Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications

  • Is this site really necessary?
  • Don't 'free' ISPs kill your argument?
  • Unmetered local calls will never happen
  • But electricity and gas are metered
  • The problem is the cost of PCs
  • The network can't cope!
  • Dial 999 for unmetered
  • Metered local call charges are reasonable
  • Why should I pay for someone else's calls?
  • Computer gamers will cause trouble
  • ISP charges would replace phone charges
  • An American Mythbuster
  • Unmetered calls would trouble ISPs
  • People on low incomes would be affected
  • Unmetered calls would favour the South-East
  • Computer gamers will cause trouble

    Some UK critics of unmetered telecommunications have sought to discredit its adoption by suggesting that it would greatly encourage gaming on the Internet. Although gaming constitutes a small fraction of overall Internet use, gamers in the UK are amongst the most vocal protestors about the gross inequity of metered telecommunications and are therefore a highly visible part of the protest movement. This is not surprising given that some dedicated gamers are paying phone bills amounting to hundreds of pounds per quarter.

    These UK critics imply that the encouragement of gaming on the Internet through adoption of unmetered tariffs is a bad idea because:

    1. Gamers will swarm onto the Internet and create telephone network congestion problems;

    2. Heavy usage of the Internet by gamers will require investment in additional capacity which will increase phone network costs and this means that normal phone service users will wind up paying higher bills and cross-subsizing the gamers;

    3. PC gaming on the Internet is a wasteful, irresponsible and potentially harmful activity which ought not to be encouraged.
    None of these are valid concerns.

    In the US, where local calls are unmetered, the phone network has been able to handle the dramatic overall increase in Internet usage (gamers included) without a discernable increase in phone service charges - see The network can't cope and Why should I pay for someone else's calls? Gaming is just one of many different uses of the Internet: although a relatively small percentage of users may spend a relatively large amount of online time playing games, their overall impact on total usage is minor.

    And the notion that unmetered pricing should not be adopted because it would encourage undesirable usage of the Internet is patronising in the extreme. The Internet is the greatest communications medium that mankind has invented to date. By lowering the cost of access to it through adopting unmetered tariffs, more people will be able to use it in a manner which benefits them most. Gaming on the Internet has proven itself commercially to be a legitimate recreational activity practised by all types of people in countries all over the world. Gaming is but only one of many uses that people have for the Internet.

    Text by Charlie Sands

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