North American Network Operators Group

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Re: ISPs slowing P2P traffic...

  • From: JC Dill
  • Date: Mon Jan 14 13:42:43 2008

Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:

On Mon, 14 Jan 2008, Frank Bulk wrote:

In other words, you're denying the reality that people download a 3 to 4 times more than they upload and penalizing every in trying to attain a 1:1 ratio.

That might be your reality.

My reality is that people with 8/1 ADSL download twice as much as they upload, people with 10/10 upload twice as much as they download.

I'm a photographer. When I shoot a large event and have hundreds or thousands of photos to upload to the fulfillment servers, to the event websites, etc. it can take 12 hours or more over my slow ADSL uplink. When my contract is up, I'll be changing to a different service with symmetrical service, faster upload speeds.

The faster-upload service costs more - ISPs charge more for 2 reasons: 1) Because they can (because the market will bear it) and 2) Because the average customer who buys this service uses more bandwidth.

Do you really find it surprising that people who upload a lot of data are the ones who would pay extra for the service plan that includes a faster upload speed? Why "penalize" the customers who pay extra?

I predicted this billing and usage problem back in the early days of DSL. Just as no webhost can afford to give customers "unlimited usage" on their web servers, no ISP can afford to give customers "unlimited usage" on their access plans. You hope that you don't get too many of the users who use your "unlimited" service - but you are afraid to change your service plans to a realistic plan that actually meets customer needs. You are terrified of dropping that term "unlimited" have having your competitors use this against you in advertising. So you try to "limit" the "unlimited" service without having to drop the term "unlimited" from your service plans.

Some features of an ideal internet access service plan for home users include:

1) Reasonable bandwidth usage allotment per month
2) Proactive monitoring and notification from the ISP if the daily usage indicates they will exceed the plan's monthly bandwidth limit
3) A grace period, so the customer can change user behavior or change plans before being hit with an unexpected bill for "excess use".
4) Spam filtering that Just Works.
5) Botnet detection and proactive notifications when botnet activity is detected from end-user computers. Help them keep their computer running without viruses and botnets and they will love you forever!

If you add the value-ads (#4 and 5), customers will gladly accept reasonable bandwidth caps as *part* of the total *service* package you provide.

If all you want is to provide a pipe, no service, whine about those who use "too much" of the "unlimited" service you sell, well then you create an adversarial relationship with your customers (starting with your lie about "unlimited") and it's not surprising that you have problems.