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.

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Companies: time warner cable

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

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Not Bob says:


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.

Joel Coehoorn says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Cynic says:

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.

Tigobitty says:

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.

Spectere (profile) says:

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.

Indentured Servant says:

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.

Allen (profile) says:

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…

mobiGeek says:

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}.

bob says:

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.

Woadan says:

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.


merry says:

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Tel:86-514-87411549 Fx:86-514-87411631
Room 504, No. 450 Yang Zi Jiang Middle Road, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, P.R.China
Tel :86-514-87223656 Fax: 86-514-87223731

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