Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Time Warner Shutting Off Austin Accounts For Heavy Usage

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the somebody-threw-them-a-shovel dept.

Networking 591

mariushm writes "After deciding to shelve metered broadband plans, it looks like Time Warner is cutting off, with no warning, the accounts of customers whom they deem to have used too much bandwidth. 'Austin Stop The Cap reader Ryan Howard reports that his Road Runner service was cut off yesterday without warning. According to Ryan, it took four calls to technical support, two visits to the cable store to try two new cable modems (all to no avail), before someone at Time Warner finally told him to call the company's "Security and Abuse" center. "I called the number and had to leave a voice mail, and about an hour later a Time Warner technician called me back and lectured me for using 44 gigabytes in one week," Howard wrote. Howard was then "educated" about his usage. "According to her, that is more than most people use in a year," Howard said.'"

cancel ×

591 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Two words (5, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712517)

Fuck them.

Three Letters (4, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712593)

DSL.

But then I have the lowest tier so It would take a decade to download 44 gigs.

Re:Two words (5, Interesting)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712623)

Agreed and THIS: I tried to cancel all my TWC services over the phone. When asked why I told him because of their caps. I told him I'd be willing to come back if/when Time Warner states explicitly that they will not cap internet usage.

In the meantime I told him I'm taking my business to ATT. The rep proceeds to argue with me about metered usage for a good 5 minutes telling me that ATTs terms of service state they can meter at any time, and blah blah blah. To which I responded if/when ATT does meter in Austin I'll consider coming back to Time Warner if they aren't metering but I'm still leaving you guys now because ATT isn't metering in Austin.

He continues to argue the same ridiculous points telling me that the metering was only internet rumor and they weren't going to do that. My reply was something like what about your COOs statement about the metering or your PR reps Tweets?. It's all rumors. Finally I said, fuck it, fine, just cancel it all you aren't going to change my mind.

He says "Well I can't disconnect over the phone, you have to bring the equipment to your local office."

I hope he's reading this...thanks for wasting my time D-Bag. I'm bringing the equipment up there today.

=Smidge=

Re:Two words (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712897)

You really made me want to prank call them. Thanks.

Re:Two words (1)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712909)

Two other words: sue them.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712943)

I agree, especially if they are a monopoly...

Re:Two words (4, Funny)

frieko (855745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712959)

It's so absurd it makes more sense as a comedy sketch than an actual business practice.

Hypothetical Will Ferrel: At TWC, we value our customers tremendously. Now, I hate to nitpick, but is there any way you could pay us money, but then, we don't give you anything in return?

That's another one for the list... (2)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712519)

...of ISPs I will avoid.

Hey, I might be moving soon, so I might actually have a choice. Is there anyone decent out there? [slashdot.org]

The rise of Hulu (5, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712521)

My bandwidth usage averaged about a gig a week, between internet radio, VoIP, etc. but then, I noticed my usage jumping to 12Gig/week virtually overnight. Initially I feared a virus. Then I checked, all of the traffic was going to my wifes computer. I then cross-referenced it, the day it jumped was the day she found Hulu, and signed up for Netflix. Now imagine 3-4 computers in the house, each one with someone seperately watching netflix or Hulu....

Re:The rise of Hulu (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712603)

Wouldn't surprise me if the telecoms begin lobbying for legislation against sites like Hulu and Netflix.

And then imagine (4, Informative)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712689)

Every house on every block doing it.

And wait until boxee, netflix, tivio, etc., finally have that killer set-top box and everyone wants one.

There was just an article a week or so ago that everyone using bandwidth at the same time didn't cost comcast a dime more than if nobody was using it.

But there are parts of the Backbone that are oversold, and it would be physically impossible for every customer to use 100% of the bandwidth at one time and get the speed they were advertised.

I know that may not be true for some large ISPs, but if it is a smaller ISP, they oversell bandwidth. And they HAVE to in order to survive and make a profit. You could not sell 3 meg down for 29.95 a month and built out an infrastructure that would deliver 3 meg to every customer at the same time...or maybe you could, but it would take a hell of a long time to pay it off. Might be different in socialized countries, but that is the reality here.

transporter_ii

Re:And then imagine (2, Interesting)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712707)

But is that the customers fault or the ISP's for not meeting demand?

Re:And then imagine (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712719)

there are parts of the Backbone that are oversold, and it would be physically impossible for every customer to use 100% of the bandwidth at one time and get the speed they were advertised.

Then that is the problem than needs fixing, not these "abusers".

Re:And then imagine (5, Insightful)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712949)

South Korean ISPs can afford to have backbone pipes of dozens of 1 Gbit fiber optic lines. Time to grow up and upgrade you decades old infrastructure USA. If the companies cann't do that maybe it is time for socialism and have government do it. Best Internet in the world with lowest cost is municipal Internet.

Re:And then imagine (4, Insightful)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712963)

People know that an ISP can only do best effort for the advertised speed. If streaming is too slow, they'll stop using it, or use it less often (low reliability = low usage). There's also the fact that both of these services use Akamai. Simple solution, get Akamai to put a server on your (the ISPs) local net, pay them money for it if you have to. Akamai's business is getting data to people fast, if they're not doing it somewhere I would think they would want to fix that.

The simple fact is that TW is trying to protect their Cable TV business by degrading their internet service. For this reason I think the government should get involved and split RR from TWC. Obviously TW's conflict of interest in this area threatens people's access to a service that has become a necessity of modern life (Cable TV still isn't). Letting them arbitrate how much internet access people get is unacceptable.

Charging people for using the internet "too much" is ridiculous. The problem is bandwidth on the pipe, not the number of bits it can handle in a month. Offer them speed tiers, not usage tiers.

Re:The rise of Hulu (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712793)

My bandwidth usage averaged about a gig a week, between internet radio, VoIP, etc. but then, I noticed my usage jumping to 12Gig/week virtually overnight. Initially I feared a virus. Then I checked, all of the traffic was going to my wifes computer. I then cross-referenced it, the day it jumped was the day she found Hulu, and signed up for Netflix. Now imagine 3-4 computers in the house, each one with someone seperately watching netflix or Hulu....

Bingo! The telcos want to be a content provider not a service provider. If they can get it through people's minds that internet is a valuable resource (which reminds me I have this article about Peak Internet...) then to be entertained you'll have to buy their cable TV + internet bundle because simply watching TV shows from NBC.com and streaming through Hulu won't be available (figuratively speaking, too much bandwidth) anymore.

Re:The rise of Hulu (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712907)

My bandwidth usage averaged about a gig a week, between internet radio, VoIP, etc. but then, I noticed my usage jumping to 12Gig/week virtually overnight. Initially I feared a virus. Then I checked, all of the traffic was going to my wifes computer. I then cross-referenced it, the day it jumped was the day she found Hulu, and signed up for Netflix. Now imagine 3-4 computers in the house, each one with someone seperately watching netflix or Hulu....

Bingo! The telcos want to be a content provider not a service provider. If they can get it through people's minds that internet is a valuable resource (which reminds me I have this article about Peak Internet...) then to be entertained you'll have to buy their cable TV + internet bundle because simply watching TV shows from NBC.com and streaming through Hulu won't be available (figuratively speaking, too much bandwidth) anymore.

Which reminds me,
if I can buy server bandwidth for $0.10 per Gigabyte, why does internet bandwidth cost 10x as much?

Can we use this in court against them? IANAL...

Re:The rise of Hulu (1)

hemp (36945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712961)

Is there an easy way to measure your usage amongst several computers?

She was right (1, Troll)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712541)

Absolutely right. 44 GB is more than most people use in a year.

I can understand that there is a lot of resistance against usage caps from people who use that amount in one week. But the majority would not want their fees to go up because of that kind of usage.

Re:She was right (5, Informative)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712567)

A single hulu show is roughly a gigabyte if you have the bandwidth. 44 hours a week is not unusual for television watching in some circles.

Re:She was right (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712663)

I wouldn't call it "circles" as much as "couches".

Re:She was right (-1, Flamebait)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712725)

Yes, but most of Hulu's content is recently broadcast stuff, so a TiVo recording the show from the cable TV system is a more effective use of bandwidth. Get a TiVo...

Re:She was right (5, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712859)

So pay for TiVo and internet just because your ISP doesn't think you should be using the internet that much? Get real.

Re:She was right (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712835)

A single hulu show is roughly a gigabyte if you have the bandwidth. 44 hours a week is not unusual for television watching in some circles.

I was just thinking about that, 44 hrs/wk that's over 6 hrs a day 7 days a week, which does seem a bit extreme. But then I realized, that's if you're the only one in the house. How many houses have three televisions now? Imagine an entire family that uses hulu. Even three family members could easily average over 40 hrs combined video time a week if they preferred different shows, which is not at all uncommon.

Re:She was right (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712677)

44 GB is more than most people use in a year.

...yet.

Rather than going after "abusers", you want to start upgrading your network now to accommodate them, before the majority discover sites like Hulu and Youtube.

But the majority would not want their fees to go up because of that kind of usage.

Nor, I suspect, would the majority want to get hit with that lecture the second they discover how to actually use the connection they've been sold.

44 GB... (2, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712941)

Is about 100-120 MB each day.

Considering that all those wonderful flash advertisements out there will gobble up about 10-20 MB each day (unless you block them) claiming that most people don't use that much in a year is ridiculous and uninformed.

Re:She was right (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712779)

The thing is, the fact that 44GB *is* more than "most people use in a year" is part of the reason it should be completely ACCEPTABLE for a person to use that much!

Their entire business model was designed around the idea that MOST people will pay for a lot of service they under-utilize. Why do so many keep subscribing for a level of service they don't seem to use or need (in this case, an "unlimited" broadband Internet package)? Because people like the INSURANCE of knowing the capabilities are there, in case they happen to want them!

When providers start cracking down on people who actually USE what they paid for (transferring a lot of data over that unlimited connection), they shake everyone else's confidence in the service - and even casual/light users start jumping ship. (Nobody wants to be the "next one" who gets cut off or penalized, because they suddenly had a need to transfer a lot of data, after going for a long time NOT doing so.)

The "typical" bandwidth usage of a customer is only going to keep increasing, as people get more savvy about what's available, and tools become more prevalent that let you watch video entertainment that's supplied over the Internet connection.

ISP's would be smart to invest in having the capabilities of supplying what they promised everyone in the first place, instead of trying to cap/limit/meter people to save money in the short term.

All You Can Eat (5, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712787)

You don't advertise an all-you-can-eat buffet, and then kick out a customer when they sit down and eat for three hours straight.

Metering use or at least advertising you have a bandwidth usage policy is better than just getting your line cut when they decide you've had enough for the month.

If that happens to me, *I* will be the one giving the lecture, and I will be receiving a credit for the time that my service was down, and I will be receiving additional credit for the inconvenience if they first sent me out to try new cable modems before actually telling me what happened. (though it sounds like in this case many of the reps there are not aware of the policies)

The reason we see them try to pull this BS (and frequently get away with it) is because customers let themselves get pushed around, walked all over, and generally taken advantage of.

They don't want to scare off new customers by advertising any limits, but at the same time they want to enforce limits. Can't have it both ways. Imagine going to a restaurant on a saturday all you can eat buffet to have a big breakfast with your family, and as you are parking you see the advert in the window for saturday morning all-you-can-eat, and notice the little note at the bottom, "(we will kick you out if you eat more than $20 worth of food)". Tell me YOU wouldn't find somewhere else to eat breakfast? So it's not surprising they don't want to disclose anything like that.

Re:She was right (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712829)

Then TW shouldn't sell unlimited transfer volume to people.

Or, if they already did sell it, let the contract run out at the next possible opportunity without renewing it.

But cancelling it overnight? Unacceptable. Making people jump through hoops just to find out what happened? Unacceptable. Lecturing people for making use of the resource they paid for, the one that TW *contractually agreed* to provide? Unacceptable.

Besides, 44 GB per year is 120 MB per day. Do you seriously think that "most people" don't use 120 MB of transfer volume per day? Oh, sure, those that only check their email or read the occasional news website won't. But as soon as you're starting to do things like watch streaming video (e.g. on Youtube), play games, use iTunes etc. etc., it's actually quite easy for anyone to reach this volume.

Also, consider how much he actually COULD have transferred. If you assume that he's got e.g. 16 Mbps downstream (average here in Germany where I live for broadband users), that's about 1.7 MB per second that could be transferred at most. 1.7 MB times 86400 times 7 is 1028 GB - that's a *Terabyte* per week.

In other words, he was using less than 4.3% of what he COULD have used if he had actually gone all out and made FULL use of the resource that TW *contractually agreed* to provide to him.

4.3%. And you think that's excessive, just because TW oversold their capacity dozens if not hundreds of times and because they couldn't figure out that if they advertised "unlimited" Internet access, people woudl expect to get, duh, *unlimited* Internet access?

Where do you live - Bizarro World?

Re:She was right (4, Interesting)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712841)

I've actually bought last night the Orange Box from Valve, because they have a promotion this weekend: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/469/ [steampowered.com]

So far, I've installed Half-Life 2: Lost Coast and Team Fortress 2 and these two games downloaded from Steam servers 8024 MB, because some resources are shared between these games in the package.

The estimated bandwidth usage required for the rest is:
  860 MB Half-Life 2
2160 MB Half-Life 2: Episode One
6132 MB Half-Life 2: Episode Two
2606 MB Portal

So we're looking at 19GB that I could burn through in a single day with my 20mbps connection.

Keeping in mind that most games are 6-8GB nowadays and some come up at promotional prices like 5-10$ from time to time, I don't believe using 25-50GB in abusing the internet connection you've paid for.

On the contrary, the ISP is abusing the poor people that don't require fast connections making money from plans those people don't use.

As I said in other discussions, I personally am opposed to usage caps but I'm not opposed to pay per bandwidth used provided the transition from unmetered to pay per traffic is done fairly for the consumer.

What I'm trying to say is that, if a consumer currently has a 10mbps plan and pays $50 for it, the customer expects that he should be able to use at least half of that anytime he wants during a month. It's not something unreasonable.

So if a company decided to switch to billing him for bandwidth, the plan should cost a small fee for the equipment and for certain speed steps, like $10-15, and then the payment per GB should not be much higher than the previous plan, because it's not fair to pay for less.

So: 8 mbps unmetered gives you around 2.8TB of traffic if used to the max all month, and you pay for this $50.
Let's assume a reasonable usage of this connection would be half of that, so we're looking at 1.4TB (1400 GB) for 50$.

This means an equivalent pay per traffic plan could be:

$10 - base subscription
$0 - capped at 5mbps
  +$5 - raise cap to 10mbps
  +$10 - raise cap to 20mbps
  [...]
  +$40 - raise cap to 50mbps
$0 - 10 GB of traffic included in the plan (more if cap raised higher than base 5mbps)
$0.03 - 1 GB of data transferred from Internet to computer (cheaper if cap raised higher than base 5mbps)
$0.05 - 1 GB of data transferred from computer to Internet

The $0.03 is determined from 50$ / 1400 GB. Upload bandwidth costs more because it often costs the companies more and I want to be fair with them.

With this plan, mom and dad will pay $10 bucks.
A very heavy user with a 10mbps connection using it to the max will pay 10$ + $5 for 10mbps cap + $99 (0.03 x 3300GB) = $120

In theory, ISP companies will compete and bring prices down but in US as long as there are monopolies I doubt it will happen even with a change like this.

Re:She was right (2, Insightful)

zwede (1478355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712863)

But the majority would not want their fees to go up because of that kind of usage.

I don't understand why you would think the fees would go up? The ISP's cost per GB towards the backbone provider goes DOWN each year as technology improves. Yet the cost the ISP charges the end user stays the same or increases. Why would we not expect some of the extra profit made by the ISP to be re-invested in their network? Or are you saying that running a large ISP gives you a license to never upgrade your service and charge ever higher fees?

Re:She was right (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712871)

Actually watch your bandwidth usage. You'll be surprised how easy it is to use 1GB.

If you visit image heavy websites (dark roasted blend for instance), youtube, play games, etc, it's very easy to use up 500MB in one day without really trying.

Then add completely normal downloads to that. 3 computers downloading the same 200MB of updates. A few game demos amounting to a few GB. I've even heard of a keyboard driver with a 100MB.

Since I booted this morning, my laptop and desktop together downloaded about 50MB, while doing nothing special: some web browsing, some slashdot reading, catching up with a couple web comics, and checking the mail. Extrapolating that usage, that would amount to 74GB over a year.

Not surprised (-1, Troll)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712551)

There's no way someone can use 44GB in a week on legal content. Not surprised they cut the account - 44GB a week is what I'd expect a business account to be using, not a domestic.

Re:Not surprised (2, Informative)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712591)

For an example, please reference this comment [slashdot.org] .

Re:Not surprised (2, Informative)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712721)

That was just over a 1/4 of the 44GB....got something better?

Re:Not surprised (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712819)

That was just over a 1/4 of the 44GB....got something better?

That was 1/4th for a single machine. Now imagine a family of 4, or a slight increase in quality...

Re:Not surprised (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712927)

Here you go, just posted it, 19GB of legal content in one shot:

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1211717&cid=27712841 [slashdot.org]

Having installed Steam just yesterday, I can go through 8 pages of game demos with 25 game demos on each page, each game demo varying in size from hundreds of MB to 2-3 GB.

It would not be unreasonable to try 4-6 games each day for a week, doing 6-10 GB of download each day.

They advertised my plan as unlimited so they should suck it up.

Re:Not surprised (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712597)

No way?!
Ever thought of a few distro ISO's?
Windows updates? Or RC's?
Some music streaming in the background between 8 and 18:00 to ease the silence. That is half a G per day!
44 is not much at all. And no, I am not in South Korea.

And yes North Korea sanctions are abusive. USA should shut up and solve their own issues. See a parallel here?

Re:Not surprised (0, Troll)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712735)

Yeah..I downloaded in the same week both versions of Win7 BETA 7000, Ubuntu 8.10 and did a couple of system builds. If you're streaming 10hrs a day of music 7 days a week at home, you need to go get a job.

Re:Not surprised (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712823)

If you're streaming 10hrs a day of music 7 days a week at home, you need to go get a job.

And what if I work from home, and like listening to the music while I work?

Re:Not surprised (2, Informative)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712599)

Actually, yes it is. If you subscribe to online streaming media such as Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, at 1GB/hr for high-quality, yes, it is not only doable, it is easily doable.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712651)

Except for like, Adult Swim, Hulu, and Netflix online shows? Me and the wife regularly use them all.

Fewer commercials, watch what we want. Its great. Comcast has yet to complain to us.

Re:Not surprised (1)

dr_wheel (671305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712751)

No way, huh? This is sarcasm, right? I can easily use that amount of bandwidth per month legally.

Example of usage:
I stream internet radio pretty heavily.
-streaming internet radio @ 128Kbps x 6 hours/day = 345MB/day = 10GB/month

Hulu hd content is between 480Kbps and 1000Kbps.
Figuring for an avg. of 700Kbps:
-hulu hd @ 700Kbps x 4 hours/day (figuring for my usage and my wife's... VERY generous estimate) = 6.3GB per 5 days/week = 25GB/4 weeks (month)

I'm already at 35GB/month. And that doesn't even include our VoIP usage (skype and ventrilo), downloading of OS/software patches or downloading/seeding linux distros, or anything else I might want to legally do every month.

Ridiculous.

Re:Not surprised (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712771)

Sorry... 10 DVD distributions of Linux.

And, yes, I DO that on an off and on basis, plus do streaming video, audio, etc.

Of course, I spend $170 a month on a business level connection with baseline SLA's, etc.

It's not unforseeable that someone COULD do it with legal content.

I don't understand this... (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712565)

Why is it so difficult for people to comprehend that if you use more, you're going to have to pay more?

And why is it so hard for TWC and others to advertise what they actually offer instead of what they know they can't deliver? The word "unlimited" means "no caps" or "without limit". You don't get to redefine it by slapping on some fine print.

Re:I don't understand this... (0)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712635)

Why is it so difficult for people to comprehend that if you use more, you're going to have to pay more?

Because to "people", surfing Youtube is no different than surfing the rest of the internet, only with more exploding coke bottles.

The problem is (1)

kaiwai (765866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712699)

They have a cap system but they don't charge for extra data. In the case of my plan, I pay $80 per month for 20gb but if I go over it I start paying $3 per gig. So it isn't as though I lose my connection - I just have to pay more.

Btw, I remember years ago with unlimited internet on dial up and the net result was exchanges would get clogged and the phone number to dial up the ISP would be constantly engaged. It is the same situation now; as soon as you have unlimited people abuse it. For me, have a tiered system with a price for extra traffic.

Those who use bugger all will only pay for what they want, those who want large amounts pay for it, and those who want a free ride find out quickly they can't get a free ride.

Re:The problem is (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712789)

When I worked for Lucent as a network engineer, I ended up doing some work for Cricket Wireless down in Fort Lauderdale.

You see, Cricket was started by some wireless guys that looked at the numbers and said "Hey, the average length of a local telephone call is under 3 minutes. The median length is under 1 minute. At those network usage levels, we could start a company giving people UNLIMITED local calls for $20 a month and make a killing!" Right?

Wrong.

I was down there with a couple other engineers to assess how best to upgrade Crickets collapsing network. You see, people figured out that they could buy two of the phones and use them for things like BABY MONITORS! Just dial and drop one in the crib. Don't hang it up and wander around with the other, all over town if you want. It was cheaper, had better sound quality and less interference than normal baby monitors. They were seeing the average call length jump to over an hour, with some peaking at 8-10 hour calls!

Needless to say, this was NOT in their business model. They didn't take into account that the average usage was so low because people had to pay for it.

Just about every other utility -- electricity, gas, water, sewage, garbage -- you pay by volume used. The Internet isn't any different.

Re:I don't understand this... (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712761)

because there are places who use more while paying less? [nomadcom.net] Last year, I paid $60 a month for 6mbit (Thats what you get when you don't bundle tv, phone, mail, satellite, or anything and _just_ want internet). Currently $10/mbit is about 7.5 euros. And that's a list from back in 2007. I had *JUST* gotten the upgrade to 6, before that, it was 3mbit. ($20 per mbit).

Although the average user is not aware of this, so its an easy mistake to make...

I know I'm comparing caps to speed, but perhaps companies wouldn't worry about users until they approached tb/month ranges if they had a half modern infrastructure...

Re:I don't understand this... (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712957)

Time Warner knows that if they start advertising "Limited" service... they will lose subscriptions very fast.

44? (3, Interesting)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712569)

44 GB?
That is just 10 DVD's!
Not even two per day for a wholeweek!
Why is that abuse if he paid for bandwidth and the didn't tell him that there is a lower limit?

Re:44? (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712739)

44 GB really isn't much when you consider that most news articles now come with video, many people browse youtube for several hours a week, and facebook profiles have video all over them. Plus, with the rise in popularity of sites like hulu and netflix, bandwidth requirements are rising very quickly. Then throw in a couple hours of games a week. Adds up quickly. Especially if you have a roommate or two.

WTF ? (0, Troll)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712579)

44 Gigabytes in a week ???

If you want that level of service, you've got to pay for it. Anything else is taking the piss.

Re:WTF ? (5, Informative)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712715)

Read the article, they were paying for it. The customer in question had the premium "turbo" service.

Re:WTF ? (2, Insightful)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712749)

He did pay for it. He signed up for an account and everything! I am pretty sure 44 GB is less than unlimited, which is what he is paying for.

It reminds me of this hilarious self-car wash near my parents house. It has a HUGE sign that says "WAS AS LONG AS YOU WANT!" and then a tiny little disclaimer saying "up to 20 minutes". Well at least they are a step above Time Warner... they have the disclaimer that EXPLICITLY states what the limit is.

Re:WTF ? (1)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712763)

Was is wash of course... way too early in the morning on a saturday

Re:WTF ? (3, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712855)

As noed above: all you need is a family of 4 watching Hulu, and you'll blow through 44gigs in a week, easily.

This goes someplace, so bear with me.

For a few weeks I went on a DL kick where I decided to do all my vinyl into digital. I have 1104 vinyl LPs. About 1/3 I bought the CD for because I liked the convenience. I have bought hundreds of CDs as well - I now own about 1400 CDs.

I ripped all the CDs into a drive over the period of a few months, and the drive became part of a gigantic home jukebox of some 27,000 songs running off of iTunes on a MacBook.

So, that left me at around 840 records on vinyl. I could buy a USB turntable and spend hours digitising and labeling it, and I seriously considered that - there are some fairly decent digital turntables out there.

But then I thought: hold on... let's do the math. 840 records, each taking about 1.5 hours EACH to digitise, cut apart in Audacity, and then put the ID tags in as I export as MP3. So, now we're looking at around 1300 hours. So, if I do four records a week, that will take 6 hours a week and 4 years of my life...

Fuck. That. Shit.

So, I went link hunting and found some systems like chewbone.blogspot.com where I enter in the record I'm looking for and a series of links for DL come up. YAY!

So, each record at 192 is about 80 megs, or about 12 per gig with a result of about 70gigs of music. Over the period of a few weeks idling on vacation, I was able to do this.

And now, I'm done. So the ISP would have seen a massive splurge in activity. And I now have 32,183 songs on my drive, and a lot of it digitised version of vinyl that some kind soul had the patience to sample and upload to a file system.

I learned a lot about those file systems, too. I now officially hate rapidshare. They're good if ou pay them, but they suck monkey balls if you don't. Megaupload is often slower than rapidshare, but they don't insist on a 15 minute waiting period. The best is mediafire. Also, as a mac user using Stuffit Deluxe, all you people using .rar files can go fuck yourselves. Zip files work JUST FINE thank you, and they open easily in OSX. And to think zip files were "those funky windows things"...

So, anyway, had my ISP been itchy about bandwidth, I'd have been shut down for doing something that isn't (per my intent) "evil". I was just looking for digital copies of my incredible and incredibly obscure vinyl collection. And I was rather scrupulous about it, too. Example: DOME. They had 4 records, I only have the first one on vinyl. I only DL'd the first one. If I want the others, I can go find the vinyl or buy the CD.

NOw, I'm not making some case for flawless seamless integrity or consistency, but I am sugesting that in the greater scheme of things, ISP choking bandwidth will result in people abandoning ISPs....

RS

Re:WTF ? (2, Insightful)

skine (1524819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712935)

To make an analogy:

Imagine a that there's a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet that sells monthly admission. This of course means that anyone who signs up for the service can come in at any time they want and eat as much of anything that they want.

Most patrons only come in for one meal a day, though there are quite a few that come in for two or three squares a day.

Then one day, someone decides to take full advantage of the service, and spends every waking hour in the buffet eating. He's not necessarily gorging himself, but on top of his constant stream of small entrees, desserts and drinks, he tends to eat some of the most expensive and labor-intensive dishes that the business provides.

Then, without warning, the buffet decides to kick him out.

The problem isn't that he should be paying for every meal. He did sign up for a service that provided, quite literally, all you can eat. This would imply that what was provided was unlimited food, or (sorry, I'm a math student) he was limited to an infinite amount of food.

Despite this, he was kicked off for eating a finite measure of food.

Mediacom cap: 90GB/mo (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712583)

Or at least, that's what I got out of some guy in Florida after getting an AUP violation warning letter. Now I have a local ISP which out and out tells me I have a 30GB cap, but it's a local WiFi ISP so I'm not complaining, I'm ecstatic.

Re:Mediacom cap: 90GB/mo (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712745)

jeebus, when i worked for a wisp with a crappy backbone, we didnt cap. we used QoS to keep torrents at the bottom of the priority list, but that was it.

i was actually surprised that was all they did...but they considered bandwidth cheap, we had a couple of t1s here and there, but mostly we just used regular dsl lines.

Re:Mediacom cap: 90GB/mo (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712945)

Around here you can ONLY get your data from or through AT&T. Period, the end. They're the only ones who have fiber coming in here.

The saddest thing about this? (3, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712637)

All this cutting off, severe capping etc. has been common practice by UK ISPs in the UK for about 2 or 3 years now such that pretty much all of them do it.

If you're lucky you'll start paying about 50 times above cost for extra bandwidth per-GB on top of your "unlimited" subscription next.

The problem is, I think the internet rush has finished, that is, pretty much everyone that was ever going to be a potential internet customer is already one nowadays, so ISPs are struggling to figure out how to further increase profits. Pretty much all businesses wont ever be happy with a fixed profit margin, they'll always want to increase it and this is what's happening both here in the UK and now seemingly in the US - they're doing away with users who actually use what they're paying for, they're cutting the amount of bandwidth available to everyone else, and then charging more with a massive markup if you want more.

I'm not really sure how else ISPs can increase their profit margins though to be fair, content is the obvious one, ISPs in the UK like BT are going for Phorm, but that's most certainly not the answer. Content seems to have failed so far because it's generally meant working with the music and movie industry who are still clueless about the internet and hence impose unrealistic licensing and DRM restrictions on the content. I think ISPs would need to become content producers if they want to get anywhere, but I guess that requires thought, effort and investment and apparently they feel it's better to simply screw your users for more profit instead. Time Warner though should at least have less trouble moving into the content bundling business than most but again, it would require more effort than simply screwing the users.

I understand that bandwidth isn't an infinite resource and some heavy users are a problem in that respect, but I do think that excuse is severely over-used, I'm not convinced there is as much of a bandwidth shortage as ISPs would have us believe, it's just an easy and convenient way to justify fucking the user over for more money.

The saddest thing about reality? (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712743)

I'd read this [arstechnica.com] thread in it's entirety before going with the prevalent "Us vs Them".

Sad, really (-1, Offtopic)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712639)

Austin is about the only city I could tolerate in Texas.

Re:Sad, really (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712769)

I doubt the city could tolerate you though.

I'm fairly surprised at the early responses. (5, Insightful)

jmccarthy (228531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712645)

One would think being sold all you can eat service, then having it cut off for using it would be seen as universally crappy.

How is it different (0, Troll)

kaiwai (765866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712893)

How is it different to an all you can eat restaurant who states that the sitting is a maximum of 2 hours? Unlimited doesn't mean unrestrained, out of control and glutinous.

Linux torrents anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712661)

I've left the Ubuntu images up and I'm getting clobbered.

Porn much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712675)

Damn dude, how much porn can one man take?

Another arbitrary norm imposed to save a firm $'s (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712697)

In Stockholm, no one questions one's usage, even on genuinely unlimited Internet accounts, ie, unless you're accessing unlawful content.

There, unlimited means umlimited .

I think it's a matter of rights of individuals & profits of companies.

Let's all try to get past this, eg, by reducing data costs (so companies don't have much to "lose" when users use what they will, of downloaded Internet data).

All this capping and "unofficial capping" seems to be causing more problems that it solves.

If tiny Stockholm (or Sweden) can sell symmetric, 100 Mbps / 100 Mbps, unlimited Internet service for ~ $11 / month, then let's find out how the other ISPs around the world can do it, in future.

BTW We're aware of Aussies, who use over 150 GB / month, albeit at 1.5 Mpbs, each month.

Hey, it's not like they pump out CO2 at untenable rates... they just find enough to keep their modems running most hours of the days of each month...

Re:Another arbitrary norm imposed to save a firm $ (0, Troll)

sigzero (914876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712847)

What "right" do you have to be on the Internet? That isn't a right. You pay for a service. That is a privilege.

Re:Another arbitrary norm imposed to save a firm $ (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712921)

What s/he wrote was:

In Stockholm, no one questions one's usage, even on genuinely unlimited Internet accounts, ie, unless you're accessing unlawful content.

There, unlimited means umlimited .

I think it's a matter of rights of individuals & profits of companies.

Notice that the person is referring to unlimited accounts, and that "unlimited means unlimited" in the context of how much bandwidth one can consume having subscribed to such an account. The logical conclusion, then, is that right being referred to is the right to get what you were sold and paid for, without secret limitations.

Schmuck.

Re:Another arbitrary norm imposed to save a firm $ (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712917)

The main reason why the ISPs in Stockholm are able to do that is that they don't see those subscribers as a revenue stream to be strip-mined for ever higher profits.

Most of the cable and telco players are publicly traded entities which don't do dividends and rely on their market capitalization to "deliver shareholder value". That comes from an ever growing, absolutely unsustainable profit growth model. In order to do it, unsustainable as it is, they have to come up with ways to either shed costs or get new takers without expending money on infrastructure. This is just yet another way to do it.

More than most use in a year? (1)

IceDiver (321368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712713)

For now, perhaps.

As more people discover streaming video, and demand better picture quality and less jittering, the demand for bandwidth will skyrocket. One HD movie per week would be over 200GB per year, probably closer to double that.

Thats a D*MN low cap, and anticompetitive. (3, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712717)

Comcast may cap, but at >250GB. 250GB is not a problem.

50GB however, is grossly anticompetitive, because someone who's a heavy user of video-over-the-net instead of video-over-cable will hit that cap in easily.

Re:Thats a D*MN low cap, and anticompetitive. (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712785)

OOPS, 44GB a week.... THats another story...

Re:Thats a D*MN low cap, and anticompetitive. (3, Insightful)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712967)

250 GB is not a problem NOW.

In a year or so, when you'll be able to buy blu-rays online, you'll be able to download a 20-30GB movie or watch it while it's being downloaded.

If you'll plan to watch a movie each afternoon with your family, you'll go over the limit in 2 weeks.

Rollover caps? (1)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712733)

If ISPs are now penny pinching and capping people on the total amount of data they can transfer in a given time frame, it sounds a lot like a cell phone service? What's next rollover caps like rollover minutes? Or overage fees? Can one call their ISP to check on their total usage, just like a cell phone customer?

It's all very silly. If you buy a rate plan of X upload rate and Y download rate, then the amount of data you use should be unlimited 24x7 as long as the provider supplies the rate you are paying for. Now they want to add on top of that a monthly cap. Instead of a complete cut off they reduce the upload and download rate of the subscriber to a point that's reminiscent to a 56buad modem AND send the subscriber an email or automated call.

Gee, No Shit? (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712737)

Right now, the ISPs are charging the same price to heavy users and light users. Heavy users cost the ISP more than light users. Therefore, their profit motive is to maximize light users and minimize heavy users.

Tiering would align their profit motive with heavy users (due to volume discounts).

As long as heavy users keep demanding that light users subsidize their usage, by not charging differential pricing, the ISPs will continue to be profit motivated to cut off heavy users. They will continue to be on the side of content restriction. They will continue to be the enemy of we heavy users.

Choose your poison: Get the ISPs on our side by letting them profit from our heavy usage, or keep them in an antagonistic position towards us. I like getting free money from light users, but it's not a healthy market strategy. It puts me in an adversarial relationship with my ISP. I'd rather pay for what I use and have them treat me as their golden customer.

Support tiered pricing (and net neutrality - which 1's and 0's is none of their damned business). Get the ISPs back on our side (like they were in the 90's, when we geeks were their only customers). It'll cost more, but we'll be the golden-haired boys again. Stop demanding free stuff you cheap fuckers.

Re:Gee, No Shit? (1)

tomkost (944194) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712815)

Painfully accurate and honest point of view. Mod parent up!!

Re:Gee, No Shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712865)

Um, we "heavy users" don't demand anything except that the company is up front and honest with us about what we're getting for what we're paying. Selling me "unlimited" service which is actually subject to undocumented caps is not honest.

The first party to lie loses.

That would be Time Warner.

Re:Gee, No Shit? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712965)

Um, we "heavy users" don't demand anything except that the company is up front and honest with us about what we're getting for what we're paying. Selling me "unlimited" service which is actually subject to undocumented caps is not honest.

I wholeheartedly agree. That blatant false advertising should have been stamped out long ago. I've been railing against 'unlimited' for as long as they've been lying through their teeth in saying it.

Scared of competition (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712741)

Cable faces the predicament of being next in line behind print newspapers only for them the situation is even more awkward since they themselve provide the very service that they fear will lead to their demise. They push watching streaming video and music, faster download speeds and a "better" internet experience but dont really want you to use it. Its a rough spot they put themeselves into and the only way cable providers can fight the inevitable is to limit usage and hope the customer base is incapable of finding better alternatives.

What does -your contract- say? (2, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712765)

Of course, most contracts are written so that the big company preserves the right to do any damn thing they want at any point, but it still might be worthwhile looking at your contract, and then going to your state/county/city consumer affairs office and asking them to look at it. Cable companies are normally regulated utilities.

dave

Can't trust any ISP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712767)

I uploaded 27GB P2P in 2 weeks this month and then started having really spotty connection issues a day after I stopped. Is it more likely that Comcast is playing mind games, I overheated my hardware, or that there is no connection between the two events?

Capitalism sucks! Only profit policy sucks! (1, Redundant)

haruvatu (1005347) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712773)

We must free internet from state control, and also from big corporate control. Internet infrastructure should be in the control of comunity, not in control of profit and state.

breach of contract? (2, Insightful)

feepcreature (623518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712775)

If the terms and conditions ban that sort of usage, then the customer has little to complain about (other than the lack of notice).

If there is nothing in the terms and conditions about such usage, then the supplier is clearly in breach of contract. That might suggest the customer could sue (was there any financial loss, time and cost of equipment while investigating, etc)?

Or maybe, if this is a pattern of behaviour, or company policy not mentioned in T&C, the local trading standards authorities might take an interest? Or it could constitute some sort of fraud, or false advertising?

Is there such a thing as a private prosecution in your jurisdiction?

What is that cost? (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712777)

Assuming all the big equipment, cabling and infrastructure is paid for... what is the real cost to the provider for using that much bandwidth?

The Simplest Solution is not The Best Solution (1)

Gallomimia (1415613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712799)

Cutting this customer off is like cutting off an infected limb to save the entire organism. It's quick and simple, but more complicated solutions involving medication, research and development, and (Oh no!) Work could leave the patient with the use of that limb.

The better solution would be to implement a reverse speed booster. So many companies are promoting this new feature to their customers. It's simple. If you're downloading a file, the first minute or so works very quickly, then slows down to the speed at which your ISP quoted you when you bought their service. In this way your smaller files can come to you much faster, while users such as Ryan Howard are kept in check.

Go one step further then. Users who use reams of bandwidth consistently for their bit torrents or netflix or whatever-the-hell-hulu-is, can remain customers with their speeds capped.

Probably the best way to do this would be on a per-connection basis. If your 30 connections to some bit-torrent swarm are using most of your bandwidth, they can be throttled but the short-lived http connections to slashdot.org (who reads that anyway?) can run at full burst speed, expiring before the throttle timer kicks in. Meanwhile, your long-lived connections to a game site might use lower amounts of bandwidth and require no throttling. The results could be no inturrupted service for anyone, especially those light users who are tired of your kids slowing the neighborhood cable node to a crawl at 3:02pm with youtube.

The only problem is, the ISP would have to spend money to develop such a system, and probably purchase new and more hardware to implement it. Far easier to pay someone for 20 minutes to lecture you on bandwidth usage and then terminate your service.

44GBs!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712817)

This is nuts! I could easily blast through 44GB. I just bought the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV on steam the other day. That's 15GB right there. I also downloaded that windows 7 beta iso. That's another 4GB. I watched half a season of The Office in HD on Netflix. 4 or 5GB right there. And consider this, I'm not the only person that lives here. Everyone else in my family is using youtube and Hulu and downloading god knows what!

I've been picking up games on Steam whenever they're on sale for a few years now. I checked my folder and I've got about 200GB worth of games now! A lot of games take up 7 0r 8GB these days so this isn't really that crazy, and I got most of them on the cheap so I've gotten quite a few over the years. What if my hard drive fails? What if I lost my backup files? Should I wait 5 or 6 years to get them all back?

Am I being unreasonable here? I'm paying for internet, why can't I use it?

Report TWC to your public utilities commission (2, Interesting)

bmullan (1425023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712821)

Almost every cable company is regulated by state/local government commissions - usually a utility commission.

Unless your TWC contract specifically states you cannot use above X amount... as long as you pay your monthly bill they cannot shut off your service!

Report them. Let them lose their franchise with your city and see what they think then.

What do you expect? (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712831)

People complain because they offered a way to pay when you want to use extra bandwidth - and then complain when those that use the single price are cut off when they exceed the limits?

Come on, be reasonable. If you want a lot of bandwidth campaign for plans that let you pay for it.

A year? (1)

Zeikzeil (1099785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712849)

"According to her, that is more than most people use in a year," I'm thinking they're confusing 'year' with 'day' :)

excellent (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712851)

This almost makes me want to switch back to TWC, except that the quality of the line to my house is so crappy. TWC should, however, be explicit about disconnection rules in their ToS, and they should definitely inform customers when they're cut off.

If I was this guy's neighbor I'd be especially happy he got the axe.

what a relief (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712853)

and i thought i was hogging bandwidth when i recently run rsync on my favorite Linux distro mirror, i have my own private mirror on my harddrive including full sources & build scripts all weighing in at just a little over four gigs, pay a good chunk of change for a bundled service for broadband, cable TV, & landline telephone, so i am going to use some of the bandwidth i pay for...

Greedy idiot cable operators (1)

cervo (626632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712857)

Well if you can't afford that much usage than don't sell it. Let's say you get 1 Mb/Second transfer speeds. Then basically that is 60 Mb per minute or 3600 Mb per hour or 86400 Mb per day that you could download. Go to MB and you get 10800 MB per day, or 10.5 GB per day. Assuming the math is right, but the point is even with a 1 MB per second, in a few days you will reach their limit of 44 GB if you download all day. So the question is if bandwidth is so bad and they can't afford 4 days of downloading at 1 Mb/Sec, why would they be selling 3 Mb/Sec connections and more. It would seem that higher speed connections only encourage people to reach that limit even faster. Sure and if they start charging for each GB over the limit, I'm sure they will roll out 100 Mb/sec service with a ridiculously small limit. I wish congressman weren't such idiots to fall for their whining. It's pretty clear that the cable companies want to kill video over the internet (unless of course it is their own service, or people like you tube want to pay them for the extra bill). I think some of the quotes were only a few dollars per subscriber to upgrade their network. With their current inflated prices they get more than that, but rather than upgrade they take it as profits. If they were really cash strapped I wouldn't mind an extra 5 dollars per month to upgrade their network, but they won't upgrade they'll book it as profit or use it for something else. Basically the cable providers are fuckers with outdated business models trying to make a power grab and rip people off as much as possible. They also have a monopoly in a lot of areas. I suspect they wanted to be caught traffic throttling and saying the internet is going to collapse so that they could try to kill internet video publicly. Then they try to charge, and now they just cut people off. Soon they'll start rolling out their own unlimited video services that will not do bandwidth caps, just watch.

Bad Business (1)

lq_x_pl (822011) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712867)

After observing my father (and others, anecdotally) wrestle with Time Warner, it seems as though they are hellbent on putting themselves out of business.

My parents had a rather expensive package from Time Warner, the quality of service was inconsistent for their cable, internet, and phone service.
I had them look into DSL.
Shocked at the price difference for comparable service, my dad gave Time Warner a call.
The customer service rep offered to cancel my father's service, which my father gladly accepted. There was no effort to even keep him as a customer. I know CS reps have a script from which they operate, but you'd think that Time Warner would have one written out for "customer just realized they were getting dicked and would like a better deal," because I have witnessed many people abandoning Time Warner for crap like this.
My parents are now piss-pleased DSL customers.
I've got the lowest grade DSL, but for what I pay for service, I couldn't even get in the door with Time Warner.

"Most people use" TV channels at 800gB per hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27712879)

If cable providers want to measure/assess bandwidth usage, they need to include all of their content distribution, not just open Internet traffic. Most providers reserve >99% of their available bandwidth for TV channels and telephony, with only a fraction available for open use. That figure must be driven down, for providers that use public rights-of-way.

Viewed from this perspective, "most users" watching TV are consuming far more bandwidth than Internet users - an HDTV channel is about 18 megabits/second, or 800gB per hour.

(I know, they have a different upstream business model for these different types of content - the point is to pry them away from those legacies, not allow them to stifle competition)

And What's More, DRM (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712923)

Here's another argument in support of tiering:

Everyone's talking about Hulu being the problem, and mention is made in one of the comments of multiple heads in a single house watching Hulu or Netflix at the same time.

Here's a thought; cache locally. Distribute to your peers over wi-fi or portable storage (ie: your iPod). The same video should not be getting sent over the backbones twenty times to different apartments in my apartment complex.

Problem with that? DRM. Hate DRM'd media? Make the DRM consumers pay for their retarded use of bandwidth. Meanwhile the more enlightened among us can be locally caching and off-backbone distributing non-DRM content like The Wood Whisperer (just found that, awesome for the physical hacker in you).

Tiered pricing would totally screw the single-view-per-download business model, which only really makes sense for DRM'd media.

Aligning bandwidth consumption cost to the ISP with bandwidth consumption cost to the customer is efficient pricing. The ISPs will profit more from heavy users, putting them on the side of the heavy users. Content control business models will have a harder time competing with future-oriented distributed distribution models. And all it will cost is paying for your extra consumption.

It is the core essence of market efficiency - aligning the price to the customer with the cost to the provider. It's a good thing.

(and support net neutrality - which 1's and 0's is none of their damned business)

Fios never complains. Boo Hoo Time Warner. (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712929)

Get in the game Time Warner. If you cant provide "Broadband" service, dont disconnect a single user... disconnect them all and go out of business because you fail at being an ISP.

Today's bandwidth usage is more than yesterdays....

I remember when 300 baud modems couldnt deliver enough megs a day.... and now with youtubes, hulus, itunes, torrents, online software distribution, videogames, voip, web browsing, FLASH etc... Broadband requirements are going to increase every damn minute.

If you cant provide it... We'll find other businesses who will.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>