Originally published: January 12, 2010
Last updated: January 12, 2010 - 3:36pm
Usage-based pricing models for wireless services may be a way to ease some congestion on cellphone networks, Federal Communications Commission members said.
Commissioner Robert McDowell said companies should be able to experiment with different pricing models, especially if private carriers are expected to finance the building of faster, bigger networks to expand wireless broadband services. If people pay for the bandwidth they use, it could reduce congestion on the networks as well. "Pricing freedom has to be essential," he said. A small number of users take up the majority of bandwidth. So charging some of the heavy users for that bandwidth makes sense, Commissioner McDowell said. "I think it's time to let that happen," he said. "Net neutrality proponents say it should be an all-you-can-eat price. But that will lead to gridlock."
Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker indicated companies could do other things to lighten the load on strained wireless networks. "Maybe we move back to a world where people pay for roaming," she said.
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