I guess my partner will be in favour, eh? I’m not really decided either way as I don’t feel particularly bothered. I do, however, see the importance of the issue.
Firstly, I don’t really know all the ins and outs of the issue but this article kinda made me think about it again. On the one hand, I absolutely can’t see what’s wrong with letting companies sign deals that say ‘you get faster service’ – kinda like road pricing on private roads. Depending on how much traffic there is, the price changes and there’s an efficient solution (if everything works out the way it’s supposed to). On the other hand, I don’t really think that’s how it’s going to work out (i.e. companies that pay more getting better service) but rather the other way round – you have to pay to get any kind of decent service.
And then, that’s just not the service you signed up for when you got your broadband connection. Ignoring for a moment that you rarely get the kind of service you pay for (in terms of speed), it’s really not the consumer’s problem if the company makes bullshit claims that they can’t live up to and then are screwed when their customers actually use the service they are paying for. Usually I’d just say “Change the contract and be done with it – the market will sort out the rest” (i.e. anyone trying to pull shit like that would be out of customers pretty damn soon). The problem, however, as the article points out is that there’s really not that much competition in this market – whether we like it or not. Generally I’m a big believer in saying “everything’s the way it’s supposed to be” but at times you have to take a good hard look (usually at the Economist) and accept reality for what it is – not really a free market but rather some kind of corporatist-oligopoly with plenty of government support.
So yeah, convince me either way.