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Charging more for remote access

One situation we recently encountered in which the vendor wants more 
money for wider access (which can be interpreted as home use) is this: 

A government agency making its data available electronically has chosen to
license by network address (incorrectly labelling this "by IP address"). 
Class B addresses cost more than Class C addresses.  So 128.xx.* costs
several thousand dollars more than 192.xx.* because the Class B address
(128...) opens up access to significantly more people (including dialup

For reasons of the expense of the license, we will be forced to license
only the library's Class C address, rather than the campus-wide Class B
address (multiplied by 9 campuses and several Class B addresses per
campus). Thus, to get access, one must come to the library!

We think this charging mechanism is unworkable for a couple of obvious
reasons.  It is a step backward; rather than open access, it forces people
to come to the library (exactly the opposite of our preferred direction). 
Also, in this case this specialized, important resource is of interest
only to a small subset of people on any campus.  Thus, the cost of truly
networked access is inflated in relation to its projected use. 

I'm not sure if this is what Deborah is referring to, but it's the only
case of "charging more for remote access to databases" that we have
encountered.  Normally, remote access is a requirement for us, and vendors
count heads or terminals or specialized user populations to determine
prices.  Head and terminal counts usually price us out of the market, but
we have made many successful arrangements based on counting the
specialized users that we expect to pound on the database. In the latter
circumstances, we are not forced to pay for those who only make occasional

Mary Engle
University of California MELVYL system

 On Wed, 5 Feb 1997, Deborah Wills wrote:

> Could I ask for people's opinion on the issue of vendors charging more for
> remote access to databases?  At our university, users may dial in locally
> from offices or labs, and those with their own computers may also choose
> to dial in from home.  I'm not sure if I understand why the home access
> should cost more; the same people are using the service.
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