> But the Internet provider charges a flat rate whether you push 500 KB a month or 500 GB, simply because it's always been that way. The "solution" to this problem, unfortunately, may turn out to be metered pricing (and no, I'm not looking forward to it either.)
Except "bits" aren't in limited supply, nor are the accumulated use of such what is causing congestion on the tubes. The problem is concurrent bandwidth use exceeding the ISP's capacity, which metered-by-the-bit internet caps do not remedy. For example, if everyone burns through their allotment of bits in the first week, when that new Netflix show comes on, there's still going to be congestion, even though all the customers are well within their limit of bits.
Hence the only logical method of such tiered pricing is using bandwidth bands (10Mb/s, 30Mb/s, etc.) as is currently done by most ISPs already.
The fundamental issue is that ISPs - all of them - grossly oversell their available bandwidth/throughput. It's the reason ISPs sell "up to xMb/s broadband", and historically this was generally good enough for most people. Then internet video streaming came along, and customers started demanding ISPs make good on the inflated numbers they've been spouting for years.