North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Why do some ISP's have bandwidth quotas?

  • From: Joe Greco
  • Date: Thu Oct 04 15:18:22 2007

> On Thu, 4 Oct 2007, Hex Star wrote:
> > Why is it that the US has ISP's with either no quotas or obscenely high ones
> > while countries like Australia have ISP's with ~12gb quotas? Is there some
> > kind of added cost running a non US ISP?
> Depending upon the country you're in, that is a possibility.  Some 
> countries have either state-run or monopolistic telcos, so there is little 
> or no competition to force prices down over time.
> Even in the US, there is a huge variability in the price of telco services 
> from one part of the country to another.

Taking a slightly different approach to the question, it's obvious that
overcommit continues to be a problem for ISP's, both in the States and

It'd be interesting to know what the average utilization of an unlimited
US broadband customer was, compared to the average utilization of an 
unlimited AU broadband customer.  It would be interesting, then, to look
at where the quotas lie on the curve in both the US and AU.

Regardless, I believe that there is a certain amount of shortsightedness
on the part of service providers who are looking at bandwidth management
as the cure to their bandwidth ills.  It seems clear that the Internet
will remain central to our communications needs for many years, and that
delivery of content such as video will continue to increase.  End users
do not care to know that they have a "quota" or that their quota can be
filled by a relatively modest amount of content.  Remember that a 1Mbps
connection can download ~330GB/mo, so the aforementioned 12GB is nearly 
*line noise* on a multimegabit DSL or cable line.

Continued reliance on broadband users using tiny percentages of their
broadband connection certainly makes the ISP business model easier, but
in the long term, isn't going to work out well for the Internet's
continuing evolution.

And before anyone accuses me of sounding overly critical towards the AU
ISP's, let me point out that we've dropped the ball in a major way here
in the United States, as well.

... JG
Joe Greco - Network Services - Milwaukee, WI -
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.