I have wished for usage-based billing for years but so far, the few
alternatives I've seen have seemed pretty expensive. Eunet did have a
leased-line service where you paid for usage and they differentiated
domestic and foreign traffic also, but the price was a bit high.
Telia also tried usage-based billing but with a too high price,
I think, charging 0.50 SEK per MB transferred. 0.50 SEK per MB is
roughly the (telephony) cost when you download things with a 56k analog
modem so that may have been the basis of their pricing. It should be
possible to do a lot better than that. Today, the people who are
constantly downloading movies etc. using their 768kbit/s UPC
connections pay 350 SEK per month flat-fee charge which for them
translates into about 0.0015 SEK per MB, or about 1/300th of the
price Telia wanted for usage-based Internet access.
There must be room for usage-based billing at substantially lower costs
than what we have seen so far, while at the same time providing operators
with better margins and probably also making traffic planning easier.
On Fri, 24 Jan 2003, Patrik Fältström wrote:
> On torsdag, jan 23, 2003, at 23:17 Europe/Stockholm, Jonas Stenling
> > It will take years to convince the current customers using the
> > Internet to
> > pay based on their usage of the network, but I believe that is the
> > single
> > most important thing in order to get VoIP and other stuff going.
> > Bits are not transfered free of charge.
> Convince and convince, I would like to see the first ISP which dare to
> really look at the fact, that (I think) 1% of the customers use 98% of
> the bandwidth.
> Say an ISP have 10Mbps to households.
> A "normal" household possibly use average 250kbps during the 6 hours
> per day someone is using the connection.
> This gives 20GByte/month (if I have not calculated wrong).
> Max transfer (5Mbps) gives 1642GByte/Month, about 80 times more.
> Now, say one ISP start having a charging scheme where the total amount
> of bytes is counted per month, as follows:
> 0 - 30GByte -10%
> 30 - 100GByte +10%
> 100 - 500GByte +50%
> > 500GByte +200%
> Or something. A charging scheme where the majority of the users get
> _lower_ price, while the users which use too much pay more. If the ISP
> loose these few customers because they want fixed price...tough luck.
> The ISP gain more by not having to transfer the bits for those users.
> Now, the customer very seldom can change the behavior so fast, so the
> charging should be as follows:
> Month Actual xfer Charging class
> 1 10G 0 - 30G
> 2 200G 0 - 30G (With Warning)
> 3 20G 0 - 30G
> 4 250G 0 - 30G (With Warning)
> 5 260G 100 - 500G
> I.e. move the customer between the charging classes with one month
> delay. That way the customer have time changing whatever needed, and
> will not be surprised like with electricity bills in Sweden.