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Would 5 GB be enough for you?

by rafacst / January 22, 2008 8:25 AM PST

So, Dave in Melbourne, Australia, listening to 7 audio podcasts, watching 4 video podcasts, buying music from Itunes and connecting 2 laptops + 1 wii to the internet won't blow away your 5GB limit? Of course not, that's not enough to it. You are a low Internet consumer.

I listen to 12 audio podcasts with high quality audio (3 of them are daily, 9 of them, weekly - average of 25 MB per file) and 16 video podcasts with medium quality format (5 of them are daily, 11 weekly or so - average of 50 MB per file). So let me do the math, considering that none of them are updated in weekends.

Audio:
3 X 25 MB X 20 (days) = 1500 MB per month
9 X 25 MB X 4 (weeks) = 900 MB per month
Total = 2400 per month

Video
5 X 50 MB X 20 (days) = 5000 MB per month
11 X 50 MB X 4 (weeks) = 2200 MB per month
Total = 7200

Total at all = 9600 MB, or 9,6 GB.

And I don't think that I'm a exception. I listen and watch podcasts that a majority of people also do, like Webbalert, Geekbrief, Tekzila, Twit, Diggnation, Buzz Report, BoingBoing TV, Mahalo Daily and a lot more that you can see - and use to subscribe if you want to - in this beautiful OPML file exported via iTunes: http://futilidadepublica.semjuizo.com/Podcasts.opml.

That's just half of the 20GB from that guy (I can't remember who were), but there's absolutely no way that a 5 GB limit would be enough for a lot of users, because I'm not even counting on the 7 TV Shows episodes that I 'legally' download from (undisclosed location), with an average of 700 MB.

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hahahahha.. 5gb..
by skyzophrenyk / January 23, 2008 1:55 AM PST

I use between 200 and 500GB a month.

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explain!
by filmn / January 23, 2008 7:21 AM PST
In reply to: hahahahha.. 5gb..

please explain what you download?

Large quantities of Pornography?

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640Gb should be enough for anybody
by luc-mobile / January 23, 2008 8:19 AM PST
In reply to: hahahahha.. 5gb..

And you can quote me on that. Happy

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really?
by filmn / January 23, 2008 8:43 AM PST

Please tell me, what do you do? and how would i go about calculating my own consumption!

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More or less really
by luc-mobile / January 23, 2008 9:02 AM PST
In reply to: really?

That was supposed to be a joke, of course. Google for the joke if doesn't ring a bell to you.

My carrier provides a monthly bandwidth usage statement. I also have all my network activity metered by a program called GKrellM. GKrellM's reports and my carrier's monthly statements match pretty closely.

My Internet usage is described in another post under this same thread.

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lol
by filmn / January 23, 2008 9:18 AM PST
In reply to: More or less really

well i googled it Happy

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It would be plenty if...
by paintguru / January 23, 2008 8:25 AM PST

...you just surfed the net and did email. It isn't that 5 GB would be enough for you (I honestly have no clue how much I use), it is that perhaps people (like my parents) should have the option of getting a 5GB plan instead of being required to pay for an unlimited plan.

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"Hahahaha"
by luc-mobile / January 23, 2008 8:57 AM PST

Speaking seriously, I am mystified by skyzophrenyk's usage claims.

A few years ago, when I was younger and had more time to fool around, I did some P2P and downloaded at least a couple of Linux distros a month. At that time, I had a 15Gb cap and spent around 10Gb.

Now I don't do any P2P at all and only download a Linux distro once a year. BOL is my only daily podcast. I watch a lot of Youtube, though. My current usage is around 6Gb or 7Gb every month. But my carrier puts no caps on my plan now, which means I'm paying so that people like skyzophrenyk can download from 200 to 500Gb every month.

People like skyzophrenyk are happy with that because they're getting a free lunch (more like a feast) at my expense and going around posting "hahahaha" in forums. The carrier is happy with that because the bill is footed anyway and "NO CAPS" sounds a lot better in their advertising than "ADEQUATE QUOTAS". Looks like I'm the only unhappy one. Geez, I wonder why.

But another problem is: if my carrier ever introduces quotas, will they reduce my monthly fee accordingly, or just pretend I do not exist and only raise the fees to bandwidth gobblers? The latter sounds a lot more likely, I'm afraid.

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agreed
by filmn / January 23, 2008 9:20 AM PST
In reply to: "Hahahaha"

i have to agree with that comment, i use the internet a lot but never really go over 15GB, I too am mystified by skyzophrenyk's usage claims and would like to know what he gets up to.

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I agree whole-heartedly
by rafacst / January 23, 2008 7:20 PM PST

If the metered bandwidht really turn into a real scenario, the ISPs should make a plan just for low internet users. But my point is that for a majority of BOL listeners that limit wouldn't be enough. I think that Dave is the exception, not us.

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no...
by filmn / January 23, 2008 9:50 PM PST

not true, in the UK we have both, I think that's the best way to offer both a metered bandwidth plan and an unlimited bandwidth plan.

Surely ISP's in America offer both?

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surely....
by filmn / January 23, 2008 9:52 PM PST
In reply to: no...

surely the ISP's put in a fair usage policy so that you get charged either way for using large amounts of bandwidth

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That's exactly what I was trying to say
by rafacst / January 25, 2008 4:42 AM PST
In reply to: no...

They should offer plans not only for low users, but for high users too. And probably charge a little more for the unlimited plan, restricted only to new users of the service.

But they almost never do what we think it's right. So, let's just sit our butts and wait until they roll out the metered system and (very likely) complain about it when they do.

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explain
by filmn / January 25, 2008 8:09 AM PST

sorry could you explain this bit:

"And probably charge a little more for the unlimited plan, restricted only to new users of the service."

I think I know what you mean, but I could be wrong.... Happy

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It's 5GB at 512kbit
by Nicholas Buenk / January 23, 2008 7:26 PM PST

Reduces speed to 128kbit after 5GB, remember. So you could still download 9GB....

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Yeah, I could...
by rafacst / January 23, 2008 7:29 PM PST
In reply to: It's 5GB at 512kbit

But I'll have to left my computer on for like 15 days. Silly

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Bandwidth Usage
by commorancy / January 24, 2008 11:04 AM PST

I don't see the point in usage fees at all and they only serve to cause the consumer more headaches and, at the same time, force the consumer into paying unknowing overage charges. Why do I have to begin keeping track of my usage? The point to the Internet is and should be all-you-can-eat rather than capped usage. If you're going to cap something, cap the bandwidth speed, not the usage. Requiring users to keep track of the amount of bits consumed is like trying to keep track of how many minutes you use on a cell phone.

For the companies, this 'usage' model is a gold mine. It's a way to 'finger on the scale' you into paying exorbitant fees that you are unaware of until it's too late and you've already consumed it. There is no usage meter on Windows that you can actively keep track of in a useful and consumer friendly way before you get raked over the coals for overage charges.

Instead, for the hogs, I suggest lowering their individual bandwidth speed dynamically. Once they approach 100Gb per month (or whatever limit is considered too much), lower the throughput to 1-2Mbps (or less) instead of 5-10. This has the effect of capping how much you can download at once and, at the same time, prevents overage charges to unknowing consumers.

Once again, this issue caused a knee jerk reaction to the abuserhogs and all the rest of us who play by the rules have to suffer the consequences of the actions of a few people.

For once, I'd like to see companies do the RIGHT thing and set up a program the benefits the users abiding by the rules and punishing those who do not. Instead, these companies insist on punishing everyone equally to tackle a problem caused by a handful of people.

No, I do not like the idea of metered internet. Cap the bandwidth speed, not the number of bits used. Capping the bandwidth speed automatically limits the amount of data you can download over a period of time.

--
Brian W.

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Interesting
by milkky / January 24, 2008 9:05 PM PST
In reply to: Bandwidth Usage

This is worth consideration. The first thought/concern I have is the theoretical number for when the throttling down takes place. If the number is very large, hogs get to slow things down for all of us for quite awhile before they get, in turn, slowed down and free us all back up. Not much of an incentive for them--assuming there is ANY incentive that would make the true hogs actually change at all.

I'd also like to see some compelling evidence that this is even true--are the hogs actually affecting our own experiences or is this just FUD to let providers try to justify additional fees etc.? Of course it makes logical sense that data hogs would slow things up for everyone--and analogies about traffic jams further the "of course" feeling--but is it actualy causing a problem now? There has been too much smoke and mirrors by people who are trying to justify a tierd Internet for me to just take their word that NOW there is really a problem.

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Throttling and Over-subscription
by commorancy / January 25, 2008 8:36 PM PST
In reply to: Interesting

"The first thought/concern I have is the theoretical number for when the throttling down takes place."

Whatever it takes to make it happen. Hey, even if you have exceeded 100Gb in a month, you'll still be able to use the internet without fear of overage charges. Mommy won't like the latest internet bill after Junior has downloaded 200Gb and racked up 100Gb in overages. You know this will happen.

"Are the hogs actually affecting our own experiences or is this just FUD to let providers try to justify additional fees etc.?"

Having worked at an ISP in the past, I know there are hogs. But, the reality is, are they really eating up as much bandwidth as they claim? I can't answer this. Only the ISPs can. However, I can guess that the issue is lack of expansion on the ISPs part. Instead of adding more bandwidth periodically, they've sat on their rumps and not added any new bandwidth in an attempt at cost savings.

This has led to more subscribers, but stagnant network growth. This then leads to over-subscription (too many people, not enough bandwidth). Couple this with big metro areas where lots of cable modems or dsl modem connections all meet (at the switch). In the big metro areas where it's possible that thousands of subscribers may all be using the same array of switches all on the same network, it's easy to see why over-subscription is a problem.

This then means that, yes, even a few hogs can take the network over the top. Worse, however, is that instead of noticing, ordering and implementing more physical bandwidth to that termination point, they choose throttling as to reduce the traffic flow.

In answer to your question, it is likely a combination of the hogs, over-subscription, lack of planning of network upgrades, cost saving measures and simple greed that affect the decision to move to a metered Internet. A metered approach will, of course, cause lots of billing headaches (i.e., someone pops up with a $2000 bill and Comcast will have to credit it back). If the ISPs would simply keep up with their planning of network upgrades and rolling out the upgrades to fulfill the current bandwidth needs, throttling or metered internet would really be unnecessary. After all, they are ISPs and part of being an ISP is keeping the network up-to-date to provide the service levels they claim in their marketing literature.

--
Brian W.

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Interesting
by Nicholas Buenk / January 26, 2008 9:35 PM PST

What's really needed is competition. That will reduce incentive to cut costs, as ISP's will need a competitive edge to succeed.

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could be the best way to impliment the "network nutrality
by mementh / January 25, 2008 12:27 PM PST
In reply to: Bandwidth Usage

could be the best way to impliment the "network nutrality

State clearly in the terms that the bandwidth is "unlimited" but after X ammount of transfer you get moved down to a lower speed.

and you have the option of getting more bandwidth or a higher speed after the limit...

?? good or bad idea?

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Getting more speed
by commorancy / January 25, 2008 8:39 PM PST

If it's implemented correctly, yes. Theoretically, they could dynamically uncap the bandwidth speed limit after you've paid some additional amount of cash to them. The limit should also automatically uncap at the beginning of user's new billing cycle until you've reached the cap again for that month.

--
Brian W.

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Beats me.
by Renegade Knight / January 25, 2008 3:39 AM PST

I have no idea what I use. My connection is bandwidth limitd like all of them. That connection supports an amazingly increasting list of gizmo's and devices. They all share a limited slice of my bandwidth pie. How much data is consumed is another thing.

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