How about reading, instead of guessing? I wrote:
"a couple of basic parameters of life OVER HERE:
A landline costs 25 USD base fee WHERE I LIVE, the average phone bill for such a line for most people is around 50 USD all put together.
A mobile phone contract costs also around 25 USD base fee, the average phone bill for this, when phoning exclusively via mobile phone, would be somewhere around 300 to 500 USD per month."
That's what pretty conclusive, I'd say. If I had a mobile phone and phoned for the same amount (calls and durations) with that, as I phone with my landline, I'd pay 25 base fee plus 300-500 US dollars per month (roughly).
If that was in the country south to me, it'd be some 500-600 USD, if in the country west to, that'd be some 200-300 USD, east of me some 1000 USD, north of me some 500-700 USD.
Nowhere - except maybe in the far Scandinavian countries - would it approach anywhere close to your bill of only 50 USD for a complete family. I always was talking one single person.
And a landline here where I live can be had for 25/month plus (depending on contract) 30-50 USD for inland and longdistance foreign country calls. Which, if you calculate, is still more than what you pay.
As to standards - you and I probably won't still be alive before any general WWW "standard" is achieved. The chance is high that none ever will be.
W3C fucked up. If they had used IE specs as the standard at the time, they might have had a good fighting position to achieve a uniform standard. As it was for the Betamax vs. VHS system. There "only" PAL vs. SECAM vs. NTSC is making trouble and multi-system VCRs are and were available.
But have a look at other such attempts at standardization and you'll grow grey hair. Papersizes, power (and powerplugs), DVD-players, secondary software for Unix/Windows/Macs/PCs, etc.etc..
Even in the USA you still have at best a distribution of 50:50 between the two big ones, not to speak of the rest also there and also not conforming. Lately FF has come into not at all unfounded criticism for hopping into the bed with Google, there are the first row of really serious bugs and deficiencies and also the first couple of equally serious viruses and exploits (bound to be more with each new FF user). With every bug, virus and image loss W3C also loses out. IE7 shows that Microsoft isn't really playing the standards game yet (and I seriously doubt they ever will).
In my book the only chance at a standardized web will happen the next time a major technological hardware step is taken. And due to the way our society and our business competition works, chances are even less likely then than now. Have a look at what's happening currently with MP3 and the fact that lately we have more rather than less different formats.
Given all that, it is to ME very off to suggest, that everyone use systems and devices which are geared to a fraction of all users and countries.
The telecommunication prices differencies I didn't table for nothing. They are part of those differencies which see to it, that there is no system and no approach which works for the whole planet yet. And not for a long, long time to come yet. And "long" in my book means several decades, not a couple of months.
Many US american companies have landed badly splat on their noses because they assumed that what works well US-side also works well in Europe, Asia or Africa. Walmart e.g. lost in the upper number of millions of dollars over one such a simple item as KY-cream when expanding into countries outside of the USA. They lost way more until they learned about the differences in eating and clothing habits outside of the USA. I happen to know, as I happen to know someone whom they had to engage to set them right.
Thus if you base assumptions (of usage and usability) merely on what happens to work out in the USA, you're bound for a similar experience right sharply. If someone had to pay 200-300 bucks to have the "fun" of surfing with PDAs and mobile phones at leisure and earns less than 1500 bucks a month averagely he hasn't got lots to spend left over. Guess how valid your business plan is in such a case!
What I'm saying is most definitely NOT that CSS and accessibility don't have their places. I very much insist however that all they have are places - among other systems and approaches. And that this will be just like that a long enough time to stop that silly CSS/accessibility-nazism which is going on.
And I will most assuredly defend that position on a forum like this one, where people from all the planet come together to seek help. What works for you, doesn't work for others. It's really time to notice that.
I don't say standards are a bad idea. I like the fact that I can e.g. order a US videotape and play it on my NTSC-enabled VCR. I have more trouble when ordering a US-DVD and without major alteration US electronic/electric devices are unusable here. I'm quick by now in re-calculating non-metric measurements, and it took me only a short time to understand that the US pound is much lighter than my metric one.
You see what I try to say?
Standards might be a really good idea, but acquiring them is another ballgame. And W3C missed out. Which is why I will never call that bunch of idiots anything but geeks (which is much more polite than "idiots"). Instead of trying to brainwash people into "IE is bad, FF/Mozilla is good", they should have taken a good hard look at the market share of IE during the late 90ies and heeled to facts. If they had, we'd have a standard now already.
And don't start this "but IE is indeed worse" game on me. That was and is a propaganda item. The edge other browsers (and OS) have over IE mainly consists of their rarity where it comes to practical daily life. FF is just now starting to feel the hot breath of popularity in its neck.
If you closely and neutrally look at the motives behind this anti-IE campaign of W3C you'll discover that it wasn't technics-driven, it was personal antipathy against a marketleader and its owner.
Now, I don't even say it's a bad idea to shave a marketshare off Bill Gates. But the very fact of doing so is ensuring, FIRMLY ensuring that there will be no standard.
Given these facts all that to-do and moaning is to me just a big, huge lie. Propaganda. Hot air. The W3C has actively seen to it that there will be no standard, so it had better chill its feet (along with their fans) when people deal with the pile of shards they left behind them.
Have you - at any time - really noticed that the W3C ruleset is nothing but a RECOMMENDATION? That nowhere in all this there is the slightest means to enforce anything? That no company, no software author, no webmaster is in any way forced to heed those recommendations and that the VAST majority simply ignores them? Including those people who code browsers? Opera, Safari and FF still don't display the same. And one would assume that at least that much would be easily possible.
No, I'm not oldfashioned or trying to hold on to anything. I am - contrary to quite a few - however a bonehard realist. And yes, I know that that is a stance which is extremely painful to take for many. I have never ever believed that anyone in commerce or in the powergame truly means "only the good for people". This is not true in the real world, and it's not true in the virtual one. Which is something you discover the moment you look behind the eyecandy and hogwash presented to the "believing public", and which you'll only grasp when you look at it from a realist's vantage point.