At some point, something’s gotta give — especially as Netflix continues to sign up new streaming customers, which is precisely their business model.
But we have to make a distinction here between the content of our bits and the number of our bits. What you download should follow the rules of the Old Internet — bits is bits. It shouldn’t matter to Comcast or to the FCC if you’re downloading Shakespeare, porn, or a political attack ad. Bits is bits.
But now that a small fraction of users have the ability to use up huge amounts of bandwidth right from their sofas, it makes sense for someone along the cable line to be able to charge them extra for their outsized demands on the system.
Generally I’d prefer to see private entities cutting bandwidth deals like the one between Netflix and Comcast. But if anyone — private or public — starts charging different rates based on the content of our bits rather than their sheer numbers, then it’s pitchfork time, folks.