When You Measure Broadband Caps In Terms Of How Many Emails, Something's Wrong

from the that's-not-broadband dept

We've already talked about how low it appears some ISPs are making broadband "caps." Doing so seriously destroys the value of a broadband connection and will likely backfire on the ISPs who provide it. But, for those companies that are putting in place such low broadband caps -- a small suggestion: when discussing how much the caps allow, listing out how many emails you can send or receive under the cap is probably a bad idea. If the cap is so low that the number of emails is even worth mentioning, you've got a serious problem.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Not Bob, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 7:07pm

    What??

    Psh, if all I wanted to do was email, I would have stayed with dial-up. I want to play games, download the occasional tune, watch a video here or there, update the previously mentioned games, and surf the web 'til my eyes burn. All of that takes a lot more bytes than all of the emails I sent and received in the last two or three years. And that's just this month.

    Silly ISP's, stop trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle. You made it available and they came, now live up to your agreements.

    PS: So far I haven't had any trouble with my ISP--so far.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 7:27pm

    E-mail is significant

    While you are right in suggesting that e-mail is a drop in the bucket for any serious broadband account, limiting the number of e-mails does have significance from a spam prevention point of view. I can't set up a 'home business' and use my broadband account to spam the world with shady mortgage deals, male enhancement, and the like.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Cynic, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 8:12pm

    It won't backfire on them too much.

    At least I don't see it happening any time in the near future. The primary reason I say this is that there is a shortage of real ISP competition in a surprising number of markets. I know where I live Comcast has pushed out just about everybody else. There might be some smaller ISPs around but their coverage is limited, or they are specialized towards businesses so their prices are for comprehensive packages for phone service and all that and prohibitively expensive.

    So if I want a "broadband" connection, my choice is Comcast or... umm... hang on a minute, I need to get back to you on that.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Mogilny, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 8:17pm

    An attempt to fool the not so tech-savy.

    5 million 1 KB emails sounds a lot better than a 5 GB cap. Most people probably don't know what a GB is.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    neil, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 9:22pm

    Re: An attempt to fool the not so tech-savy.

    roflmao and you think they know what a KB is?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Tigobitty, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 9:31pm

    Bring it on

    I get a lot of porn emailed to me. Videos, pictures, flash-based games. 1.2 Terabytes so far this month alone. I love my porn.

    My usage will be less than TimeWarner's quote of 350,000 e-mails, and best of all, I can prove quantities in court.

    Thanks, marketing guys!

    Bait and Switch
    How does the FTC define "bait and switch" advertising?

    It's illegal to advertise a product when the company has no intention of selling that item, but instead plans to sell a consumer something else, usually at a higher price.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    pyager1, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 10:49pm

    hughesnet lied to me

    I was told I would have 200Megs every 4 rolling hours, now its only 200Megs every 24hours!!! Plus, high speed!!!??? yea-right I have a hard time reaching 200Megs in a day!!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Fiber troll, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 11:11pm

    How USA competes

    US:
    Cable 5GB a month, $35.00

    Japan:
    Fiber to the house, 930GB Per Month 30GB upstream cap per day, unlimited downloads, no overage charges, and included voice line. Cost? $42.00 a month.

    Winner:
    JAPAN

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Spectere, Jul 7th, 2008 @ 11:53pm

    Re: How USA competes

    Never mind the fact that the US is physically a hell of a lot larger than Japan (over 25x larger) and, thus, requires a great deal of money and time to make sweeping upgrades to its infrastructure.

    Or do you honestly think that purchasing cable, hiring contractors to install said cable, and upgrading network backbones is free and easy?

    I also noticed that you neglected to note that fast fiber networks are starting to spring up with extremely competitive rates (namely, Verizon FiOS).

    Sheesh. If nothing else, your name fits you like a glove.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Indentured Servant, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 12:44am

    Re: Re: How USA competes

    Your right, it looks like not one FTTP (Fiber to the premisis) companies worldwide has installed bandwidth caps. If the cable companies really think cable == fiber optic, why is Verizon not throttling? Seems like there's a bottleneck somewhere if they "...already have a fiber-optic network serving ALL our homes"

    Fiber backbone upgrades are easier than last mile.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    News Story, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 12:54am

    Some cablecos "have" a fiber optic network but don't "own" it like Verizon does. Which warrants the question: If they are at capacity, why don't they just purchase additional capacity or upgrade to 100G? Seems like a better solution rather than upsetting customers.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 1:48am

    Re: E-mail is significant

    A cap on the number of e-mails you can send might prevent spam, but the point is that an e-mail is so small that using it as an appropriate unit of measure for a cap indicates that said cap is really quite small.

    To put it another way, we know that there's 60x60x24 = 86,400 seconds in a day, but you dont use a second for calculating your wages, do you?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re: How USA competes

    the USA may be much larger, but did that stop them from building a power grid? or a road network?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 3:08am

    Re: Re: An attempt to fool the not so tech-savy.

    Probably not, but there is no need. 5 million seems like a massive number so they will just read it as:

    "I can send 5 million emails before hitting my cap"

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 3:10am

    Re: Re: How USA competes

    The UK isn't particularly big, yet many parts of it are limited to sub 1Mbit connections.

    What's the excuse there? Rain?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 3:19am

    Re: It won't backfire on them too much.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    Allen (profile), Jul 8th, 2008 @ 3:26am

    I wonder where they got the number from?

    I am curious to know where they got their figure from. The whole argument for usage based billing starts with the position that a small% of users consume a large% of resources. So you'd expect there to be some statistical base to the number: a median or average or average plus stddev or something like that.

    Could it be that 50% of users use 5GB or less in a month? Plausible?

    Who am I kidding, I expect some marketing "guru" pulled a figure out of their @rse. It fits with the need to express it in units like number of emails...

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: Re: How USA competes

    leaves on the track

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Corporate Lackey, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 5:42am

    Think Who It's Aimed At

    I actually wrote a document like this for a different ISP. The whole idea was to re-assure the 90% of customers who would never reach the limit. People, in general, have no idea what 5MB or 5 GB or 5TB means. You have to put it in terms that are familiar.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Kiba, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: How USA competes

    And we don't live in said US cities? US cities have high population densities like many of Japan's cities.

    What you make thing it is harder to wire a city with similar density as Japan?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 6:09am

    Re: E-mail is significant

    I'm doubtful of this. It's at least already presumed that spammers are using zombie machines infected with malware to send most of their traffic. A cap like this just means that those infected will be charged from valid emails, incoming spam, and outgoing zombie messages.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    ejm, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 9:19am

    forget multiple users

    They seem to forget that most households have multiple users...4 people in my house means i'm down to 1.25 GB average, i guess i'm only allowed to download one movie a month from itunes

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: E-mail is significant

    Assuming the ISP knows about e-mails sent by a zombie machine, than this is still a good thing because it's a reasonable way to give incentive to owners of infected computers to fix the problem.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 10:31am

    Re: Think Who It's Aimed At

    But knowing that I can send "5 million emails" is just as obtuse as uploading "5GB". The people who don't get 5MB, 5GB or whatever certainly aren't going to understand the concept of "5 million {anythings}".

    Heck, I bet most here have difficulties with that number. Yes, we *know* the number but honestly ask yourself: how large a container do you need to hold 5 million {some_item}.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    bait and switcher, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 10:38am

    Re: Bring it on

    kind of like when i called at&t last night and they list their plans and fail to mention (twice, two different reps) their cheapest plan. Must of just forgotten that one.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    bob, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 2:34pm

    How can my ISP limit my email to X per month when I don't use their servers?
    I have Comcast as an ISP and I don't think I've ever sent a single email via their servers. I have my own domain remotely hosted. It provides individual email addresses for my entire family. That way if we dump Comcast, or Comcast turns into something else, we don't have to change our email address.

    Taking care of email through your ISP is like buying gas from the dealership where you bought your car.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Woadan, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    Is this a cap on using the ISPs mail systems? Or is it a cap on anything sent via POP3/SMTP/IMAP protocols?

    Personally, I don't use the email accounts the ISP has given me. I do check periodically to see if they sent me updates to the EULA/ToS, but mostly they just SPAM me to buy more of their services, which I do not need.

    So, if it just capping use of their servers for email, I say cap away. However, if they are capping traffic on the email protocols, then it is an entirely different story.

    Woadan

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    merry, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:38pm

    we make all kinds of caps,hats,gloves and scarves in China

    Dear Sirs:
    We are specialized manufacturer and exporter for caps,hats,gloves and scarves in China,
    If you are intrested in our products or you have some questions ,pls telephone or email us.
    We can send our new catalogue to you for your reference.


    Sincerely,Looking for your reply!

    Manager of Sales Department

    Merry Zhang

    CHAMPWIL INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
    YANGZHOU CHAMPWIL HEADWEAR&GARMENT CO.,LTD
    Manufactory Address:
    No.126,Xin Xing Road,Li Dian Town,Yangzhou,Jiangsu,China
    Tel:86-514-87411549 Fx:86-514-87411631
    Office:
    Room 504, No. 450 Yang Zi Jiang Middle Road, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, P.R.China
    Tel :86-514-87223656 Fax: 86-514-87223731
    E-MAIL:info@champwil.com
    sales02@champwil.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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