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Networked Life by Mung Chiang

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11 Why do AT&T and VerizonWireless charge me $10 a GB?

   11.1 A Short Answer

Almost all of our utility bills are based on the amount we consume: water, electricity, gas, etc. But even though wireless cellular capacity is expensive to provide and difficult to crank up, consumers in some countries like the USA have been enjoying flat-rate buffets for mobile Internet access for many years. Can a restaurant keep offering buffets with the same price if its customers keep doubling their appetites every year? Or will it have to stop at some point?

In April 2010, AT&T announced its usage-based pricing for 3G data users. This was followed in March 2011 by Verizon Wireless for its iPhone and iPad users, and in June 2011 for all of its 3G data users. ...

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