Both a US senator and a business professor writing about him in the New York Times found it a challenge recently to get to the bottom of cellphone texting's costs to customers vs. their costs to the cellphone carriers, given that the amount of texting Americans do has grown ten-fold in the past three years. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), chairman of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, was curious about why the cost of individual text messages (not unlimited plans) had doubled between 2005 and '08, and – when he asked the carriers – they spoke "at length about pricing plans without getting around to the costs of conveying text messages." Those costs did not go up anywhere near proportionately to the volume increase of text messages. The way the professor/commentator put it in the Times, "Customers with unlimited plans, like diners bringing a healthy appetite to an all-you-can-eat cafeteria, might think they’re getting the best out of the arrangement. But the carriers, unlike the cafeteria owners, can provide unlimited quantities of “food” at virtually no cost to themselves — so long as it is served in bite-sized portions [e.g., 160 characters per text]."
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments