business of the digital age,” Smith said, arguing that consumers should welcome the pay-for-delivery concept.

Mr. Smith seems to forget the fact that you and I are already paying for the poor connection his company offers. We are also paying for the music. If the providers continue down this road they will destroy the internet as we know it and drive up prices.

BellSouth is a stagnant, ill managed dinosaur. It has gone it alone because it has, for years, been the ugly girl at the telecom prom. That it wants to jack up the cost of the internet has more to do with its own inability to compete and modernize than it has to do with clogged internet pipes.

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Erick Erickson

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