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40GB of Data That Costs the Same As a House

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-where-and-when-that-costs dept.

The Internet 188

Barence writes "PC Pro has an infographic that reveals the extortionate cost of roaming data. They compared the cost of data typically bundled with a fixed-line broadband package (40GB) costing £15, with the cost of buying that data on various mobile tariffs. Buying 40GB of data on a domestic mobile internet tariff from Orange would cost the same as an iMac; buying the same quantity of data on O2's non-Europe roaming tariff would cost £240,000 — or the same as a three-bedroom house."

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188 comments

You need to move to texas (4, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631482)

You can get a 3 bedroom house on a quarter acre in a respectable neighborhood for $130,000 (that's £90,000 in metric dollars for you british types). Sure, we won't have enough water for our population when the apocalypse comes, but in the mean time 3 bedrooms here is considered on the small side.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631502)

You can get a 3 bedroom house on a quarter acre in a respectable neighborhood for $130,000 (that's £90,000 in metric dollars for you british types). Sure, we won't have enough water for our population when the apocalypse comes, but in the mean time 3 bedrooms here is considered on the small side.

...but in Texas 3 bedrooms will get you a master bedroom, a children's bedroom and a bedroom for the mother's big ass bleach blonde hairdo.

Re:You need to move to texas (0)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631538)

That's Arkansas. Their houses are even less expensive, and you might even get a 4 bedroom for that price. The downside is that you have to endure your neighbor field dressing a deer in the driveway every Sunday afternoon.

Re:You need to move to texas (4, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631696)

What's wrong with that? Make friends with your neighbor and you'll eat deer steaks for a week.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632218)

I bought a 3 bedroom ($137k) in a suburb of Little Rock this week and I don't think any of my neighbors hunt. However, one lady looks like a suspiciously capable southern cook.

You don't need to move that far (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631556)

£240,000 will get you a decent 4 bedroom house in Wakefield" [rightmove.co.uk], or a 6 bedroom house [rightmove.co.uk] in Blackburn.

Re:You don't need to move that far (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631580)

It'll get you a 2 bedroom apartment in Amsterdam.

Re:You don't need to move that far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631676)

Or a 1 bed somewhere near sydney!

Re:You don't need to move that far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631600)

I work with a solicitor that does conveyancing, 3 bed houses in Wallasey (and parts of Liverpool) go for 40-70k regularly. Nice 4 bed ones go for under 150k.

Re:You don't need to move that far (2)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631668)

But then you'd have to live in Wakefield or Blackburn...

Re:You don't need to move that far (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631804)

But then you'd have to live in Wakefield or Blackburn...

True enough, but the original poster was talking about prices in Texas ... and for those prices he didn't mean Corpus Christi. Wakefield or Blackburn are a good comparison to Huston.

Re:You don't need to move that far (1)

noelp (524550) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632226)

Having lived near the first two, and now living in Houston, I am genuinely intrigued as to why you think it is a good comparison....?

Re:You need to move to texas (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631546)

Who would want to move to America from England to a southern state full of bible bashing racist retards....?

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631568)

Who would want to move to America from England to a southern state full of bible bashing racist retards....?

Nick Griffin ... or is that wishful thinking

Re:You need to move to texas (3, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631694)

>>Who would want to move to America from England to a southern state full of bible bashing racist retards....

I think you're getting your metaphors confused.

Atheists bash Bibles
Christians (well, some Christians) thump them.

And if you think people in the south are still racist, in general, you're the retard.

Re:You need to move to texas (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631724)

Everybody, in general, is racist. Those in the south moreso. I was born in and spent my first 30 years in the south, and southerners are, in general, more racist than than the average Americans.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631758)

You are from AK right Marc?

Judging from the Alaskans I'm familiar with (the Palin clan), you guys are all fucking idiots that fly around and shoot animals from helicopters for fun and profit.

You are also unsure of what a newspaper is.

See stereotypes work both ways :-)

Note: I lived in AK for a few years, so I know this stuff isnt true. I also grew up in Georgia, and frankly I'm of the opinion that there are racists everywhere. The ones in GA seem more out in the open with it though.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632046)

Haven't spent much time in Boston, have you? Or Detroit. Either of the Detroits, for that matter..

Re:You need to move to texas (2)

drb_chimaera (879110) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631764)

Depends where he is, over here in the UK bible-basher is used in the same way bible-thumper is used in the US

Two countries, separated by a common language...

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631550)

The house I rent in London has 3 bedrooms (plus another room which is about as big as a double bed). It's "worth" about £600,000. It's in a nice area, has a very small garden, and is 3 minutes walk from a tube station.

For some reason no-one is willing to build decent houses/flats in English cities. Many European cities have large areas of 4/5/6 storey residential buildings, but not here.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631660)

Maybe they're willing but not able....

Re:You need to move to texas (2)

bernywork (57298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631876)

They are able, but not willing. A lot of people in London and a lot of English, don't want their city going up and up and up in height. A lot less natural light, and more people. They don't want London turning into Singapore which is the way that it would go if the developers had their way.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631934)

I lived in London for a decade and don't remember being asked about that...

One problem with London of course is the land, which is not really conducive to skyscrapers. But the things is that instead of building upwards, the property owners of London have spent the last couple of decades subdividing. Properties in London are now absolutely tiny. I never bought property there because the huge price you paid in return for no space whatsoever just didn't seem worth it. Of course from an investment perspective I should have just bought anything I could and waited for it to triple in value...

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632068)

The technology is there for artificial foundations (You don't need a giant slab of granite or sandstone to build on any more) and has been for a while, this is how they built the old ABN AMRO now RBS building on Bishopsgate and the Gherkin. Around central London from the local councils, you can get planning permission for a sub-divide as your not going up.

As a generalisation, a lot of people in London don't want to change the general look of London. They are tied to it's history and the idea of rapid change doesn't sit with them.

Besides, all the blue plaques that would have to be gotten rid of and there would be a bunch of people complaining about the historical value of something if it were to be taken down.

I think the biggest force to stop people around London from majorly increasing demand aside from will is Infrastructure, I don't know when you left, but the Northern, Victoria and Centra lines etc are still crap in the mornings and trying to put another 50 million people onto them just is not going to work. Ripping up Oxford street to replace all the old water pipes is a good example of how old a lot of things are.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632078)

I only left last year, so it probably hasn't changed a lot in the last 15 months, I'm guessing.

I wouldn't necessarily argue for building upwards to accommodate more people, I would be much more in favour of building upwards to give people more space.

Not that I'd be completely decided each way, but I'm sure there are enough crappy areas in the city that nobody would miss :)

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632100)

I wouldn't necessarily argue for building upwards to accommodate more people, I would be much more in favour of building upwards to give people more space.

Yeah right, like that's going to happen. You give a landlord / developer the ability to build upwards and you could nearly photograph the pound signs flashing in his eyes......

Not that I'd be completely decided each way, but I'm sure there are enough crappy areas in the city that nobody would miss :)

Quite a few actually, both north and south of the river. I guess there is only so much money for the local development authorities to work with....

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632174)

I lived in London for a decade and don't remember being asked about that

There was a proposal to build a 12-storey residential building on some spare land behind the local High Street, which was rejected after all the rich people said they didn't like the idea of having more people living here. What they meant was probably that they liked their existing rental income. (I wrote in and supported it, but I don't have a six-figure salary.)

But the things is that instead of building upwards, the property owners of London have spent the last couple of decades subdividing. Properties in London are now absolutely tiny.

That is exactly the problem. Student accommodation in London is the worst offender, IME -- probably because students are relatively poor but really want to be close to their university. I was really lucky with the first place I rented (with three friends) in 2006 -- the agent showed us round a place which had 8 students living there, but a change in the law meant he could then only let 4 people live there (he had to fit a fire alarm system etc to have 8 tenants). That meant we had some communal rooms -- when 8 people had been in that house they'd not had any communal rooms except the kitchen and the bathroom.

A year later I had to move (the landlord wanted to fit the fire alarm system and rent to a group of 8), and I ended up living in a basement flat, which was the "lower ground" floor of a subdivided house. We had three bedrooms plus a kitchen and a bathroom. That was shit, although I didn't realise how bad it would be until I'd lived there a month (too late).

The people that really lose out from the lack of laws (some countries have laws stating the minimum floor area per person) and middle-class resistance to new buildings are the young and the poor-ish. I think it's despicable.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632114)

They are able, but not willing. A lot of people in London and a lot of English, don't want their city going up and up and up in height. A lot less natural light, and more people. They don't want London turning into Singapore which is the way that it would go if the developers had their way.

I can understand arguments against building 20+ storey buildings everywhere, but I don't see a problem with putting 5-storey buildings in large areas of inner London, yet they don't get built either.

Nursie's comment about subdividing is exactly the problem we have (and it means we have the additional people anyway, and less space per person). I'm 25, and I'm sharing a house with three friends. For the same money I could rent a tiny flat (i.e. subdivided house), and have hardly any space.

I'd rather have a decent amount of my own space and live in a 4-6 storey building, which is normal in most other large European cities.

Re:You need to move to texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632254)

In my experience, the difference between high rise European cities and low-rise London is that London has been planned with low rise in mind and has narrow and twisty roads (even outside the centre). If you're going to build upwards you need wide roads to let in the light (and central Amsterdam's 2-roads-and-canal arrangement work even better for the purpose, though it's entirely coincidental).

It's not like you can knock down a row of semis and replace it with a high rise because the street would be too narrow; and when we've done the 'raze a neighbourhood and rebuild it as high-rise' trick we've always done it on the cheap with un-soundproof asbestos-infested council flats.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631752)

For some reason no-one is willing to build decent houses/flats in English cities. Many European cities have large areas of 4/5/6 storey residential buildings, but not here.

For whatever reason, the closer to the city center, and the lower the population density, the higher the value of the property. In addition to that, someone who can afford to occupy a piece of land that would normally house ten families a) usually doesn't cause problems for the landlord b) often times makes improvements to the property and c) by reputation keeps or raises the property value. You'd have to be astoundingly bad at business (or born in to money) to invite more tenants that cause more problems and expect you to maintain the property out of pocket, who at the same time lower the value of your investment, rather than keep the status quo.

Re:You need to move to texas (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631574)

    Food and water can be acquired. The more important thing we've lost is our hunter/gatherer survival instinct. If there were a serious ELE, the first waves of heavy deaths (assuming no traumatic ELE cause like the sun exploding), would be at the 1 to 2 week mark, as people died of starvation and dehydration. Water is abundant, if you know where to look, and are willing to consider drainage retention ponds, canals, and other bodies of fresh water. Of course, there would be plenty of human inflected deaths too, fighting over canned goods and bottled water. Don't believe it? Consider what people will do to each other on "Black Friday", and that's for a fucking discount on unnecessary material possessions. Along the same lines, watch your local news. Murders, rapes, theft for the sake of theft. Realize that your local news is covering a small area, and then multiply it by the number of metro areas world wide.

    People will lie, cheat, steal, and murder for that last can of spam, or bottle of water, but won't eat their own dog, or drink from the swimming pool. Ya, if it gets bad enough, Fido will make some nice BBQ.

    Back to the topic though...

    Vendors will sell at prices that the market will pay. They're not raping you. You've bent over, handed them the lube, and said "Here's $200/Mb. I'll be back in a month for more."

    When people stop paying the outrageous prices, the price will come down. Only that, or fair competition will keep it in check. Fair competition, unfortunately, will only bring it down to a point where all parties profit margins are satisfied. They have to keep the share holders happy, after all. No company does anything out of the goodness of their own hearts. They're in business to make a profit, and you, the consumer, have shown them what you're willing to pay.

    Just like our survival instincts, we've forgotten that we, the customer, are in control of the companies. If they don't service us the way we want, we have the choice to go elsewhere. If there is no other option, we have the choice to not use their damned service. Do you really need a cell phone that plays movies, music, gives GPS directions, and (for the ladies) have the extended vibrate feature? No. You got one to make calls on. You've all been swindled by the vendors into paying more for the prettier newer phones, the add-on services, etc, etc. ... and that's how I feel every time someone complains that prices are too high, as they cut the check for the bill. "This costs too much, but oh well, I'll pay anyways."

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631654)

Consumer ignorance and/or apathy is the WORST thing that can ever happen to an economy. If the ignorant are the majority, they wreck the market even for those who aren't ignorant. "Whatever price the market will bear" is a meaningless phrase when consumers don't know how to estimate cost to produce and don't know or care about profit margins.

Sadly, where and when I'm living the ignorant typically are the majority.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631708)

So, let's assume that all the American citizens suddenly got a hair up their asses about cell phone data plans and were clamoring for legislation or for prices to drop. Do you think companies will lower their prices just because it is what the citizens want?

Hell no. They're not going to kill the geese that lay golden eggs. They're going to continue to not upgrade their infrastructure so that they can look good when Congress comes a'knockin and asks why text messages cost ten cents each for less than a kilobyte of data, when you can get an actual data plan of multiple gigabytes for $10/month. Texting is actually more expensive if you don't have a plan than uploading data to the moon via satellite link.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632140)

So, let's assume that all the American citizens suddenly got a hair up their asses about cell phone data plans and were clamoring for legislation or for prices to drop. Do you think companies will lower their prices just because it is what the citizens want?

No, they'll lower prices in the face of lower revenues because some revenue is better than no revenue, and they'd rather have it than their competitors. That's assuming, of course, that the market doesn't suffer from (even informal) collusion where all parties charge exorbitant rates and it's prohibitively expensive (or bureaucratically impossible) for another player to enter the market.

The problem, as the GP noted, is that supply and demand only really applies when you have what economists call "rational actors" on both sides. When it comes to things like cell-phone-technology mobile plans, the majority of the demand side is so ill-informed (or perhaps worse, the majority just doesn't care) that it cannot be called "rational" in that sense. If the participants in an otherwise open market are not rational, that "free market" will be extremely inefficient.

The tyranny of the majority is a real detriment to the concept of a truly free rational market. And this is just cell phone data plans.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631710)

Water is abundant, if you know where to look, and are willing to consider drainage retention ponds, canals, and other bodies of fresh water.

There are no natural bodies of water in Texas, though. Except that "lake" that sits on our eastern border, far from any major population centers. People forget that the Mississippi is notable in the fact that it's our only truly navigable river on the entire continent. It's also worth pointing out that Dallas is only 100 miles north of Cairo, Egypt. The main difference here (as I try and keep my tomato plants alive in the backyard in stifling 100F+ heat with no rain in three weeks) is that we don't have pyramids, we only have the Federal Reserve Bank and Bank of America Plaza building.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632250)

Is that apart from Lake Abilene, Lake Alan Henry, Lake Alvarado Park, Lake Amistad, Lake Amon G. Carter, Lake Aquilla, Lake Arlington, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Athens, Lake Austin, Lake Averhoff, Lake B.A. Steinhagen, Lake Balmorhea, Lake Bardwell, Lake Bastrop, Lake Baylor Creek, Lake Belton, Lake Benbrook, Lake Big Creek, Lake Bob Sandlin, Lake Bonham, Lake Bonham State Park, Lake Brady Creek, Lake Brandy Branch, Lake Braunig, Lake Bridgeport, Lake Brownwood, Lake Bryan, Lake Bryson, Lake Buchanan, Lake Buffalo Creek, Lake Buffalo Springs, Lake Caddo, Lake Calaveras, Lake Canyon, Lake Casa Blanca, Lake Cedar Creek, Lake Champion Creek, Lake Choke Canyon, Lake Cisco, Lake Clyde, Lake Coffee Mill, Lake Coleman, Lake Coleto Creek, Lake Colorado City, Lake Conroe, Lake Cooper, Lake Corpus Christi, Lake Crook, Lake Cypress Springs, Lake Daniel, Lake Davy Crockett, Lake Diversion, Lake Dunlap, Lake Eagle Mountain, Lake E. V. Spence, Lake Fairfield, Lake Falcon, Lake Fayette County, Lake Findley (Alice City Lake), Lake Fork, Lake Fort Parker State Park, Lake Fort Phantom Hill, Lake Fryer, Lake Georgetown, Lake Gibbons Creek, Lake Gilmer, Lake Gladewater, Lake Gonzales, Lake Graham, Lake Granbury, Lake Granger, Lake Grapevine, Lake Greenbelt, Lake Halbert, Lake Hawkins, Lake Holbrook, Lake Hords Creek, Lake Houston, Lake Houston County, Lake Hubbard Creek, Lake Inks, Lake Jacksonville, Lake J.B. Thomas, Lake Joe Pool, Lake Kemp, Lake Kickapoo, Lake Kirby, Lake Kurth, Lake Lady Bird (Town Lake, Austin), Lake Lake O' The Pines, Lake Lavon, Lake Leon, Lake Lewisville, Lake Limestone, Lake Livingston, Lake Lone Star, Lake Lost Creek, Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, Lake Mackenzie, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Martin Creek, Lake McClellan, Lake Medina, Lake Meredith, Lake Mexia, Lake Mill Creek, Lake Millers Creek, Lake Mineral Wells, Lake Monticello, Lake Moss, Lake Mountain Creek, Lake Murvaul, Lake Nacogdoches, Lake Nasworthy, Lake Navarro Mills, Lake New Ballinger, Lake Nocona, Lake Oak Creek, Lake O.C. Fisher, Lake O.H. Ivie, Lake Palestine, Lake Palo Duro, Lake Palo Pinto, Lake Pat Cleburne, Lake Pat Mayse, Lake Pinkston, Lake Placid, Lake Possum Kingdom, Lake Proctor, Lake Purtis Creek, Lake Quitman, Lake Raven, Lake Ray Hubbard, Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Red Bluff, Lake Richland-Chambers, Lake Sam Rayburn, Lake Sheldon, Lake Somerville, Lake Squaw Creek, Lake Stamford, Lake Stillhouse Hollow, Lake Striker, Lake Sulphur Springs, Lake Sweetwater, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Texana, Lake Texoma, Lake Timpson, Lake Toledo Bend, Lake Town Lake (now known as Lady Bird Lake), Lake Tradinghouse Creek, Lake Travis, Lake Twin Buttes, Lake Tyler, Lake Waco, Lake Walter E. Long (Decker), Lake Waxahachie, Lake Weatherford, Lake Welsh, Lake White River, Lake White Rock, Lake Whitney, Lake Wichita, Lake Winnsboro, Lake Wood, Lake Worth and Lake Wright Patman?

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

IllusionalForce (1830532) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631714)

No company does anything out of the goodness of their own hearts. They're in business to make a profit, and you, the consumer, have shown them what you're willing to pay.

Rest in peace, Sun Microsystems.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631732)

There are enough people that would shun such a tarrif that it will eventually be re-figured somehow. A few people will be caught in its web with a bill that's plainly awful. What's wrong is that there's not a way to prevent those hapless few from being really totally burned.

And so we call them out, mock them, and vilify them for their stupidity in hopes that shame will cause them to change. But corporations, especially telcos with monopolistic attitudes, are incapable of shame. It's the nature of such entities to be totally narcissistic and self-serving to the point of what any shrink would call pathological.

A regulatory authority might have the ability to hold sway of such pricing, so as to protect that small minority that will hurt themselves, often unwittingly. So it's not really like we vote with our business. We don't get a "vote" in the model that is the constraint within the context of telco tariffing models. You believe we do, but it doesn't actually work that way. Perhaps the pain of vilification might work, but rarely. Instead, we might gravitate to sanity, those of us that are willing to dive deeply into the rate structures of plans. We shouldn't have to take the time to become experts on telco plans; they should be reasonable from the onset.

Re:You need to move to texas (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631964)

Just like our survival instincts, we've forgotten that we, the customer, are in control of the companies. If they don't service us the way we want, we have the choice to go elsewhere. If there is no other option, we have the choice to not use their damned service.

Ah, the capitalist manifesto - almost as far detached from reality as the communist one. Yes, that's what all companies like you to believe even when they got you by the balls. And there's a mutual understanding with your competitors that price wars are bad so we'll all offer the same overpriced, underperforming service and your only real option is to exit the market altogether. No TV, no phone, no Internet... hey, how are you on slashdot at all? I'm pretty sure you're feeding one of those vendors that you rave about to be here. Unless you're on a small regional ISP, in which case they're paying the megacorps instead of you.

If you really believe that we don't need laws against false advertising, antitrust, first sale, price dumping, any of those consumer laws that give us rights. DRM is fine, if the market doesn't want DRM it'll be rejected - you don't own a DVD drive that supports CSS do you? Clearly that means you wanted it and an industry-wide association didn't shove it down your throat. Doesn't matter if you use it or not, you paid for it and they can say the public doesn't care and everyone has a DVD player that supports it. Same goes for any computer with DVI/HDCP or HDMI - which is now most computers bought in the last decade.

Reality is that the "invisible hand" of the market can be trussed up like a pig. Oh, you might be allowed to run around in a small pen to give you an illusion of freedom, but you're not going anywhere. Sometimes the government helps, but often it's more than enough that the government stands completely aside - which is something libertarians will never admit. You're only in control insofar that you could go all Amish on them and start your own self-sufficient agrarian society. As long as you don't want modern medicine or anything, because that's all ruled by megacorps too. But I guess 99.99% of us aren't willing to go there so then we deserve everything we get, right?

Re:You need to move to texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632112)

Just like our survival instincts, we've forgotten that we, the customer, are in control of the companies.

I don't know that I'd say that we're in control of the companies... But it is most certainly a two-way street. WIthout any customers, those companies aren't going to be around for long.

If they don't service us the way we want, we have the choice to go elsewhere. If there is no other option, we have the choice to not use their damned service. Do you really need a cell phone that plays movies, music, gives GPS directions, and (for the ladies) have the extended vibrate feature? No. You got one to make calls on. You've all been swindled by the vendors into paying more for the prettier newer phones, the add-on services, etc, etc. ... and that's how I feel every time someone complains that prices are too high, as they cut the check for the bill. "This costs too much, but oh well, I'll pay anyways."

People have forgotten how to say "no". People have forgotten what real necessities are. We've been living in luxury for so long that a slightly newer smartphone is seen as a necessity rather than a luxury.

I'm not sure I'd lay all the blame on the vendors... We want our gadgets. We like our toys. We'll seize on any excuse to justify the price. We'll happily go into debt to pay for some extra buttons and a blinking light that we don't actually need. That's more a failing of the society as a whole... The entire US economy revolves around credit and debt.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632212)

Murders, rapes, theft for the sake of theft. Realize that your local news is covering a small area, and then multiply it by the number of metro areas world wide.

English people who have not been to the USA might not understand this. I was in Huston and the news was on, running down shootings, car jackings, armed robberies, and so on. I was listenling vaguely, thinking that the USA is a big country so there must be more of that than in the UK. Then they said "and now the news for the rest of the state"! WHat I had thought was for the whole of the USA was just the local news for Houston.

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632222)

Do you really need a cell phone that ...

You could even ask if you need a cell phone. I live in a student city and as always, students will get X amount of money. X has not changed (except for inflation).

Where students would spend part on housing, part on food (ok, spaghetti every day) and the rest on beer. Now part of that beer money goes to mobile service and the ISP.

Don't forget people usually have only X amount to spend. So if you spend it on one thing, you can't spend it on something else. (No matter what the banks tell you.)

Re:You need to move to texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631686)

Yeah, but then you'll be living in Texas...

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Jimbookis (517778) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631702)

You can get a 3br bunghole in need of serious renovation here in sleepy Warrnambool (Australia) for US$250,000. Either the US housing market is screwed or the Australian market is screwed. I am not sure which is the case....

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631734)

How do I have to imagine a "4 bedroom house"?
A bedroom is any room I can place a bed in. So does this mean it's a house with 4 rooms that are not already kitchen, bathroom and so on?

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632184)

How do I have to imagine a "4 bedroom house"?
A bedroom is any room I can place a bed in. So does this mean it's a house with 4 rooms that are not already kitchen, bathroom and so on?

Pretty much, yes.

Bedrooms ~= Number of rooms - kitchens - bathrooms - defined communal rooms (living rooms, dining rooms, whatever you want to call them).

My parents, now that I've moved out and my sister's moved out, have a 4 bedroom house with 2 bedrooms (theirs, my brother's), a spare bedroom and a "study" (aka room full of junk).

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631760)

Aren't those houses built out of thin sheeting tacked to thin timbers? Basically a packing crate with windows cut in?

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631900)

yep, but that is basically the whole of the US new housing market....

Re:You need to move to texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631862)

You can not buy any kind of realestate with that money in Toronto that is freestanding on a lot of any size, maybe one bedroom on the skirts of a city in a very questionable neigbourhood.

Re:You need to move to texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632190)

You should move to central London. £240,000 will get you a roach-ridden studio in the midst of junkies and hoes

Re:You need to move to texas (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632220)

Move to Vermont. We got 60 acres for less than $200,000. Actually don't though, because we like it rural.

It's the economy!!!! (5, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631484)

I remember the days when a three bedroom house would only cost you 640kb... ahhh those were the days!

Re:It's the economy!!!! (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632092)

Wear rose colored glasses much?

I remember those days too and you failed to mention most houses back then were only 512 x 384, black & white, and 1200 baud.

Jes' sayin'...

Handing over packets between coutries (2)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631490)

That seems to be an extremely labor intensive task. Every packet is obviously checked manually.

Time it takes (1)

swmike (139450) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631494)

Another point to make is that at 8 megabit/s (not that uncommon speed for HSPA), spending those UKP240,000 takes ~11 hours. 40GB of data is approximately what you can fit on a standard Bluray disk.

That's Cheap (4, Interesting)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631498)

A few years ago my mobile provider (Vodafone) charged NZ$0.10 per 10kB block of data. That is NZ 41.9 million per 40GB or £21.6 million.

Luckily they are much less unreasonable now.

Re:That's Cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631742)

40 GB is 41 943 040 kB. So 4.19 million 10 kB blocks, or $419 430.40.

Still expensive, though. And those rates are still cheaper than we get across the Tasman for international data - about A$20 a MB - so I assume it's just as bad for you kiwis.

If you used text messeges... (5, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631512)

If you were to transmit that same 40GB by text it would cost you $52,400,000.

Re:If you used text messeges... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632200)

I read that as Taxi. Which would be a lot cheeper and take less time than typing 40Gb with your thumbs.

Proposed caps (3, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631532)

Luckily the EU is investigating this and will impose rate caps on everybody.

Under the new scheme those same 40Gb of data will only cost as much as a Ford Mondeo.

Re:Proposed caps (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631614)

Actually, anyone who has advertisements enabled on slashdot will have seen ads by abroadband.com. I'm not affiliated with them, I'm just a customer. For good reason: I live in Luxembourg, which is tiny, so leaving the country is easily accomplished. You get plans with unlimited data here, but beware if you leave the country. It get expensive quickly. That's why I took the up the abroadband offer: emergency use in my own country (as it doesn't matter in which country you are) and when I leave the country and can't get access to normal wifi.

While 0,59€/MB might seem a lot, it is a great option to have in case of an emergency. 40GB of data would still be the price of a (entry-level?) Ford Mondeo though. Doing the same with my metered data plan, which is probably one of the most expensive in the country, would cost 3,4 times more, within the country. I don't even want to know what it would cost while roaming.

Still not cheap, but better than nothing.

Re:Proposed caps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631638)

Funny, I haven't. Maybe /., like the rest of the corporate web, uses IP geolocation to ensure everybody doesn't see the same web.

(Yeah, I'm a bit bitter, and true, obviously localized ads aren't the same issue as localized content.)

Re:Proposed caps (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632020)

Funny, I haven't. Maybe /., like the rest of the corporate web, uses IP geolocation to ensure everybody doesn't see the same web. (Yeah, I'm a bit bitter, and true, obviously localized ads aren't the same issue as localized content.)

What's to be bitter about? Without localized ads they'd only make sense to huge chains and corporations with shops/product all over the world. Now I'm not fond of ads in general, but an offer I can't even use is a complete waste of both my time and their money. Well except hosting and such I can buy anywhere in the world, but that's a tiny exception. And if I wanted to there's plenty ways to proxy the connection...

Re:Proposed caps (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631700)

Actually the EU caps only cover calls and texts, not data.

Re:Proposed caps (1)

DiscoDave_25 (692069) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631982)

Actually as of 1st July 2010 the EU has enforced an opt out (whilst roaming in the EU) cap of 50 EURO. You have to ask to have this removed and if you don't that's the most you can be charged for a given month whilst roaming. The cap you're probably thinking of is on the charges that can be levied rather than any cap on consumption and you're right that's not yet there on data.

Re:Proposed caps (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632170)

so what? how much would it cost to text message space station?
mobile internet prices is about supply and demand and competition like everything else, also probably not an easy thing to do.
otherwise, go develop your own basestations and network and make $$$..
just PLEASE QUIT WHINING ABOUT IT.

Library of Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631548)

How much does the library of congress cost in terms of libraries of congress transferred?

Mobile companies overcharges their services... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631558)

...news at 11.

Get a grip. It's called capitalism. Sooner or later it is just Feodalism with few improvements. Want a real change? Ups, as communism is invalidated by bloody attempts to impose it to people, we don't have really a choice have we.

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (1)

Philbert de Zwart (1440831) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631598)

I think market regulation is not the same as communism. There has to be a middle ground between American-Koch-Brothers-style free market capitalism and Soviet style communism.

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631698)

There is. Europe.

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (4, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631928)

Not only is market regulation compatible with capitalism; it is essential for it. Just as rules and a referee are essential for boxing. Without any rules at all, capitalism quickly devours itself, and destroys the (somewhat) free market that spawned it. Microsoft is (or at least used to be, for a while) a fairly good example of what happens to a market that is insufficiently regulated: pretty soon there is only one serious player.

Stop and think for a moment of all the laws, regulations, and other rules that prevent you from being absolutely free - even in your economic behaviour. How many agencies does the US federal government maintain to control business activities? Yet it's all ultimately in vain, because to accomplish anything the regulators must be in contact with the companies they regulate. Then the "money gradient" comes into play: many of the people who are supposed to be regulated find ways of influencing those who are supposed to be regulating them. In a culture that values money above all, people with very little money are supposed to control the actions of people with far more money. It's as obvious as a simple circuit diagram that money changes hands (in some shape or form) and the regulation becomes, let's say, milder and more congenial.

Eventually you reach a situation where - to cite an extreme instance - the SEC goes through the motions of investigating allegations against Bernard Madoff, and claims that it found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631946)

That sounds like being between a Rock and a Hard Place. Today's world does not seem to provide positive common ground to choose from.

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631706)

>>Sooner or later it is just Feodalism with few improvements

I prefer Foodalism myself. It's a much more delicious tyranny.

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631744)

The money for purchasing all those subsidized phones has to come from somewhere.

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631864)

Ohh, do you mean those subsidized phones which subsription costs (not talks, not data transfer) 3x a year? Or even if I own my phone roaming costs are still insane?

Re:Mobile companies overcharges their services... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631970)

Excellent point - because this really is a binary decision. Bare naked capitalism or communism. Only an idiot would suggest that there is an entire universe of middle ground options that could include regulation, state ownership of infrastructure etc etc etc.

So yeah - I guess we're stuck with what we've got and should just suck it up like good little sheeple.

'or the same as a three-bedroom house' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631616)

you'd get a big mac and fries for that in London.

Pity the poor Luxembourigans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631628)

In Luxembourg you go for a walk and you can roam into three different countries. You will still be paying the same currency to the same company but your email will now cost euros instead of cents. Everyone has to keep their roaming turned off on their phones the entire time.

At least in the UK we are protected by the channel. Mind you why can I get a years of mobile internet data for £10 here but in the USA its £30 a month?

Re:Pity the poor Luxembourigans (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631886)

It's more like $20-30 a month.

And you can really get (un)limited mobile data for 10 pounds a year? That's amazing.

That is absolutely nothing compared to SMS rates. (4, Insightful)

NtwoO (517588) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631678)

With a standard 160 char SMS consuming 140 bytes (7 bit GSM encoding) and at a rate of 20ct per SMS on some Prepaid tariff plans, you are looking at an excess of 61 million for 40GB.

Cheap at half the price. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631716)

£240,000? That's cheap. When I first used the Arpanet, we were charged £300 per MB of data shipped across the Pond.

The joy of local SIMs (2)

cheros (223479) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631770)

If you're not aware of roaming tariffs your company hasn't briefed you well. However, given that Blackberries seem to roam much cheaper it proves that such tariffs are a rip off..

I went to the UK, and for £1/day I had proper 3G connectivity - nicely shared out over a local access point :-).

Roaming is the last route by which telco's can rip off their customers (well, apart from SMS charges, but they have it least the advantage that it stops marketing people from abusing something you cannot block).

But...but....thin clients are the future, right? (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631814)

None of this is news - and yet it's the key factor that Google, Yahoo, Amazon and any of the cloud providers won't mention; in the same way that they don't mention connectivity being the primary reason a chromebook might not be the ideal solution.

It's all very well citing Wi-Fi as a solution, but when you're not in a city, or in a basement, or on a train, or any of the other many, many places you might be that doesnt' get a signal, your cloud-solution may as well be on the moon. Add to that the costs mentioned by PCPro as if they're news, and suddenly thin-clients look just as dodgy as the last two times they were pushed as 'the future'.

Pay it, don't pay it - just shut up. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36631956)

I'm sick of people bitching about the cost of bandwidth. Either pay it, or don't pay it (it's an option). If you think it's expensive, go somewhere else. I don't want to hear it. I'm sure this will get modded down but it's the truth.

The new regulation works though... (5, Informative)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#36631960)

My provider (Simyo) just created new EU roaming plans because of the legislation. I can now get 50 min for 4.99EU and 50MB for 4.99EU, useable in any EU country. While still not particularly cheap, that's really not bad at all. 150MB is more then enough to check maps and email over the course of my upcoming three week vacation, so I won't even hesitate.

Not to mention, they have a server side roaming data cap which is opt-out (thats right, by default it is ON) set to 59euros.

After my experiences with AT&T in the US, I can't even begin to express how pleased I am with this change. Two years ago I took a summer trip to Europe from the US and brought my iPhone... They wanted something ridiculous like $200 for 50MB. Over the course of two weeks I made about 100 minutes of phone calls and used 10MB of data, and came home to a $900 bill.

I'm so glad I jailbroke the phone, moved to Germany, and now get to benefit from reasonable consumer protection legislation...

Try Australia (1)

zetsurin (993567) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632032)

Drifting from the point of the article, but just for reference a 3 bedroom house in Sydney costs $600,000 easily, and in many suburbs well over a million. And at present the 1 Australian dollar is trading for $1.07 US dollars. They haven't had their property crash in Australia. Yet.

Economy harmed (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632096)

There may be a debate about whether Internet connectivity is a human right or requisite to citizenship.
However it should be clear that low bandwidth is a constraint on economic growth, education and advancement.
Mobile bandwidth is not just about updating Facebook on the train, especially as all kinds of computing and communication can be done outside the office, or when on a business trip, at a customer's office, etc.
I submit that lower mobile tariffs will greatly increase a region's competitiveness in many ways, and this is not just about country vs. country. With android and ipad style terminals becoming very popular, outdated concepts such as "roaming" become medieval rapacious toll-gates on the highway.
Astoundingly my HTC Evo 4G cannot do global cellular voice roaming which my last phone (NTT Docomo) did. Global roaming in Europe a few years ago cost me about $500 for 1 week. I would prefer to use the Android Skype client but 4G global roaming, if available, would be far more.
I submit that city, region, state and national governments should quickly attempt to remove these trade barriers, and cities on their own should attempt to create barrier-free roaming agreements with each other. It is juvenile from a civilization perspective and an economic perspective for carriers to refuse interoperability and enforce rapacious fees when it hurts the governments and populations that make it possible for them to make such a profitable business.

Cherry Picking (1)

anne on E. mouse cow (867445) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632246)

To be fair to the operators, PC Pro do seem to have looked hard for each carriers worst option. I say this because my 1gb from Vodaphone costs £15 so £15*40=£600, I've installed ad-block and no-script and the Gig has lasted over a year so far!!! Also the other operators have very similar prices.
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