The high-speed broadband providers, especially the cable companies, are driven to distraction that some people download more than others. Some people are using their broadband connection for broadband purposes – watching streaming movies, downloading music, doing video conferencing, and the like. It drives the ISPs crazy that they’re not yet picking the pockets of those users more deeply.

So it won’t be long until tiered pricing is introduced. Most likely will be a meter that measures how much traffic goes across your connection, and turns on steadily increasing charges if you go over the daily or weekly or monthly limit. Also watch for experiments where the ISPs monitor your connection and bill additional charges if you use file sharing programs like Kazaa or WinMX.

Count on those charges being very reasonable to start with, set so high that you’ll relax, secure in the knowledge that the extra charges won’t ever affect you, it’s just to deter a few crazy users who are spoiling it for everybody else. Then the slow, steady squeeze will begin . . .

Here’s an article filling in some of the details about where these plans are being hatched.

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