V is for Verizon, void of values

Fresh from its anti-Net neutrality efforts, Verizon wants to change the rules again to the detriment of longtime users

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That's only one factor of many. For example, Verizon's claims of bandwidth "scarcity" in some areas may be legit, but not because an evil percentage of its customers is using too much radio pipe. Rather, it's because Verizon never upgraded that infrastructure enough to support even a portion of the mobile-connected lifestyle it wanted us to live (and pay for).

Verizon wants have its cake and eat it -- on your dime

Nothing exemplifies that shortsightedness better than the supposed target of the new throttling measures: the top 5 percent of Verizon's data customers -- "those downloading 4.7GB per month or more." Granted, I'm an aging wrinkle factory, so I use my phone's data mainly for sharing angry reader email with my barfly friends, keeping my calendar, and settling the occasional argument over which actor starred in what movie. Thus, I don't get anywhere near 4.7GB in a month.

Fine, I'm an old fart set in my ways. What else is new? How about the next two generations of users, who pretty much live through their phones? Verizon is urging them to do so, via everything from expensive TV commercials to secret mind control experiments. Yet, if they stream two Netflix titles and a Steam game or two or maybe play five minutes too much Farmville, they can bust that 5GB cap faster than the NSA can crack a firewall. Their next movie will probably cost another $10 in overage fees, to say nothing of Bezos' cut.

Now add in the gargantuan, never-ending deluge of mobile apps that require a phone's data capacity -- everything from cement-brained Yo to tracking your kid's afterschool whereabouts to getting step-by-limp directions to the nearest hospital because you stepped off the curb while looking at your phone instead of where you were going. Hell, PirateBay just went mobile, which will mean a massive uptick in illegal downloads of questionable material.

Then factor in pervasive tethering and new form factors that enable new apps. The ease with which you can smash through 5GB, 6GB, or 8GB in a month living that kind of life is ridiculous.

Verizon wants us to live that life, while it demands an arm and a leg for the privilege. With its pricing, it'd be easy to hit an extra $50, $100, or even $200 a month purely from your use of apps and entertainment. Even if I wanted to use all that convenience on the go, I'm certainly not making an extra monthly car payment to do it. Or living in a lower-rent apartment in a crappier neighborhood. Or skimping on necessities like food, scotch, or the very latest glowing rectangle. We're chronic consumers -- we're not brain dead. We can't be that addicted to the Web.

Can we?

This article, "V is for Verizon, void of values," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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