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Comments on news posted 2012-09-18 11:17:09: Comcast has introduced caps as high as 600 GB in Tucson as the company moves forward with the idea of offering higher caps for faster services. ..

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reply to PapaMidnight

Re: Don't go cheap on me now

ALL ISP's oversell. All of them, every single one of them.

If they don't, then they will not stay in business. It's financially impossible.

No ISP can afford 1:1 connections for EVERY customer. They oversell because statistically that is what works. To do otherwise is stupid and business suicide.

Of course they can support "ONE user using 25Mb/sec a month." But they have millions of customers.

And using Xfinity on Demand shouldn't count against a user's cap, even if Net Neutrality is enforced. Their normal on demand doesn't get counted towards any data cap, even though it is data that is only being streamed to you, using finite resources to encode it and get it to you?

So what's the difference? The delivery method? That's trivial.

Digital Plumber
Minneapolis, MN
reply to THRILLHOU

Re: Crimecast economics

This is an entirely new argument never seen before here.

Thank you for sharing it.


·T-Mobile US
reply to hottboiinnc

Re: good for comcast.. what about everyone else

said by hottboiinnc:

their right to keep them low. and your right to change services. if you can get DSL you can generally get cable. Change providers and won't have that. And ATT generally does NOT enforce their caps, especially on U-Verse.

Keep them low for who? the ever growing demand that they knew was coming, they want to nickel and dime us to death. Obviously you don't know ATT at all. AS I DO have there service and no cable is not available in this area of IL, Also so does my cousin ( I have DSL he has U-verse). The fact that you commented that ATT does not enforce caps shows how naive you are and you dont have there service, as my cousin and I have both paid overages to the death star on a number of occasions in the past months. hotboiinnc Please don't comment on things you know nothing of.




I kinda feel bad for the people who don't push for higher limits even if they don't reach them now. I think most of them are likely single, living in a household mostly comprised of a generation that didn't grow up with the Internet, or are a bit short-sighted.

Once you have a family comprised fully of people raised in the "Internet Era" coupled with the rapidly increasing bit-rich media and increasing on demand platforms...you're gonna kinda wish you argued for less restrictions and/or better compromises. You've got the ISPs demonizing the super-minority "bandwidth hogs" to the average user and then they get away with pushing these blanket restrictions and hefty overage fees with people cheering them on.

They're just establishing a billing infrastructure that bodes well for them in the future. But hey, maybe they'll scale their pricing back once a large portion of their consumer base and technology start to catch up....riiiiiight. It probably depends on how competition evolves, so cross your fingers.


reply to THRILLHOU

Re: Crimecast economics

This isn't really a fair comparison.

For example, my car has a top speed of 202 mph.

At full throttle, I only get 8 mpg. My gas tank holds 16 gallons.

Therefore I have to put gas in my car every 38 minutes.

At face value, this is true. If I drive at full throttle, I will have to refuel every 38 minutes. This is the same example you used to calculate bandwidth, but in the car context you realize how absurd it is.

At the end of the day, most people don't drive at full throttle nor do most people use their bandwidth at full capacity. The selling point is the speed. I didn't buy a GT500 to use up gas in 38 minutes. I bought it because it makes 650 hp, so at the times I "choose" to go fast, I can.

My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Grand Rapids, MI

1 edit
reply to Anon

Re: Don't go cheap on me now

Sounds like there are "morons and shills" on both sides. Especially those who have done no research on where we have come from and where we are now. The best thing we can do is to inform ourselves as best as we can and to debate the facts. So far, there are very few, if any, facts being tossed around here.
My domain - Nightfall.net


Binghamton, NY
said by Nightfall:

Especially those who have done no research on where we have come from and where we are now.

Well, I got my start in the ISP business, so I do have that perspective to take into account. On the other side of things, I've on the customer side of business connections ranging from T-1s to gigabit MAE connections, and of course my own experience with residential connectivity.

Speaking personally, and going from memory, my own connectivity to the internet has gone something like this:

1996: 14.4kbit/s - dialup - $20/mo
1998: 36.6kbit/s - dialup - $20/mo
1999: 256kbit/s - WISP - $40/mo
2002: 3mbit/s DS/256kbit/s US - TW cable - $35/mo
2003: 1.5mbit/s DS/384kbit/s US - Verizon DSL - $30/mo
2005: 3.0mbit/s DS/768kbit/s US - Verizon DSL - $40/mo
2009: 10mbit/s DS/1mbit/s US - TW cable - $45/mo
2011: 10mbit/s DS/1mbit/s US - Verizon DSL - $60/mo
2012: 6mbit/s DS/1mbit/s US - Frontier DSL - $60/mo

I've gone backwards at times, depending on what's available when I've moved, but the bottom line is I'm currently getting 24 times the speed of my first broadband connection, for $20/mo more, and if you take inflation into account that's really not a bad deal. $40 in 1999 is worth about $54 today, so I'm paying $6/mo more for 24 times the speed.

That's just my perspective, YMMV, but we've come a long way, and I wish people would consider that when they are inclined to complain about the state of American broadband.


reply to PapaMidnight
said by PapaMidnight:

If Comcast wants to sell me a 25Mb/s line, then I take that as the ability to use up to 25Mb/s however I see fit as much as I see fit. The onus is not on me to support that bandwidth. I'm paying for it. The onus is on Comcast to support it.

Ah, but Comcast doesn't want to sell you an uncapped 25 Mb/s line. They want to sell you a 25 Mb/s line with a 250 GB monthly cap.

If you want an uncapped 25 Mb/s line, you can feel free to buy Metro Ethernet service from a business-class provider for $1000. If you max it out for every second of every day, they won't care -- because you've actually paid for dedicated bandwidth.

Once you have that dedicated connection, you can feel free to start your own ISP with it. See how long you can stay in business offering uncapped 25 Mb/s service for $50 a month.


Santa Monica, CA
·Time Warner Cable
reply to tmc8080

Re: ?

said by tmc8080:

I guess it sucks to live where these companies have free reign to screw over the consumer with usage based billing AND have a franchise lock on the communities they serve. No wonder the population is moving to the eastern half of the country instead of moving west.. wher infrastructure is more developed.

What abject nonsense.

No one is moving east, or west, based on broadband availability.
Nor is the east "more developed".
Nor is any location "franchise locked".

Where do you get this stuff?


reply to nlew

Re: Crimecast economics

But it actually was a fair comparison.

The problem with your analogy is that internet connections aren't cars and don't require re-fueling to begin with. So to use that analogy perhaps more correctly, this is a case of Comcast trying to create an artificial re-fueling requirement, so it can turn internet connections into cars, and itself into an oil company.

And when you boil it all down, the cable and telephone companies are instituting these caps for two reasons:

(1) They're trying to crush the streaming television industry, which represents an inevitable, natural, and long-overdue evolution of television away from channelized networks owned and controlled by large entertainment conglomerates, and supplied by large middleman providers via highly controlled and closed networks (cable systems). There is a tremendous amount of fat and bloat in that old system, manifesting itself in everything from the trend, even on pay television (basic cable), toward low quality reality-based programming stuffed with overbearing amounts of commercials and infomercials, to the high carriage prices and high subscriber bills the public is now being gouged with today. (And there's no end in sight to those increases, either. The cable industry is on track to raise cable rates to $200/month by the year 2020 -- Google cable $200 2020.) Streaming television, on the other hand, promises to trim away all that lard by offering a reboot of the current television distribution paradigm; one providing the public with a completely open-ended, a la carte styled potpourri of entertainment entirely on demand, with no controls over how big you must be to get seen on people's HTPC's and STS'es (set-top streamers). The very concepts of channel availability and of scheduled programming will vanish. As will most of the basic cable industry as we know it, considering that only a few of the existing basic cable networks' business models will be fully compatible with tomorrow's streaming world. The live news networks, for instance, will easily survive in tact, as live streams. Non-specialized broadcasters, with specialized programming, like The History Channel, will in turn probably be forced to switch tracks and make themselves over as "record labels" for original pay programming; stuff that will simply be offered alongside all the other a la carte, on-demand selections in the streaming universe. And the remaining 80% -- the non-specialized channels that serve up little more than commercials, infomercials, and reruns all day, will be gone, replaced with a new and infinite universe of upstarts of all shapes and sizes. Who knows what that will bring. And this whole evolution towards streaming television is already well underway. Mid-sized services like Netflix, while still having very incomplete catalogs, are already to a point where their catalogs cannot be dismissed as anything close to inconsequential anymore. They are actually surprisingly lush. And Netflix Instant alone now has more American subscribers than Comcast does, as of this year. If they continue to succeed, others will join them. So ultimately, what it all means is oceans of change for entrenched interests. And entrenched interests loathe change. They do in fact see all this writing on the wall, and they absolutely do not want the promises of streaming television to blossom and behead all their cash cattle. There's just too much control and money at stake. Hence the bandwidth caps. Which they're implementing primarily in an attempt to derail the upstarts before they can gain mass traction. (Personally, I'd call having more subscribers than Comcast mass traction, but...)

(2) Outside the realm of pay television, and this being the secondary reason for their interest in bandwidth caps, the incumbent telephone and cable companies are also trying to completely reverse the atmosphere of the mid-late 20th century's telecommunications regulatory boom, which saw the public become accustomed to, and grow to expect and even depend on, low and fair prices, and flat rate services, in the communications world. They want to devolve communications back to how it was in the days of Ma Bell, where there was a killing to be made from carefully metered "consumption" of what was in all meaningful ways an infinite resource, which in turn cost essentially nothing to provide, and very little to maintain and upgrade, yielding obscene profit margins. More literally, they want to go back to the days when you built the infrastructure once, and then allowed it collect (1) dust, and (2) cash; while doing only the bare minimum to maintain it. That was the old AT&T. And you know, they love old Ma Bell, and want to carry on in her footsteps.

The only problem is, the segment of the public that's aware of all this is absolutely against them. And the louder that segment screams, the larger it grows. Meanwhile, none of the industry's justifications for its bandwidth caps are working. Remember when they invoked red herrings and canards like "bandwidth hogs" and "MP3 pirates" to back up claims that their networks were in danger of being clogged and brought to a standstill? That was back when they wanted to charge web sites tolls for high-speed access to their networks. Now, with online video, they're trying to tell everybody their networks again can't handle the latest thing. And they've decided to see whether their own subscribers will be easier to push over than all the online businesses were, by shifting the toll road burden from companies like Netflix and Youtube to people like John Q. Public. That's all the bandwidth caps really are, after all: Toll Road Internet version 2.0, with the previously proposed fees shifted to their own subscribers. Yet their claims about capacity versus online video are equally transparent. The public has a long memory, and knows that the internet has always been this way. That its growth has always been "relentlessly explosive." And that while its growth when measured in gigabytes may allow providers to wave around scary looking numbers, its growth as expressed in ratios turns out to be no different than its growth ten years ago. "Continuous upgrades," in the end, is just a fact of doing business in the world of internet service provision, and if anything, today's upgrades are even cheaper than yesterday's. There's a great article toward that end here: »www.theglobeandmail.com/technolo···e622177/

Anyway. With wholesale internet bandwidth now costing just 3 cents per gigabyte, and still falling toward zero, those familiar with the realities of the industry's technical underpinnings know that these recent bandwidth caps are only the latest cons of an industry that has bought up all the infrastructure through mergers and acquisitions, and that now wants to play ball like it's 1972 instead of 2012. It's not going to happen, though. And on that note, I'll leave you with this excellent comment, posted in another DSLR thread earlier this month:

"I think [AT&T] would prefer to hook you into LTE and charge you up the yingyang for data overages. Their $$$ margin is in wireless these days, and I know they don't give a hoot about wireline service. Even business-to-business, their margins are disappearing as companies like Level3, XO, etc., are lowering their pricing on new circuits week by week. They are practically giving away T1's and DSE3's these days. The general assumption in the industry is that bandwidth prices will continue to fall to zero, and that the money is in the services (network security, cloud, etc). Take a look at the sale price of PacNet last week. They practically gave the company away. The company is flush with fiber and underwater cables, and nobody saw any value to it. They lacked the vertical services. It is a shame this hasn't translated into residential service, but there isn't any competition there. Consumers are seeing prices go up, while businesses are seeing record low pricing for bandwidth."

IMHO, if the home broadband industry wants to go on being profitable while not running afoul of the public and ultimately regulators, it needs to invest in vertical services, as the above-quoted commenter says. Verizon is opening up a Red Box branded streaming service, for example, which is a good move. But at the same time, it absolutely must also lower access rates to prices which actually reflect the realities of the bandwidth market, while simultaneously not punishing subscribers who choose to take their business elsewhere with scams like bandwidth caps (and especially fraudulent scams like bandwidth caps which exempt in-house vertical services). If they only did all that, everything would be fine. Alas, all the short-term investors with dollar signs in their eyes will need to be booted to the curb before any of this can happen.


reply to espaeth
Please explain your sarcasm. If you were on a jury in a theft case and the prosecutor pointed out the evils of theft, would you blow him off by demeaning the time-tested immortality of his argument?