Originally Posted by SolipsismX
1) Double doesn't equal additional.
2) I'm amazed that you don't see how voice call is inherently different from loading a webpage despite, at the base level, it's all technically data, yet you aren't saying that carriers are wrong for charging you for voice minutes instead of just accounting for the actual data being sent and received. In 2012 people I do expect people on an tech forum to have a modicum of comprehension about differences between standard best effort data over TCP that can be checked and resent if something is missing and UDP real time data with the highest QoS priorities to ensure the best possible conversation with a importance in preventing from delayed, dropped, or out of sync frames.
I understand your analogy and what you are talking about when you compare UDP to TCP, but I completely disagree that the average person should be expected to understand this. Also, people mentally view voice, SMS, and data as separate, even if they are all traveling over same network, because it has always been charged separately. Most people think with their wallets. I think AT&T has an uphill battle if they plan to make video conferencing separate, especially if Sprint and Verizon do not follow suit. That said, I don't believe it should be illegal for AT&T to charge extra for FaceTime or video conferencing at all. I think that is absurd.
For me, prioritizing network traffic and using QoS is part of the job when you are managing a large network. There will always be additional costs to ensure the best performance, scalability, and security. You should pass those along, but it needs to be kept simple so people understand. It also seems to me that forcing people to pay for priority of certain protocols and services would really re-spark the whole "network neutrality" debate and possibly push it into high gear. If that happened, you may lose a lot of the freedom you have to prioritize traffic currently. Adding the complexity and checks to see if a packet is from a paying customer seems like would make your network more complex and error prone. That leads to more upset customers. Everything is already complicated enough. Maintain your network so people get the best performance possible and build those costs into the data plan. Keep it simple.
Limited data is here to stay. As Verizon seems to be heading towards a "one data plan for everything" strategy, I think people will prefer that to a strategy where you get nickled and dimed for "different" types of traffic. The average person wants to pay for 4GB of data and use it however the want. Can't say I blame them.