BellSouth To Nickel-And-Dime iTunes

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The telecom company has begun conversations with several unnamed Internet content providers on charging for delivering their content “reliably and speedily.”

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-- "extortion." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press, 2003. Answers.com 17 Jan. 2006.

BellSouth has pressed forward with its demands for more money from content providers. Company CTO Bill Smith suggested Apple “might be asked to pay a nickel or a dime to insure the complete and rapid transmission of a song via the Internet,” according to MarketWatch. In another example, Yahoo and its streamed video content could face similar levies.

BellSouth has support from one content provider of note: Mark Cuban, who owns HD Net, a provider of high-definition movies and other media.

“This isn’t just about video. It’s about other concepts and applications that can’t be offered net users without (Quality Of Service),” he wrote in an email. “I think the end user benefits the most. They can opt for using services where the quality of service is higher.”

Business 2.0 writer Om Malik questioned in his blog whether the telcos can maintain that quality of service:

While we are on the topic of the much ballyhooed QoS, can the incumbents who propose to charge for better and faster delivery of content deliver an optimum and consistent 3 Mbps every minute of the day to the consumer who coughs up hard earned $40 a month? After all that consumer, not Yahoo or Apple is their first and primary customer.

It’s an excellent question, and one the telcos have yet to answer.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

BellSouth To Nickel-And-Dime iTunes
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