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djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

1 edit
reply to ColorBASIC

Re: [TWC] TW Officially Announces Packet Shaping for All RR User

For me, doing something to limit rampant use of services known to be used in a continual manner during peak usage hours is not surprising with areas moving to 10-15mbps caps.

With a 10mbps connection and the included newsgroup service you can easily suck down around 100GB per day and you can bet there are people doing it. I love my newsgroup downloads, but I simply don't think it's reasonable to expect Time Warner to deliver every customer 10mbps 24x7 for $54.95 per month. Residential pricing and speeds are based on sharing intermittent use.

So in my mind there must be limits. When someone is walking out the door with the all-you-can-eat buffet table, what are the options? Impose monthly download limits? Give everyone lower speed caps so we're all stuck with 1.5mbps 24x7? Charge extra per gigabyte downloaded? Take away the free news server? Cancel people's accounts? Yes, they can beef up their back end to support the "hogs", but the circuits required to carry this kind of transit aren't cheap and there's a point where it's not cost effective to do so. An OC3 is 155mbps. That whole thousands-of-dollars-per-month circuit will be filled with just 10 people maxing out 15mbps caps! Even at the undiscounted $54.95 per month price, the money they collect isn't going to cover the cost!

Given the choices, I like TW's approach. I find it comforting to know I can queue up gigs and gigs worth of downloads in my newsreader and know that my downloads are not negatively impacting someone else's online game play. As long as I can still enjoy full speeds when the network is not so busy it's overall still worthwhile for me. And it's nice to know I'm not going to get some nasty letter from TW. Compare that to Comcast who cancels their users, or Cox who advertises a 60gb per month limit for their premier customers!

Nobody likes limits but they're part of life. If you don't like the limits you have to find another service that doesn't have them. For most people that alternative is much slower DSL.
--
Laser eye surgery rocks! I love frickin' laser beams.



ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

1 edit

The problem isn't whether it's reasonable or not...TWC's major SoCal competitor, Verizon, permits 24-7 use with both their DSL and FiOS products.

So TWC is free to limit their service but with true wireline competition in SoCal, people like me will simply leave as Verzion has no trouble supporting the "hogs".

The fact is whether it's RR, Cox, Cablevision or Comcast; current cable system topology doesn't support providing these 15Mb speeds and in order to do it they have to select which customers and applications can get it. With SDV, DOCSIS3 and improved compression technology they will soon be able to but in the meantime these changes for me say "cable can't compete" with emerging telco wireline competition like we have in many many areas of SoCal.

IOW...limits are part of life...IF you're a cable customer. But for users in Temescal Valley, Huntington Beach and some other SoCal areas there are alternatives that are just as fast and about the same price but have none of these use restrictions.

--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



limitme

@skiplink.net

So, just what exactly are those limits? Anyone care to elaborate? Any TWC disclosure agreement or TOS we can read that specifically states what those limits are? Amazing what they can get away with.



ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

2 edits

Limits on what? Throughput? The limits are having to put up with traffic shaping which is dynamic depending on load on the cable system. While they traffic shape, they don't cancel you for excessive use like Comcast does.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



limitme

@skiplink.net

limit on bandwidth and throttling....because no one here knows what those limits are and when they are in effect.



swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia
reply to Dampier

said by Dampier:

The thing about people considering this good news is that the trends like this rarely are positive. It signals management willingness to start limiting their users' ability to use the service and spend less on improving the network. That generally guarantees more throttling for more applications they define as "abusive" and the kinds of hidden usage caps like Comcast loves are now in the realm of possibility as well. Because when management considers punitively imposing restrictions on their customers, that philosophy can quickly extend to many other aspects of their service. The key is nipping this mentality in the bud before it becomes entrenched, not because we should celebrate bandwidth piggies, but because the nature of the Internet and future applications that require broadband connections inevitably make more and more of us bandwidth piggies in their eyes.

Well said. This is why we need network neutrality legislation. ISPs ought to be, by law, "common carriers" such that it is none of their business what the customer is using the connection for. The electric utility simply bills me by the kilowatt, and has no right to try to set different terms depending on whether I'm using I'm using the watts for a light bulb or a lawn mower. Large ISPs obviously want a different rule and this has to be stopped.

Discussions of this topic always get the neutrality issue confused with the bandwidth and total-traffic issues. The question of neutrality or discrimination is about discrimination by type of traffic or origin or destination. The fact that cable companies oversell capacity is also a problem but it is a separate issue.

A reasonable policy would be (a) no discrimination (b) any limits on total traffic must be openly disclosed (c) if the ISP is going to limit usage to less than the advertised rates at any time they have to admit it in their advertising (plainly, not with "up to" weasel words).

Legislators aren't representing constituents (other than big corporations) on this. We need to whack them with clue-by-fours. Write a letter.


ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA
reply to limitme

The limit is that they traffic shape and the traffic shaping is always in effect. You only see it when the network nears usage capacity (so-called peak times).

Traffic shaping is a service limitation but is a dynamic one. The effects change from second to second.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

1 edit
reply to ColorBASIC

quote:
IOW...limits are part of life...IF you're a cable customer. But for users in Temescal Valley, Huntington Beach and some other SoCal areas there are alternatives that are just as fast and about the same price but have none of these use restrictions.
They don't now. Time Warner didn't a week ago either. I'm just not so certain that these limits are only being imposed due to "cable topology" problems. Anyone know how many 38mbps DOCSIS QAM256 channels are in simultaneous use on an average system? There's TW's peering/transit to the rest of the world to consider as well.

Verizon might actually want heavy usage statistics to prove the need for FIOS to their investors.
--
Laser eye surgery rocks! I love frickin' laser beams.


limitme

@skiplink.net
reply to Dampier

Rant follows: There needs to be a fundamental change in their business model. For example, if I pay for unlimited Phone service with Verizon, I get just that…unlimited usage, no caps, no peak times. I can use my phone 24/7/365 if I want. For those not willing to pay a premium for unlimited calls, then there are less expensive plans with a minutes caps. Same with my wireless provider. I get what I pay for, and I know exactly what I get. Unlimited means unlimited. 1000 minutes means 1000 minutes. It’s all spelled out. For TV service, I know what channels I pay for. I can watch them 24/7/365 if I want. If I want more channels, I pay for it.

OK, now let’s look at the voodoo, smoke and mirrors Internet plans from TWC (and others as well). Say I have premium 10/1 service. But what does that mean? God only knows (and TWC). We are all reminded that speeds are not guaranteed…ok. But what does that mean? What is guaranteed then? Nothing is guaranteed. Kind of like those mpg rating on cars, YMMV.

Since TWC and their ilk do not and will not adequately disclose the details and restrictions on their Internet plans, then local or federal govt should mandate a MINIMUM level of service based on the ADVERTISED level of service. For example, if I buy the up-to 10/1 advertised service, then the ISP should be required to provide at least, lets say, 95% of the service 24/7/365 as the MINIMUM requirement. If they can not do it, then do not advertise it. Pretty simple. If there is some hidden bandwidth cap or throttling going on based on time of day, or usage, or whatever, …then they must disclose what it is. Pretty simple. Of course, the odds of this happening are slim to none considering how the cable and telco companies grease and lobby legislation to their benefit only.

The only way this will change is if enough people complain to the local govt representatives. Otherwise, we are at their mercy, so get used to it.



ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA
reply to swhx7

If you want to pay per MB, then you can compare residential HSI to electricity.

You don't pay a flat monthly rate for electricity for if you did, you can damn well bet they would be throttling your high electricity applications like your A/C unit.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to limitme

quote:
For example, if I buy the up-to 10/1 advertised service, then the ISP should be required to provide at least, lets say, 95% of the service 24/7/365 as the MINIMUM requirement. If they can not do it, then do not advertise it. Pretty simple. If there is some hidden bandwidth cap or throttling going on based on time of day, or usage, or whatever, …then they must disclose what it is.
95% of 10/1 guaranteed 24/7 is unreasonable for a $54.95/month service and they do not advertise it as such. Go price out "guaranteed bandwidth" business packages with speeds similar to that and see what pricng you come up with.

They are doing right by disclosing the existence fo the packet shaping. They tried to explain what a peak usage hour is as best as possible, "usually the evenings". As ColorBASIC poitned out, assuming this is implemented correctly, it should be dynamic and only restrict certain types of usage when the network can't support it.

--
Laser eye surgery rocks! I love frickin' laser beams.


ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

1 edit
reply to djrobx

People have been saying "they don't know" about telco wireline services for 10 years. The nature of telco wireline is they don't have the bottlenecks in the same spot as the cable operators do. Cable bottlenecks are often at the node level which isn't an issue for DSL or FiOS. Rarely if ever is the bottle neck at the headend or CO. It's just the nature of the two network layouts that cable HSI is more susceptible to slowdowns casued by the so-called hogs.

So I have no doubt in my mind that TW is implementing traffic shaping because they are facing these bottlenecks that are a simply the nature of cable internet topology.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia
reply to Dampier

said by Dampier:

3) The company is warning customers who are smart enough to circumvent these by encrypting or moving their packets off the "usual ports/traffic neighborhood" that it is a violation of the AUP to do so and potentially puts your account in peril.

I hope this is not true.

As an occasional BT user (for things I consider legitimate, not "stealing movies") I expect not to be affected much by bandwidth limits, because I carefully regulate it to avoid affecting the neighbors or attracting attention from RR.

However, like almost all knowledgable BT users I avoid the standard ports. As far as I'm concerned it is normal, with any network technology, to use any ports that work and don't cause problems for anyone. If this is going to be considered evasion of AUP, that's a problem.

Likewise, it's unacceptable for an ISP to expect users to leave all their packet unencrypted just because it helps their throttling efforts. It's none of their business what my packets are about, their job is just to deliver them as well as possible.

If they don't have the capacity to deliver all the traffic then they should be forced to restrain their advertising of rates until they build enough infrastructure to live up to it.


ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

1 edit
reply to limitme

What you're asking for is called an SLA and the pricing is very simple.

Unlimited use = Price is insane (T-1, T-3 etc)
Limited use = Price is typical of residential pricing

You will not EVER see true unlimited use for typical residential pricing with current cable HSI network topology. The network isn't designed for it and in order to update the network so that it could support it would result in insanely high residential pricing.

While new emerging cable network technologies come out like SDV and DOCSIS 3, you will see these limitations mitigated but never eliminated.

To eliminate it completely you would have to remove the source of the bottlenecks (the nodes) or upgrade them significantly which is extremely cost prohibitive (read insanely high residential service prices).
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia
reply to ColorBASIC

said by ColorBASIC:

If you want to pay per MB, then you can compare residential HSI to electricity.

You don't pay a flat monthly rate for electricity for if you did, you can damn well bet they would be throttling your high electricity applications like your A/C unit.

Flat rates are no excuse for overselling or for packet discrimination. Users are entitled to expect the advertised rates even at peak times.

Traffic amounts is a different issue than bandwidth at a give time; these are often confused.

Heavy users (in terms of total traffic over time) should expect to pay more. In a flat rate system - which we have with internet because people overwhelmingly prefer flat rates - that means going to a higher tier such as "business class". But if other posters' interpretations are correct, RR is actually throttling those users down to the lower-tier rates.

Sooner or later we need more capacity. Without government intervention ISPs will increase restrictions more and more instead of investing in capacity. A better solution would be taxpayer support of infrastructure, and regulation to force ISPs to pass along the benefits to customers (including network neutrality) instead of letting it be windfall corporate welfare.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

2 edits
reply to ColorBASIC

People have been talking about cable blockage being at the node since the days when service was capped at 1500kbps. Somehow we've stepped up to 6-10mbps and the same topology seems to be handling it. We've only gone from QAM64 (29mbps) to QAM256 (38mbps),

I'm on node SC71, which I'm guessing means there are at least 71 nodes in Santa Clarita (I also know that due to a certain planning blunder we were one of the last nodes). 71 * 38mbps = 2698mbps. Yet all tracerts show we go through a gigabit ethernet connection to Tujunga. Hmmmmm...

Of course, from what I understand a node is just a fiber->coax conversion, and what we're really referring to are DOCSIS channels. Couldn't there be more than one DOCSIS channel per node? Perhaps many nodes are sharing the same channel? Those are the questions I'd like to see answers to, but I suppose we're getting off topic.

-- Rob
--
Laser eye surgery rocks! I love frickin' laser beams.



ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA
reply to swhx7

Flat rates are absolutely an excuse for overselling.

Overselling is REQUIRED if you want 15Mb for $50.

Overselling is the ONLY way to provide that speed for that price.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

1 edit
reply to djrobx

38Mb per channel, not total. It's not the "node" per se that is the limitation...it's how many channels are dedicated to throughput.


niagara_man1

join:2007-05-02
Niagara Falls, NY
reply to ColorBASIC

thats fine. .... i would be willing to pay. I just signed up for TW 2 meg upload / 7 meg download for 169.99 in my area.



TelecomJunky2
Premium
join:2005-12-12
Kansas City, MO
reply to Dampier

This is very interesting if true. It may be just a coencidence, though I doubt it, but the local ISP I work for began getting reports from Time Warner users of extremely slow throughput to our network to the point that sites wouldn't load and email wouldn't download.

We also provide voip and some of our voip customers on time warner began having extremely bad lag and echo. Since our VoIP are located on other networks, we knew more was going on than just a routing issue to our network. We also had several time warner customers in the area that had no problem what-so-ever.

Through working with our users and theirs we also found out that they were having similar problems with several major banking sites.

My guess this all had to do with their implementing this packet shaping.

Let's see if the FCC is going to do anything about them degrading voip so they can force people onto their digital phone. We have long suspected them of blocking voip ports on certain voip customers of ours that use their cable network...
--
-----»hotcarl.diaryland.com



ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

1 edit
reply to niagara_man1

said by niagara_man1:

thats fine. .... i would be willing to pay. I just signed up for TW 2 meg upload / 7 meg download for 169.99 in my area.
Call the telco and tell them you want a T-1 or T-3. It's would be $500/mo+ but it's dedicated and you can use it 24-7. Plus when it goes down they bust ass to fix it. They will not be calling you about excessive use or subjecting you to traffic shaping.

But even at $170 for 7Mb, it's going to be a shared connection. It's whether or not $170 buys you out of traffic shaping.

That's the trade off...cable network shared topology getting you 15Mb with traffic shaping for $50 or non-shared or SLA access for $500+ for 1.5/1.5Mb service.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire


swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia

1 edit
reply to ColorBASIC

said by ColorBASIC:

Flat rates are absolutely an excuse for overselling.

Overselling is REQUIRED if you want 15Mb for $50.

Overselling is the ONLY way to provide that speed for that price.

No, it's not true. If they're not going to build more capacity, at least let's have truthfulness enforced. Then instead of "15Mb for $50" in big print and "up to" and other negations in tiny print, it would be advertised as "maximum 15Mb, less at peak hours, maybe secret limits on total traffic, and we will degrade any traffic we choose to degrade at any time" for $50.

Another problem is the nature of these contracts. They're extremely one-sided and the ISPs grant themselves the exclusive right to change the terms at any time. This could not happen in a competitive market. Therefore we need both pro-competition policies (like equal access to the "last mile"), and regulation to impose some fairness on the contracts until there is enough competition that regulation is no longer needed.


ColorBASIC
8-bit Fun
Premium
join:2006-12-29
Corona, CA

3 edits

ISP's can't crap capacity.

If you don't want overselling, you will get 768kbps access for the same $50 you're paying today and even then it will still be oversold at the headend/CO level.
--
Macintosh Users Group Serving the Inland Empire



Digital
As-Salamu Alaykum
Premium
join:2000-07-24
Cleveland, OH
reply to Dampier

Too bad I can't get a good connection on TOR, I'd forward all the traffic coming off of the router through that. Heh. I haven't really seen any packet shaping on the linux isos i've got on bit torrent lately, but newsgroups are slower than dog crap.
--
One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop.


Dampier
Phillip M Dampier

join:2003-03-23
Rochester, NY

The packet shaping is in place again this afternoon here in Rochester. Four concurrent connections to Giganews which used to max out my 15/1 account are now reduced at the moment to under 400kbps. Increasing to 10 concurrent connections brought it to around 950kbps.

I have been doing initial trial testing to SSL encrypted connections using Giganews and the Giganews Accelerator. From what I am seeing right now, SSL encryption notwithstanding, newsgroup data packets are still being throttled despite a different port number and 256 bit encryption.

However, some providers now permit up to 20 concurrent connections and I find that with 15, I can get my old speeds back. I have further testing to be done. I am not using any Bit torrent p2p stuff so I won't be looking at that.


reply to Dampier

Well, why pay the extra money for faster speeds above the "standard" Time Warner speeds, if you can't use it. Even if you can "at certain times only."

I guess I'll call and have my speeds reduced, since I can't use what I got anyway. And pay ALLOT extra for.


Dampier
Phillip M Dampier

join:2003-03-23
Rochester, NY
reply to Dampier

Re: [TWC] TW Replies to Complaint

Here is the reply I received from the corporate office today. Like Madge, we're soaking in the boilerplate language, but the more who complain, the better the chance this policy is modified:

Executive Response Center to me

Hello,

Thank you for writing. You have reached the email address of the Time Warner Corporate Customer Care Department for Road Runner.

I appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback regarding our services and performance issues you have recently incurred. Such feedback helps us to improve our services for you our valued customer. I have forwarded your email to our network services groups for further review and consideration. I thank you again for your comments regarding our service.

Should you have any future comments regarding our services, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Gerald Joa
Customer Care Manager
Road Runner High Speed Online
Corporate Customer Care
customercare@ndc.rr.com


Dampier
Phillip M Dampier

join:2003-03-23
Rochester, NY
reply to just my thought

Re: [TWC] TW Officially Announces Packet Shaping for All RR User

said by just my thought :

Well, why pay the extra money for faster speeds above the "standard" Time Warner speeds, if you can't use it. Even if you can "at certain times only."

I guess I'll call and have my speeds reduced, since I can't use what I got anyway. And pay ALLOT extra for.
We pay $10 more for Premium access here in Rochester. Since I seem to have found a workaround that gives me some speed back, I am going to leave things alone. I am not sure what I can recommend the Torrent folks do to bypass this.

Remember, before making a decision about your account, you should weigh the impact of this packet shaping on your own account usage. If it doesn't affect you much, no need to change. But I'd start with a written complaint no matter what you decide to do, especially if you downgrade.

scottyk87

join:2002-10-23
Carlsbad, CA
reply to Dampier

Good timing because I am jumping ship to AT&T U-verse that was just introduced in my area. IPTV + fiber to the node, copper to the home internet. 6 mbit down / 1 mbit up for less than the price of TW.



swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

said by scottyk87:

Good timing because I am jumping ship to AT&T U-verse that was just introduced in my area. IPTV + fiber to the node, copper to the home internet. 6 mbit down / 1 mbit up for less than the price of TW.
Do us a favor, when you switch and call TW to cancel and they ask why, tell them your gripes about the packet shaping, it is so bad its making you cancel.