More and more of the ISP/Telecommunications operators in Europe are starting to talk about the need to charge for content downloads on the Internet.

This is primarly due to Web-TV services like, YouTube, Google Video or Joost that stream video over the Internet, so why are they raising these claims? I already pay for the bandwidth I have/use! So now all of a sudden they want to charge extra for the same bandwidth!

I think this is because they want additional revenue (which is totally understandable, who wouldn’t), but I think the main drivers are:

  1. They see a potential of tapping into somebody else’s revenue stream.
  2. Many Telco’s also own Cable distribution networks or are starting to offer IP-based digital TV.
  3. Many Telco’s have a traditional non flat-rate business (mobile phones, traditional telephony).

Old Telcos
And generally it is the old Tele and cable companies that raise these questions, some of the pure broadband operators discard the claims and says that they would charge more for the services providers using excessive bandwidth (which is IMHO ok, when I host my server I pay for the bandwidth I use, I a min. amount is included and if I would use up enormous amounts I would pay an additional fee for that).

I think this is another way of the Telco’s trying to keep their old paradigm, this is why deregulation of Telco’s and ISP’s to create competitiveness is so crucial. It is more of a rule in monopoly countries that the national Telco filter out VoIP, WebbTV (and for non-democratic countries it’s generally content based filtering as well, such as in China).

What can you do?
Make sure you use your consumer power, and switch to the competitive ISP’s or broadband companies.

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