Data Communications System Engineer
Last-mile network operators incur network-build costs that are proportional to the aggregate BITS-PER-SECOND data rate during the peak usage time period. That is, they must add network equipment to support the maximum aggregate SPEED that the network delivers to the sum of all users during its busiest time period. Once that equipment is installed, there is essentially NO COST to use the network.
Once a network is built, it can be used 24-hours a day with essentially no additional cost. The last-mile network operator does not incur any cost that is USAGE based. The last-mile operator incurs costs to build FASTER networks; once built, there is no penalty for using them continuously.
Notably, during low-use time periods (eg middle of the night), the network has spare capacity that can be used without ANY COST to the network operator.
If an operator can delay adding new equipment needed to meet the demand during the busy time period, then it could pass those cost savings along to the customer. Once the money has been spent to build the network, the operator incurs essentially NO COST when the customers use the network.
It is the total BITS-PER-SECOND data rate across all users during the busiest time-period that causes network operators to spend money to add equipment. The total bytes sent during the month (per user or aggregate) has no effect on the costs incurred by the network operator!
If a policy is promulgated to reduce cost to the average user, then that policy must address the usage-pattern that requires the operator to spend extra money.
Deterring consumers from using the network at, say the 8PM busy time period, "might" reduce the operator's cost, and thus help to reduce the rates it must charge to break even. But, deterring customers from transferring even gargantuan files at 3AM serves NO purpose directly related to curtailing network-build or operations cost.
Billing customers for the total-bytes-sent-during-a-month is a sham. It is intended to curtail the download of large files. The end-goal is to restrain Over-The-Top (OTT) video services. Notably, pre-push of very-large (genuine BluRay quality) video files during off-peak hours.
The last-mile operator's primary revenue comes from delivery of high-quality (lean-back experience) video services. They feel OTT video will erode their primary revenue stream, and they take all steps possible to deter and delay the growth of OTT. In particular, they seed the media with technically inaccurate articles intended to manipulate the consumer into believing lies.