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High-Bandwidth Users Are Just Early Adopters

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the leader-of-the-pack dept.

The Internet 162

silverpig writes "Cisco has released a whitepaper on mobile data usage which has some interesting data in it. The top 1% of users consume 20% of the bandwidth, but that share is down from 30% previously. 'Regular' users are catching up as they watch more video. High-bandwidth users of today will be relatively average users by 2015, so network operators should look to those users for insight in designing their future networks."

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162 comments

First adopter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361408)

huzzah

Re:First adopter (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362450)

huzzah is right! That means I get paid if they want my advice since I'm an early adopter. What? You're saying I don't get paid? Pshhh, in the future, everyone gets paid. I know this because I'm an early adopter. -hired!-

But.. But... (5, Informative)

francium goes boom (1969836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361430)

That means I actually have to spend money on my network!

Re:But.. But... (3, Insightful)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361560)

That means I actually have to spend money on my network!

The fact that this is a white paper by a company selling network equipment didn't set off anybody's conflict of interest meter?

Re:But.. But... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361596)

You're right. Let's ignore it.

Re:But.. But... (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361642)

You're right. Let's ignore it.

Yep, it's just a fad, don't worry, it'll go away like any other problem if you just ignore it long enough.

Re:But.. But... (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362452)

That was the approach AT&T seemed to be following for a while =)

Re:But.. But... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362556)

That's the approach pretty much everyone followed until they either couldn't ignore it anymore or fold.

Or try to sue it out of existence.

Re:But.. But... (4, Insightful)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361654)

Just because there's a conflict of interest doesn't mean the data is a lie. This should be as obvious as the correlation/causation idiom.

Re:But.. But... (2, Informative)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361754)

No, but it means that there should be some verification of the results. For example, take every study ever conducted by the RIAA about file sharing. Those studies have been shown repeatedly to be bullshit.

Of course, everything we've heard seems to support this study about bandwidth, which probably means that it's valid.

Re:But.. But... (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361902)

I didn't know the RIAA has put out studies on file sharing!
...
I thought they only did studies on PIRACY PIRACY PIRACY, YARRRR!

Re:But.. But... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361952)

Usually its commissioned reports from "independent" third parties...

Re:But.. But... (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361656)

There's a difference between "conflict of interest" and "we know what we're talking about," although the two do sometimes overlap.

Re:But.. But... (4, Insightful)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361686)

On the other hand, look at the infrastructure difference between the US and other countries. Sure, we have rural areas, but in urban areas we aren't getting the level of service that happens in Japan or Korea or even (I think?) some European countries. This is after having "loaned" telecom companies massive amounts of money to build infrastructure, and they (mostly) did not.

When you consider that everyone and their mom is now using Youtube, and wanting to do video phone calls, Skype, streaming Netflix, etc, it's hard to argue with Cisco's conclusions (at least, as the summary stated them ;)). In five or ten years, demand for streaming video will likely be even higher, and that's just the most obvious one.

Re:But.. But... (1, Informative)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361806)

>>>In urban areas we aren't getting the level of service that happens in Japan or Korea or even (I think?) some European countries

Yet another myth. Okay yes Korea/Japan have great speeds, but they also live in sardine apartments where they can install short-run VHDSL which gets 50 Mbit/s at 1/2 mile from the central server. --- Urban americans simple do not live that tightly, so the same technology does not work for us. Our DSL extends over miles and therefore operates slower. So even if we tried the Japanese solution (upgrade to VHDSL) it would not work.

As for Europe, it's no better than we are. If you compare the US federation with other continent-spanning federations you see this:
Mbit/s
1: 12.3 Russian Federation
2: 10.3 US
3: 10.0 EU
4: 9.3 Canada
5: 8.0 Australia
6: 4.8 Brazil
7: 3.8 China
8: 3.4 Mexico

Re:But.. But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361938)

how many accounts do you need?

Re:But.. But... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362138)

So what you are saying is that they really need to drop copper for the last mile and run fiber to the home to solve all those problems anyways.

Re:But.. But... (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362214)

Which is more expensive. The Japanese simply used the copper wires that already ran into everyone's home (i.e. the phonelines), so it was cheap and easy for them. It won't be that easy for the americans.

Re:But.. But... (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362510)

Which is more expensive. The Japanese simply used the copper wires that already ran into everyone's home (i.e. the phonelines), so it was cheap and easy for them. It won't be that easy for the americans.

Erm, isn't that exactly what DSL is?

With some of the newer micro head-ends, DSL can be run out of that green box at the end of the street, instead of 4 miles down the road at the nearest sub-office. You only need fiber to the neighborhood patch panel.

Re:But.. But... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362580)

Yup. But DSL doesn't run so well on ancient, cracked, barely-able-to-handle-voice cables that don't get changed because, well, they can-barely-handle-voice, so why bother replacing them?

Re:But.. But... (2)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362290)

This has always been an argument that is badly contended, the data people (Americans) use for these comparisons is definitely flawed just to keep their nationalistic pride. The reason you get those numbers is 1) you are taking Western Europe and Eastern Europe together - the latter has only in the last couple of years been able to afford to pick up the pace. The Russian Federation and China have the same issue - you're adding both poor and rich together while the US is in general considered, very rich throughout.

This chart is more detailed: http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/Images/commentarynews/broadbandspeedchart.jpg [worldpoliticsreview.com] and while the density of those countries has something to do with it (Japan and some European countries) other European countries are far less dense than the US. The difference (through history) is who invested in the infrastructure.

You also have to consider the cost. Look here: http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2010/01/us-broadband-still-lagging-in-speed-and-penetration.ars [arstechnica.com] our average speed is 3.9Mbps and costs $40.

Re:But.. But... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362724)

The urban poverty rate in the US is over 20% so no for purposes of achieving high rates of dense very high speed internet we are far from rich.

Re:But.. But... (4, Interesting)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362320)

I live in Sweden. Medium sized city, pop. 70,000, population density 2,261/km2 (about 80% of the population density of Urban New York City). The apartment complex I live in was built in the '60s.

As a private person, I pay roughly $30 (USD) a month for municipal broadband. And what do I get?
* 10 IP addresses.
* 100 Mbps connection, and that is up and down. Network jack in the wall that's hooked up to a switch somewhere in the building that's got a fiber connection.
* No data transfer cap, no surcharges based on traffic, no closed ports or clauses in the terms of service that say I can't host servers or bullshit like that.

This is not the perk of living in some a luxury apartment, but something that's fairly common.

Re:But.. But... (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362566)

Key word here is "municipal".

What part of your taxes goes to support that?

Re:But.. But... (0)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362640)

I suppose you also demand that your roads are profitable. This is the sort of thinking that's what is wrong with america.

Re:But.. But... (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362744)

I demand no such thing, but neither do I accept the fact that out of pocket costs can be reported without
some reference to tax supported infrastructure.

But hey, thanks for the gratuitous swipe at my country.

Re:But.. But... (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362736)

Key word here is "municipal".

What part of your taxes goes to support that?

Not particularly much at all. Some percent of the city's apartment buildings are owned by the municipality. The part of the rent that doesn't go to maintaining said buildings goes towards building infrastructure.

Re:But.. But... (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362568)

You've got it right.

This is a terrible argument that relies on poor treatment of average figures.

If this really were the case, everybody in the urban stretches of New York or Chicago would have awesome internet access since they have the population density and wealth to support such a thing (most small businesses don't even have that kind of net access). The real issue is clearly with the regulations and/or the ISPs...

Sure, I will accept that the average should be lower than a country with a small, dense population, but I will not accept that the average of the center of a major city should be worse than the average of other entire countries.

Re:But.. But... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362530)

As for Europe, it's no better than we are. If you compare the US federation with other continent-spanning federations you see this:
Mbit/s
1: 12.3 Russian Federation
2: 10.3 US
3: 10.0 EU
4: 9.3 Canada
5: 8.0 Australia
6: 4.8 Brazil
7: 3.8 China
8: 3.4 Mexico

What are these numbers you are quoting and what is there source.

Re:But.. But... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362572)

Hmm? I don't really know of any point in my country (that is remotely civilized, read, has more than 3 houses, a church and a bar standing next to each other) that can't get at the very least 4mbit/sec.

Re:But.. But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362682)

Well there's your problem. Too many of the so called 'middle class' think they deserve to live on privately owned land, outside of urban centers, and own multiple cars, tv's, computers, etc. It's obvious that this whole 'middle class' is just the result of a misallocation of funds due to criminal redistribution by taxes on corporations and successful folks ($2M+ a year in income). Once these middle class weenies are put back in their place and go back to living with several generation in one apartment and maybe sharing one car, then this country can start moving back towards a righteous and moral land for those who were meant to be in charge.

Re:But.. But... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362278)

Actually here we get more www traffic from facebook and other web2.0 than anything streaming these days. That is when llnw isn't saturating the net with m$ and game system updates. Streaming users use a fixed stream of bandwidth as they sit transfixed. Bored users hitting reload rack up huge bandwidth budgets. Were web2.0 to make their HTML leaner, we'd save some serious dollars.

Re:But.. But... (1)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361932)

The fact that this is a white paper by a company selling network equipment didn't set off anybody's conflict of interest meter?

I have no such meter. I work for the U.S. Congress.

Re:But.. But... (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361940)

The fact that this is a white paper

What the hell are "white papers" anyway?

It seems they are merely brochures with the distinction of being way too long.

Re:But.. But... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362462)

The fact that this is a white paper by a company selling network equipment didn't set off anybody's conflict of interest meter?

I'm not seeing how that ties into anything.

They sell their switches and routers mostly to corporate data centers, carriers, and ISPs. When the publish figures about MOBILE users, they aren't telling us anything we don't already know. They aren't' telling us anything the cell carriers haven't already told us.

Since they do very little DIRECTLY with Mobile devices themselves, all they are tell you is that the big boys are buying stuff to beef up their networks.
All the carriers are augmenting their back haul capabilities to every cell cite in preparation for LTE.

Cisco sees some portion of that.

I can't see why you are suggesting they are feathering their own nest with this report, since no rational person is suggesting a retrenchment in
mobile deployment any time soon.

Re:But.. But... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362628)

For the truth, check out the white papers put out by Waste Management and Alcoa on network usage.

Re:But.. But... (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362208)

Cisco just so happens to sell the equipment you'll need to upgrade your network. What a coincidence!

Re:But.. But... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362614)

Cisco just so happens to sell the equipment you'll need to upgrade your network. What a coincidence!

And by making that snide remark you throw yourself firmly in the camp suggesting we don't need to upgrade our mobile networks?

Here's your sign [zazzle.com] .

Re:But.. But... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362488)

No, no, no. Just label them as thieves and ask the government for more welfare.

Wait a second.... (3, Insightful)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361438)

I thought those heavy users were all supposed to be pirates?....now they say they are early adopters, does this mean we're all going to turn into pirates? Best get out my peg leg and shine it up....

Re:Wait a second.... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361628)

Hmm, no piracy here. Enough Netflix, Hulu and ps3 demo downloads(Most are over a GB) and you too can be a heavy user

Re:Wait a second.... (2)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362130)

Yup, and playing decent online games, many people who play MMOs of different flavors face GB+ patches once a year, voice comms which is a pretty constant data stream, and the data for the game, which can be quite large.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361728)

Unfortunately, people like the AC that posted in a thread below [slashdot.org] kind of suggest otherwise.

I am like h4rr4r. I watch a ton of Netflix, Hulu and download large, legal files (lately, development related ISOs). I'm sure that I am a high bandwidth user, but I am definitely in the minority on Slashdot, and-the-like, because I am not pirating anything.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

johncalvinyoung (1864782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361850)

Same here. Massive bandwidth user, because I stream music (subscription), watch Netflix streaming, buy most of my media online, and download massive amounts of open-source software, such as Linux ISOs. Oh, and incessant browsing and casual videochat with family and friends abroad. All legal. All heavy on data usage.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362376)

I am happy that my intense pirating of 7gigabytes of material from the 1950's (which should really be out of copyright now anyway but in any case doesn't risk fierce enforcement in any case) will now disappear as noise amid the enormous amount of legal data I get in openoffice updates and netflix.

Re:Wait a second.... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361790)

I thought those heavy users were all supposed to be pirates?....now they say they are early adopters, does this mean we're all going to turn into pirates? Best get out my peg leg and shine it up....

I means, in the future, we're all going to get throttled.

Wireless speeds are going up and the bandwidth caps on "unlimited" plans aren't.
That should tell you all you need to know about wireless telecom's plans for the future.

Re:Wait a second.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361824)

I think so. Originally only early adopters pirated music, not pretty much everybody does it. Now things are moving on to pirating movies.

Don't tell that to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361442)

The CRTC..

Re:Don't tell that to... (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361998)

Well, shouldn't early adopter pay more then ? Early adopter of cutting edge CPU and motherboards and of any technology for that matter usually pay more than after the technology has become mainstream.

I have unlimited bandwidth and I would like it to stay that way but seriously, when you think about it, are upgraded networks going to be given by Cisco to anybody who asks ? Usually, the consumer ends up paying one way or another. You have the choice to let casual users finance heavy users or to charge per use, just like at the gas pump.

Another alternative is to cap bandwidth or charge more for bandwidth only at given times. This model is similar to cell phone plans where you get free minutes at off-peak times.

Re:Don't tell that to... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362688)

I get free minutes all the time. Just a flat monthly rate. As for early adopters being subsidised by casual users, I think you have it backwards. It is the early adopters that are doing the subsidizing. Most of the subsidizing was done early on when the casual users didn't even have a connection. The early adopters paid to get the whole system up and running. Now, early adopters are the ones that are paying for the higher bandwidth connections. Every ISP I know of has multiple tiers of service. I pay more because I want to go faster. Others pay even more than I do. Guess what? When you decide to stream Netflix and Hulu, you will be able to do it because the early adopters paid to get the system up to a level that you can do it.

The complain of heavy usage is not new. I had the same argument with my father years ago when he complained that people viewing pictures on web sites were bandwidth hogs. I don't know a single user that would not fit the 'bandwidth hog' definition of 10 years ago.

This is a real shocker. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361460)

An IT infrastructure company came out with a report stating that operators should beef up their infrastructure.

Re:This is a real shocker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361996)

The bias is certainly there but the suggestion is never said enough -- the carriers always try to spin logic in a way that avoids them upgrading any hardware.

Re:This is a real shocker. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362666)

Some wise guy makes a cheap shot, and all of smartphone and tablet users suffering ridiculous bandwidth caps and exorbitant prices are just supposed to nod our head in agreement?

You sir, are an idiot.

I guess it's good that Cisco says it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361464)

When I say it, nobody listens. Of course Cisco isn't exactly impartial, so who needs to say it to effect some actual change?

Future Networks (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361486)

I think the network operators and ISP's solution to those high bandwidth users is to cap bandwidth, shape traffic, enforce download/upload caps - pretty much anything short of actually spending money on designing a future network.

IPv4 (4, Insightful)

Piata (927858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361600)

You're talking about the same companies that knew IPv4 addresses were rapidly depleting for years and are just now taking steps to implement IPv6. Their main concern is minimizing expenses while maximizing profit. The less your average user uses, the more users they can squeeze onto the same pipe. I'm pretty sure most ISPs would love it if everyone bought an $80 data plan and only used it to check their email. There's no room for long term planning when you have shareholders that expect constant short term growth.

Re:IPv4 (5, Insightful)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361724)

>>>Their main concern is minimizing expenses while maximizing profit.

It is a logical choice.
- The longer you wait, the cheaper upgrading becomes. Upgrade to a 3000 megahertz single core P4 five years ago and spend $1500. Make the same upgrade today and spend $150. The same decreasing cost applies to upgrades in Servers and DSL or cable or fiber lines.

Re:IPv4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362810)

This is only true to a point. Most technologies start high and decrease in cost to a leveling off point until they become obsolete and nobody wants them anymore anyways.

With respect to plant, fiber has gotten cheaper over the years but it can only become so cheap because a major part of laying fiber is in the labor, design, and permits.

Re:IPv4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362814)

Except, you have to pay through the nose to hire extra employees to quickly roll out the new equipment, you need to expand your customer service department to handle "why is my internet so slow when I have the "unlimited" plan?!" and you have to pay market prices because you don't have the time to bargain the prices down.

Upgrading your PC is not the same as upgrading a thousand-mile infrastructure.

Re:IPv4 (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362896)

Mind you - Cisco also falls in this same boat. There was a slashdot article not too long ago about how a lot of their gear still being produced doesn't natively support ipv6. Bonkers I tell you.

Re:Future Networks (1)

bsquizzato (413710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361644)

Annnd ... ta-da! Cisco provides the equipment/software that enables that traffic shaping.

Re:Future Networks (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361768)

Annnd ... ta-da! Cisco provides the equipment/software that enables that traffic shaping.

They also offer the equipment to push throughput up to 322 terabits/s [cisco.com] .

Re:Future Networks (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362398)

No, Cisco is way, wayyyyy behind in the (very crowded) traffic shaping market. Cisco's traffic shaping offerings are more tuned towards shaping corporate intranet traffic to fit through VPN tunnels than it is towards commodity ISP. Commodity shaping is mostly the domain of smaller specialist companies -- Procera, Packeteer, Arbor, etc.

Re:Future Networks (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362702)

Annnd ... ta-da! Cisco provides the equipment/software that enables that traffic shaping.

And Ta-DA, another idiot seems to think no network improvement is needed, and points out the obvious.

Enjoy your data caps and crazy cell phone bills competing for bandwidth on that 1990's era cellular network.
At all costs, lets make sure Cisco can't make any money. We will all just limp along with what we have.

Re:Future Networks (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361666)

Do they really have a choice? Remember this article is about WIRELESS internet, and the wireless spectrum simply doesn't have enough room to handle everyone streaming 5 gigabytes of data every month.

Trivia:

Wireless television streams ~19 Mbit/s == ~6000 gigabytes per month, per station. Wireless FM streams ~70 GB/month per station. Wireless AM == 13 GB/month per station.

Re:Future Networks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361830)

Actually, 5GB/month is probably doable -- it's people like me moving >70GB/month they have to watch out for. (I'm in a small city where the users are apparently casual and/or low-density enough that T-mobile can apparently afford to let me... for now.)

Re:Future Networks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361854)

With wireless you can get more throughput by making more access points. Suppose you can only get 100Mb/s through the air total. If you make your towers such that each covers 100 users, that's 1Mb/s each. However, if you build more APs to cover smaller areas, you can increase that up to a maximum of 100Mb/s per user.

Re:Future Networks (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361978)

Not disbelieving, but is there a citation for those numbers? Just find it hard to believe that my iPod can store an entire month of FM broadcasting.

Re:Future Networks (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362444)

HD-FM == 220 kbit/s (approximately - it varies depending how the engineer adjusts the setting). So multiply by 3600 seconds, 24 hours, and 30 days to get ~70 gigabytes per station.

HD-AM is 40 or 60 kbit/s (again: varies station to station).
HD-TV is ~19,000 kbit/s per 6 MHz station.
HD-cable is ~38,000 kbit/s per 6 MHz

Re:Future Networks (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362650)

Much obliged. (Now just need to figure out how to get an iPod to record continuously for a month).

Re:Future Networks (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362720)

No citation needed. Just do a little math. 70GB/30 days=230kbps average, which is a fairly reasonable bitrate.

Re:Future Networks (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362090)

I don't really think it's about them being too cheap to increase their infrastructure. I imagine they will do that too.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I honestly believe that it has more to do with them wanting to effectively put meters on content delivery in order to milk more money out of it. They want to get this in place during the early adopter phase so that it will be perceived as standard practice when it truly becomes mainstream. Sure, the internet is mainstream enough that even your grandmother is watching cute cat videos on YouTube, but it's not at the point where it's replacing TV's for the mainstream.

Someone high up probably thought, "if only we had thought to put meters on cable television so that we could charge people based on how many hours of television they watched!"

Customers and Profitibility Required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362548)

I think the network operators and ISP's solution to those high bandwidth users is to cap bandwidth, shape traffic, enforce download/upload caps - pretty much anything short of actually spending money on designing a future network.

That's because if the ISP did spend what would be required to design and build out the last mile to NOT have to do any shaping or traffic cap enforcing, they'd have to charge so much for accounts, that all customers would flee to the competitor that does shape/cap but charges less.

It's hard to be profitable with no customers.

Does this translate to land-based broadband? (2)

Thruen (753567) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361496)

I'm wondering if this means the same is true for all broadband. Obviously there will always be heavier users, and I think everyone here knows they need to worry more about upgrading infrastructure and less about how to limit users to make it work as it is, but could they realistically NEED to increase their capacity within the next few years to avoid having their pipes always clogged by what's become regular usage?

Re:Does this translate to land-based broadband? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361780)

Ever try to watch a video or do a download during peak hours? I live in a semi-rural area ( enough that we were last mile up until about 4 years ago ), and with a single realistic ISP ( cable or dialup in my neighborhood ) that's used by most of the town and it's been getting progressively slower during peak hours because more people are using it.

The issue is: what happens when the current grid just can't handle the demand anymore? What do the providers do then? They certainly haven't been laying fibre out in my area, that's for sure. Smart money says that we see study after study showing how connections are progressively oversold instead of upgraded to meet consumer needs until the bubble bursts and then the providers go crying to the government about how mean old pirates are using up all the internets and we should have an internet speed limit to protect the industry from all these monsters out to steal from honest companies, all the while avoiding having to put any real money into the infrastructure.

Re:Does this translate to land-based broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362054)

No; they'll cry to the government for new infrastructure money, and then give away all that money as CEO bonuses.

Extra extra! (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361506)

Network hardware vendor releases report encouraging more spending in network hardware!

Re:Extra extra! (2)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361634)

That's true, but do their conclusions sound wrong to you? Of course more people are learning to use the net to watch movies and download music (legally and illegally), that's normal, isn't it? Eventually, the majority of people will be doing that, I think, unless limits are imposed on the market (e.g. some anti-competitive, fucked up notion of 'net neutrality', metered billing or what have you, that ISPs lobbied for to limit the need for infrastructure investment).

Re:Extra extra! (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361878)

Oh their conclusions sound right, it's just disappointing that the only voice of connom sense in the industry is speaking out of commercial interest. They'd be saying the same thing if the internet were a veritable ghost town. If a telco would man up and say "we need more infrastructure", that would be worthy of applause. All I'm hearing from them right now, though, is "we need less customers", and I'd be happy to oblige if we had real alternatives in Australia. There's Telstra, who's coverage is nowhere near the public perception, Optus, who've drastically oversold their network, then there's Voda and the others, who've all got no coverage, and oversell their network. I want to see telcos, or maybe even the ACCC impose regional subscriber caps based on proof of the ISPs ability to keep their promises of speed and reliability.

The ISPs know this all too well (3, Informative)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361520)

In Canada, we are facing a fight over Usage-Based-Billing, and whether the federal government can effectively force it on ISPs. The idea isn't actually terrible per se, but the way they're trying to implement it certainly is.
One thing that has come up time and time again is that it's to protect the consumer from the excess of the 1% of extreme consumers. They're often implicitly labelled as pirates by the ISPs, but in fact are the vanguard.
An excellent article in the Globe and Mail [theglobeandmail.com] had this to say on the matter:

The knowledge that penalties await heavy Internet usage does something quite terrible: discourage desirable behaviour. Most of Bell’s arguments for treating consumers as wrongdoers rely on the villainization of “bandwidth hogs” who use up everyone else’s bandwidth and generally bring misery to the land. But there are better words for big users of the Internet: “pioneers” and “innovators.” A nation that spends its time worrying about bandwidth caps is not a nation that leads.

Ahead of the curve (5, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361538)

The cell phone companies are way ahead of the curve on this one. They've been working on ways to screw us over for years now... and the more you know about making the sausage (from sites like HoFo [howardforums.com] ), the more you know how bad you're getting it. Especially in the US.

Just a few days ago, I got a text message from T-Mobile saying, "Texas Recovery Fee now included on monthly bill." Oh for crying out loud. Does the grocery store charge me a "Municipal Services Recovery Fee" to get back the cost of their food service license? Even the tire store doesn't charge the "tire disposal fee" if I tell them to load 'em up in the back seat. I'd drop 'em in a minute if it weren't for two things: 1) Everyone else is just as bad or worse, and 2) T-Mo makes it easy and *cheaper* to stay *out* of a contract, which actually makes me *more* likely to stay.

Re:Ahead of the curve (3, Funny)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361646)

Some states (NY for example) make the tire stores charge the tire disposal fee even if you keep the old tires.

I make sure I get my money's worth by taking the used tires and leaving them at the side of the freeway.

Re:Ahead of the curve (2)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362140)

Well, there seems to be obvious logic behind this. If you are getting charged anyway, you won't be tempted to "keep the old tires" and then to dump them in the woods...

Re:Ahead of the curve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362280)

That reply would make a lot more sense if the GP hadn't describe the exact opposite behavior from the same stimulus.

Re:Ahead of the curve (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362092)

You obviously have not discovered MetroPCS, Cricket, or Boost

Funny Funny Stuff (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361690)

...so network operators should look to those users for insight in designing their future networks..

Network operators developing future netowrks? HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa.


Oh, wait, you were serious? Wow ... Good luck with that.

Terabytes don't last long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361696)

I have around 4TB on my main downloading PC, when I got 50 megabit broadband most of my torrents of all the tv and film I ever wanted to download took just a few days. Now my connection only gets light usage. I'd probably be happy with a capless 10 megabit over a capped gigabit connection.

Re:Terabytes don't last long (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362134)

+1.

I don't necessarily have an objection to a per-bit charge, under two conditions:

1. The charge is reasonable compared to the actual cost of sending that bit (none of this $2/GB crap).

2. I get the maximum available speed on the network at that time - you don't get to constrain me based on speed *and* volume. That's like saying you're going to charge me for my water based on usage and water pressure.

The Canadian numbers were a joke, though - the caps were so slow that if you actually got the advertised speeds, you'd hit the cap within days (or sometimes hours!) of the beginning of the month.

One heavy is diffrent from another heavy (-1, Troll)

ubuntufan (2007424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361794)


I once have read a story [goo.gl] about a man that used 150GB in one month on his cell phone.
The funny part which is why I writing that comment is that Teleco actually sued him for that usage, claiming that
he abused their networks. (And he did have an unlimited plan).

Re:One heavy is diffrent from another heavy (2)

Retardical_Sam (1002763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361964)

Warning - above goo.gl link is goatse.

Re:One heavy is diffrent from another heavy (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361974)

goatse link warning

FUD is much cheaper (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361802)

Just call them "bandwidth hogs," oversell your capacity, and blame your connectivity problems on the people using most of the flow they paid for.

So, the lesson is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361872)

"...so network operators should look to those users for insight in designing their future networks."

Umm... I bet I can come up this "insight" without looking to those users: Need more bandwidth!

Surely (1)

srodden (949473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361886)

today's early adopters will continue to be ahead of the curve, adopting tomorrows new tech as we do today?

Re:Surely (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362112)

Yeah that was pretty silly //High-bandwidth users of today will be relatively average users by 2015//

They are probably going to be using more than the average user in the future too.

slight correction (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35361892)

...so network operators should look to those users for insight in designing their future networks.

...so network operators should look to those users for insight in pricing their future networks.

Looked at another way (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362062)

The oft repeated rule of thumb is that 80% of a product is bought by 20% of the customers. Here, 80% of the product is bought by 99% of the customers.

The top 1% of users consume 20% of the bandwidth ...

And this is news... how? (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362110)

"The early adoptors of today are using what main steam users will be using in a couple of years!" OMG, Stop the presses, I have NEVER heard that before!

The first ~1% are Innovators, Not Early Adopters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362468)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_adoption_lifecycle

Say, aren't the top 1% known as the Innovators? The next 14-19% would be the early adopters, followed by the early majority 30-40%, the late majority 30-40%, and then the Laggards 5-20%. And the statement "high bandwidth users of today will be relatively average users by 2015." fails to anticipate any change in applications driving usage.

Winner: They wrote a paper for THAT? Award (1)

Sir Realist (1391555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362620)

Seriously. Cisco wrote a whitepaper saying, essentially, "bandwidth usage goes up"? Early adopters use more bandwidth early, and then everyone else catches up. Let me check; yep, translation: "usage goes up."

There are bacteria growing in my fridge that worked that out in seconds. What was that Cisco author doing with the rest of his time? (Oh right; downloading porn in HD 3D...)

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