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ISPs (including mobile operators) are increasingly looking to grow revenue by taking a share of content companies' profits. They are complaining that they have rising costs to deliver the data, but that is why they charge end users monthly fees - so they can deliver Internet traffic to their customers who are paying for that Internet access. ISPs were more than happy before video picked up and their customers were underusing their networks but still paying the same monthly price.

Now that their customers are starting to use their Internet access more, instead of valuing that these customers will not jump ship for other alternatives (if available) that are much cheaper, these customers will increasingly value Internet access service that is faster and has lower latency. ISPs should be glad that these content providers bring value to Internet access. (Again, this includes mobile operators because mobile operators provide Internet acccess too - just over radio technologies for the last mile instead of wired solutions. There is no such thing as a mobile Internet - it is mobile Internet access to the very same Internet.)

The problem with this is that by asking content providers and content delivery network companies to pay ISPs (in addition to paying ISPs/telcos for their Internet connections between their serves and the Internet) is that it throws everything off balance. Content providers then have to pay twice for Internet access - their own Internet access and peering arrangements + extra fees to be allowed to peer with ISPs (which can multiple quickly), while ISPs make money not only to provide their customers with Internet access but also to act as a toll booth to content companies. This could destroy the profit margins of some content providers who are also paying for the content they deliver. They would be forced to then push those costs onto consumers who access that content. In the end, consumers pay twice while ISPs collect twice, and content companies will break even. But this will not work. Consumers will stop consuming that content. Content providers will go out of business. There will be less content on the Internet and thus less of a need for broadband. People will use cheaper, slower broadband connections, or they will just use their mobile devices and cut out home broadband completely.

Movile operators in Europe are talking about charging companies like Google and Apple. In the US, Comcast has forced Netflix to pay extra, which Netflix is doing temporarily under protest. I can see it playing out like this:

Content companies will get fed up and find a way to let consumers know what is happening, perhaps by redirecting to another page that says: "Your ISP does not provide reasonable conditions that allow us to be able to deliver our content to you. Here are other ISPs in your area who can: . . . "

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