Download Costs per Gigabyte

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One of the issues that circulates out there, and impacts the important Net Neutrality debate, is the cost per GB of download.

MSFT having launched their new movie download service for the XBox gives a clue to what they are taking; I figure less than $.20/GB. I’ve heard people claim the cost is as much as $1.00/GB, which I just don’t believe.

Anyway, I am just ruminating here very imprecisely about the subject. When it comes to Net Neutrality, it seems to me there is no Net Neutrality now. People pay for bits transferred by paying more for peak bandwidth capacity. In the home, we pay around $15-20 extra per month for a cable 4-5mb service than a DSL .75-1.5mb service. Taking the MSFT $.20/GB, folks are paying for as much as 75-100 GB per month, or 25-100 SD movies, or 10-20 HD movies; the movie numbers being very loose figures.

Those numbers assign the entire $15-20/mo premium to pay for downloads, which is a bad assumption, but at least a start to understand that we are already paying. For the DOD service providers, their bandwidth costs also go up, but I have nothing at hand to show those prices and whether they are just based on peak bandwidth or other measures.

Just a lunchtime thought.

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