ISP's to push back on video downloads? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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TWC is going to try to move to usage based billing, citing growing popularity of video based downloads as a cause. Will other ISP's follow?

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssT...39580720080117

Much of the "downloads are the future, not disc" argument is based on the assumption of flat rate broadband Internet usage. If usage based billing takes off, it's going to put 3rd party providers like MS, Apple, and Netflix at a price disadvantage.

Originally with downloads, I knew the corporate bean counters would constantly apply pressure to save bandwidth costs on their end by compromising quality. Look at the Sat companies and even some cable companies. But with usage based billing the consumer also stands to save money with greater compression, so the pressure to save bandwidth may come from both sides. I have no desire to watch bit starved HD. It's bad enough on sat/cable already. Wire based delivery is only going to get worse. That's why I can't understand the rush to kill off disc based formats for downloads. They should be different markets, with disc catering to the high end, high quality market.

Anyway, rant aside, I thought it was worthwhile news given the amount of attention HD downloads have been getting in this forum recently.

 

 

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post #2 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:22 AM
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This is exactly what we've been saying this whole time. DL supporters think that for $3 a movie they're going to be able to just greedily gorge themselves on bandwidth.
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post #3 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehaser View Post

This is exactly what we've been saying this whole time. DL supporters think that for $3 a movie they're going to be able to just greedily gorge themselves on bandwidth.

I'm not sure that there's really any such thing as a true DL supporter. It's more like BD hater. The more you hate BD the more you believe everyone in the world has fiber running directly from the movie studios into their TV's and PC's.
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post #4 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:27 AM
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I am a Time Warner customer (roadrunner service).

I currently get 6mb down and something like 256k up (very slow upload).

Of course I currently have unlimited access and pay 44.95 (I think).

If they offer lower priced plans with restricted bandwidth, good for them, and the people that want them.

If they try to restrict the bandwidth I am already using for the same price, they are going to have one less customer.

BTW - I have had the exact same service for 8 years now, isn't it about time someone offered something that was faster? (can't get fios for the forseeable future)
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post #5 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceperson View Post

I'm not sure that there's really any such thing as a true DL supporter. It's more like BD hater. The more you hate BD the more you believe everyone in the world has fiber running directly from the movie studios into their TV's and PC's.

Is the reverse also true, the more you love Blu-ray the less you believe that there are people who use and continue to use download based video services?

Let's stop making this a BD love or hate thing guys, there are simply more and more HD options becoming available to consumers. Being interested in or using those options doesn't by default make you a "hater" of Blu-ray.

To address the topic, I believe that this strategy is more to combat the kazaa/********** crowd where people don't just download but also become supernodes for everyone else to leech off of. People who use pay downloads services often do this in moderation as they only have so much money.
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post #6 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:34 AM
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When we tried doing VOD over IP at Enron, we had one secret weapon: our own nationwide fiber optic network that we got when we bought PG&E. We peered with all of our last mile partners (SBC, QWEST, etc.), bypassing issues like this.

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post #7 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehaser View Post

This is exactly what we've been saying this whole time. DL supporters think that for $3 a movie they're going to be able to just greedily gorge themselves on bandwidth.

Majority of ISP's these days are telcos. This is not unfair of them. Basically they want their peice of the pie. In the end, 1$ from that 3$ will have to go to the provider. This is nothing new.

The ISP's have already been fighting with VoIP providers like Vonage for a year or so for the same reason. It's easy for Vonage to provide you with unlimited voip calling at a cheap price.. while the ISP foots your bandwidth bill.

In Canada, where I live.. Rogers just launched their own VoIP service and throttled the competitions.

The ISPs would LOVE for digital downloads to become the reality.. they just want a cut. Don't be surprised if the person offering you bajillions of movie downloads on an unthrottled port is your cable co and not some 3rd party.
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post #8 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephShaw View Post

When we tried doing VOD over IP at Enron, we had one secret weapon: our own nationwide fiber optic network that we got when we bought PG&E. We peered with all of our last mile partners (SBC, QWEST, etc.), bypassing issues like this.

Dark Fiber FTW!

Unfortunately at my place of business (where I am a network engineer), we can only get access to dark fiber for building to building access, not city to city.
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post #9 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceperson View Post

I'm not sure that there's really any such thing as a true DL supporter. It's more like BD hater. The more you hate BD the more you believe everyone in the world has fiber running directly from the movie studios into their TV's and PC's.


too true
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post #10 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:47 AM
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I can tell you that the company I work for (telco/isp/iptv provider) has no plans to begin nickle and dimeing our broadband customers. We have customers ranging from dialup to fiber (FTTP and MetroE) with FTTP speeds up to 20Mbps, and MetroE speeds up to 1 GigE. We are also allocating 60Mbps to each of our iptv customers (just for Video), which are all on GPON networks.

We peer at 4 points in the Eastern US and are at this time not seeing anything that would make us rethink our position. In fact, if our competitors begin to cap monthly usage, we will likely use that to our advantage from a marketing standpoint.
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post #11 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:48 AM
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ISP business is highly profitable. Don't think for a moment people will do things that would cause them to lose customers....

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post #12 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffon2k View Post

To address the topic, I believe that this strategy is more to combat the kazaa/********** crowd where people don't just download but also become supernodes for everyone else to leech off of. People who use pay downloads services often do this in moderation as they only have so much money.

That's true. It's not so much the downloads, but the uploads that can go 24/7. When there's pressure to keep the share ratio over 1:1, and even to build up some wiggle room, more bandwidth is used for uploads. I'm surprised it's gone on this long without usage-based charges.
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post #13 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 09:59 AM
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This is a much more reasonable strategy than Comcast's strategy of threatening to cut off customers who use too much bandwidth, and then actually cutting them off for a year without notice.

If a customer uses more than the secret bandwidth limit, which has been estimated at around 100GB a month, bill the customer an additional surcharge, instead of threatening them with goons. If the customer insists on continuing to use excess bandwidth, then the customer pays more for it. Most customers would cut back after the first time.
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post #14 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:00 AM
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comcast also has a similar system already setup they are just afraid to use it but if TW succeeds then comcast will follow and those who think restricted access will be cheaper your SOL it will become like canada
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post #15 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:00 AM
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They just don't want people fully using the services they've contracted for, just the same way your insurance company doesn't want to pay out on claims. Business is all about giving you as little as possible in exchange for your money.
Ooooh, 6mb/s unlimited!! Oh, what's that? you actually want to use that bandwidth to download video? Oh heck no, we have to get paid more, we didn't think you were actually going to use your bandwidth!
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post #16 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotheraviator View Post

Majority of ISP's these days are telcos. This is not unfair of them. Basically they want their peice of the pie. In the end, 1$ from that 3$ will have to go to the provider. This is nothing new.

The ISP's have already been fighting with VoIP providers like Vonage for a year or so for the same reason. It's easy for Vonage to provide you with unlimited voip calling at a cheap price.. while the ISP foots your bandwidth bill.

In Canada, where I live.. Rogers just launched their own VoIP service and throttled the competitions.

The ISPs would LOVE for digital downloads to become the reality.. they just want a cut. Don't be surprised if the person offering you bajillions of movie downloads on an unthrottled port is your cable co and not some 3rd party.

Beyond illegal downloading, the ISPs have no say or any right to how we use the bandwidth. The bandwidth has been paid for by the customer. If we choose to use bandwidth to email Aunt Edna or download a movie from Apple, it's our business. They sold us the bandwidth.
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post #17 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffylush View Post

I am a Time Warner customer (roadrunner service).

I currently get 6mb down and something like 256k up (very slow upload).

Of course I currently have unlimited access and pay 44.95 (I think).

If they offer lower priced plans with restricted bandwidth, good for them, and the people that want them.

If they try to restrict the bandwidth I am already using for the same price, they are going to have one less customer.

BTW - I have had the exact same service for 8 years now, isn't it about time someone offered something that was faster? (can't get fios for the forseeable future)


I agree completely. this will just drive me away from them if they do this in Austin. I've got 10mpbs down and 1mbps up and I game alot. I have a hard enough time keeping track of cell phone minutes...now they want me to keep track of Kilobytes? Ummm No -**** off on that...

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post #18 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:06 AM
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The ISP's have already been fighting with VoIP providers like Vonage for a year or so for the same reason. It's easy for Vonage to provide you with unlimited voip calling at a cheap price.. while the ISP foots your bandwidth bill.

I wouldn't say they are footing the bill, YOU are paying for a service so it is no of their business what you use your bandwidth for. That's the way free markets work. If the telcos want to get voice customers back, find better solutions to do so, or introduce your own VOIP service at a better price as many have.

It really doesn't cost an ISP more per amount of bandwidth you are using. The issue is when it becomes cumulative from the number over users using alot of bandwidth. That would also mean they probably have a lot of customers and therefore should have the revenue to upgrade their network.

Charging by the bandwidth is just pure greed and will certainly lead to loss of customers. I for one and gone if this happens.
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post #19 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleAl View Post

This is a much more reasonable strategy than Comcast's strategy of threatening to cut off customers who use too much bandwidth, and then actually cutting them off for a year without notice.

If a customer uses more than the secret bandwidth limit, which has been estimated at around 100GB a month, bill the customer an additional surcharge, instead of threatening them with goons. If the customer insists on continuing to use excess bandwidth, then the customer pays more for it. Most customers would cut back after the first time.

This is news to me. I have downloaded much more than 100Gb in a month before, and never received any notification I had exceeded any "limit". I live in the Chicagoland area.

Art
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post #20 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceperson View Post

I'm not sure that there's really any such thing as a true DL supporter. It's more like BD hater. The more you hate BD the more you believe everyone in the world has fiber running directly from the movie studios into their TV's and PC's.

DLing has nothing to do with hating BD. I know plenty of people who like to download movies (legally or illegally, I have no idea and don't ask), and for the most part, they don't know what BD really is. Some have heard of the name, and just mention the PS3.
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post #21 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

Beyond illegal downloading, the ISPs have no say or any right to how we use the bandwidth. The bandwidth has been paid for by the customer. If we choose to use bandwidth to email Aunt Edna or download a movie from Apple, it's our business. They sold us the bandwidth.

If you read the TOS you agreed to when subscriping to your ISPs services, I'm 99.9% sure there is a stipulation in there restricting you from using the service to run a server or provide unauthorized distribution services.

Allowing your computer to be used as a supernode and having hundreds to thousands of people downloading off of you falls under that stipulation and the constant upload rate creates an undue strain on the bandwidth available for the use of other customers.

This is no different than the restrictions that had to be placed on email to prevent spammers from locking up mail servers will mass emails.

I don't agree with paying according to the amount of bandwidth you use, but I do believe there need to be some restrictions to prevent some users from placing undue burden on others because of usage outside of the ISPs TOS.
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post #22 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:24 AM
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Isn't that exactly what I said? I said 'beyond illegal downloading'
Downloading from Apple or Netflix in no way a breech of TOS. I paid for the bandwidth, I can use it in anyway I want to, with the exceptions of illegal P2P, etc. Downloading from Apple or Netflix, or using Vonage is in no way shape or form a type of being a Supernode.

As for the burden on the network, they shouldn't sell the bandwidth if they can't provide it. Basically they're saying: here's 6mb/s, but don't actually use it.
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post #23 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffon2k View Post

If you read the TOS you agreed to when subscriping to your ISPs services, I'm 99.9% sure there is a stipulation in there restricting you from using the service to run a server or provide unauthorized distribution services.

Allowing your computer to be used as a supernode and having hundreds to thousands of people downloading off of you falls under that stipulation and the constant upload rate creates an undue strain on the bandwidth available for the use of other customers.

This is no different than the restrictions that had to be placed on email to prevent spammers from locking up mail servers will mass emails.

I don't agree with paying according to the amount of bandwidth you use, but I do believe there need to be some restrictions to prevent some users from placing undue burden on others because of usage outside of the ISPs TOS.

What you are talking about really deals more with piracy and charging people to use you internet connection.
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post #24 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne View Post

This is news to me. I have downloaded much more than 100Gb in a month before, and never received any notification I had exceeded any "limit". I live in the Chicagoland area.

Art

From a post on dslreports.com:

"Q: About how much bandwidth are these excessive users consuming?

A: There is no predetermined bandwidth threshold. However, the amount of bandwidth that an excessive user may consume may be analogous to downloading 90 movies or 4,500 movie trailers in a single month.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since this is at least the third time of heard the "90 movies" limit (but possibly the first time I've heard the "4,500 trailers" limit), perhaps we should read between the lines and try to deduce what the limit probably is? I just watched the broadband trailer for the Polar Express from the Quicktime site. It was 22 MB (checked my browser's cache). 22 * 4,500 = 99,000, or 99 GB. The trailer for House of Sand and Fog is 24 MB. 24 * 4,500 = 108,000 or 108 GB. This does suggest to me that if you stay under 100 GB a month you'll probably be all right.

Yes, I agree with everyone here that I'd rather know what the limit is rather than have to guess at it, but I believe Matisaro is correct in one important respect: if Comcast actually were to spell out what the limit is, they would probably have to give a much lower number than what the current "classified" number really is. The 30 - 40 GB seems pretty likely based on what other ISPs have implemented.

I think people should try to calm down, stay under 100 GB a month (way under shouldn't be difficult at all), and quit threatening legal action or negative press attention. I think that kind of knee-jerk hysterical reaction will cause more harm than good and will probably end up hurting those of us who have reason to be concerned about these limits in the first place."

And, yes, I have received one of those phone calls from Comcast's goons.
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post #25 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:35 AM
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sounds like dial up may be the next big thing again hopefully google will get the 700 mhz spectrum im praying they do and i hope they change the broadband and cellphone world with it and offer cheaper services forcing companies to turn in the right direction.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r19819679- this sounds sad but so true
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post #26 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceperson View Post

I'm not sure that there's really any such thing as a true DL supporter. It's more like BD hater. The more you hate BD the more you believe everyone in the world has fiber running directly from the movie studios into their TV's and PC's.

Or the HD haters... always the ones wishing that HD would go away or else downloads would take over.
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post #27 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 10:53 AM
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All I am reading is that 1080p with 7.1 channel lossless sound is going to cost consumers more. Either from the BDA or from the ISP. They want premium $$ for the premium service.

I was hoping for some competition to drop prices, not increase them. Oh well, I'm off to Wal-Mart to scour the $5 bin some more ....
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post #28 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 11:13 AM
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Shutting Down Big Downloaders
Comcast Cuts Internet Service to Bandwidth Hogs

By Kim Hart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 7, 2007; Page A01

The rapid growth of online videos, music and games has created a new Internet sin: using it too much.

Comcast has punished some transgressors by cutting off their Internet service, arguing that excessive downloaders hog Internet capacity and slow down the network for other customers. The company declines to reveal its download limits.

"You have no way of knowing how much is too much," said Sandra Spalletta of Rockville, whose Internet service was suspended in March after Comcast sent her a letter warning that she and her teenage son were using too much bandwidth. They cut back on downloads but were still disconnected. She said the company would not tell her how to monitor their bandwidth use in order to comply with the limits.

"You want to think you can rely on your home Internet service and not wake up one morning to find it turned off," said Spalletta, who filed a complaint with the Montgomery County Office of Cable and Communication Services. "I thought it was unlimited service."

As Internet service providers try to keep up with the demand for increasingly sophisticated online entertainment such as high-definition movies, streaming TV shows and interactive games, such caps could become more common, some analysts said.

It's unclear how many customers have lost Internet service because of overuse. So far, only Comcast customers have reported being affected. Comcast said only a small fraction of its customers use enough bandwidth to warrant pulling the plug on their service.

Cable companies are facing tough competition from telephone giants like AT&T and Verizon, which are installing new cables capable of carrying more Internet traffic.

The cable companies collectively spent about $90 billion in the past decade to improve their networks. And on cable networks, several hundred subscribers often share an Internet connection, so one high-traffic user could slow the rest of a neighborhood's connections. Phone lines are run directly to each home, so a single bandwidth hog will not slow other connections.

As Internet users make more demands of the network, cable companies in particular could soon end up with a critically short supply of bandwidth, according to a report released this month by ABI Research, a New York market-research firm. This could lead to a bigger crackdown on heavy bandwidth users, said the report's author, Stan Schatt.

"These new applications require huge amounts of bandwidth," he said. Cable "used to have the upper hand because they basically enjoyed monopolies, but there are more competitive pressures now."

To trigger a disconnection warning, customers would be downloading the equivalent of 1,000 songs or four full-length movies every day. Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas declined to reveal specific bandwidth limits.

"It's our responsibility to make sure everyone has the best service possible," he said, "so we have to address abusive activities so they won't damage the experience for other customers. "

Companies have argued that if strict limits were disclosed, customers would use as much capacity as possible without tipping the scale, causing networks to slow to a crawl.

Some customers are unaware they are using so much capacity, sometimes because neighbors are covertly connecting through unsecured wireless routers. When they are told of that possibility, many curb their use after an initial warning, Douglas said. Others, however, may be running bandwidth-hungry servers intended for small businesses from their homes, which can bog down a network serving a neighborhood. Comcast said it gives customers a month to fix problems or upgrade to business accounts before shutting off their Internet service.

Joe Nova of North Attleboro, Mass., lost Internet service after Comcast told him that he was using too much bandwidth to watch YouTube videos, listen to Internet radio stations and chat using a Web camera. He and other customers who complained of being shut off said they were not running servers from their homes.

"Sure, I'm online a lot, but there's no way I could have been consuming that much capacity," Nova said.

Other Internet service providers, including Time Warner Cable, Verizon and AT&T, say they reserve the right to manage their networks, but have not yet suspended service to subscribers. Smaller Internet service providers RCN in Herndon, Leros Technologies in Fairfax and OpenBand in Dulles said they do not cap bandwidth use.

Some AT&T customers use disproportionately high amounts of Internet capacity, "but we figure that's why they buy the service," said Michael Coe, a spokesman for the company.

Cox Communications, which provides Internet and cable services to parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland, said the bandwidth demand on its network has doubled every year for the past six years. It has boosted its speeds twice in the past 18 months to keep up and offers tiered service plans for heavier users, spokesman Alex Horwitz said.

"We don't spend a lot of time enforcing [bandwidth] caps, but we contact customers when their usage is egregious enough for it to impact the network," he said. "Instances are few and far between."

When Comcast canceled service to Frank Carreiro, who lives in a Salt Lake City suburb, he started a blog about the experience. His wife and six children then relied on sluggish dial-up Internet access until a phone company offered DSL service in his neighborhood.

"For a lot of people, it's Comcast or it's nothing," he said.

Bob Williams, director of HearUsNow.org, a consumer Web site run by Consumers Union, said the vagueness of Comcast's rules is "unfair and arbitrary."

"They're cutting service off to the people who want to use it the most," he said.

Schatt, the ABI Research analyst, said he expects cable companies to spend about $80 billion over the next five years to increase network capacity. In addition, they may acquire airwaves at an upcoming federal auction and could lay fiber-optic lines over their existing cables. Switching to digital-only programming could also help conserve capacity.

Comcast, Cox and Time Warner say they have more than enough capacity to meet demand and are adding new technologies to strengthen signals. Bruce McGregor, senior analyst at Current Analysis, a research firm in Sterling, said the bandwidth bottleneck is not yet a crisis for cable companies, but it could intensify with competition from phone companies.

Companies like Comcast "need to address people who are major drains on the network" without angering consumers, he said. "They're not the only game in town anymore."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews
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post #29 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by pclausen View Post

I can tell you that the company I work for (telco/isp/iptv provider) has no plans to begin nickle and dimeing our broadband customers. We have customers ranging from dialup to fiber (FTTP and MetroE) with FTTP speeds up to 20Mbps, and MetroE speeds up to 1 GigE. We are also allocating 60Mbps to each of our iptv customers (just for Video), which are all on GPON networks.

We peer at 4 points in the Eastern US and are at this time not seeing anything that would make us rethink our position. In fact, if our competitors begin to cap monthly usage, we will likely use that to our advantage from a marketing standpoint.

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post #30 of 160 Old 01-17-2008, 11:23 AM
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