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Why Australian Telco's Plan To Shape BitTorrent Traffic Won't Work

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the locking-doorknobs-on-revolving-doors dept.

Australia 84

New submitter oztechmuse writes "Australian Telco Telstra is planning to trial shaping some BitTorrent traffic during peak hours. Like all other telcos worldwide, they are facing increasing traffic with a long tail of users: 20% of users consume 80% of bandwidth. The problem is, telcos in Australia are already shaping BitTorrent traffic as a study by Measurement Lab has shown and traffic use continues to increase. Also, the 20% of broadband users consuming the most content will just find a different way of accessing the content and so overall traffic is unlikely to be reduced."

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84 comments

Business Lines (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795933)

Just do what everyone else does on any Australian ISP, get a business plan. Isn't that much more expensive and you don't have to deal with fucking Hellstra consumer customer 'service', not that business care is much better but it's a step up.

Re:Business Lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803975)

Last I checked there is no business plan for 120mbit ultimate cable.

And no, 100mbit ethernet or fibre services aren't "reasonably priced".

Pareto, I hate you. (3, Informative)

Lisias (447563) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795937)

I don't like this measure (it's what my provider does to me), but it works.

I have a limited amount of data each month to use at my full connection's bandwidth. When I overflow it, my bandwidth is throttled down.

This consumption can be monitored using my cable modem's MAC (or my phone's imei) , and the values are settled by contract.

Speaking frankly, It's a shit. Now and then I must restrain myself from downloading (now) that HD movie. But, hell, this works as a measure to prevent this situation.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796001)

If you don't like it, then build your own fucking network. I hate people that think they are entitled to full utilization of a network they don't own just because they pay a monthly fee.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796067)

If you don't like it, then build your own fucking network. I hate people that think they are entitled to full utilization of a network they don't own just because they pay a monthly fee.

Here let me fix that for you

I hate people that think they are entitled to full utilization of a network they don't own just because they pay a monthly fee based on advertising claiming they have unlimited access.

The standard /. car analogy is I bought a car based on the advertising assumption that I could drive it any time I want 24x365. I'd be pretty pissed if I found my garage empty one day and it turns out they've been renting it out to 3rd parties behind my back, after all most customers don't use their cars 24x365 and its industry standard in the crooked fine print to profit off renting customer's cars to 3rd parties, etc etc.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (3, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796175)

The car anology is. If I slow down all pick up trucks 24 hours a day, it will improve traffic jams between the hours when children finish school and people go to sleep and that other big burst, the first hour or so of work between say 8:30am to 10:00am. Of course what the fuck does slowing down pickup trucks say 10pm to 7:30am have to do with rush hour traffic apart from ensuring all those pickup trucks are still on the road during rush hour.

The reality is, it is all a lie, to enable overloaded oversold networks and of course via collusion with other major ISPs to ramp up profits. Also if at all possible to force through ISPs being the major content publishers (no throttling on their sales) getting a major percentage of all content sales.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796663)

The reality is that youre always going to be on an over-sold line unless you really feel like paying for a dedicated link. They make those, you know; the only thing is the price is substantially higher.

Im not generally one to stick up for ISPs, but it really does sound like you want to have your cake and eat it too.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42800319)

Over-sold isn't an issue. Once you get to large enough numbers, statistics and averages become absolute. Just make sure your have enough bandwidth at certain key points and you should be fine.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803381)

The other big lie, cost of service. The cheapest by far infrastructure service is fibre optic to the home. Cheaper than road and I mean really way, way cheaper than roads. Cheaper than sewerage services. Cheaper than stormwater services. Cheaper than electrical power delivery. Cheaper than natural gas delivery. Yet why do they always want to charge more, straight up psychopathic fucking greed and a complete and total disconnect from being good citizens and wanting to support society. Privatisation for all those services is crap and should be prevented and undone where it has occurred.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804419)

Yea, it just has the minor problem that you have to rip up every side-road to get fiber all the way to the house.

Yet why do they always want to charge more

Because people will pay it, and it would be business lunacy to take less money rather than more money. Would you sell your car for half as much to "be a good citizen and support society"? Noone does that, watch the hypocrisy.

Privatisation for all those services is crap and should be prevented and undone where it has occurred.

"Privatization" and "undo" implies that these were once public utilities. They werent.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

lwoggardner (825111) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805453)

Privatisation for all those services is crap and should be prevented and undone where it has occurred.

"Privatization" and "undo" implies that these were once public utilities. They werent.

They were in Australia - hence privatisation with an "s".

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797229)

The torrents will only be slowed during peak hours though. MWeb is my ISP herein South Africa and they do it but they make it clear that they do. I have no problem with it because the connection is quite cheap, and I just do my torrenting overnight.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

Mhtsos (586325) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814897)

You forgot the part where you also slow down ambulances, because they're shaped like trucks. And when ambulance drivers complain and you allow them all the truck drivers pick up on it and paint their trucks white and have people lying inside along with the goods so they'll get through. So now you need doctors to diagnose people in white trucks to see if they should get through. The road just costs too much for everyone now with all those doctors manning it and people are still dying in ambulances because the extra diagnosis takes a lot of time... ..but it's all for nothing because you have armored trucks that won't let you peek inside them. You either have to block all those and get sued by doctors if they're armored ambulances or allow them all to pass, or allow them all and pretty soon every truck in the city is armored because, hey, they don't cost anything. ...I might have gone too far with this car analogy.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796491)

A more appropriate analogy is to a car lease. These have mileage limits which are analogous to bandwidth limits.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796619)

that would work except when you lease a car you know you are leasing a car. When you buy a car you expect to be able to drive it how ever much you want. When you buy what is advertised as unlimited service you expect to be able to download 24/7/365. If they limit you the limits need to be advertised and explicitly advertising as unlimited server should mean unlimited.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796637)

Agreed that they probably shouldnt be advertising unlimited, but common sense has to intrude at some point. Most restaurants advertise unlimited refills, but I can assure you that not only would the restaurant prevent you from filling up a water cooler on "unlimited refills", but they would be backed up by basically any court in the country. Common sense would dictate that "unlimited" in that case is for "normal use".

The analogy breaks down because while most adult humans are going to have a pretty similar capacity for soda, internet usage varies wildly by customer. What is "normal" or "reasonable" for one person is not for another.

That people are suprised that the internet has finite capacity doesnt really change the fact that it does, in fact, have finite capacity.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796771)

That people are suprised that the internet has finite capacity doesnt really change the fact that it does, in fact, have finite capacity.

We can always build more, but 'artificial scarcity' is the name of the game here, also.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797941)

A better analogy would be advertising "unlimited refills" but you really only get unlimited refills on the 3rd tuesday of the month only at 2:15am and only if no one else wants unlimited refills at the same exact time, and by unlimited we really meant that we don't limit how much we advertise refills or how much you can ask your waitress for a refill, but we do in fact positively not guarantee you'll get any soft drinks in your cup at all, although we will of course bill you for the full amount. Also you're not allowed to take us to court because the contract binds you to arbitration with a mediator of our choice who happens to be a friend of ours and who only mediates in person 2000 miles away from your home only one day per year that being the first business day after easter, if you make an appointment 2 years in advance and agree to pay all our legal costs, no matter if you win (snicker, as if that'll happen) or lose. But yeah, aside from that, its unlimited, uh huh uh huh yeah.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804427)

You're way out in left field. Caps suck, but Ive never hit a cap, and on occasion I download 2-3 ISOs @ once (32bit, 64bit, etc), and I've gamed using several BT-based games (SC2, WoW, LoL).

Your "analogy" would lead one to believe that people are hitting caps and being denied service left and right. They arent. It sucks that "all you can eat internet" is out the window, but the percentage of people it actually affects is quite low, I would be astonished if it were more than a few percent.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

rdnetto (955205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815021)

the contract binds you to arbitration with a mediator of our choice

Such clauses may not be unenforceable under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010's unfair terms provisions.

(This is not legal advice, I am not a lawyer.)

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

Salvage (178446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797907)

The standard /. car analogy is I bought a car based on the advertising assumption that I could drive it any time I want 24x365. I'd be pretty pissed if I found my garage empty one day and it turns out they've been renting it out to 3rd parties behind my back, after all most customers don't use their cars 24x365 and its industry standard in the crooked fine print to profit off renting customer's cars to 3rd parties, etc etc.

Only 24x365? Well then, yeah, I'd kind of expect them to pull that renting out to 3rd parties on February 29.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42802243)

If you don't like it, then build your own fucking network. I hate people that think they are entitled to full utilization of a network they don't own just because they pay a monthly fee.

Here let me fix that for you

I hate people that think they are entitled to full utilization of a network they don't own just because they pay a monthly fee based on advertising claiming they have unlimited access.

The standard /. car analogy is I bought a car based on the advertising assumption that I could drive it any time I want 24x365. I'd be pretty pissed if I found my garage empty one day and it turns out they've been renting it out to 3rd parties behind my back, after all most customers don't use their cars 24x365 and its industry standard in the crooked fine print to profit off renting customer's cars to 3rd parties, etc etc.

The car analogy is apt: You bought a car you can drive any time you want 24x7x365 but you also bought a car that was *not* designed to actually be DRIVEN 24x7x365. Try driving it non-stop for a few days and see how well it holds up! You can probably count on spending 2 weeks of every month in the repair shop, if you are determined to keep the car in motion non-stop.

Not to mention the *literal* car analogy: the car lease. You paid a lease so you could "have" a car for 3 years' time. But the fine print (hopefully you read) actually states that if you drive your car more than about 1000 miles/month (32 miles a day, something not hard to do) you will be paying very steep penalties at the end of your use of that car. This is what broadband is doing, except instead of a dollar penalty there is a performance penalty.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803531)

If you don't like it, then build your own fucking network. I hate people that think they are entitled to full utilization of a network they don't own just because they pay a monthly fee.

Here let me fix that for you

I hate people that think they are entitled to full utilization of a network they don't own just because they pay a monthly fee based on advertising claiming they have unlimited access.

OK, first off, in Australia it's illegal to advertise a service as "unlimited" when it does in fact have limits. Telstra does not offer an uncapped broadband service to consumers. Telstra is a pretty shitty telco in general, almost as bad as the best US Telco. Fortunately thanks to forward thinking govt regulation Telstra does not have a monopoly.

Secondly, I highly doubt this will work. First off, a lot of people will complain to the ACCC, secondly a lot of people will jump ship to one of Telstra's competitors. This move will only increase the customer base of the likes of iinet.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803987)

Good! I'll be glad when the 24x7 torrenting hogs move away from Telstra's network. More bandwidth for me!

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805811)

Good! I'll be glad when the 24x7 torrenting hogs move away from Telstra's network. More bandwidth for me!

Enjoy your high prices and crappy service.

What, you think Telstra doesn't need to make up for the revenue lost from this?

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42854141)

Crappy service? Let's see, how many >100mbit residential grade services are available in Australia? Which can actually deliver that throughput?

About 3 - and Telstra wins by far. And no, NBN doesn't count.

Thanks for playing.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (2)

fuzzybunny (112938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796063)

There are issues with quotas.

Providers have been known to blatantly lie about your bandwidth usage.

It applies arbitrary limits even when non-downloaders need burst traffic on occasion.

It does not credit you for unused bandwidth.

It tends to cost users far in excess of what a provider's actual incremental costs are for adding capacity.

If you pay for bandwidth, you should be able to use it. If a provider advertises a certain amount of bandwidth, they should be capable of, barring exceptional circumstances out of their control (it's a given that you need to plan a bit of excess usage) delivering the contracted services, basta.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796721)

It does not credit you for unused bandwidth.

So you want a pay-per-GB system then? Because thats the net effect of paying $X for Y gb of traffic, and then getting refunded for unused gb of traffic.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796099)

The consumption based on total usage model is just wrong to apply to internet connection. Telco pay (or peer) via connection speeds and totally link utilization. This is a business decision to get more money out of their users by adding artificial scarcity.

Reference on Techdirt [techdirt.com]

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796759)

Paying $X per Y gbps means, practically, that you are paying $X for (Y * day * 30) GB of traffic. Divide that by your subscribers, and you have a cap per user.

There is, practically speaking, only a semantic difference between paying for X gbps and paying for X GB during a set period.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796157)

Most telcos will remove the throttle if you call up and complain. Its basically a speeding fine you can easily talk your way out of :)

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796161)

What your provider does to you is not traffic shaping. It's a maximum data per month with a slowdown after the maximum has been reached.

Shaping means that other traffics gets priority over the bittorrent traffic. So that your movie download will go slower, but other traffic like browsing, skype or watching youtube movies won't be affected.

Shaping during peak hours won't decrease the amount of data (and it shouldn't). That's not the goal of traffic shaping. It'll just decrease the amount of bittorrent bandwidth used during peak hours so there will be less congestion.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

Lisias (447563) | about a year and a half ago | (#42799395)

What your provider does to you is not traffic shaping. It's a maximum data per month with a slowdown after the maximum has been reached.

Yeah, I know.

However, I don't have to care about the hour of the day if I wanna see that youtube HD video. *I* decide when I want o promote my torrent bandwidth, or when I need it to other users.

That monthly quota sucks, I agree. But - at least to me - it sucks less than having to adapt my Internet consume to what the rest of the my provider's consumers are doing at the moment!

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796235)

I found a way to trick those systems, they only check the BW cap when the modem is connecting, not while the connection is ongoing.
Step 1 figure out the connection timeout. (in my case it's 36hours)
Step 2 force a reconnect 35h before the end of the month
Step 3 enjoy 35 hours unlimited & unthrottled BW (& pray you don't get a poweroutage or have to reset the modem)

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803751)

You must be with a shitty ISP. My modem's current connection is 37 Days and counting.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42800327)

I don't like this measure (it's what my provider does to me), but it works.

I have a limited amount of data each month to use at my full connection's bandwidth. When I overflow it, my bandwidth is throttled down.

This consumption can be monitored using my cable modem's MAC (or my phone's imei) , and the values are settled by contract.

Speaking frankly, It's a shit. Now and then I must restrain myself from downloading (now) that HD movie. But, hell, this works as a measure to prevent this situation.

No. This works as a measure to milk the fuck out of your wallet.
It is almost unheard of in Europe. We get unmetered cheap internet without scams like caps or throttling. I am paying $12 for 30/3 Mbits, I could jump to 120/12 for $60.
This is on private networks build by private ISPs. Australia builds national Fiber and then forces caps on users. True LOLland.

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (1)

Lisias (447563) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805055)

(About quotas)

Speaking frankly, It's a shit. Now and then I must restrain myself from downloading (now) that HD movie. But, hell, this works as a measure to prevent this situation.

No. This works as a measure to milk the fuck out of your wallet.
It is almost unheard of in Europe. [...]

Yes, this is a measure to milk money. As every single other measure in every single place of the world. In some of these places, you can choose who will milk less of your wallet. In some other, you have less options.

I am one of these unlucky guys.

So my choices are:

1) Be milked by a ISP that makes traffic shaping, and then get screwed up if by some unlucky event I need to watch a YouTube video HD video (as the Campus Party 2013 talk of Buz Aldrin) or to download some ISO image using bittorrent in a peak hour...

or

2) Be milked by a ISP that gives a pre-accorded quota to download anything I want, at any hour I wish, and throttles me down when I blow up that god damned quota.

Since leaving my country are, currently, out of the question, I choose to be milked using Option 2 - this way, I got screwed I bit less while milking my customers. :-)

Re:Pareto, I hate you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42801185)

I prefer my provider. Unlimited 100 Mb/sec for a flat $30 a month. You see? It doesn't have to be complicated.

I used to live in Australia. Telstra have always been overcharging crap merchants, It comes from them being a monopoly, they don't know how to play any other way. The sooner they fail, the better.

Dont need to reduce overall traffic (4, Interesting)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795947)

The problem the telcos have is not the total volume of traffic but to use a car analogy the "rush hour" effect. If by traffic shaping they can push the 20% to move some of their downloading outside the peak times, then it means they don't have to buy bandwidth that is going to sit unused 90% of the time.

If the 20% all did their downloading overnight it would not be a problem.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796029)

Then there would be another peak time. If 20% of users use 80% of available bandwidth, it only stands to reason that when the 20% are active _that_ is the peak time.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796127)

Doesn't work like that. Most of the heavy BW users are trading files. Lets say you have a peak at 8pm, there's 100 angry customers calling in because its slow. Lets say you have a peak at 2am instead, theoretically no one would even notice. I don't care if my file transfers complete at 1am, 3am, 10am... I'm not going to check on it until the next evening, so if the network is supersaturated from 2am to 3am I simply don't care as long as the transfer completes successfully at some point.

I would be really pissed if my ISP shaped torrents at 4am. Wouldn't really mind if they did so at 4pm. Long as I can download "stuff" faster than I can consume it, on long term average, I'm all good.

A good /. automotive analogy is you are correct that local regulations preventing delivery trucks from delivering during rush hour does absolutely nothing to save gasoline or road wear and tear. However it does cut down on critical time congestion, and as long as amazon prime 2nd day arrives in 2 days, no one really cares if the UPS truck pulls up at 8am during rush hour or 10am during quiet time.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (1)

grahamsz (150076) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798051)

The thing I don't understand is why they don't have a "free" period.

If an ISP didn't count traffic from 10pm - 8am against your quota, and perhaps even bumped up your upload cap for that period, then the heavy downloaders would run all that stuff at night.

I know I already have my online backup service and my podcast updates queued to run in the middle of the night because it seems like the courteous thing to do (and it impacts my own connection less) - why not provide a real incentive to do that?

Bandwidth (like electricity) doesn't have a fixed effective cost, it's much more expensive at peak hours.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804435)

Some ISPs do just this. We had a 50GB on peak 400GB off peak service for years where off peak was define as 1am to 8am.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42807371)

Some ISPs certainly do this sort of thing already.

Whether it's a good idea really depends on the ratio of different types of traffic. Packing all the traffic from "heavy downloaders" into a free period in the middle of the night could end up moving the peak to the free period and making the peak worse than it was before.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42799011)

if we have 100 people on a network all downloading at the same time the 20% would only use 20%. The problem is that it is advertised at say 100% speed which is shared by 1000 or so connections. As long as people don't use the service we are fine and ISP can claim what they have an UBER connection. When it slows down we can blame the 20% and charge more. Dam those 20% who use all the traffic..... could people please stop using the service they bought.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796051)

Bittorrent is designed as a slow backgroung grind, distributing things. That it works fast, kind of, sometimes, is due to mighty infrastructure investment. IF you really NEED that movie in half an hour that damned bad, go to Best Buy or a Red Box.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796131)

Define night! Problem is that people live in different time zones so night is a relative concept ;)

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (1, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796201)

Thankfully, we have these things called time zones which coincide with the rotation of the earth around the sun. Night *time* is fairly standard.

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796777)

Just buffer some of the packets for ~12 hours and send them out at non-peak times. Problem solved!

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42799451)

I'm tired of seeing this crap. The "20% of users consume 80% of bandwidth" doesn't mean a damn thing without more context.

If I download 4GB of data every night between 3AM and 4AM every night my local time then sure, I'm using a whole lot more traffic than other users, but I'm not fighting with then for bandwidth. I'm completely harmless to peak hour traffic.

Saying "on peak hours 20% of users consume 80% of bandwidth", then you're saying something that matters.

Which brings me to "peak hours", if the ISPs made it clear what times these were and asked people to curb their traffic to non-peak hours something might change. But because these are some kind of secret and no effort seems to be made and everyone seems surprised when nothing changes...it just makes me sigh and say WTF.

As far as I know BitTorrent clients have upload limits, but not time sensitive upload limits. It might be a nice feature to have a peak hours upload limit and a peak from-to. Or a 0 to 24 and a checkbox to flag it as peak.
I believe many do have a download scheduler, but I don't BitTorrent enough to know.

It annoys me when companies whine that you're using their server and their only solution is some ham-handed not clearly thought out and not understanding the technology mess. And it shows that business people are making technology decisions when they don't have enough knowledge to make an informed decision...which makes me think on Congress...

** sigh **

Re:Dont need to reduce overall traffic (1)

Danieljury3 (1809634) | about a year and a half ago | (#42802901)

uTorrent does have a scheduler that can choose from full speed, limited, seeding only and off based on time and day of the week.

The same quantity of data... (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795951)

All that slowing down peoples' lines will do is give them more time to find stuff to download before the old stuff is finished. In the end the same amount of data is going to go through the pipes, unless their line was completely saturated 100% of the time.

Re:The same quantity of data... (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797673)

The core driver of this is not actually reducing bandwidth usage, the ISPs for the most part don't actually care about that. The driver is the fact that ISPs are starting to provision VOIP services, both because it's profitable and in preparation for when the NBN rolls out and everyone's phones are VOIP. They don't really care if you download 50 GB of data or 10 GB so long as you've paid for it, they care whether the people paying them for VOIP calls are getting the service they are paying for. QoS(which is what this actually is) allows them to do that.

Re:The same quantity of data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42835291)

The only thing cheaper and more effective than QoS is adding more bandwidth.

Not acceptable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795977)

Unlike the US, Australian broadband plans are tightly capped with data limits, we are paying for a certain amount of GB per month. If the ISP want to restrict the capacity for a user to fully utilise that pre-paid allowance, they should at a bare minimum refund the unused balance at the end of each billing cycle. I will fight this in the consumer tribunal if they every throttle my traffic based upon which protocol I am using.

Re:Not acceptable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803673)

Here's a list of 200+ Uncapped Plans [whirlpool.net.au] , since you are either too lazy or too stupid to find them yourself.

Re:Not acceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804027)

Feel free to pay through the arse for bandwidth per GB, then. Sane people choose a reasonable limit because it is both significantly cheaper per GB, and at a fixed cost per month.

Pure Greed (1)

SETY (46845) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796009)

20% of people do 80% of the work. 20% of the people do 80% of the innovation.20% of the people use 80% of the bandwidth.......Seems to be how the world works.
Maybe charge 5 cents per gigabyte, ie somewhere within 10x of the (telcos) cost and get rid of the socialist business models. The greed never ends.

Re:Pure Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796245)

Just wait until the 99% hear about this.

Why would they think it would be otherwise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796365)

In any situation where not everyone is doing the same thing, there's always some sub-group that is getting more than their share. The only thing that changes is to what degree the effect is. It might be that the top 20% are consuming 21% of bandwidth, or that the top 20% are consuming 99.999% of bandwidth. ...but, whatever the case, the ISPs only have themselves to blame for it.

The ISPs are the ones who decided that the only plans they would offer are "unlimited." If you don't want to offer unlimited service, then don't offer unlimited service. Sure, some people will complain (many here on Slashdot) but the complainers can all move to an ISP with an "unlimited" plan and enjoy their always-slow service while everyone who doesn't have to saturate their connection 24x7 can use the limited plan with more reliable service.

However, the ISPs want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the customers they can only get by advertising an "unlimited" plan, but they don't want to actually give those customers an unlimited plan because they're finding that is expensive to do. They keep thinking "if only it weren't for these 20% who use 80% of the bandwidth" without realizing that they wouldn't have those naughty customers if they weren't explicitly encouraging them to sign up for their service.

Even if they lost those customers, they'd still likely find that 80% of bandwidth is consumed by the new top 20%, despite the fact that their customers are now using 80% less bandwidth. So they'd still have reason to complain if that's their only reason for complaining.

Re:Pure Greed (2)

kevkingofthesea (2668309) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797901)

20% of people do 80% of the work. 20% of the people do 80% of the innovation.20% of the people use 80% of the bandwidth.......Seems to be how the world works.

So much so that it's got a name. [wikipedia.org]

Telephone Bandwidth (1)

sfm (195458) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798817)

The situation is (somewhat) similar to Telephone bandwidth. In the U.S., before modems became widespread, the phone company could easily offer unlimited service for a fixed price. This was possible because they had reasonably good usage models and could predict the infrastructure needed to provide some level of service.

When the internet exploded, people drastically increased their modem usage and some people were literally using the link 24/7. This left the phone companies with far larger hardware requirements than predicted and no easy way to increase revenue (based on the old pricing model contracts).

Today, with the significant increase in broadband traffic, ISP's find themselves faced with similar problems are are attempting to address them in several different ways. BT throttling is one of them.

Re:Pure Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798719)

Depending on your time of the day, data prices may be $0.00/GB. Using the standard 95th percentile billing, transferring 10TB during off-peak hours is free and 100Gb during peak hours is $1/mbit/s.

Charging by data usage is entirely wrong.

Re:Pure Greed (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798961)

Maybe charge 5 cents per gigabyte

If their prices were this low, nobody would complain, as that would be $50/1TB.

The problem is that the ISPs without caps look like their prices are that low because of the speeds they advertise, but then you rarely get the advertised speed 24/7. As for caps, $50/250GB isn't at all unusual on a wired ISP. That's $0.20/GB, way more than 20x the cost to the ISP.

More intelligent plan (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796031)

If they were more intelligent they'd financially sponsor a couple BT clients WITH the minor requirement that 25% of their financial support be spent implementing time based shaping.

I have never downloaded a torrent other than using the command line client on a screen session running on a 24x7 monster file server. However, the family gets unhappy when I use up all the BW in and out of the house while they're home. I've always had throttle-able settings in clients even in the oldest suprnova days. But I want a semi-intelligent auto configuring client such that it cranks wide open from midnight to 5 am, then down to 20% or less during morning time, then wide open during work days of the week but slow on weekends and holidays etc etc.

Or I use a linux based firewall so I'd like a sniffing script such that if there's more than 100 K/s of non-torrent traffic on my connection in the last 15 minutes, the torrent traffic gets shaped down.

Also the provider could provide a mdns or whatever polling system to gimmie a list by hour of their load, and at my discretion I'd only dl torrents during the 12 lowest usage hours. Not because I "have to" but because I'm not a (complete) jerk.

My electric company provides a minor, practically honorary credit for voluntary load shedding (yours may provide a larger credit, or maybe not). I don't see why an ISP couldn't provide me with a minor credit if I were willing to rate limit down to half a meg during their idea of "prime time". Obviously I download about a thousand times more than I stream, which might be a minor issue with this idea as supposedly nobody downloads anymore and everybody streams everything, at least according to the weirdos and astroturfers.

I'm sure they'd be more successful with cooperation that with competition.

Re:More intelligent plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42799055)

However, the family gets unhappy when I use up all the BW in and out of the house while they're home.

It's not because you're using all of the bandwdith, but because of buffer bloat.

Re:More intelligent plan (1)

quantumphaze (1245466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804495)

I have never downloaded a torrent other than using the command line client on a screen session running on a 24x7 monster file server. However, the family gets unhappy when I use up all the BW in and out of the house while they're home. I've always had throttle-able settings in clients even in the oldest suprnova days. But I want a semi-intelligent auto configuring client such that it cranks wide open from midnight to 5 am, then down to 20% or less during morning time, then wide open during work days of the week but slow on weekends and holidays etc etc.

Consider trying the Transmission-cli Bittorrent client instead of rtorrent (which it sounds like you are using). It runs as a daemon that can be connected to via a web page or an RPC client (apt-get install transmission-qt transmission-remote-cli).

You can then use cron to send commands to the daemon when you want to throttle the torrents.

Upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796119)

Why don't they just upgrade their networks? Do they think people will use 2013 levels of Internet bandwidth forever?

Analogy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796373)

If I buy a car that reads 220kph on the clock, I expect it should do at least that; it would be grossly misrepresentative and false advertising of the product to do otherwise. Apply this to bandwidth and quota, if I lease a service that potentially offers me 24mbps but I receive 10mbps (environmental factors, similar to a car entering a corner) then I expect to consistently receive this bandwidth, and quota is the fuel tank till empty.

Unfortunately, Telstra oversell's its pipes between exchanges; this means they are gaming the system by cheating the end users out of the service if all users decide to use the system at once. This, obviously, is how Telstra has been doing things since they could multiplex lines using pair gain systems; such as the 2digi, 4digi, scads (my person fave), rims, irims, dslams etc et al. They all have one thing in common, if 100% try to use the system at once, people suffer, and in the 2 and 4 digi cases, people get no service at all.

It's a giant con and we have been suckered into their system of hype, smoke and mirrors. This applies globally as well to an extent. Find a good provider, seriously. Australia has dozens of providers who ALL provide better quota's by at least double to unlimited for less than half the cost. Shop around. This only applies to metro areas on dsl. Mobiles, unfortunately, is Telstra for coverage by a continent.

We are only using Bittorrent for iso files (1)

fredan (54788) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796737)

Since that is static content, the last mile cache would actually be a better solution for this.

The Last Mile Cache [fredan.se]

Just use market forces... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797005)

Just use market forces: Charge the people who use more bandwidth more money - Grandparents who are watching 3-minute YouTube videos of their grandkids will pay less than Joey Hackerston who is downloading HD movies every night. Or charge more for data in the evening and less at 3AM - The market will sort out the problem - Those people who Torrent will adjust their behaviours (or pay more).

Re:Just use market forces... (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42800391)

Grandparents who are watching 3-minute YouTube videos of their grandkids will pay less

AHAHAHAHAHahaha, when was the last time you actually paid LESS for something (something not made in China)?

Re:Just use market forces... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803155)

AHAHAHAHAHahaha, when was the last time you actually paid LESS for something (something not made in China)?

All the time. Plane tickets, for example, are much cheaper than they were 30 years ago (indexed to today's dollars).

Re:Just use market forces... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42831593)

Data moved is not the problem. Someone who uses 1GB/month, but all during peak hours will cause more load than someone moving 10TB/month but during off peak hours.

This is nothing, wait for the NBN (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797315)

Well at least now people can churn from Telstra to some other ISP who doesn't block at the moment.

When everyone is forced to use the NBN there will be no other option, they'll simply block/filter anything and everything they want across every downstream ISP. Don't like it, tough, can't complain to ISP, not them doing it, all done by upstream provider controlled by the Government.

The NBN is about having complete control to block everything they want, monitor everything they want, and not have to worry about dealing with all those pesky ISPs and customers.

One pipe, complete control, Nice Bloody Network NBN. Even China would be envious, and I'm sure they will appreciate the extra egress bandwidth for their attacks.

Re:This is nothing, wait for the NBN (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42797813)

Except that there's already one pipe(Telstra), the NBN isn't replacing your ISP(they're replacing Telstra). There are a couple of places where the direct connection to your home might be provided by Optus or a wireless provider, but eventually you'll end up on Telstra infrastructure. You will still have exactly the same degree of choice you have now, you'll just be using fibre built and paid for by the government and owned by a privatized government entity as opposed to using copper built and paid for by the government and owned and controlled by a privatized government entity.

Re:This is nothing, wait for the NBN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798547)

Sorry, but there is a big difference between being on Telstra infrastructure, like ADSL copper lines, and being on a Telstra controlled, monitored and maintained Internet service.

Now it is very easy to avoid Telstra, soon it will be very hard to avoid the NBN and all the restrictions and oversight that will come with it.

But hey, as long as the country folk can have fast porn too, that's ok.... Everyone wants a free* Ferrari, even if they can't afford the insurance, maintenance or know how to drive it properly.

It will be even funnier when everyone realises that the first N in NBN stands for National, not International, and that everyone having a big fat pipe will be fine for National use but not so great for International use, unless they plan to increase the international interconnect bandwidth exponentially.

I'm sorry but if people wanted a super fast national network, they'd be paying for it already. Which explains they the very low uptake in areas already serviced by the NBN. The people who do currently need it already have it like the universities and big businesses, and they had no problems getting it, paying for it and justifying it.

Luckily that low uptake will be fixed when there is no reasonable alternative.

Re:This is nothing, wait for the NBN (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804181)

There is a big difference between being on Telstra Infrastructure compared to Telstra controlled monitored and maintained internet service, you're absolutely right. The NBN Co however will not be providing you with controlled maintained internet service, they will be providing your ISP(who will be providing you with controlled, maintained, monitored internet service) with infrastructure over which to run their service. Specifically, unless you choose to run your own ISP, you won't be a customer of the NBN, you'll still go through the same sort of people you go through now.

As to, "if they wanted it they'd buy it". From who? No one is offering high speed connectivity unless you live or have your business located over existing fibre or are willing to run your own, which is cost prohibitive for even most businesses. The NBN has relatively low uptake so far, mostly because in a lot of areas that have roll out so far, internet connectivity was fairly good to begin with, people are under contract and all the usual stuff. I'd be willing to bet that in my area where we can't get ADSL and people are already paying prices higher than the NBN uptake will be a lot higher.

Re:This is nothing, wait for the NBN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42807567)

The reason there is such a low uptake is because the existing NBN plans are all too expensive, and offer very poor value compared to standard ADSL plans, especially ADSL2.

Now of course the whingers say well I can't get ADSL2. Well as a tax payer I would have preferred to have paid a significantly less amount of money to have ADSL2 as minimum standard than go for a gold plated solution. Perhaps you don't remember when people thought 300 baud was pretty neat and would have paid anything to go faster, even up to 2.4k or 28k. Nobody back then thought copper would be doing 20Mbps did they? But guess what, the market demanded it and technology delivered it, without the government shouting the cost of fibre or putting CAT5 to every house or any other hair brained idea.

There is a very good reason no competent business like Telstra, did I just say that, or Optus, AAPT etc would run fibre to every house, it is because there would be zero ROI. But of course the ALP are the masters of properly managing our taxes, what surplus?, pink bats, schools fiasco, stimulus handouts etc. So why on earth would anyone think this will be the first time they get it right, whatever the stated costs, you may as well triple it as a conservative estimate of the true cost to future generations. Doesn't matter who is in Government, they all are extremely poor at running businesses, any large projects, particularly the largest project ever, and have zero chance of getting anything remotely close to value for money.

So for the people who want super fast Internet, and have good reason to have it, the likes of AAPT, Telstra and plenty of others will run fibre to your door. Of course many can't afford it, because they can't justify it, if they had a good reason to need it the price would not be barrier. There is a big difference between NEED and WANT. 99% of Aussies WANT the NBN, until they realise how poor the value is.

Why would anybody with half a brain pay more for less? What is the point of having a super fast Internet connection for most people when the data cap is so small? Smart people realise they can pay less and get more data at a slower rate for the full month, rather than having super fast internet that lasts the first week then get shaped for the remaining three weeks at speeds lower than ADSL.

And of course the NBN, as the upstream provider of infrastructure and data, or data interconnects to your ISP, will be able to do what ever they want to monitor and block what ever they want. They own the network, and do you really think the Government just wants to give you faster Internet without some sort of benefit to them? If you do, get in touch, I have a bridge to sell, going cheap.

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797421)

The Telcos in NZ and AU have been doing this for years, and have offered all sorts of various schemes to manage high volume users while still making some money out of them. Bandwithd caps that dont roll over each month, and get eaten away with every single byte of data that flows over your DSL line has been the norm for years. These top 20% internet uses seem to just take all the can get, possibly because it's perceived as a limited resource, every time an ISP comes out with some plan that is slightly better, they all jump ship and swamp it until the ISP figures out a way to get rid of / become 'less attractive' to them.

The other problem is Free to Air TV is full of crap, and pay tv is not cheap compared to the US and other places.

So, in summary... (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about a year and a half ago | (#42798005)

... the plan will fail because ... it's already happened?

That's some hella logic going on there...

In other news: the Australian porn industry wants teenage boys to masturbate, Julia Gillard is thinking of becoming a redhead, and Australian TV networks want to try packing 7 ad breaks into an hour of TV.

I'm in australia.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42799517)

have fun corporate monkeys targeting Channel BT.....

My ISP (Not saying who) I have 100Mbps Fibre connection connection with 200GB monthly limit. but I quite regurly get 500Gb (or last months 700GB) without being slowed down. that with my unlimited Usenet connection ($12 a month plus free VPN) I'm laughing.....can watch US shows directly from fox.com if I want... watched CBS's alternate camera angles for the big NFL game that just past.... endless.....

but no no... target BT...... use all your resources on that please....

It's a crazy mixed up world (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803449)

Where businesses publicly announce plans to deliberately not give their customers the thing the customer paid for.

Typical Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42807525)

Well all i have to say is that clearly Australia needs more bandwidth. if 20% of the population can use 80% of the whole bandwidth upgrade the the friggin infrastructure so that the speed and connect-ability is readily available to the majority of Australians. Which it currently isn't. I think a measly average 300k download speed for most Australians is pretty shit by comparison to the rest of the world. Especially because of the horrendous cost of having small download limits like 60 to 1000 gig a month for anything up to $100 plus P/M but we have no option to pay it because everything is going digital now they charge you for all paper bills for most things. SHAME ON YOU AUSTRALIAN GOV not not investing in Australian's and their internet needs. End rant

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