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Verizon Exec Proposes Metered Billing For Wireless Data Use: Report

Verizon's CTO said wireless carriers will eventually charge based on the amount of data users upload and download, but indicated his company has no immediate plans to do so.

bandwidth

Dick Lynch, CTO of Verizon, told The Wall Street Journal that, while Verizon has no immediate plans to start charging for bandwidth usage, wireless carriers eventually will have to do so in order to in order to make more efficient use of wireless technology.

Current data plans which allow unlimited Internet access for a flat monthly fee tend to encourage a small number of users to overuse wireless networks by sending and/or receiving a lot of large files, Lynch said. He called such users "bandwidth hogs."

Verizon would not be the first to call for bandwidth-based usage fees for Internet access, also referred to as metered billing or consumption-based billing.

Time Warner Cable last year proposed charging its customers based on their Internet bandwidth usage. Its plan was to offer 5 GB of downloads for about $30 a month, with other pricing plans for smaller and larger amounts, with extra fees of $1 per GB for excess use.

However, a howl of protests from customers caused Time Warner Cable to abandon the plan, citing misunderstanding on the part of users about how the fee structure would work.

Lynch said that metered billing would actually reduce the price many consumers pay for wireless data access, as they would no longer have to subsidize the wireless activities of heavy users, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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