North American Network Operators Group

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

  • From: Joe Greco
  • Date: Mon Oct 08 16:36:32 2007

> >That's approximately correct.  The true answer to the thought experiment
> >is "address those problems, don't continue to blindly pay those costs and
> >complain about how unique your problems are."  Because the problems are
> >neither unique nor new - merely ingrained.  People have solved them
> >before.
> "Address those problems" sounds quite a bit like an old Sam Kinnison 
> routine, paraphrased as "move to where the broadband is! You live in 
> a %*^&* expensive place." Sorry, but your statement comes across as 
> arrogant, at least to me.

It's arrogant to fix brokenness?  Because I'm certainly there.  In my
experience, if you don't bother to address problems, they're very likely
to remain, especially when money is involved on the opposite side.

> > > And about the local tail, that's also 5-10 times higher than normal in the
> > > western world, I don't see that being motivated by some fundamental
> > > difference.
> >
> >The fundamental difference is that it's owned by a monopoly.
> Bingo. So, how do you propose an ISP in Australia fix the political 
> structure, and do it in a timescale that fits your expectations?

I have no expectations for them, and therefore there's no required
timescale.  However, apparently I am not the only one to recognize that
a problem exists.  Upon a minor amount of further research into the
issue, it appears that Pipe Networks, VSNL, etc., are working on a new
cable, a project referred to as "Project Runway", to connect Australia
to Guam at multiterabit speeds - so it may soon come to pass that the
current off-continent duopoly for bandwidth may need to adjust somewhat.
That could represent one significant problem - solved in a year or two.
The local political problem - well, I have to note that "political" != 
"technical", and politics can be affected, whereas technical problems
tend to organize them into problems that can be solved, and problems 
that cannot.

> >Despite this, wholesale prices did continue to drop.  Somehow, amazingly,
> >the ILEC found it possible to provide DSL at extremely competitive
> >prices.  Annoyingly, a bit lower than "wholesale" costs...  $14.99/mo
> >for 768K DSL, $19.99/mo for 1.5M, etc.  They're currently feeling the
> >heat from Road Runner, whose prices tend towards being a bit more
> >expensive, but speeds tend towards better too.  :-)
> I should note that this applies only where the ILEC (or cable 
> company, for that matter) has bothered to deploy service. Unlike 
> telephone service, there has been no "universal service" approach. 
> There are large areas without service other than dialup.

Large geographic areas, yes.  This isn't good.  Our regulation of the
telecoms has sadly been extremely permissive when it comes to giving
up on the points that were originally part of the plan for broadband
in America.

> Verizon, it's particularly sad, charges $19.95/month for dialup 
> that'll also tie up a POTS line, where it'll offer the lowest DSL 
> speeds at $14.95. And Verizon "cherry picks" the places where it 
> offers DSL (and moreso for FiOS) so the affluent towns get high speed 
> service, while the rural and poorer places only have available dialup 
> (and that dialup is more expensive).
> I would be curious if any of the places in the world with higher-cost 
> high-speed service also have any sort of requirement of coverage?

Interesting question.

> >Anyways, as displeased as I may be with the state of affairs here in the
> >US, it is worth noting that the speeds continue to improve, and projects
> >such as U-verse and FIOS are promising to deliver higher bandwidth to
> >the user, and maintain pressure on the cable companies for them to do
> >better as well.
> Of course this only applies if you live in an inner city or wealthy suburb.

Oddly, it's reported that the cable company, which has very high
penetration rates, has boosted RR speeds throughout the service area,
and the speeds being offered exceed U-verse speeds, AFAICT.  I would 
actually view this as a challenge for the ILEC, though I fundamentally
dislike the duopoly aspects.

I would much prefer to see a carrier neutral last mile network here,
and I've yet to see a compelling argument that it wouldn't work if it
was given a chance, which is probably why the telcos have lobbied so
incredibly hard against actually doing it.

> >US providers do not seem to be doing significant amounts of DPI or other
> >policy to manage bandwidth consumption.  That doesn't mean that there's
> >no overcommit crisis, but right now, limits on upload speeds appear to
> >combine with a lack of killer centralized content distribution apps and
> >as a result, the situation is stable.
> >
> >My interest in this mainly relates to how these things will impact the
> >Internet in the future, and I see some possible problems developing.
> Do you believe there is any reason for the "Internet of the Future" 
> to be everywhere? 

Above Vint Cerf's "IP Everywhere"?  :-)

> You're concerned about video over IP delivery and 
> other advanced applications, but do you expect to make a video call 
> to your cousin who owns a farm outside of town? This question is 
> largely ignored in discussions about cranking the 'net to ever faster 
> speeds, at least in the US. I'd be interested to know how it's 
> addressed elsewhere in the world.

I'd like to see it addressed.  I'd like to see widespread Internet
availability.  At this point, it's possible to make a video call to
your cousin who owns a farm outside of town, but doing so probably
requires you to be signed up for satellite based broadband, or long
distance wireless.  Both services exist, and people do use them.  I
know one guy in rural Illinois who maintains a radio tower so he can
get wifi access from the nearest highspeed Internet source (~miles).
He plays multiplayer shoot'ems on the Internet, not the sort of thing
you'd do over dialup, and he's good enough that his ping times aren't a 
noticeable handicap.  I'd note that that was even several years ago.

... 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.