Internet Providers Consider Fees for Users

MARCH 3, 2006 -- From music to streaming video, the internet is home to millions of possibilities. Some internet providers want to start charging people who download tunes or TV shows onto their I-Pods, and those who now watch streaming video free of charge might get hit with extra fees.

At the Randall Library computer lab on the campus of UNCW, students say this idea just doesn't make sense. Many of them can't afford internet access at their homes.

The service providers behind this shift toward online fees say it wouldn't block access or discriminate, but rather open up a new direction for the internet. Consumer groups argue the internet should remain the way it's always been structured, free of special charges and fees.

Those fees wouldn't just apply to people who download material. They also could be levied on consumers who make long-distance phone calls on the internet.

Reported by Joe Keiley