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Verizon CTO: Broadband Throttling is Inevitable

Will Internet service providers eventually throttle the World Wide Web? That's what Verizon's Chief Technology Officer is claiming, adding that the Internet cannot continue to grow without passing the cost on to someone. Telephony Online is reporting that CTO Richard Lynch delivered these words of wisdom during the 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo press conference, providing a glimpse into the company's future plans for its broadband services.

Does that mean current Verizon customers should prepare for the worst: a throttled Internet? According to Lynch, the concept of a flat-rated "infinitely expanding service for everyone" just cannot work much longer. In the eyes of ISPs, consumers can't expect to stream large chunks of content, hogging bandwidth, without helping out with the cost. That makes sense: taxpayers are ultimately flipping the bill for wider roads and new extensions, and broadband surfers may have to apply that same concept to the ever-growing Internet.

“We are going to reach a point where we will sell packages of bytes,” Lynch said, referring to possible premium broadband offerings. “Now I’m not announcing a new pricing plan. But we have already gone this way in wireless because that is where the resource is most constrained.”

With the FCC pursuing net neutrality, Lynch and Verizon are hoping that the government isn't looking to limit its ability to offer premium bandwidth packages in addition to the public Internet service. However, Lynch is worried that the current net neutrality push will only make things worse for consumers rather than improving the way ISPs handle broadband and wireless subscriptions.