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kim_mast

join:2003-11-30
Loveland, CO

A ISP explains the rationale for caps

Here's a pretty good explanation for caps imposed by a rural Nebraska WISP. This is a company trying to satisfy customers and make a profit, without support from USF.

»www.wirelesscowboys.com/?p=202

In general I think most ISPs were blindsided over the last year or so by the rise of Netflix, particularly the smaller ones.

While I'm sure they were in denial at first, I think the only reasonable strategy is to impose some sort of caps to try to maintain a good experience for customers -- then move to upgrade the network.

An unreasonable strategy, at least for the smaller ISPs, is to put a cap on but do nothing to upgrade. When a large percentage starts hitting the cap on a regular basis they will look to alternatives.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: A ISP explains the rationale for caps

said by kim_mast:

In general I think most ISPs were blindsided over the last year or so by the rise of Netflix, particularly the smaller ones.

While I'm sure they were in denial at first, I think the only reasonable strategy is to impose some sort of caps to try to maintain a good experience for customers -- then move to upgrade the network.

There's a few problems with that theory;

1. ISP accounts have a fixed speed. This speed is measured in megabits per second. Multiply this rate by the number of seconds in a month and you have the absolute maximum bandwidth that any particular customer can use. No customer can go over this amount. The ISPs knew this when they offered the accounts to the public. If they didn't then they have some of the dumbest techs ever. So basically, for the ISPs to be "blindsided" by increased usage, it means that they intentionally sold people accounts that they couldn't support. Think of it this way; A restaurant tells people that for the price of their meal, they're allowed to make one trip to the salad bar, and then hands them a giant serving platter capable of holding enough food for about four people. When customers actually start filling up the entire platter, the manager freaks out and tells everyone that they're hogging the food and that they can now only fill up 1/4 of the platter. Kind of makes you wonder why they would give people giant platters if they aren't allowed to take that much food, doesn't it?

2. If usage caps were really about managing the network and maintaining a good experience for customers, why do companies like AT&T allow users to go over the caps if they pay more? Let's go back to the restaurant analogy for a moment; If some people are "hogging" the food and not leaving enough for the rest of the customers, how will charging them more solve the problem? Yes, he could buy more food, but that will only help the people who show up after the next food delivery, not the customers who are hungry now. And if restaurants worked like ISPs, it could be a few years before they get any more food delivered.

3. If bandwidth is a problem, why do ISPs keep offering faster tiers of service? A faster account means the ability to download more data, which means more bandwidth used. Going back to the restaurant analogy one more time; Would it make sense for them to keep giving the customers increasing larger platters to use at the salad bar, while restricting how much people can put on them? Why give them something capable of holding enough food to feed an entire family if you're not going to let them use it? Wouldn't it make more sense to give each person a normal-sized plate? Then you wouldn't have to worry about anyone taking too much.

4. How does limiting the total amount of data a person is allowed to transfer each month, eliminate network congestion or free up bandwidth? Can you eliminate rush-hour traffic jams by limiting how many miles a person can drive each month? Will a monthly driving limit stop them all from going to work at the same time?

The simple explanation is that ISPs want to offer fast accounts so that they can charge more for them, but they don't want to have to actually provide that level of service. No ISP upgrades their network to support the level of service that they offer. They upgrade their network so that they can offer even higher, more expensive tiers of service that they still can't support.

In other words, the restaurant buys enough food for 50 people a night, but seats 100 people, hoping that many of them won't be very hungry. The restaurant buys enough food for 100 people, but doubles the number of chairs to 200, still hoping that most people won't be too hungry. They buy enough food for 200 people and double the number of chairs again, while crossing their fingers that all 400 people won't be hungry. They always oversell their capacity because they want the money from those customers, but they don't want to spend the money to actually service them all.

This is how ISPs operate.

espaeth
Digital Plumber
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:2

Re: A ISP explains the rationale for caps

said by Rekrul:

1. ISP accounts have a fixed speed. This speed is measured in megabits per second. Multiply this rate by the number of seconds in a month and you have the absolute maximum bandwidth that any particular customer can use.

Rate does not directly translate to quantity.

You can get $1,000,000 in insurance coverage without having to put up $1,000,000 -- the companies base their rates instead on the statistical likelihood of what you'll use.

It's the same deal with the ISP industry, and while individuals are unpredictable, groups of people are very, very predictable.

said by Rekrul:

2. If usage caps were really about managing the network and maintaining a good experience for customers, why do companies like AT&T allow users to go over the caps if they pay more?

Network capacity can always be expanded for more money.

said by Rekrul:

3. If bandwidth is a problem, why do ISPs keep offering faster tiers of service?

2 reasons:

1) Faster rates are required to make certain services work at all. People have said you can get more bandwidth (in GB per month) on an unmetered dialup connection, which may be true, but you can't view HD streaming video over a dialup connection.

2) Faster connections actually work better for statistical multiplexing. ISP connections are shared, so if your transfers take less time, the probability goes down that your transfer will overlap with another subscriber's transfer. Take a service like Pandora -- it's not true streaming in that it downloads each song individually as it goes through the playlist. Even though the bitrate is only 128kbps or 192kbps, the transfer of each song can spike to 20+mbps to complete the transfer in couple seconds.

Faster speeds don't necessarily mean more data transferred. In the Pandora example, you're still playing 3-5 minutes of audio for each download -- this naturally rate limits the use.

For things like software downloads, patches, etc, if you can download them faster doesn't mean you're going to download them a second time because it finished so quickly.

said by Rekrul:

4. How does limiting the total amount of data a person is allowed to transfer each month, eliminate network congestion or free up bandwidth? Can you eliminate rush-hour traffic jams by limiting how many miles a person can drive each month? Will a monthly driving limit stop them all from going to work at the same time?

Rush hour congestion gives people incentive to pursue options like joining carpools so they can take advantage of special carpool lanes, or seek public transportation like buses and trains that offer a time advantage. People who take advantage of public transit make things better for everyone overall by reducing the total number of vehicles on public roadways.

If growth in demand can line up with capacity upgrades that come as a part of standard technology upgrades, that can be delivered quite cost effectively. If you're forced to continue to expand using existing technology, that tends to be the most expensive deployment option.

For example, look at building a 6TB RAID10 storage array. If you did that 6-7 years ago, you'd most likely have to spend a small fortune to order a special RAID card and enclosure to build that out on 12 x 500GB drives. Today you can use on-motherboard SATA interfaces and 4 x 3TB drives and get the job done for a few hundred bucks.

There is a strong financial incentive to get demand to not push capacity upgrades before the natural technology refresh intervals. When people are aware that capacity restrictions exist, most naturally start to pay attention and ration their usage. See also: the power industry and their "save energy" campaigns.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: A ISP explains the rationale for caps

said by espaeth:

You can get $1,000,000 in insurance coverage without having to put up $1,000,000 -- the companies base their rates instead on the statistical likelihood of what you'll use.

It's the same deal with the ISP industry, and while individuals are unpredictable, groups of people are very, very predictable.

Except that the ISPs, in many cases, aren't tailoring their service levels to their customers' usage patterns, they're trying to tailor the customers' usage patterns to meet their service levels.

Imagine if you were a house painter and you based your business plan on the probability that most people would only want the front side of their houses painted. Then when customers start demanding that you paint the whole house, you say "Sorry, you're hogging all the paint." They claim that you agreed to "paint their house" and you point out that you never promised to paint the whole house. How long do you think your business would last?

said by espaeth:

said by Rekrul:

2. If usage caps were really about managing the network and maintaining a good experience for customers, why do companies like AT&T allow users to go over the caps if they pay more?

Network capacity can always be expanded for more money.

The only problem with that idea is that network capacity will be expanded six months, or a year down the road, while the increased usage would be causing a problem now. If the ISP is having bandwidth problems now, it doesn't make much sense to let people add to the problem by going over the cap whenever they feel like it, if they'll willing to pay.

said by espaeth:

said by Rekrul:

3. If bandwidth is a problem, why do ISPs keep offering faster tiers of service?

2 reasons:

1) Faster rates are required to make certain services work at all. People have said you can get more bandwidth (in GB per month) on an unmetered dialup connection, which may be true, but you can't view HD streaming video over a dialup connection.

2) Faster connections actually work better for statistical multiplexing. ISP connections are shared, so if your transfers take less time, the probability goes down that your transfer will overlap with another subscriber's transfer. Take a service like Pandora -- it's not true streaming in that it downloads each song individually as it goes through the playlist. Even though the bitrate is only 128kbps or 192kbps, the transfer of each song can spike to 20+mbps to complete the transfer in couple seconds.

Faster speeds don't necessarily mean more data transferred. In the Pandora example, you're still playing 3-5 minutes of audio for each download -- this naturally rate limits the use.

For things like software downloads, patches, etc, if you can download them faster doesn't mean you're going to download them a second time because it finished so quickly.

There's a factor that you're missing; As download speed increases, people are less hesitant to download larger files. When I was on dialup, I would carefully pick and choose what I wanted to download, because a 50MB file would take me close to three hours to download. "Do I really want to download that 200MB video, knowing that it will take me about 12 hours to finish?", "Nah, I'll just take these smaller ones." Now I don't even blink at 200MB files. I can download 4GB in about 30 minutes. Talking pirated files, that's 12 episodes of an hour-long TV show, or six 700MB movies. "Do I really want to download all ten seasons of Stargate SG1? Hmm, 214 episodes total, 12 episodes every 30 minutes, so about nine hours to download the entire run of the show... What the hell! I guess I'll grab the movies and Stargate Atlantis while I'm at it. After all, it's only 100 episodes."

said by espaeth:

said by Rekrul:

4. How does limiting the total amount of data a person is allowed to transfer each month, eliminate network congestion or free up bandwidth? Can you eliminate rush-hour traffic jams by limiting how many miles a person can drive each month? Will a monthly driving limit stop them all from going to work at the same time?

Rush hour congestion gives people incentive to pursue options like joining carpools so they can take advantage of special carpool lanes, or seek public transportation like buses and trains that offer a time advantage. People who take advantage of public transit make things better for everyone overall by reducing the total number of vehicles on public roadways.

If growth in demand can line up with capacity upgrades that come as a part of standard technology upgrades, that can be delivered quite cost effectively. If you're forced to continue to expand using existing technology, that tends to be the most expensive deployment option.

Unfortunately, the ISPs never upgrade to meet current demand. They upgrade so that they can offer higher tiers of service which they still can't support.

Simple question, yes or no: Would limiting every customer to a lower speed, such as 5mbps, down from 15-50mbps, reduce congestion on the network?

If you answered "yes", then why aren't ISPs doing it? Why don't they cap everyone's speed at a rate the network can handle? Could it be because they don't want to give up the money from selling faster accounts, even though they claim they can't handle people actually using them?

said by espaeth:

There is a strong financial incentive to get demand to not push capacity upgrades before the natural technology refresh intervals. When people are aware that capacity restrictions exist, most naturally start to pay attention and ration their usage. See also: the power industry and their "save energy" campaigns.

Which leads to stifled innovation as other companies are more reluctant to introduce anything that uses more bandwidth, knowing that a lot of people won't be able to use it.

Also, when these "natural technology refresh intervals" occur, do the ISPs then lift the caps until they're needed again? Do they at least raise them to keep pace with real world demands, like heavy online gaming, netflix, VOIP/Skype? After all, if 10mbps users need to be limited now because they're using too much bandwidth, and the ISP upgrades the network, doesn't it then follow that such users would no longer be a problem and should be restored to unlimited, or at the very least, have their limits increased proportionally?

It's funny, but while I hear about ISPs offering 50-100mbps service tiers after upgrades, I don't hear anything about them raising their caps for the other service tiers. Or even offering a higher cap for the faster speeds (usually).

espaeth
Digital Plumber
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:2

Re: A ISP explains the rationale for caps

said by Rekrul:

Imagine if you were a house painter and you based your business plan on the probability that most people would only want the front side of their houses painted. Then when customers start demanding that you paint the whole house, you say "Sorry, you're hogging all the paint." They claim that you agreed to "paint their house" and you point out that you never promised to paint the whole house. How long do you think your business would last?

Yes, this is a complete anomaly in retail. No company every advertises an item, puts a cheap price by it (usually with the words "Prices starting at"), and then says that in order to get all of the features shown you have to actually buy a bunch of add-on features at an additional cost.</sarcasm>

If you want to gripe about how things are marketed, you have a whole lot more of the world to fight.

Still the point stands, average usage (as measured by a number of sources) is well below ISPs caps. For your house painting analogy to work, it would have to be a situation where there was a fixed price to paint houses with the expectation that they would be typical suburban dwellings. If you get a contract for a job and it ends up being the Hilfiger Stone Hill Estate, well, then it's going to cost more.

said by Rekrul:

The only problem with that idea is that network capacity will be expanded six months, or a year down the road, while the increased usage would be causing a problem now.
If the ISP is having bandwidth problems now, it doesn't make much sense to let people add to the problem by going over the cap whenever they feel like it, if they'll willing to pay.

Let's be realistic here -- ISPs need to build capacity in excess of demand. You start capacity augmentation at intervals far below 100% utilization -- you start adding capacity when things hit 75% or maybe even 50%.

said by Rekrul:

There's a factor that you're missing; As download speed increases, people are less hesitant to download larger files. When I was on dialup, I would carefully pick and choose what I wanted to download, because a 50MB file would take me close to three hours to download. "Do I really want to download that 200MB video, knowing that it will take me about 12 hours to finish?", "Nah, I'll just take these smaller ones." Now I don't even blink at 200MB files. I can download 4GB in about 30 minutes. Talking pirated files, that's 12 episodes of an hour-long TV show, or six 700MB movies. "Do I really want to download all ten seasons of Stargate SG1? Hmm, 214 episodes total, 12 episodes every 30 minutes, so about nine hours to download the entire run of the show... What the hell! I guess I'll grab the movies and Stargate Atlantis while I'm at it. After all, it's only 100 episodes."

This just reminds me of kids who don't care about leaving the door open and parents who yell "Hey, we're not paying to air condition the outside!"

This starts to show the root of the problem that gets created when things are unlimited; there is no incentive not to abuse the hell out of it. See: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

said by Rekrul:

Unfortunately, the ISPs never upgrade to meet current demand. They upgrade so that they can offer higher tiers of service which they still can't support.

Never? Look at the speed test results in the various forums here -- most people are meeting or exceeding their subscribed speeds.

said by Rekrul:

Simple question, yes or no: Would limiting every customer to a lower speed, such as 5mbps, down from 15-50mbps, reduce congestion on the network?

It depends on the traffic type. If we're talking fixed downloads, then no, downgrading speeds would actually increase congestion. Rush hour gets worse when traffic slows down, which is one of the reasons that highway ramp meters are used. For example, see: »www.dot.state.mn.us/rampmeter/study.html
The concept of statistical multiplexing is important here -- the longer a transfer runs, the most statistically likely it is that it will overlap with other subscriber's transfers.

Reducing the link speed would only be effective at reducing congestion if it were done for customers who consistently used 100% of their subscribed link speed on a shared capacity network.

said by Rekrul:

Which leads to stifled innovation as other companies are more reluctant to introduce anything that uses more bandwidth, knowing that a lot of people won't be able to use it.

Also, when these "natural technology refresh intervals" occur, do the ISPs then lift the caps until they're needed again? Do they at least raise them to keep pace with real world demands, like heavy online gaming, netflix, VOIP/Skype?

The incredible irony here is if telco and cable companies don't invest in deploying and upgrading their high speed Internet products, none of the things you just mention would come to exist. This all comes down to a simple fact of human nature: people will use whatever is available to them. You see people live paycheck to paycheck whether they're making $40k or $240k -- they adjust their monthly spending to the level of their income.

It's the same thing with online services -- services like online video and telephone service get introduced when enough people have connections that are capable of making them work. People have connections that allow these services to work because eventually through technology upgrades over the last decade you see companies like Comcast bumping their $42.95/mo 1.5m/128k base service in 2001 to $44.95/mo 12m/2m service in 2011.

said by Rekrul:

After all, if 10mbps users need to be limited now because they're using too much bandwidth, and the ISP upgrades the network, doesn't it then follow that such users would no longer be a problem and should be restored to unlimited, or at the very least, have their limits increased proportionally?

Of course, that all depends on what fun new things get introduce over the next 3-5 years as the next technology refresh cycle kicks in.

Services on the Internet may change fast, but technology upgrades still require good old-fashioned manual labor. People have to swap cards / chassis, connect new circuits, project manage rollouts, handle coordination of thousands of field techs that all make sure this work gets done without almost anyone knowing they've done anything at all.

said by Rekrul:

It's funny, but while I hear about ISPs offering 50-100mbps service tiers after upgrades, I don't hear anything about them raising their caps for the other service tiers. Or even offering a higher cap for the faster speeds (usually).

These shiny, expensive offerings fuel the revenue that makes technology upgrades happen. The point still stands that even with faster speeds, most people (the 99 percenters) don't drive up consumption to a point where ISP caps are a concern yet.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: A ISP explains the rationale for caps

said by espaeth:

Yes, this is a complete anomaly in retail. No company every advertises an item, puts a cheap price by it (usually with the words "Prices starting at"), and then says that in order to get all of the features shown you have to actually buy a bunch of add-on features at an additional cost.</sarcasm>

Even so, when you pay the stated price, you get what was agreed to. It's not as if you pay full price for a DVD box set and then only get half of it. Or you pay for 6 yards of fabric and they only give you 4. ISPs are the only business I know of where you pay the full price regardless of what you use, and the company incurs no liability whatsoever for giving people less than the stated service.

said by espaeth:

Still the point stands, average usage (as measured by a number of sources) is well below ISPs caps.

And the point also still stands that if their network isn't able to meet the demands of all their customers, even the heavy users, then they're not doing a very good job at predicting their bandwidth needs.

There's a buffet restaurant near me that is quite popular. For a single price you can eat as much as you want. I have never seen them run out of food, even though they regularly print discount coupons in the paper. On those occasions, the line of people waiting to get in is literally out the door. I have seen tour buses full of people pull up. This is because the management buys enough food to meet the demand. They don't go up to heavy people and tell them that they're eating too much. And even if they start running out of food, it would still be first come, first served. They wouldn't start telling people that they're not allowed to take more than one plate of food.

said by espaeth:

For your house painting analogy to work, it would have to be a situation where there was a fixed price to paint houses with the expectation that they would be typical suburban dwellings. If you get a contract for a job and it ends up being the Hilfiger Stone Hill Estate, well, then it's going to cost more.

And if you're an ISP, at that point you only paint half the house, tell them that they're hogging all the paint and leave with the job unfinished.

said by espaeth:

Let's be realistic here -- ISPs need to build capacity in excess of demand. You start capacity augmentation at intervals far below 100% utilization -- you start adding capacity when things hit 75% or maybe even 50%.


But according to the ISP rationalization for caps, they're already at capacity. Maybe it IS being caused by a small percentage of their customers, but the fact is that their network isn't able to meet the demand (or so they claim).

said by espaeth:

This starts to show the root of the problem that gets created when things are unlimited; there is no incentive not to abuse the hell out of it. See: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

How is it "abuse" to use what the ISP gave you? Are ISPs really not smart enough to be able to figure out exactly how much bandwidth they were giving their users when they came up with the various speed tiers?

A 5mbps user can download a theoretical maximum of about 1.6TB a month (5mbps x 60 seconds x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 30 days = 1,658,880MB) 250GB is less than 1/6 of that amount. Why are they giving people that much bandwidth if they're not supposed to use it?

The ISP set the service tiers and then sold those services to the users. The heavy users are only using what was provided to them. Their ability to congest the net was handed to them by the ISP. Imagine if you were camping and the park gave you a large bucket to get fresh water from the spring. When they see you filling it, the ranger tells you that they never expected you to actually use the entire bucket, and then punches some holes in the side to make sure you can't fill it more than 1/4 full. So now you're carrying this giant 20gal bucket that you can't put more than 5gal in. Does that make any sense to you?

And are ISPs really stupid enough to believe that a person who pays an extra $10 or whatever a month for increased speed isn't going to use that speed to download even more data? Web sites load plenty fast enough at even 5mbps, video streaming sites cap their download speeds at just high enough to (usually) stay ahead of the playing video. What do they think a user is going to do with a 30mbps connection? Is anyone really going to pay extra so that the email photos of their grandkids download in 2 seconds instead of 5?

said by espaeth:

Never? Look at the speed test results in the various forums here -- most people are meeting or exceeding their subscribed speeds.

They may get the speed, but they're not being allowed to use it. What good would be having 100mbps download speed if you hit your monthly cap in 5 and a half hours?

said by espaeth:

It depends on the traffic type. If we're talking fixed downloads, then no, downgrading speeds would actually increase congestion. Rush hour gets worse when traffic slows down, which is one of the reasons that highway ramp meters are used. For example, see: »www.dot.state.mn.us/rampmeter/study.html
The concept of statistical multiplexing is important here -- the longer a transfer runs, the most statistically likely it is that it will overlap with other subscriber's transfers.

Reducing the link speed would only be effective at reducing congestion if it were done for customers who consistently used 100% of their subscribed link speed on a shared capacity network.

But if everyone's speed were reduced, it would ensure that no user could "hog" the bandwidth. Even if a majority of the users were to initiate downloads at the same time, the network would be able to handle it. Doesn't that make more sense than handing out accounts that are capable of congesting the network if too many people use then simultaneously and then just crossing your fingers and hoping that it doesn't happen?

said by espaeth:

The incredible irony here is if telco and cable companies don't invest in deploying and upgrading their high speed Internet products, none of the things you just mention would come to exist.

And now that they do exist, the ISPs are getting upset that people actually want to use them.

said by espaeth:

This all comes down to a simple fact of human nature: people will use whatever is available to them.

Yes, people will use whatever is available to them, which is why it shouldn't come as a surprise that some people are using the bandwidth that the ISPs gave them.

said by espaeth:

People have connections that allow these services to work because eventually through technology upgrades over the last decade you see companies like Comcast bumping their $42.95/mo 1.5m/128k base service in 2001 to $44.95/mo 12m/2m service in 2011.

Yes, but what good is that speed if you're not allowed to use it, except under limited conditions? It's like "Here's your new super-fast internet account. Use it sparingly!"

20 years ago, services like AOL sold access by the minute. It wasn't until other ISPs popped up offering unlimited monthly usage that internet access really took off and became mainstream. Now they want to turn back time and go back to the days of metered net access with people having to plan in advance what they want to do online. "I only have 10GB left and I'd like to watch a movie from Netflix, but then what if my kids want to play some online games or my wife wants to catch up on some TV shows?"

said by espaeth:

Of course, that all depends on what fun new things get introduce over the next 3-5 years as the next technology refresh cycle kicks in.

What will be their excuse 3-5 years from now when the refresh cycle has kicked in, but the exact same caps are still in place?

said by espaeth:

These shiny, expensive offerings fuel the revenue that makes technology upgrades happen.

Yes, just don't try to actually use those shiny new offerings. It's like being sold an expensive sports car that shuts down after you've driven it 100 miles.

said by espaeth:

The point still stands that even with faster speeds, most people (the 99 percenters) don't drive up consumption to a point where ISP caps are a concern yet.

But when you add in the other 1%, the ISPs are still falling short of meeting demand. That number will only go up as more people start using things like Netflix.

espaeth
Digital Plumber
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:2

Re: A ISP explains the rationale for caps

said by Rekrul:

ISPs are the only business I know of where you pay the full price regardless of what you use, and the company incurs no liability whatsoever for giving people less than the stated service.

You should take some time to familiarize yourself with the insurance industry, as one example.

said by Rekrul:

But according to the ISP rationalization for caps, they're already at capacity. Maybe it IS being caused by a small percentage of their customers, but the fact is that their network isn't able to meet the demand (or so they claim).

Usage restrictions always come down to conformance to the business model.

I look forward to the deployment of your new ISP service that delivers unlimited everything for $50/mo. Be sure to let everyone here know when you launch.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: A ISP explains the rationale for caps

said by espaeth:

You should take some time to familiarize yourself with the insurance industry, as one example.

OK, make that two businesses.

But tell me this; When was the last time you pulled into a gas station, paid for 4 gallons of gas and only got 2?

said by espaeth:

Usage restrictions always come down to conformance to the business model.

I look forward to the deployment of your new ISP service that delivers unlimited everything for $50/mo. Be sure to let everyone here know when you launch.

Why is it so unreasonable to expect either the ISP to allow users to use the bandwidth that they gave them or the ISP to sell people accounts that they actually can support people using them at full capacity?

Tell me if any of these make sense;

"Here's your new car. It has a top speed of 100mph, so you could theoretically travel 72,000 miles in a month, however you're not going to be allowed to drive it more than 1,000 miles per month."

"Here's your platter for the buffet. It's large enough to hold enough food for four people, but you're only allowed to fill up 1/4 of it at any one time."

"Here's your new toaster. It takes exactly 2 minutes to toast two slices of bread, so theoretically you could toast 43,200 slices of bread every month. However, you're not allowed to toast more than 200 slices in any given month."

"Here's your new internet account. It has a theoretical download limit of 10TB a month, but you're not allowed to transfer more than 250GB."

I'll bet you're thinking that the first three are silly, while the last one makes perfect sense, even though they're all the same; A customer being provided with something that has capabilities well beyond what they're allowed to use.