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Iria

@good.com
reply to Dreadan

Re: our competitive market

Yah, I was thinking of the Frontier cap ...


Iria

@good.com
reply to jc100
It's all about the money, for corporations. Maximize profit, right?


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
reply to miscDude
You should be a member. We need informed people like you on this system. I could give you a "thumbs up" if you were a member.
said by miscDude :

1. The major costs for an ISP are not always the raw bandwidth of their network, but the interconnect fees and uplinks with the rest of the internet.

2. VOD content is stored on a VOD cluster at your local headend. Internet data is...well.. on the internet. VOD goes from the cluster straight to RF to be broadcast on a VOD RF video channel. Internet data is a lot more shared.

3. Depending on the way your local node is setup, if everybody on your block was watching VOD at the same time, you could get an error because there is not another Video channel to put the new content on.
#1 is true for the TV side as well. The content comes from somewhere, and although we might have to make one step down away from the 3rd-part aggregation point in order to make my comparison, there are one-time and ongoing costs for interconnecting these things even within the same metro area.

#2 -- to RF, really? It's not sent to my box digitally and converted into RF there?

#3 and this is really the rough comparison I'm making -- both systems are (roughly) similarly subject to usage saturation. But we're making "hogs" out of the users who don't watch Comcast video products.

All in all, I agree with the gist of your message, though.

Part of Network Management is not selling more than you can reasonably expect to deliver. By putting in a cap, Comcast is saying that it can only deliver X. Now, they could rearrange things and avoid naming a cap, but doing so would expose Comcast to some competitive truths it would rather customers not know -- such as DSL may not be as fast second-by-second, but overall the Tortoise beats the Hare.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon
More features, more fun, Join BroadbandReports.com, it's free...


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
Cable VOD works by dynamically creating a QAM channel, typically unencrypted. You can sometimes find shows your neighbors are watching if you do a channel scan. Of course, if they pause the show to go to the bathroom, you're pausing too.


skuv

@rr.com
reply to funchords
said by funchords:

#2 -- to RF, really? It's not sent to my box digitally and converted into RF there?
Yes, the only thing that can get to current generation digital set top boxes is RF over the coax.

VOD is just another channel on a QAM over RF. It will be combined with other channels, just as digital channel delivery occurs now over QAMs.

SDV is the same way, your set top box requests a channel and it is built on an IP Multicast network, but in the end, it is a channel riding on a QAM over RF to you.

Sometimes, depending on the cable company, if you have a TV that has a QAM tuner, and you auto-tune channels, you can pick up VOD streams that are currently playing while you were auto-tuning. If the cable company is not encrypting the feed to the cable box.


nukscull

@rr.com
reply to jc100
said by jc100:

Here's the striking part. Bandwidth is becoming increasingly cheaper, while companies make it out to be more expensive.
But running new fiber and adding new nodes to neighborhoods to fix the actual bandwidth choke points is a lot more expensive than buying more bandwidth from an backbone provider.

You can buy all the 10gbit or 40gbit circuits to the Internet you want, but that isn't going to give a node more than the 42mbit/sec that is available with DOCSIS 2.0.

So while you can probably get wholesale Internet bandwidth for $3-$5/mbit per month, that isn't going to help someone who is on a node with someone that uses their full 10-15mbit/sec 24x7x365.


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
reply to skuv
No, I get that. I thought it was saying in #2 that the signal is sent as analog. (Mentally, I was interpreting the word RF as "analog signal.")


NOCMan
MadMacHatter
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to nasadude
And so much for online backup services such as Dropbox, Mozy, iDisk, and whatever M$ calls their service.


NOCMan
MadMacHatter
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to nasadude
Also be interested in how this changes telecommuting. This would be a step backwards if companies just tell you to come to work rather than paying for your internet.


espaeth
Digital Plumber
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:2
reply to jc100
said by jc100:

Here's the striking part. Bandwidth is becoming increasingly cheaper, while companies make it out to be more expensive. Sure, you got network costs (infrastructure, maintenance, etc), but better technology has still DRIVEN that down versus up.
The cost of physical connectivity is actually going up slightly, not down. The reason bandwidth is getting cheaper at the top is on that same physical run instead of just 1GigE you can run 10GigE or N*10GigE on the same physical fiber run if you use a WDM solution.

There is no upgrade in the DOCSIS world that gives a 1000+% bump in capacity, nor is the DOCSIS marketplace anywhere close to being as fiercely competitive as the Ethernet / SoNET / Carrier world.

The same factors that make bandwidth cheaper at the top unfortunately don't exist at the edge; at least not today.


miscDude

@208.17.34.x
reply to funchords
said by funchords:

#1 is true for the TV side as well. The content comes from somewhere, and although we might have to make one step down away from the 3rd-part aggregation point in order to make my comparison, there are one-time and ongoing costs for interconnecting these things even within the same metro area.

#2 -- to RF, really? It's not sent to my box digitally and converted into RF there?

#3 and this is really the rough comparison I'm making -- both systems are (roughly) similarly subject to usage saturation. But we're making "hogs" out of the users who don't watch Comcast video products.
#1 If you are refering to the costs for the content, that's where your TV rates go. Depending upon the size of the MSO, your interconnect fees (to get the content) could be handled at the system level, the region level, division, or corporate. It all depends where they stick the dish. The ongoing fees are the XX amount per subscriber fees that your tv rates go to pay.

#2 As others already pointed out, It's sent via QAM digitally, but QAM works different from DOCSIS for your data.

#3 The big differences "last mile" between your VOD and data is the way the system reacts. With VOD if the capacity is maxed you just get an error that basically says "No available resources" (channels) when trying to set up the actual video session. Beyond that, what other people are watching on their VOD stream isn't going to effect your VOD stream's performance. The actual QAM can't/won't let any streams be created to max it's available output bandwidth. In theory, it's also a bit easier to add capacity on the RF side because you could throw an extra QAM anyplace you have the available bandwitdth on the plant.

With a cable modem, things work differently. First off, pretty much everybody is talking at the same time. Your 2 places to control the speed are at the modem itself (what it's provisioned/capped at), and at the CMTS node equiptment. Unlike a video stream with will take the available bandwidth and basically reserve X amount of bandwith for the stream and is the only thing broadcasting on that frequency, with a cable modem you have many different devices broadcasting basically sharing the big pipe. What your neighbor is doing, can actually effect your performance. (say your neighbor uncaps his cable modem so it no longer has the speed governor that the provisioning caps are there for). It's actually possible in theory to bring everybody's feed to a standstill if you have too many devices trying to talk at once or have a couple uncapped modems just shotgunning out data without respect for the "rules of the road" and sharing the connection. (I believe modems may use a time-sharing mechanism like settop boxes do to help avoid overtalk..but I'm not certain). On top of that, it's not as easy to add capacity. Cable-modems' tuners don't have the frequency range that a video settop box has. this limits the available RF space you can stick the downstream. their transmitters are also limited in their frequency range. So this means to just plug in additional capacity, you may have to do a lot of shuffling of services on the RF...and that becomes a pain in the ass when you factor in FCC rules on notification. The other, more widely used route is to do a node split. Basically, you split the areas on the plant being fed by the CMTS at the node so you can basically create a new node. This requires physical work because you need the new equiptment for the node, plus you need to do some rewireing work to basically cut the existing node in half RF wise so you don't end up with cross-talk and end up breaking everything.

Once nice thing with DOCSIS 3 coming up is the fact that thru the channel bonding it makes it easier to enlarge the pipe. Everybody looks at it as a way to increase their upload/download speeds, but if you think about the way everybody shares the existing pipe, If you enlarge that pipe but keep the existing speed caps, you are still going to get an effective speed increase during those peak times. Even though it probably won't happened because of marketting, currently during peak times EVERYBODY may slow down a bit..or a lot... if you increase the size of the pipe, more data can get thru allowing everybody to stay at their top speeds even during those peak times.

Think of it like highway traffic. We've all been in situations where they close a lane or something and traffic slows dramatically for everybody. We may have quick bursts up to a high speed, but we can't average anywhere near the speed limit. Then suddenly a lane opens back up, and the traffic spreads out and increases speed. Even if we aren't going above the speed limit like we may do during those off-peak times on the road, we are going much closer to the speedlimit and ultimately are averaging a higher speed than we were before just because there is more capacity.

Make sense?

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to nukscull
In most cases, Comcast's highest residential tier is $62.95 for 8 Mbit/s. This is $8ish mer megabit, sustained transfer. COmcast may or may not have to even pay for bandwidth on the headend; they probably just peer or charge other comapnies (!) for access to their network (take FDCServers.net for example). Yes, they may have capacity issues at the node level, but bandwidth is dirt cheap on the internet side of things to the point that a user with an 8 Mbps connection COULD NOT push Comcast to a loss from a perspective of sheer bandwidth costs, unlike what might happen with a smaller ISP.


espaeth
Digital Plumber
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:2
All the bandwidth at the head-end doesn't change the landscape at the edge where technology is more limiting, just as all the food in the US doesn't help people starving in Africa.

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
Bbbbut I recently realized that my router was the bottleneck on my connection: I can get 15-25 Mbps on PowerBoost on my connection. That means at any given time 30-50% of the node is open, and we're talking about a town where most college kids live off-campus and as such have to get internet of some sort. As such, they get Comcast for higher speeds generally.

I have no problem with throttling down users equally during peak periods, so long as the throttling merely zeroes out PowerBoost during the affected times, and maybe reduces throughput by 25% on long downlods. Just being reasonable here. But anything more...gimme a break...and caps? Tech.

If I get a ComCall I'm switching ISPs. Or maybe asking Cogent what local loop would cost for a 100 Mbit circuit. Or mayne just using a wireless link to get the service.

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to en102
said by en102:

Maybe their customers will stop using their service altogether and use Verizon/AT&T ... and they won't get any service from them.
Maybe you're not in the majority then.. MOST people will notice NOTHING with this change. With that said, what many people are not getting is that this move is to go after those that constantly push the envelope, otherwise, the cap would be lower, and not high at 250.

The MAJORITY of all the customer base will not even think two seconds about this change as it won't affect them.. who it WILL affect,.. mostly the people here bitching.

What does this tell you?

... it tells you they don't want you.. and, if you are going to get your service and go way beyond and push arguments like "It's my internet and I'll use it how I want" .. well..? .. now you're going to pay. now you're getting what you asked for... you're getting the clear caps and the hands off approach that everyone wanted.

Congratulate yourselves.

(en102 - this isn't directed necessarily at you.. juts felt like the right time and place to chime in)


jsz0
Premium
join:2008-01-23
Jewett City, CT
reply to nasadude
The real issue is congestion at the node level (between you and the headend) not really the Internet side. Internet bandwidth is cheap for a huge company like Comcast who can negotiate on a very large scale. Many cable companies have their own fiber back bones so they can actually purchase bandwidth hundreds of miles away from the node level to find the best deal. They're not limited by what they can get locally.

At the node level you're dealing with 38mbit QAM256 downstreams that serve hundreds of customers. With DOCSIS 2 you can do multiple downstream channels load balanced but you need to have room for them. Customers want more VOD, more HD channels and don't want to give up analog. So where does that bandwidth come from? Once they can ditch some analog channels, improve compression methods it's viable to do DOCSIS 3 and bond many downstreams together. However... you're talking about a brand new $250+ modem for every single customer along with hundreds of millions of dollars of CMTS/EDGE QAM hardware nationwide for a company like Comcast. They'll do it eventually but prices need to go down before it's really viable on a large scale.

There's also no reason to believe that heavy bandwidth users won't simply consume more bandwidth if it's available. So Comcast could do this massive nationwide upgrade costing probably billions of dollars and end up with the same exact problem in 5 years. As a for-profit company Comcast does have an obligation to their share holders to turn a profit.

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to NOCMan
said by NOCMan:

And so much for online backup services such as Dropbox, Mozy, iDisk, and whatever M$ calls their service.
So what you're saying is that if you can't have it all for one flat rate, it must not be worth it? Before online back up, what did you do? .. you paid for a storage device, right? That meant you had to pull money out of your pocket to use a feature. For a while, you got a nice ride, and honestly, you still do. the 250 GB bucket isn't going to hurt you, to be honest.. (and, I'll tell you why NOC man.. remember the NOC part of your name)

... for one, you can still use the service. If you go over, you pay.. pretty simple. Don't back up every drive you have on line.

... another reason, you don't need to do full backups all the time. Even at 250 GB, you have PLENTY of space. Like they say about anything.. everything is good in moderation - don't throw everything at it at once. If you need to back up, use a 20 cent DVD perhaps and keep a local copy or two.

... do incremental backups.. This isn't like traditional backups where you have to periodically perform a full back up to standard media which is subject to degeneration where a periodic full back up was required. Get your back up done and do incremental.

If you want to use that much internet, then you SHOULD be paying for it. if you're using that much all the time and 250 is not enough, honestly, I'm glad you're not on my node.

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to NOCMan
said by NOCMan:

Also be interested in how this changes telecommuting. This would be a step backwards if companies just tell you to come to work rather than paying for your internet.
It wont change a damn thing. I "telecommute" from MN to CA all the time. My roommate telecommutes for work 4 days a week. I am usually in about 5 systems at one time.. this, in addition to the other 4 user's data transfers...

I come no where near 100 gb a month.. ever.


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
That depends. When Intel was still on cc:Mail, I could have swore the thing xferred a gig just to retrieve a two-line message!

Actually, fiberguy, I like some of the realism in your message. People ought to arrange their backups in a bandwidth-friendly manner -- but a monthly cap doesn't necessarily drive the right behavior. Wouldn't it be best to incentive-ize the scheduling of these activities to sometime outside of Prime-Time?

I remain un-enthused about the cap. On one hand, a real cap is an improvement over the mystery cap. On the other, the notion that "nothing is changing, we're just specifying the cap now" bugs me.

I haven't worked it all out yet, but the things I'd like to see:

1. More up-front notification at time of sale (might be coming, we'll see)

2. A decent self-monitoring tool or other adequate heads-up to users who are trending dangerously.

3. A more cooperative and educational approach towards users.

4. Some alternative to the 12-month "grounding" crap. Maybe the 768/256 connection (which mathematically should never hit the cap, by the way) would work. Who the Hell does Comcast think it is to put customers on a "time-out"? If a customer won't cooperate, then refuse his business -- they're not Red Foreman and their customers aren't their kids. I'm not sure anything is operationally wrong with this, other than that the positioning of it makes me feel like they have no respect for their customers.

5. And this is a must -- the 250 GB limit must grow and be real. Cox has an old 60 GB limit that is rarely, if ever, enforced -- so it is duly and deservedly ignored. So if Comcast says 250 GB but really means 600 or 700 GB (which is probably near the right range for next year since this year seems to be 450-550 GB), then it's just more bogus Comcastic positioning.

I don't know. I just don't know. Comcast has batted around the truth so badly for so long, I can't trust any two words in a row, anymore. I really do want them to be improving, and not just giving lip service to it.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon
More features, more fun, Join BroadbandReports.com, it's free...

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to funchords
said by funchords:

I can watch unlimited OnDemand movies. That takes bandwidth. If everyone on my block did it, each choosing different movies, we could very well recreate similar cost-of-service (upgrade) situations on the non-HSI that Comcast faces on the HSI side.

So I can have my cake and eat it too, no?
OnDemand is circuit switched, not packet switched. When your box errors out, thats a synonym for "all circuits are busy". I haven't seen cable companies ever care that VOD was not working 75% of the time.

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to funchords
I agree with you ..

There should be some relief for the evening hours when people sleep. Online backups and off-peak use should be no issue. Schedule backups at 12 midnight to 4am.. shouldn't impact the system, AND, they should actually count that traffic less. I don't agree with them that it's all about the cloud traffic, rather, it's a node issue and last mile issue. With that, the over night hours should be more of a hands off thing for the ISP. I don't see how that will largely affect the experience of the other users.

and second.. what would be so hard for them to send out, at your request, a daily email recap letting you know what your current use is? That's fair in my book.

Also.. I've ALWAYS been for a throttle back of the service on a monthly basis for that that use too much.. throttle them back to a 768 line.. it's still a good service speed and all.. just not the 20meg top out that some people see today. So they wait a minute or two longer for the really large files. no big woop.

Also, too, yes.. the cap should rise as they are able to do so. If it's left at 250, it WILL look bad for them.

In many systems, the caps have been different. In my area, they only triggered a cap warning IF your node was slowing down and you were above that cap. Otherwise, you could exceed it all the time and they never said a word.. it's just when your account was the one that was causing problems for others.

It will be interesting to see how things go moving forward. In the end, I don't think many will even notice. Comcast is just putting definition to the public at this time, so sure, people are going to complain.