(sigh) We've all been this route before. One of the more recent examples was the now ubiquitous ATM racket. When it was first introduced to the public on a wide scale in the late 70s and early 80s, there was no cost passed on to the end user (bank account owner) to access their account, like to get cash, via ATM. Imagine how much $$$ the companies involved (mainly banks, telcos, and manufacturers of automated teller machines) had to invest in order to build-out the initial infrastructure to make this happen?.... it had to be massive but whatever it was, at least in the short term, it was an expense the players invovled chose not to pass on to the ends users. But, after 20-some years to allow the populous to become dependent on this convenience, ooops, suddenly, the banks declared they could not bare the cost, they absolutely needed the authority and approval to charge a fee for such transactions. Yes, of course, many banks do not charge these transaction fees so long as you use an ATM that's part of your bank's network, but has anyone ever noticed that when the need for cash typically arrises, Your Bank's nearest ATM is 3 miles away in heavy suburban traffic, but there are Fred's ATMs seemingly on both sides of the street and inside all gas stations and convenience stores wherever you may be at the moment? To make matters worse, the situation also evolved into one that allowed a new/additional fee to the end user if they choose to forgo the ATM and instead visit their bank in person and deal with an actual human teller. Think of how often people use ATMs on a daily basis. Almost like trying to imagine how often a public toilet gets flushed daily, and the users thereof charged a fee.... or toll.
This is the nature of tyrants. They are not satisfied just in gaining more power of a people, they almost always have a secondary (or more) motive to their methods. In this case they are not only interested in further enslaving people, they want the joy of charging them a fee for the privilege. Imaganine the kick this gives them to know that the people themselves, by way of "premium services" are actually funding their own demise on an increased scale compared to those who can only afford to be scammed on an entry-level......pretty sick but slick arrangement.
In the last 3 months, I've gotten about 6 emails from my ISP informing me of temporary outages because their engineers were implementing improved enhancements to the network. Bear in mind my service was perfectly fine from my perspective before any of this started. With each successive notice of "our engineers are doing more work to keep our network reliable and fast" that culminated just this past week with the notice sent on 06/06/06, my once perfectly-fine internet service has ever-so-gradually become degraded to the point that I can now state with certainty that it is regularly slow/choppy/impaired, sometimes to the point of being dead for seconds, minutes or more at a time....... (shrug) My suspicions are, the network engineers were not doing any kind of work related to making the network better for the end user, they were makign it better and eaiser to monitor, manage, shape and filter the traffic, on a per-user basis..... and yes, I admit, my suspicions in this case are mostly a matter of theory at this time.