ATT still hasn't figured out what business it's in by jgn on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 in Technology

It is comical to me when I read the fine print regarding ATT's data plans for the iPhone. They are so dedicated to a "connection" model for billing, that they just can't understand that they sell bytes.

In the olden days, you paid for a land line connection, and could make all of the calls you wanted. The SLA was rather robust, allowing for you to "just make calls" whenever. The agony of the phone company then was in switching: Did they have enough capacity to manage enough calls from a particular zone, through other zones, and then on to the other end of the call? Your bill was paying for switching capacity, amortized over time.

But now, of course, they just sell bytes. If only they would just bill me per byte (e.g., for the 2GB/month plan, around $0.000000011641532 / byte).

But no, we have all of this craziness regarding how many bytes you get for how much money; that I have to pay extra for tethering (even though I get no extra bytes); and that if I'm using an ATT hotspot for iPhone Wifi, I can't tether my laptop through that (tethering is only through 3G).


I just want my bytes. Give me my bytes. And let me monitor my own behavior (and conserve bytes, if I want to). And bill talk time as bytes, too. I think if we paid for bytes, maybe our calls would be shorter because we'd realize the cost of our own breath.

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