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Comments on news posted 2011-11-30 14:44:24: You might recall that back in 2009, we mentioned a piece claiming that the "bandwidth hog," a term used ceaselessly by industry executives to justify rate hikes, net neutrality infractions, and pretty much everything else -- was a myth. ..

page: 1 · 2

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Duh

You don't need a study to confirm this. Anyone with basic reasoning skills can see that a combination of low caps, high speeds and overage charges are just another revenue stream for an ISP. There's no financial incentive to upgrade network infrastructure if your existing structure can earn you tons of money in overage charges.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Re: Duh

Of course. But this is good as it is using real data to counter the claims of the ISP's an doesn't use the same mythical data the ISP's use. Poking holes in fiction with real numbers is always fun.
axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC
Reviews:
·Comcast
Since so few people hit the caps currently, I don't think it's good as an immediate source of income. I'd guess it's more to save on current infrastructure costs that would be needed for future growth.

I suppose it's possible that slowing progress in wired connections makes wireless more attractive, which can charge more for. Investments in lobbying and buying out wireless competitors seems like a better use of funds than going into FTTH and better backbone.

ddd

@mskcc.org

Re: Duh

These limits may not be reached now, but they will be soon by more and more people as tech. advances.

del ftl

@comcast.net

Laymans terms

I'm not a fan of car analogies but this is the gist of the report.

1% of vehicle drivers on the road travel a disproportionate amount of miles compared to the average driver. But they are on the road all the time. Most of the time they are on the road there is no rush hour congestion.
The heavy drivers are likely to be involved in rush hour traffic jams, but only represent a small, not terribly relevant, fraction of total drivers in the traffic jam.
Limiting the amount of miles a driver can drive, does nothing to widen the roads and little to keep people off the roads during traffic jams, thus does not help with congestion.

thistool

@144.70.2.x

Re: Laymans terms

Layman or not great analogy.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Laymans terms

To me, it's crystal clear what they are trying to say. Capping miles driven per month or even per day to smooth traffic jams doesn't work. It doesn't work because there's no incentive to drive your allotment when it's not rush hour.

What might work is converting the roads to tollways and permitting free travel during off-peak times and charging stiff fees during peak hours.

So what's your problem with this analogy?

Applied to ISPs, it means going to 100% UBB where they charge less for off-peak hours and more for peak hours. There could even be "free" periods much like cell companies offer free nights and week ends. The free periods would cause the "hogs" to make sure their activity is performed when most other folks don't use the system.

The power companies incent business to use less power during peak periods by charging them less per Kwh during off-peak periods. Of course power is a poor analogy because building a new plant is crazy costly vs. upgrading a CMTS to handle channel bonding and employing other technological advances that transfer 10 times the data over the same strand of fiber.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Laymans terms

said by rradina:

Applied to ISPs, it means going to 100% UBB where they charge less for off-peak hours and more for peak hours. There could even be "free" periods much like cell companies offer free nights and week ends. The free periods would cause the "hogs" to make sure their activity is performed when most other folks don't use the system.

That is an interesting idea on how to manage bandwidth usage and is worth a try by a big ISP just to see how it worked.
--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/rss/2012-election-blog.xml

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Laymans terms

Well don't hold your breath. Since there seems to be a quorum of negative opinions on ISPs ability to accurately track monthly usage, it seems a mighty big stretch to believe they could track it by the hour!

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Laymans terms

said by rradina:

Well don't hold your breath. Since there seems to be a quorum of negative opinions on ISPs ability to accurately track monthly usage, it seems a mighty big stretch to believe they could track it by the hour!

This analyst thinks UBB is coming from 1 major ISP next year:
»www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-3···ech.html

At least one major cable operator will institute so-called usage-based billing next year, predicts Craig Moffett, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. He said Cox Communications Inc., Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) or Time Warner Cable may be first to charge Web-access customers for the amount of data they consume, not just transmission speed.

“As more video shifts to the Web, the cable operators will inevitably align their pricing models,” Moffett said in an interview. “With the right usage-based pricing plan, they can embrace the transition instead of resisting it.”

Rogers Communications Inc., the largest Canadian cable company, has been billing broadband customers based on consumption since 2008. U.S. providers AT&T Inc. (T) and St. Louis- based Suddenlink Communications LLC are experimenting with usage-based plans.
Cable companies see usage-based billing as a way to limit the appeal of online services like Netflix and Hulu LLC, and reduce the threat from new entrants like Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Google Inc.

The incentives to focus on Web access are compelling. Cable’s broadband gross margins are about 95 percent, versus 60 percent for video, according to Moffett. As programming costs increase nearly 10 percent a year, video margins are crimped, he said.
Time Warner Cable is testing meters to measure broadband consumption for the purpose of tiered pricing, Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt said in June. In April, he said usage-based billing is “inevitable.”

Charging by Web usage, cable companies may discourage customers from dropping traditional pay-TV service and slow the growth of Netflix, Hulu and an expanding list of online alternatives, Moffett said.
The possibility of usage-based pricing has brought protests from Los Gatos, California-based Netflix and warnings from Charlie Ergen, chairman of rival Dish Network Corp. (DISH), which operates the Blockbuster movie-rental business.

Cable’s best option is to find ways to profit from the online shift, said Moffett. If the companies were to lose all of their video customers, the revenue decline would be more than offset by a lower programming fees and set-top box spending, he said.
“In the end, it will be the best thing that ever happened to the cable industry,” Moffett said.


--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/rss/2012-election-blog.xml

WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX

Re: Laymans terms

Uh, Moffet, the great clown, always fun to hear his "thoughts".

elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
UBB has been kiboshed for independents in Canada, it's not going to happen.

The incumbents can UBB folks to death, once the masses realise they're beeing taken to the cleaners, they'll defect to the IISP's

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

1 recommendation

said by FFH5:

said by rradina:

Applied to ISPs, it means going to 100% UBB where they charge less for off-peak hours and more for peak hours. There could even be "free" periods much like cell companies offer free nights and week ends. The free periods would cause the "hogs" to make sure their activity is performed when most other folks don't use the system.

That is an interesting idea on how to manage bandwidth usage and is worth a try by a big ISP just to see how it worked.

But, it's not necessary to charge during peak time - the fix is simply to slow the fastest user down to the level of the next-heaviest user. Iterate until the link is not congested.

Cisco implements a "weighted fair queuing" solution that basically achieves this outcome. The "hog" is slowed down a little when others want to "use the road", but is otherwise unimpaired - and not billed for bogus excesses!

See also my article here:
»corp.sonic.net/ceo/2011/12/02/web-hogs/

-Dane

bear73
Metnav... Fly The Unfriendly Skies
Premium
join:2001-06-09
Derry, NH

1 recommendation

Re: Laymans terms

*said by greedy Verizon exec* Shhhh!!!! dammit don't tell them that we can effectively and inexpensively manage our existing network! then we can't make double-digit profits while simultaneously convincing the gov't that we need subsidies to bring affordable broadband to the rural US!

thistool

@144.70.2.x
Did I need to thumbs up or favorite the post? I thought by expressing great analogy it was clear I like the post.

Sperkowitz
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Laymans terms

I guess when you wrote "Layman or not great analogy" it is read like "Layman, or not [a] great analogy." instead of "Layman or not, [a] great analogy."
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
Sorry. I now realize what you said is: Layman or not, great analogy.

delusion ftl

@tmodns.net
There's no perfect analogy, but you do bring up some good points. If implemented they way you suggest it could end up being something like this:

User1. 1TB monthly bandwidth use
Billed 15 dollars

User2. 10GB monthly bandwidth use
Billed 10 dollars

This would be a case where user 1 and 2 both had roughly the same amount of peak consumption, and user 1 had tons of additional consumption at a time with a much lower rate.

On a personal level, I think it's fair. But you'd have a hard time convincing the clueless general public that it is.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Laymans terms

This discrepancy kind of happens in almost every LOB. Buying more usually lowers unit costs. I could even argue that those that trade in futures (grain, fuel, etc.), are trying to adjust the "time dimension" of their use to lower their cost which isn't that far removed from time-sensitive UBB.

Now before I get slammed, I don't agree that the economics of an ISP are in any remote way similar to the economics of other lines of business that lower costs through volume or futures purchasing. I'm just recognizing existing examples of lower costs for more vs. higher costs for less.

daSkippy

@mb.ca
All that will do is move the peak usage times to when traffic is free.
talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH

Re: Laymans terms

said by daSkippy :

All that will do is move the peak usage times to when traffic is free.

People aren't going to stay up so they can use the internet for free at 2am when they have a job to get up for in the morning.

Some people will shift their usage, but the majority will not, as they have scheduled lives which resulted in the peak usage times in the first place (after school, after work, before bed)
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
Moffet is a loon.

UBB will never take off unless its meters and checked and regulated like power and the internet goes ad free and ISPs stop ALL spam.

basically Spam and rich media/streaming video adverts on websites would be come unauthorized usage. comparing to other metered services it would be like advertisers being able to turn my TV set on to sell me something as such causing the TV to use electrical power that I had no intention of using at that exact moment.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
Jurjen

join:2010-08-18
Montreal, QC
In addition to this great analogies:
The incumbents are like Montreal: there's a lot of people that want to drive their car, but all the bridges and highway exchangers are falling apart because of a lack of maintenance and therefore needs to have a few lanes closed. However, traffic is only growing these days, but there's no plans for new bridges on the table.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Why we have caps

How quickly people forget.

»news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10004508-38.html

Comcast decided to throttle/filter bittorrent which was hammering their network. Bittorrent is one of the highest users of bandwidth.

FCC said that was illegal, and you have to disclose how you manage your network, and it must be fair.

No problem, 250GB cap for all... up front, disclosed, fair.

I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

JasonOD

@comcast.net

Re: Why we have caps

Except, they were kicking people off anyway before that- roughly the top 1,000 hogs a month I think. Now they cap, but offer no overages. Leaving stockholders and customers that would prefer that option scratching their heads.

DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
you're getting actions and reactions mixed

the 250GB cap is due to the FL attorney general ordering them to state what they called high usage as they were already booting people for using to much, but the cap is soft and they still really only go after people that are causing issues not just over the cap

the bittorrent issue was, bad network managment and an FCC order which held almost no weight but they changed their managment to a protocol agnostic one

also comcast doesn't have overages

Heathcliffe

@bell.ca
said by fifty nine:

...I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

Lets' cut the industry mouthpiece crap. Right now, the average used car dealer is more honest and credible than most ISP's (most of whom resemble the sleaziest sleazy of marketing outfits).

The majority of people want honest ISP's that spec prices, speeds, data volumes, limitations et al. in honest, clear and unambiguous terms and stand by those terms, such that they (the customer) knows what the are getting and for how much.

End of.

Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com
said by fifty nine:

How quickly people forget.

»news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10004508-38.html

Comcast decided to throttle/filter bittorrent which was hammering their network. Bittorrent is one of the highest users of bandwidth.

FCC said that was illegal, and you have to disclose how you manage your network, and it must be fair.

No problem, 250GB cap for all... up front, disclosed, fair.

I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

I have to agree here. I used to be the infrastructure manager for a college and to see our fast connection get taken down to its knees by 3-4 systems running bittorrent was just a little intimidating at the time. This was years ago, and lessons were learned. Students complained about the capping that was going on, but we weren't data capping, just doing smart QOS. Something else that was frowned upon by the students.

I am just fine with the 250GB cap. I don't see how Comcast is using this as another revenue stream. They aren't making any money off it. If anything, they are losing money because people would leave if they didn't like it.
--
My domain - Nightfall.net
boombie

join:2000-12-01
Milwaukee, WI

Re: Why we have caps

But they are making money off it, People that go over their 250gb cap are switching to "business class" at a higher price.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
said by Nightfall:

I have to agree here. I used to be the infrastructure manager for a college and to see our fast connection get taken down to its knees by 3-4 systems running bittorrent was just a little intimidating at the time. This was years ago, and lessons were learned. Students complained about the capping that was going on, but we weren't data capping, just doing smart QOS. Something else that was frowned upon by the students.

I am just fine with the 250GB cap. I don't see how Comcast is using this as another revenue stream. They aren't making any money off it. If anything, they are losing money because people would leave if they didn't like it.

How many years ago was that? Bandwidth costs decrease 50% every year or two. You think Comcast's network is close to being "taken down to its knees"?

Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com

Re: Why we have caps

said by sonicmerlin:

said by Nightfall:

I have to agree here. I used to be the infrastructure manager for a college and to see our fast connection get taken down to its knees by 3-4 systems running bittorrent was just a little intimidating at the time. This was years ago, and lessons were learned. Students complained about the capping that was going on, but we weren't data capping, just doing smart QOS. Something else that was frowned upon by the students.

I am just fine with the 250GB cap. I don't see how Comcast is using this as another revenue stream. They aren't making any money off it. If anything, they are losing money because people would leave if they didn't like it.

How many years ago was that? Bandwidth costs decrease 50% every year or two. You think Comcast's network is close to being "taken down to its knees"?

I think that Comcast's network is in need of a major redesign. Times really haven't changed. If you give 100 houses 3 100 megabit connections and don't cap the lines in terms of speed, it will only take a few houses to eat all that bandwidth up.
--
My domain - Nightfall.net
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

1 recommendation

said by Nightfall:

I have to agree here. I used to be the infrastructure manager for a college and to see our fast connection get taken down to its knees by 3-4 systems running bittorrent was just a little intimidating at the time. This was years ago, and lessons were learned. Students complained about the capping that was going on, but we weren't data capping, just doing smart QOS. Something else that was frowned upon by the students.

Should all innovations be put on hold until the infrastructure is in place to perfectly support them?

Perhaps they should have waited until most of the world had paved roads before introducing the automobile? Or maybe they should have waited until every home had been wired before the telephone made its debut?

Here's a novel concept; Maybe ISPs could focus on upgrading their networks to serve their existing customers, rather than continuing to sell faster tiers of service, which by their actions, they claim they can't actually support.

said by Nightfall:

I am just fine with the 250GB cap.

And I'd be just fine with eliminating all sports on TV and 90% of "reality" shows...

said by Nightfall:

I don't see how Comcast is using this as another revenue stream. They aren't making any money off it.


What many users are thinking; "I can watch TV shows on sites like Hulu, or on the network's web site. I can watch movies on Netflix. And if I don't mind committing copyright infringement, I can download movies and TV shows from sites like The Pirate Bay. Hmm, why am I paying $50 a month for cable? Oh that's right, if me and my family start watching TV shows and movies over the net, rather than on traditional cable TV, we'll quickly run over the monthly usage cap and either have to pay more, or risk having our internet account shut off. Oh well, I guess I don't have much choice but to keep paying for cable TV. Oops, I see it's going up to $52 after the first of the year..."

said by Nightfall:

If anything, they are losing money because people would leave if they didn't like it.

And go where? The majority of people, at least in the US, only have a choice between the local cable company or the local phone company. There's no competition, specifically because of the monopoly rights granted to them by the government.

How do you vote with your wallet when your only options both impose usage caps?

Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com

Re: Why we have caps

quote:
Here's a novel concept; Maybe ISPs could focus on upgrading their networks to serve their existing customers, rather than continuing to sell faster tiers of service, which by their actions, they claim they can't actually support.

You and I are in complete agreement. As you mention earlier, you have to start somewhere. They can keep increasing the speeds, but they have to start redesigning the infrastructure eventually. Rome wasn't built in a day.

quote:
What many users are thinking; "I can watch TV shows on sites like Hulu, or on the network's web site. I can watch movies on Netflix. And if I don't mind committing copyright infringement, I can download movies and TV shows from sites like The Pirate Bay. Hmm, why am I paying $50 a month for cable? Oh that's right, if me and my family start watching TV shows and movies over the net, rather than on traditional cable TV, we'll quickly run over the monthly usage cap and either have to pay more, or risk having our internet account shut off. Oh well, I guess I don't have much choice but to keep paying for cable TV. Oops, I see it's going up to $52 after the first of the year..."

Actually, this is what most BBR users are thinking. Most common consumers are not thinking of downloading movies or music over torrents. Most common users don't even consider the cap because they never hit it. My parents are major users of Netflix and watching shows over the internet using their apps on their blu-ray player. Thats about as technical as they get though.

Many highly technical people use the very same points and there is a disconnect there. You cannot compare the highly technical needs to the common user. If you do, you get to where we are today. Caps in place and technical people bitching about them.

The caps are not going away anytime soon. Unless there is a major innovation where users are using more bandwidth. The caps will rise with the masses.
--
My domain - Nightfall.net

IdaTarbell

@comcast.net
Excuse me! I cannot leave Comcast, because it is a monopoly! There is no other cable USP in all the greater Ft. Lauderdale area. Monopolies are inherently abusive -- QED! When there is no other to turn to, they will issue the worst service, the rudest and most ignorant "service" workers and reward the top management with grotesque bonuses and salaries -- all this for avoiding maintenance, refusing to upgrade and gouging the helpless consumer.
If you have not done so, I suggest you study the Progressive era of the USA, when the Standard Oil cartel was broken. Such is the situation today with telecoms -- why should they innovate, when they are monopolies?
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
said by fifty nine:

How quickly people forget.

»news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10004508-38.html

Comcast decided to throttle/filter bittorrent which was hammering their network. Bittorrent is one of the highest users of bandwidth.

FCC said that was illegal, and you have to disclose how you manage your network, and it must be fair.

No problem, 250GB cap for all... up front, disclosed, fair.

I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

How quickly you begin to shill:

According to Sandvine, even when averaged over the entire day, Netflix accounted for 22.2 percent of North American data traffic. Thats more than even more than BitTorrent, which accounted for 21.6 percent of traffic, and had long been the single largest component of data traffic on broadband networks.

»gigaom.com/broadband/netflix-p2p-traffic/

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
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said by fifty nine:


I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

Unfortunately, I agree.

•••••

r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Reviews:
·row44
said by fifty nine:

How quickly people forget.

»news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10004508-38.html

Comcast decided to throttle/filter bittorrent which was hammering their network. Bittorrent is one of the highest users of bandwidth.

FCC said that was illegal, and you have to disclose how you manage your network, and it must be fair.

No problem, 250GB cap for all... up front, disclosed, fair.

I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

That 250GB cap does nothing but prevent people from using their connection they paid for. It is a practice of ripping off consumers.
We have had unlimited internet since 1995.
I could download more with my ATT dsl in 2000 than in 2011 with their BS caps.

The crowd here wont be happy until we get our unlimited/unrestricted internet back. ISPs can continue to charge for unlimited usage like they did from 1995 to 2011 and were greatly profitable.
It is bullshit when I only have a choice of ISPs that have caps, it is a monopoly that is limiting/restricting/destroying the internet.
Caps are what happens when every ISP now sells TV service and wants to unfairly stop competition.
--
...brought to you by Carl's Jr.

Really

@verizon.net
Are you serious? Comcast has been one of the biggest offenders when it comes to overselling an aging network, a network I might add that has more than it's fair share of problems during off peak hours let alone high demand times.

I hear almost weekly if not monthly from those I know with their service how bad it is. Between random outages, jitter, hosted email issues, terrible pricing plans, forced bundles, crappy customer service...I can go on. If there was any competition in it's truest sense, this company would be gone by now.

You keep believing their claims, some of them worded like a tragic comedy at times...and keep blaming those who have paid faithfully for services that were, shall we say, not as expected, or as marketed.

BTW, so you have a clue, it's not the bandwidth BT uses that congests horrid networks like Comcast's....it's the amount of connections....which had they not oversold their networks to the point of bursting....would not even be a problem.

So, keep defending the inferior product...that won't make you look dumb.

NetB0B

@71.153.177.x
said by fifty nine:

I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

Of course they won't... So what? That's how business works; the buyer tries to get the most value for the lowest price and the seller tries to give the least value for the highest price. For years the ISPs established the precedent of unlimited, unmetered usage. Now that our ability to use their service has caught up with their deployed infrastructure, they're trying to leverage the value provided down instead of investing in new infrastructure.

The reason we have a valid complaint is that there is no competitive market to fairly establish that balance between highest value/lowest price and lowest value/highest price therefore the ISPs have all the negotiating power and we have almost none.
Poguemahone0

join:2010-05-27
united state
said by fifty nine:

I think the crowd here won't be happy until they get the most speed available, unlimited bandwidth with no conditions at all for a rock bottom price.

Can I ask you to honestly explain why this is a bad thing? Other countries are moving towards this model and they are leaps and bounds above consumer-grade broadband in the US. You pay for your internet, and unless you're doing something extremely intensive like grabbing more than 10TBs of data a month, it shouldn't be up to anyone but you to decide how you use it.

It's like the only thing you want the ISPs to do is make money and completely ignore the reason they're monoliths of industry in the first place. Less restrictions, more speed, and expanded availability at a competitive price would equal more customers and a happier consumer base. Adding more customers would boost profits in the long term and seems like a better alternative to claiming "FREE MARKET!" and doing the exact opposite of what free market actually is.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

1 recommendation

If the 'Bandwidth Hog is a Myth'

Then caps are of no consequence.

••••••••••••

msilbey

@verizon.net

Concurrency

Congestion issues are about concurrency - the number of people clogging up the pipes at any given time. The utility companies try to promote non-peak-time energy usage to combat the same problem. But it's hard to see that approach working with the Internet. I can save my laundry load for the late night, but I'm not going to hold off working online or watching Netfllix until off-peak hours. Caps are crude, but better than nothing as far as carriers are concerned.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Prespd

join:2004-03-10
Wyoming, MI

bandwith vs. caps

I tried to read between the lines with this summary and I think it captures the debate pretty well. Nice reporting. It does raise a question I would like to pose based on a conversation I had with my wife in the car.

Bandwidth, while available isn't able to be conserved liked say the allowed minutes on a rollover phone plan. At any given time, a network has a certain amount of available bandwidth and the capability to serve a certain number of users.

I'll assume Sprint for a second here and go with my theory. I am Sprint. I want more customers and i know my total instant bandwidth available, and number of users I can support. The technology for 4G is pretty much limited to 8Mbps, so if I am running my network and I want good return on my equipment, I want to my customers to have all the available bandwidth I have, since it's lost if not used. So if Joe user 1 wants to stream whatever, he can have it and as much as he wants so long as i can support my user base. I want a 10-20% overhead of spare bandwidth for other reasons of backup, safety, etc... As more users get on, they all get the highest speed I can supply until my available bandwidth is consumed at that instant. I dynamically manage it to maintain the highest speeds for the users. As the system fills with my happy paying customers, I must slow down the network speed for each to allow the 200,001st user to also join in the fun.

I wouldn't cap anyone, and as long as I can keep it up, and utilized at 90% rate, my customers get my best effort and when congested the whole group balances to a steady if slower pace.

By using all my capability to provide bandwidth, I attract more customers which allows me to profit and add more equipment to add capacity.

Did I just sum up Sprint's plan?

If I use 1TB of data a month, but it's during the least congested time, say when available bandwidth is >50% of total capacity, why wouldn't my ISP want to let me have it to keep me a happy customer?

We all know why, to get ever larger profits. If only we could have a corporate structure that balanced profit and customer service to make everyone happy, life would be good. Now, the system is tilted toward the corporate profits and pissing on the customer. Only 1 guy doesn't do this yet, and Sprint quickly walling that ideal garden off to only allow smartphone unlimited. hmmm...

I think they can keep making money this way. Customer service plus large user base= large profits. I hope Sprint can do both and humble the other guys a little.

Note I am talking about Sprint and it sounds like I advocate throttling. Only as much as is need to keep giving all users access at the highest speeds possible. It sounds alot like the tiered speed plans you get with cable internet. Pay more for more guaranteed speed.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: bandwith vs. caps

Great analogy. Networks are scarce in resources, but in peak usage utilization (bandwidth), not aggregate (consumption). By vendors offering different tiers, they actually exacerbate the situation (do I really need 35 Mb/sec) due to this burstiness.

However if they use QoS, they inherently need to do DPI to classify tiers so realtime doesnt get killed (say VOIP) versus BT which is a consumption factor. We dont want them throttling or looking at our stuff, so the network engineers need to figure out proper oversubscription ratios and link management, just like in any network design.

Consequently in datacenters, there are real resource constraints (QoS in storage/server is still infantile), so you are seeing VM's per se starting to get dials to control (QoS). Of course when you start doing that, you complicate the design because now you are making scarcity decisions in a point in time (QoS Policy) when peak demands may require adaptive bandwidth handling. Ouch. You can see how Rogers messes that up regularly. My inlaws cable experience (rogers no Bhell) is like 1979.

So I see innovative companies coming up that manage bandwidth at the app/stream (like Netflix) and over time there may be some conversation between the stream (application) and transit to "agree" on what is best effort.

In any case the announcement by Verizon that one can stream 20+ channels via IP through an xbox is good, because they would have a harder time justifying realtime IP and congestion, when in fact multicast streaming is going on. So maybe Fios gets a pass for now.

With docsis 3, these cablecos are up to snuff, so they are just maximizing profit, plain and simple. I took a look @ TWC Q3 numbers and it came out to approximately $20/month/user was going to stock repurchases and dividend payouts. Now if that isn't waste, I dont know what is. I also looked at TW (parent) and their quarterly boldly states that revenue and profits for media are through the roof, the highest ever. Hmmm, piracy killing them. I won't even talk about Comcast and their Universal/NBC profits, and they are crying poor me.

No corporate blame here, if people pay $200/month for triple play, then they are going to keep charging more. Enough said. If I were in their shoes, I would do the same. They could have better cu service tho, and that doessn't cost much. At the same time people snap up iphones and dole out term fees. The signal to corporations is, line up the shots and warm up the LearJet.

jphilbrook

@midcoast.com

car analogy

The car use analogy is very poor. Car use is a metered activity, like prepaid cell phone minutes. Your primary expenses are x miles per $3.50+ gallon of gas and car upkeep. If you can't keep your tank filled or your car in proper operating condition, you won't be putting on unlimited miles. Filling your tank and doing preventative maintenance is prepaying to use your car.
Jurjen

join:2010-08-18
Montreal, QC

Re: car analogy

Just leave the gas out of the picture and it'll make sense. Or that's just represented in your energy bill. Also the car maintenance: sometimes you need to replace your router, modem, computer. Same thing.

svenska

@netlinx.net

really?

I love how every armchair internet expert seems to understand an industry they have never worked in. Don't get my wrong, there are sleazy lazy ISPs out there. But caps are not the devil, and a little understanding goes a long way.

Even a well designed network will come to its knees if there is a relatively small percentage of people using torrent software, period. There are many more individual connections used for that data transfer method, and networking equipment wasn't really designed to handle the sheer number of packets until the last couple years. Virii and malware can also contribute to similar issues. I remember the SQL slammer taking out quite a few business internet connections through the massive packet storm it caused.

Even for the largest players, internet connections cost something. When you get fairly large you get to negotiate what the connections cost. But if the data usage is too one sided, most large data movers will require compensation, even for 'peering'. Even Comcast has costs involved connecting their network to the larger internet, and they actually spend quite a bit of money in upgrading their internal equipment. I'm fairly certain they own a very large chunk of the fiber running across this country.

When you are small, you can purchase a burstable internet connection. This will allow you to keep your costs down assuming low usage, and if usage climbs everything continues to work.... at a premium. If your 95th percentile usage jumps up you may be slapped with large fees. So little ISP's almost always have to have caps associated with their service to get anywhere near to competitive levels with the big boys.

When the ISP I worked for invested in faster equipment, we found out something interesting. If we allowed the customers to run with less speed restrictions it lowered our overall usage. Instead of many users accessing the net at once the individual users were getting what the needed faster and getting on with their days. The total usage on our service (on a five minute average) went down.

However, over time we gained customers who abused this type of system. I had a guy who wanted to download 'every song ever'. And an Xbox pirate who downloaded games he never played. There was one guy who only stopped downloading when his hard drive filled up. When you see this issue from the other side you realize that this is not necessarily an issue of greedy companies abusing their users, but the few abusers messing it up for the rest of us.

Don't get me wrong, I dislike Comcast, Frontier, et all. But far too many people gripe about this issue without understanding the underlying technology, and it simply is not fair. Yes, I think that we should have faster connections and larger caps by now. But thinking that you should have a magic internet cable that drops out of the sky to provide you with free internet service is ridiculous. Everything costs something.

annonymiss

@comcast.net

*sigh*

Hmm, Bandwidth hog is a myth, then the next line says, but the non-existant hog isn't stopped from hogging by caps.

Which is it Karly? non-existance? or caps don't stop them from "hogging"?

A little proofing goes a long way.

hi82

@comcast.net

caps

caps were supposed to stop the people who would download 24/7 if given the chance. but, it affected people who do their downloads in bulk and then quit for a few days and then come back and do it again. it would be great if they figured out who the 24/7 downloaders were and go after them instead.

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Rob_
Premium
join:2008-07-16
Mary Esther, FL
kudos:1

..and what can WE do?

NOTHING. Time to cut the cable, go back to dial up..

ChucksTruck

@teksavvy.com

Canada is the so called land of bandwidth hogs

Bell Canada believes anyone who downloads more than two (2) gigabytes a month is a bandwidth hog.
talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH

Re: Canada is the so called land of bandwidth hogs

said by ChucksTruck :

Bell Canada believes anyone who downloads more than two (2) gigabytes a month is a bandwidth hog.

2GB per month?!? That's roughly the equivalent of 15 MILLION tweets! Who would ever possibly need to use that much internet tubes?
[/sarcasm]

LTC

@mdp.com

Long term concern

I know some people defending the companies are mentioning that these fees will only affect a very small percentage of consumers who use a lot of services.

However, this is also how the internet companies introduce a new fee without angering the masses. Once this is accepted as common practice, then they will certainly come up with an excuse why they need to start charging usage fees on much lower rates of consumption. They will spin is as being about "fairness" to consumers who use less.

In a few years, the basic internet most household use today will cost $50-100 a month, even though the cost of providing service has remained unchanged. This is a strategic process to squeeze every last dollar out of consumers.

lol

@cox.net

Is this a joke?

When I pay 50 bucks a month for "unlimited internet" I better damn well get my unlimited internet regardless of my intention to use it to its literal meaning. We can get technical all you want, but its simple. Don't market a service you cannot/do not want to provide end of story.

Its like going to an eat-all-you want buffet then because you eat more than the average customer your being told you cannot do that. What kind of mess is that?

Nirrad

@direcway.com

Hogwash

It's like Hughesnet FAP (fair access policy) which is hogwash too. If you go over the daily limit of 475 megs then you are slowed down to dialup speeds for 24 hours. But they give you a free restore token every month and when you use it your back to full speeds instantly. You can also buy restore tokens for 10 bucks a pop so you can keep going over the limit as much as you want. How is this keeping things fair? They say it's to save enough bandwidth for everyone during peak times. Sounds more like they just want more money to me!

OWS123

@lstn.net

Not To Be Confused Between Data Volume And Bandwidth

"The top 20% of users are hogging up 80% of the network's resources"

I would never buy that crap statement from greedy ISPs.
Whose network resources is that in the 1st place? Does the consumer have any control over their resources?

Think carefully of what the confusion they are actually causing.

They were never transparent to the public about how much bandwidth they made available versus the number of users they put up to share the pipe.Even if they were to claim numbers how sure are we that it's the TRUTH?

If an ISP is going to share 1Gbps of pipe among say 1 million users with 10Mbps accounts resulting in lots of complains that users never achieved speed results close to advertised speed should they be blamed for not abiding the FUP?

It's obvious the ISP's are the one that are overselling their capacity and they expect subscribers to play along their game?

Just like the article claims, ,don't get mixed up between data usage volume and bandwidth. The capacity of subscriber intake is related to bandwidth because it you have sufficient bandwidth you'll never need to put up with congestion even with 100% load that's if overall bandwidth is more than total customers usage. That's how floodless networks are plan. Excess bandwidth to absorbed peak traffic like they do in Tokyo's metropolitan network.

On the other hand, if you have insufficient bandwidth but you oversell your lines, the only way to call for more capacity is to ask consumers to take turns to go on the net while you continue to make everyone pay your monthly subscription fees.
graison

join:2011-04-27
Lloydminster, AB

So True

This couldn't be more true... ISPs can't be blaming their users, when it is mostly the fault of the network!
Ostracus

join:2011-09-05
Henderson, KY

Why don't broadband caps separate peak and off peak usage?

An interesting thread from the network engineer's POV.
Paxio
Premium
join:2011-02-23
Santa Clara, CA
kudos:1

The "burstable billing" disconnect

One problem is that the price paid for transport (bytes to and from the Internet) by providers is done on a very different model than consumers.

At the carrier level, we pay on a "burstable billing" model. The amount we pay for transport is set by the top 95% of use in any given 15-minute period. The amount we pay is somewhere between $5 and $15 per megabit on this 95% traffic depending on the carrier.

Here is the disconnect. The price we pay for transport is not at all the same model as what we charge our customers (flat rate per month with the price adjusted for the speed of the connection).

Our costliest customer is the 5M customer who does bittorrent 24/7. He raises our baseline by 5M because he raises our PEAKS by that much. His transport can cost us $75/mo. for a connection that generates $24/mo. Not a good way to stay in business!

At Paxio, we do not have caps, but we do have a "fair use" policy. If we have a customer who torrents excessively we call him and ask him to throttle down his connection a bit. (Most don't even realize they are seeding 24/7 -- at least that's what they tell us!)

As long as Internet providers need to pay for transport on the "burstable billing" model there will always be some tension between providers and users.

anonnymiss

@comcast.net

Um

2 people sharing 1 line to the internet, whether it's a cable line, or a fiber line, or whatever. Doesn't matter where they are sharing, everyone shares somewhere. 100% of the internet is tree/branch somewhere.

User 1 uses bittorrent and opens 99 connections to his home computer. User 2 opens 1 connection to youtube.

User 1 gets 99% of the total bandwidth. User 2 gets 1%.

Tell me again how User 1 isn't "hogging" the entire line?

Yeah, it's a myth. And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a racecar too.

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