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Consumer Confidential: Verizon mulling pricier Net access; Hulu Plus makes cheaper debut

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Here’s your throw-me-a-bone Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--It was bad enough that wireless companies started hitting up customers for extra cash if they wanted Net access. Now we’re looking at even higher fees if you want fast Net access. Verizon is reportedly looking at new rates that will depend on the speed with which data is delivered. Faster downloads -- more dinero. Verizon and AT&T are also offering plans that will cap the amount of Net access you can have, depending on how much you pay. Unlimited data plans? That’s so 2009.

--Elsewhere in the telecom world, the online video site Hulu has unveiled its Hulu Plus premium service, which will give subscribers unlimited viewing of current season TV shows for a monthly fee. The company is offering a free one-week trial, with a subscription cost of $7.95 a month after that. That’s lower than the $9.99 originally floated. On the downside, Hulu Plus still comes with commercials even thought you’re paying extra, and you can’t fast-forward through them. Hulu is co-owned by big dogs such as NBC Universal, News Corp. and Disney.

-- David Lazarus

Verizon is reportedly toying with the idea of charging a premium for the faster data speeds delivered on its new 4G network, which is expected to be available throughout much of the U.S. by the end of the year, according to a Wall Street Journal article. If the telecom giant goes ahead with data speed pricing, it wouldn’t be the first time an Internet service provider has made such a move. Remember dial-up rates versus broadband rates?

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But where things have become more complex of late is in the realm of tiered wireless data pricing, which AT&T (T) kicked off earlier this year, and which is now being offered as a holiday promotion by Verizon. Under tiered data pricing plans, users have caps on the amount of data they can use in a given month, in contrast to the old industry standard of offering a plan with a flat rate for unlimited use. Data hogs love unlimited data plans, especially with the increasing popularity of online video and the ubiquitous availability of Internet access.

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/9xEph1
Verizon is reportedly toying with the idea of charging a premium for the faster data speeds delivered on its new 4G network, which is expected to be available throughout much of the U.S. by the end of the year, according to a Wall Street Journal article. If the telecom giant goes ahead with data speed pricing, it wouldn’t be the first time an Internet service provider has made such a move. Remember dial-up rates versus broadband rates?

But where things have become more complex of late is in the realm of tiered wireless data pricing, which AT&T (T) kicked off earlier this year, and which is now being offered as a holiday promotion by Verizon. Under tiered data pricing plans, users have caps on the amount of data they can use in a given month, in contrast to the old industry standard of offering a plan with a flat rate for unlimited use. Data hogs love unlimited data plans, especially with the increasing popularity of online video and the ubiquitous availability of Internet access.

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/9xEph1


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