North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

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

  • From: Joe Abley
  • Date: Thu Oct 04 16:54:27 2007

On 4-Oct-2007, at 1416, Joe Greco wrote:

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.

I think the implication here is that there's a smoothing effect that comes with large customer bases.

For example, I remember back to when DSL was first rolled out in New Zealand. It was priced well beyond the means of any normal residential user, and as a result DSL customers tended to be just the people who would consume a lot of external bandwidth.

At around the same time, my wife's mother in Ontario, Canada got hooked up with a cablemodem on the grounds that unlimited cable internet service cost less than a second phone line (she was fed up with missing phone calls when she was checking her mail).

She used/uses her computer mainly for e-mail, although she occasionally uses a browser. (These days I'm sure legions of miscreants are using her computer too, but back then we were pre- botnet).

If you have mainly customers like my mother-in-law, with just a few heavy users, the cost per user is nice and predictable, and you don't need to worry too much about usage caps.

If you have mainly heavy users, the cost per user has the potential to be enormous.

It seems like the pertinent question here is: what is stopping DSL (or cable) providers in Australia and New Zealand from selling N x meg DSL service at low enough prices to avoid the need for a data cap? Is it the cost of crossing an ocean which makes the risk of unlimited service too great to implement, or something else?