[TriLUG] OT - TWC bandwidth caps on the way?
jeremyp at pobox.com
Thu Jun 5 01:35:38 EDT 2008
jonc at nc.rr.com wrote:
> 40GB won't endanger any VoIP carrier that I've ever heard off... VoIP requires continuous low latency connections, but very little bandwidth.
> Vonage: 1hr = 300Mb (max)
> FeatureTel: 1hr = 100Mb (max)
> "max" means all talking all the time - no pauses (like listening to music)
> Vonage uses G711 codec which maxes out at 87 Kbps
> FeatureTel defaults to G729 codec (voice only - no noise) which maxes out at 31 Kbps
> On the bright-side, maybe folks will stop sending me these gi-normous attached documents that contain a few lines of text that I need to read....
I've been living in Australia where metering / bandwidth caps are a fact
of life. There is not a single ISP - not even dial-up - that doesn't
have them. Those of you threatening to go to DSL, realize that if TWC
is successful in implementing this, the DSL carriers may be quick to follow.
So I've seen both sides of this picture, coming from the bandwidth-rich
USA (though not as rich as some spots in Europe or Asia).
I actually don't think the TWC bandwidth caps are a horrible idea, given
substantial limits like 40-50GB. I think they could probably afford to
have lower excess rates (say, $.50/GB), but there really are a lot of
heavy users who use SO MUCH more than the average customer, that it does
make business sense.
Excess rates of $20/GB or more are typical here in AU. Since this could
get expensive fast, the typical thing to do for consumer plans is to
"shape" your connection to dial-up speed when you reach the download
cap. This allows you to still get your email but severely limits
browsing, of course. You either have to wait until the month is over,
or upgrade to a higher plan. I wonder if TWC will at least allow this
option for people who don't want an unexpected bill?
Having a bandwidth cap - even a high one - really helps make you think
twice about whether you *really* need to download that TV show (or
whatever). The bandwidth caps are high enough that you aren't really
going to have a problem with standard web browsing, or VOIP, or remote
access, etc., even if you're a prolific YouTube'r. Really you can
download plenty of Linux distributions in that limit too. It's only
going to affect the people who download dozens of hours of HD-quality
movies every month - a practice that TWC, being owned by an
entertainment conglomerate, is not particularly excited about anyway.
The reality is that it takes a LOT of investment to upgrade the
infrastructure across the Internet to support the large amounts of video
data that people want to transfer these days. Can TWC really afford
invest in this at $49.95/mo. (including all the maintenance costs of the
last-mile network)? I don't think it's realistic... but they have to
maintain that price point for those who aren't interested in all this
video stuff just yet. So why doesn't it make sense to charge people
based on what they use?
More information about the TriLUG