Apparently BellSouth is planning to try and charge internet content companies for using bandwidth on their networks. I first saw this story on Om Malik’s post and was trying to figure out exactly how BellSouth was thinking they were going to pull this off. As Malik points out:
. . . Apple maybe asked to pay a nickel or a dime to deliver the song. Yahoo will have to do the same for its reality TV streams. I wonder what is the ramification of this? Will it mean increased price of songs on the iTunes store, hence slower sales of iPod, and hence the slowdown of that ecosystem. . . . if there is no money out of consumer pocket, fine. Silicon Valley is still going to pay the price!
Then I read a post on Geek News Central that clarified even further exactly what BellSouth is doing:
The Bells are loosing ground and they are not happy about it. In return they want to start charging a two way toll on the net connected lines. First they charge Joe Customer for Internet access, second they want to charge companies like Google for driving so much traffic through their network lines.
Finally, I read Jeff Pulver’s advice for Google, which I find to be extremely viable — essentially, Pulver suggests that Google put BellSouth in the penalty box for their outrageous scheme:
Given the market power that Google has today, they are more relevant to the Internet community than BellSouth. Given that, if I were running Google today, I would choose to implement a BellSouth Boycott and stop offering access to Google to BellSouth customers and would start advertising Cox Cable service on any requests that came from BellSouth customers in their regions. I’m willing to wager that by Q3 2006, BellSouth’s DSL group will feel the effects of their grave error in judgment.
It will be interesting to see what actually transpires in the near future.