[SATLUG] OT-Time Warner Download Cap

Ernest De Leon edeleonjr at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 23:30:19 CDT 2008

I see this is the cable companies making their bed and being forced to lie
in it.  What it comes down to is this: they over sold and under delivered
because at the time, they could get away with it.  Now that people are
actually using what they technically paid for, the cable companies are in a
pinch and trying to find a way out.  I could care less what it costs them to
buy upstream bandwidth, they promoted these broadband packages that they
KNEW they couldn't back.  Tough shit.  Now you either back your play or go
out of business.

Cable companies took advantage of the fact that 90%+ of users hardly used
any bandwidth at all and got away with it thus far.  Now they want to
implement a cap on bandwidth (NOTE: NOT charge by usage.)  It's still an
unfair business practice to limit usage, because there are many people still
over paying for bandwidth they will not use.  The only fair way to approach
this issue is the same way the electric company and water company approach
it:  bill by USAGE.  There's only one problem with that, their business
models rely on a steady revenue stream, not a variable one.  They would have
to 're-tool' their entire business model in order to make that happen, but
it's the only fair way.

The public utility companies also maintain expensive infrastructures that
terminate at the home and employ a large and varied labor force to
accomplish this.  The internet providers would do well to understand and
mimic the operations of public utilities.  The end result would be a rise in
cost to the prolific downloaders (the majority of which are complaining.)  I
am in that same group and understand that my prices would go up, but just
like any other consumable good like water, electricity or gasoline, people
will adjust their usage if there is a budget concern.  They may not like it,
but they need to realize that we live in a world where resources are limited
(some scarce) and there are many different types of cost to each decision
that we make.

As an end user, you either accept the fact that the business is run like the
insurance industry (distributing the financial load across a large group of
people,) and live within the limits the internet providers place, or you go
buy your own dedicated lines and pay the true price of what that kind of
bandwidth costs.  I am in no way on the cable companies side, believe me.  I
wish they would go out of business entirely.  I believe they employ very
deceptive business processes, especially with respect to internet and HD
programming (but thats for another rant.)  The cable companies need to eat
their dog food for what they've done, and the loudest of the complainers
about bandwidth limitations need to go buy dedicated lines for their type of
usage and then see if the cable deal was all that bad.  I am not a happy
camper with the cable companies, but I don't need the dedicated lines

It becomes a matter of utilizing resources more frugally, which is something
we should all be doing.  Perhaps we will carry around that CD we burned
Ubuntu 8.04 on instead of re-downloading it over and over again.  Teaching
people to use anything responsibly is always a good thing.  There is, of
course, one other course of action that would help to mitigate these
concerns: super compression of data streams.  That is an entirely different
topic (which I've been looking at for reduction in data center electricity
costs,) but it has a practical application here as well.  If you can
compress a data stream 10:1, imagine what you would do to reduce overall
bandwidth usage.  We are already using these types of compression for data
warehousing and such, it would be a matter of modifying existing technology
to fit in a new purpose.


On Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 6:33 PM, Mark Spieth <marks at teamcmi.com> wrote:

> More and more providers are going to have to start doing this. Bottom line,
> Bandwidth is expensive. You can't sell 2k (The ISP's Cost) worth of
> bandwidth for $34.95 a month and keep making money. A few years ago before
> streaming this and streaming that, when people used very little bandwith it
> wasn't a big deal. But with the evolution of fat downloads, (Hell just look
> at how much bandwidth it takes to update your computer... Redhat Enterprise
> 5, 400Megs after install, and windows XP is getting close to that.... most
> ISP's are seeing this as a financial problem.
> I helped setup a cable company's internet a few years back. The monthly
> internet bill from their various upstream providers including local loops
> were almost 250k a month, if all the users pulled just 50% of the 10 mb link
> they were sold for $34.95 the cable company would have needed almost 2.5
> mill a month in connectivity alone.
> Just my .02
> Sean I wrote:
>> I know you all have read about the test is Beaumont, 40GB Cap?  I was
>> curious about every one's thoughts on this.  I for one downloaded at
>> least 20GB of Linux live DVDs last month, not including a few flac
>> CD's I bought online and 12GB of Family Guy Season one from
>> direct2download.  Yeah and that was just one month of legal stuff.  I
>> was just curious if anyone has given thought to this or if anyone see
>> any upsides to this (I for one am already looking for DSL and will
>> switch just because).  Any thoughts¿  Please don't flame anyone on
>> this subject (except me that is OK).
>> sean
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Ernest de Leon

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety." - A common 18th Century sentiment
voiced by Benjamin Franklin

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his
government." - Edward Abbey

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -
Edmund Burke, English statesman and political philosopher (1729-1797)

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