Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

There’s a meter on your ISP connection

There’s a meter on your ISP connection

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What if your cable, DSL, or fiber optic internet provider decided to create some data tiers and set some arbitrary caps?  Well, be sure and check out the latest news on the subject.

How would this affect you?  I know in my case, there could be a dramatic change in my lifestyle, but I haven’t assessed the overall impact.  For instance, if it got so cost prohibitive to run a home office environment, would I start commuting to a central office location again?  What are the upsides?  What are the downsides?

I’m pretty sure even with the added cost of internet access, it’s still going to be more cost effective, and better for the planet for me to use a home office setting for the work I do.  I used to be the typical commuter when I first moved to the Dallas area.  I’d put 18,000 – 20,000 miles per year on a vehicle.  In March of 2007 I sold my Infiniti G35 Coupe and purchased a Honda CIVIC Coupe.  My Civic just turned over 11,000 miles.  Run those numbers in your head or on paper. 

In my case, it’s going to take a huge shift in cost to force me to start commuting again.  I’d rather commute for other reasons.  For instance, doing daily presentations in the Las Colinas MTC.  That would be a good reason. 

But to get this back on track for the original topic, how much data do you use per month?  What if you were capped at 100GB?  How would this affect streaming video, or gaming, or downloading big virtual machines?

I think the trials some of the cable companies are trying are going to upset a lot of customers.  How is it going to look if those companies jack up the rates, then announce record profits a few quarters later?  It’s going to look just like the petroleum companies and their earnings when we hit $4.00 per gallon.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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  • Capped at 100G? In NZ it's pretty common to have a 6G monthly cap, a few people I know have 10. I do know someone who pays a fortune for 100G - but you view that as a LOW level?

    I'd say your cable companies have seen models which screw foreign (to you) customers and have noticed that if they all go that way then customers grumble and loan but put up with it.

    And what rate do they pay? Well exchange rates are misleading so lets use the international metric of a McDonalds Burger.

    Right now it would cost me NZ$40 to set my cap to 50G (the highest available). That's roughly US$20.

    So - I guess I'm saying, give thanks for what you've got. There's worse off than you. And prepare to get screwed - the cable companies pay attention to what works for other telco's internationally. They care about their revenue, not their clients. And they know the power of independently acting in unison

  • oops keith

    i meant to delete the line about converting to McD burgers - but forgot

    and "loan" == moan"

    must be to early on an easter weekend

  • I know if would affect me and my family dearly.  My mom works at home for a major health insurance company so there's untold amounts of GBs she's downloading/uploading everyday.  I use Bittorrent so I know how much I'm burning up in GBs in addition to using the Internet for mundane tasks.  And my brother makes webpages from home, has all the major consoles and plays online.  And he does video chat.  I understand where the companies are coming from but these caps are going to do more harm than good.  If only they would develop realistic tiers.

  • Oh dear, that bites.  It's unfortunate but not unexpected.  We in Oz suffer this, and frankly it hurts too often;  

    Let's hope  if nothing else, that this whole capping nastiness drives new innovation for more efficient protocols, caching and peering.

    In a perfect world (and hopefully in good humour) maybe you could arrange to drop a couple of these off (http://tinyurl.com/mscloudcompute) at your ISP for use as unmetered content?

    ...regardless, I hope the pain and craziness gets resolved over there for you guys soon.  

  • My opinion probably comes to much chagrine to most of you business users, but i think this issue is being caused by 2 parties.

    1. Those that pirate/torrent ungodly amounts of data. Sure, we probably all grab music here and there. But there are those grabbing literally hundreds of DVDs (4GB) HD DVDs/bluray(25+GB), Software (Windows Vista DVD is over 3GB) etc.

    2. Those who use a HOME connection to run a business/connect to a business.

    a 100GB cap would actually be pretty fair. I think a simple business model would be place the 100GB cap, and have it lifted for a fee (which would easily be subsidized by your employer if they could see that it was needed to perform your telecommuting job). Its unlikely that a lot of the major torrentors would lift the cap due to the increased cost.

    I think that would be about the most "Fair" solution we could get.

    If i use 2GB a month and someone who telecommutes/runs a business out of their home uses 250gb a month, I should not be punished because of their usage.

  • i wonder what the moral obligation is for charging for illegally distributed data anyways...