Given these trends in the past (with respect to the transportation of items), the articles raises doubts through the questions of a number of researchers whether a similar trend would influence the working of the super information highway of modern times, which is popularly known as the Internet. The article says that one of the most prominent reasons for the growth of the internet has been the 'openness' and 'uniform' feature of the net that has made no distinction between the type of information being transferred. In order to support this claim, the article cites a paper published by Andrew odlyzko that talks about the willingness of telecom companies towards introducing a pricing system for different types of information that would be transferred through their networks.
The article also discusses about how deviations in the earlier pricing and tariff systems were used indiscriminately, which caused an outburst among the people. The government and the regulatory bodies of those times then had to step in so as to bring about the requisite changes that ensured smooth transport of goods thereafter. While the article says that such price discrimination has in the past worked towards reversing the fortunes of some places such as Beverly beck, it also raises questions as to whether changes to the uniform pricing of internet based services would have similar effects. In view of this argument, the article ultimately concludes that the given the enormous size of the Internet, a flat based system would work much better and encourage users to utilize the services in an extended manner.
In my opinion, price discrimination has been there all along in the modern times and it has been the trend with telecom companies that happen to be the core providers of the Internet infrastructure. one is not surprised to see the different kinds of services provided and the differing price tags that each one is attached with. Subscribers are charged different tariffs for services such as phone calls, SMS, MMS, email, multimedia etc. moreover; some companies also discriminate on the basis of the subscriber being new or a regular one, wherein the former is charged higher rates than the latter. The reason service providers have not been able to implement such a policy over the internet has been predominantly due to the fact that the providers of such services over the internet are other companies different from these providers and the mode of information transmission is bits in any case. As such, service providers as of now do not have any software or hardware applications in place that is capable of distinguishing between the types of information by simply examining the bits being transmitted.
Therefore, any possible solution towards implementing any tariff based structure on the internet by these service providers can only be possible in the current time by forging alliance with the providers of these internet based services such as chat, VoIP, entertainment etc. given the facts that the number of such software providers runs into millions and that a mighty proportion of such services are for free would make it impossible to implement a service based pricing system in absolute totality. In fact, it can be compared to the marketing strategy of Apple inc.