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Commentary: Speed caps can mean less-than-Pronto service

Limiting the amount of traffic running across a connection is a common method to bring it to manageable levels, but it dramatically reduces quality of service.

    By John Girard, Gartner Analyst

    Limiting the amount of traffic running across a connection is a common method to stretch bandwidth resources and cut backbone traffic to manageable levels, but it dramatically reduces quality of service.

    Properly used, this technique

    See news story:
    Southwestern Bell DSL customers sue over bandwidth
    can create different classes of service at different price points and can help local-exchange carriers (LECs) reduce the per-customer costs of early launches of entry-level, discounted DSL services.

    Nevertheless, because this method creates a measurable reduction in service levels, it should be disclosed and accounted for in the service pricing and guarantee.

    Gartner recommends that people who use LEC-provided DSL services, including those from SBC companies, review their service contracts and monitor the progress of the class-action suit.

    DSL customers who suspect that their LEC-provided service has inappropriate speed limits should review their contracts and service-level agreements, request clarifications from the LEC, and--as a last resort--consider conducting tests to see how much and how quickly traffic is running across the connection.

    (For related commentary on the DSL market, see TechRepublic.com--free registration required.)

    Entire contents, Copyright © 2000 Gartner Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.