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Charging by the Byte to Curb Internet Traffic

Discussion in 'News' started by Polaris573, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    Not everyone uses the internet for the same purposes. Some simply check their e-mail and/or scan the news for the latest headlines and promptly log off, while others download gigabytes of data every day, if not every hour. For years the internet was an egalitarian service with both types of users paying an equal amount despite the amount of bandwidth they used. Now it seems the major ISPs are preparing to implement some form of bandwidth limiting for users that utilize the most. Earlier this month Time Warner cable began a trial program of “Internet metering” in one Texas city. Customer will be asked to select a monthly plan with a certain amount of allotted bandwidth. When a user exceeds the bandwidth of their plan he or she will be forced to pay a surcharge, similar to exceeding the allotted minutes of a cell phone plan. The same week Time Warner announced its plan Comcast announced that it will be expanding its plan to manage Internet traffic, which involves slowing down the connections of the heaviest bandwidth users. While, as of yet, AT&T places no restrictions on bandwidth they stated that limits on heavy use were inevitable and are considering pricing based on data volume. The three companies insist these forms of billing will insure fair access to the internet for all users. Critics of the bandwidth limits say that metering and capping network used could hold back the inevitable convergence of television, computers, and the Internet. Internet metering could have serious consequences for companies such as Blockbuster and Netflix who are providing more and more downloadable/streaming content.

    When asked how many gigabytes an average customer uses, Time Warner would only reveal that 95 percent of customers use under 40 gigabytes per month. This means that 5 percent of customers use more than 50 percent of the network, and it is assumed that many of those people are sharing copyrighted video and music. Only time will tell whether these bandwidth limiting plans will provide fair internet access to everyone like the ISPs insist or whether they will stunt the growth of the internet economy. It seems that bandwidth limiting is here to stay and will most likely get worse, at least for the time being.

    Source: The New York Times
     
  2. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    TBH - I see their point; but I think it's going to backfire as well.

    Unless they can give the end user some application or metering software that keeps track of their bandwidth usage, there will be a lot of irrate customers when they open their monthly bill and see more than they expected to pay.

    and how many users are going to claim that they didn't go over their alotment, or how many will claim that they had no way of knowing?

    and will we see any type of "give-back" plan if a user comes no where near their alloted bandwidth? Or will the companies not even inform them and just let them continue to pay their dues?

    And what about tha major companies that already suck down user bandwidth during certain hours of the day? I know around here in the evening, both Verizon and Cox cap bandwidth off at low speeds so that local busniesses can go about their massive data transfers? I know some people around here that pay for the 15/13 from Cox, and they were irrate to find they were only running 5/3 after 8PM or 9PM.
     
  3. Triprift

    Triprift

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    Here in Australia pretty theres no such things as unlimited bandwidth.

    With mine Internode i pay $60 a month fo 20 gig and if i go over that amount i get shaped wich means my dl speeds gets throttled from 1.5 meg a sec to 60 odd k and get charged for the extra dls.

    The only good thing is i dont get charged for uls unlike Tel$tra and Optus.
     
  4. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    The internet infrastructure is in sore need of updating. When you actually stop and think of it, except for backbone connections, most of the internet is made up of 1950s technology (Coaxial cable and telephone wire). So until the infrastructure can be improved we will just be cramming more and more people onto two lane highways when what we need is interstates. Sure we can put up toll gates and lower the speed limit, but that's not going to fix the underlying problem.
     
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  5. Pinchy New Member

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    LOL.

    We (In Australia) have never NOT had this system in place. All plans have both a speed and a download limit. It used to be when you go over you pay a certain amoint extra (like 15c / megabyte) where as now, most plans when you go over, you get capped to dial up speeds.

    Beat me to it :D

    Im with Telstra, but thankfully I am on their plan that gets "capped" after 12GB of download, not pay extra, lol.
     
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  6. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    agreed 100%


    sucks, though, in areas where we've moved up to fiber optics and the like, the companies want to charge insane prices for petty access.
     
  7. a111087

    a111087

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    this is the end of the road for many of us...
     
  8. FatForester New Member

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    I agree completely. This is really just an excuse for ISP's to make more money all while dodging the real problem. The Internet isn't going to stop because the ISP's are getting cranky. Depending on how they implement this, I could see this really backfiring. At least when it explodes in their face they might decide to actually do something rather than just dance around the issue some more.
     
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  9. a111087

    a111087

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    ISP probably realized that they can't fight internet neutrality, so if many in Europe can limit internet and make money off it, then that is the next chance for them to make more money
     
  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    australia and many other countries have had this for years.

    The major ISP in australia (telstra) has plans that only include 200MB, or 500MB of data for just those people.

    And then they charge $0.17 per MB... you'd have to be stupid to go those plans, but thousands of people do.
     
  11. Triprift

    Triprift

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    If ur not a heavy user though it might be ok plans.

    Like Polaris said in his first post not all user are big dlers. ps being Tel$tra would most likely charge through the roof for them plans :eek:
     
  12. a111087

    a111087

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    wow... you can't really do much with 200mb or even 500mb these days
     
  13. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    Telstra 1.5Mb plan: $69.95 per month. 1500k download, 256k upload. 12,000MB per month. Thats upload and download combined. Going over that, you get shaped to 64Kb/64Kb internet.

    Exetel (my ISP) 1.5Mb plan
    $45 a month. 12GB on peak (daytime) 48GB off peak (night time) - shaped to 64Kb if you go over either period, or the option of $3 a GB.

    Even if ISP's start doing this in america, the rest of the world already has solutions... its called choosing a new provider :D
     
  14. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Ugh. Hurry up and get to my area FiOS!!!!
     
  15. Triprift

    Triprift

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    Yep good old churning havnt done that in awhile.
     
  16. a111087

    a111087

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    Does anyone remember how one guy claimed that Nvidia and ATi are working together to keep the prices up?
    Isn't it obvious enough that ISP are working together to rips us all off???!!! First internet neutrality, then this!!!
     
  17. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's the scene in India.

    Government alloted tons and tons of money in upgrading the infrastructure in the last five years. The agenda was to give every citizen, that's right, a 2 Mbps connection for just $6 /month. So far, they've had a fair bit of success, over 2 million towns/villages get these ADSL services, 60% of all towns/villages get it, rest are given free dial-up access till that "2 Mbps for all" scheme is implemented.
    How could India afford spread its interior internet infrastructure at such a large scale? Simply because they laid parallel backbones, all technology was bought just recently, and you get more for your cash today than 10 years ago.
     
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    australia is more or less dominated by telstra, as they own all local phone lines (the physical lines) as well as the international links.

    Recently a group of ISP's started laying their own foundations - they're getting their own international link (larger than all telstras combind) as well as putting ADSL2+ ports in many exchanges - cutting telstra out of the profit loop.

    In a way, this just makes ISP's work harder - you people get 'free' bandwidth with no limits, but i also hear tales of americans on 10Mb (or faster) cable who struggle to get 1Mb during peak times... on plans with limits, you get your full speed whenever you want it, not when its suitable for the ISP.
     
  19. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Comcast do it all ready. All though it's when you go over 200\250GB they charge you extra.
     
  20. indybird

    indybird New Member

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    I don't like this at all. That would near kill my internet experience. I got multiple problems with this:
    1) How do they know if your wireless was being ripped off by someone else
    2) What about all of the users who are running servers or similar things? Do they just get screwed over?
    3) I download game demos, large game updates, digital purchases (games, Music) and cannot afford any kinds of limits. (By the way all of this is 100% legal).

    If comcast switches to this, I will switch to AT&T, because they've already slowed down my internet enough (I pay $40 or whatever a month for 7mb/s not this 2mb/s crap!).

    -Indybird
     
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    1. thats your fault. legally you're responsible for securing your own network.
    2. in australia at least, you need a BUSINESS internet connection for those. they charge more, but offer unlimited throughput.
    3. well you might have to cut back. I download 90GB a month, and i pay for that.

    finally, your net is shit (2Mb/s instead of 7) BECAUSE of this problem. some users download 200GB, and that means other users arent getting it - if the average joe uses 2GB and one person used 200GB, thats 100 people who just got shafted, and will suffer shit speeds because he's using it all up.
     
  22. indybird

    indybird New Member

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    If the speed can be affected by users and I can lower their speeds by downloading too much, then how come they advertised and charge for a specific speed? (which they cannot maintain in itself).

    Also, does that business package have unlimited bandwith? If so, how much more exactly does it cost?

    -Indybird
     
  23. a111087

    a111087

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    They actually state that speed will not be guarantied and will vary.
    I know, it sucks...
     
  24. timta2

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    I love how every time this story comes up people from Australia chime in complaining about Telstra and how they have been doing this for a long time. Well, Comcast and Time Warner don't serve Austrialia and just because people in Australia are getting ripped off by corporate greed doesn't mean that the US companies should be OK to do it here in the US.

    If this starts to affect me I'm cutting the cable. I'm tired of the lousy programming, commericals and poor quality audio/video for $100 that Time Warner charges me every month. Not to mention the poor speeds and ping times I get for $50 additional with my cable modem service.

    I have heard every excuse in the book as to why they want to do this, but I'm no fool, it is simply to make more money and please shareholders at the expense of customers. This is nothing new from these companies.
     
  25. Triprift

    Triprift

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    Lol i put my 2 cents in cus i cant believe all complaining from u guys it looks like its gonna be the way of the future if ur not happy churn to someone else who has a better deal.
     

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