RSS
Best Business Commentary
“Congestion pricing works," so why don’t our airports use it? says Steven Pearlstein in The Washington Post. Can’t anyone make Internet telephony profitable? says Fortune’s Yi-Wyn Yen in CNNMoney.com.
W
ho killed congestion pricing?

“Congestion pricing works," so why don’t our airports use it? says Steven Pearlstein in The Washington Post. It’s basic economics: if you charge airlines a premium to use runways at peak times, it creates incentives to rid airports of congestion that costs us “an estimated $9 billion a year in wasted time and money.” Thirty years after this “simple and sensible solution” was proposed, a cast from “a classic Agatha Christie mystery” has conspired to kill it: airlines, private pilots, corporate jet users, airport operators, members of Congress. The culprits each have their reason, but their real victim is “the traveling public.”

The elusive Internet pay phone

Can’t anyone make Internet telephony profitable? says Fortune’s Yi-Wyn Yen in CNNMoney.com. EBay’s $1.4 billion hit on its “voice over Internet Protocol” (VoIP) subsidiary Skype is hardly the industry’s only sob story. Look at Vonage and the now-defunct SunRocket. “Consumer confusion” about VoIP and well-publicized reliability issues haven’t helped, but actually “Internet phone usage has grown steadily,” nearly quadrupling since 2005. The problem is that “consumers are less willing to pay for the service.” Many VoIP services are free, and as Skype can attest, “it's hard to make money off the free users.”

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week