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Clemson Reverses Policy; Internet Long Distance OK

mccrohan 'Free' phone service (105 comments)

I know this is going to seem like blasphemy to some people, but let's think a little bit about 'free' phone service...or, for that matter, 'free' anything. We all know bandwidth is never free - SOMEONE is paying for it, and if it's not you, then the person who IS paying for it is probably looking for a way to bill you for it. Dialpad and other internet telephony makes itself cheap by reducing the amount of bandwidth it uses (by sampling down the conversation to the point where it's almost unintelligible) and by using bandwidth most of us don't get billed for on a by-volume basis. Was Clemson wrong to ban it? Maybe. I don't have any evidence that it was really causing them bandwidth problems. But their most likely next move will be to raise student fees to cover the additional bandwidth expense. Then every student on campus will be subsidizing the long distance habit of the folks who want to call home every night. In this case, the cost may be minor. But the next time this debate comes around, for some other service, it might not be. Think about it. Free isn't always free.

more than 14 years ago

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