Qwest Admits That File Sharing Isn't Really A Traffic Burden

from the someone-didn't-get-the-memo dept

Lots of broadband providers have been blaming P2P file sharing for messing up the economics of broadband offerings. That is, they build the networks and set the prices based on a certain expected usage, and now they’re claiming that this increased usage is costing them — meaning that they need to put in place bandwidth caps or traffic shaping tools that get rid of the expected neutral network customers thought they were signing up for. Of course, the fact that they blame these new technologies (or want to charge them more) is ridiculous. They’re basically admitting that they did a horrible job of forecasting future usage — and ignored just about every historical trend that shows when you give people bandwidth, applications and services come along that allow them to use that bandwidth. However, for all this telco/cable whining about how horrible it is that their bandwidth is being sucked dry by a bunch of P2P file sharing kids… it would appear that someone didn’t slip Qwest’s CTO the memo that they’re all supposed to be kicking up a big storm about how unfair it all is. He says that the rest of the industry is overstating the impact of peer-to-peer traffic: “I found that the traffic is well under what some in that industry say is happening. I mean, you hear claims of significant double-digit penetration of peer-to-peer traffic, and it was not near there.”


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Comments on “Qwest Admits That File Sharing Isn't Really A Traffic Burden”

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9 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

If broadband providers want to traffic shape or set usage caps, I don’t have a problem as long as that information is in the advert using the same size font as the call to action and that “unlimited” is not used anywhere in the ad.

New ad: “Sign up now for better, faster Internet access! Just don’t use P2P, stream video, or download too much stuff.”

fnord says:

Quest appears to be throttling traffic from YouTube. My speed is OK when tested by a neutral testing service, and videos from other sites load and play without stops for buffering. Videos from YouTube are another matter. I have to click on the link, open another tab to continue surfing, and then go back to the video I want to watch five or ten minutes later. YouTube is said to be the 3rd largest source of Internet traffic. Quest has slowed down video transmission from YouTube to such and extent that I’m becoming reluctant to click on links to videos hosted by them.

Jachin Rivers says:

Bandwidth

What most people don’t know is that ISP’s actually depend on customers not using the full bandwidth their accounts are capable of for extended periods. Working for a local ISP I know this. Not saying this is a problem for a large ISP, for example Qwest (Centurytel now), but smaller ISP’s buy their upstream bandwidth for a metered cost, the speed of the upstream connection usually isn’t an issue, our speed is simply what our provider offers, which happens to be 1Gbps.
Fact is if a customer skipped the ISP or middle man and purchased their internet directly from the upstream provider they would pay significantly more for the same bandwidth they use through the middle man. ISP’s simply count on customers using their accounts intermittently, it’s what makes it work from a cost perspective, otherwise your $60 a month 20Gb connection would cost hundreds of dollars a month if pegged at full speed which some people actually do with their accounts. Unfortunately the ways around this are the usual suspects, traffic shaping, monthly data allowances, or just offering a lower speed for the same monthly cost.
Another issue that isn’t widely known is that some ISP’s condone p2p traffic not because of the bandwidth used but the packet rates, most offer VoIP phone service which chokes when equipment reaches it’s rated packet limits, a network switch for example. Anyway this comment isn’t meant to justify poor service, it’s just a view from the other side of the fence, a small local ISP.

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