While attempts by telcos to meter the Net are noxious and need to be opposed, technology advancements will neutralize them long term. Telcos want tiered service, charging more for top tier, but the proflieration of ever-faster and ever-cheaper bandwidth renders this a moot point.
Fiber optic is blindngly fast, cable modem companies keep ramping up speeds, and cell phone providers now offer city wide connections for laptops. In a few years we’ll look back at current conditions as way primitive. Kids will say, “gee grandpa, you mean you had to go somewhere to get a wireless connection?” They, of course, will be used to anytime, anywhere, ultra high speed connections.
Thus, it won’t matter if telcos charge more for top tier. Bandwidth will be ubitquitous, everywhere, and cheap. Nor should there be too much concern about the Net getting locked down. It’s become too much a part of business and commerce for that to happen.
We should absolutely be vigilant and fight any attempts to meter or lock down the Net, but long term, they won’t be able to do it anyway. It’ll become like the telephone. Always there, always on, and modern life would not be the same without it.