No Evidence To Support The Need For Broadband Tiers Or Caps

from the oops dept

Just as the various broadband providers are ramping up their bogus astroturf attempts to convince the world that broadband caps are necessary and good for customers, Saul Hansell has been digging deep into the numbers and can't find any justification at all for the caps. All those stories about overwhelmed networks and exponential traffic growth? Not happening. If anything, the evidence is that the opposite is happening: advances in technology means that it's become cheaper for broadband providers to meet the needs of their customers. And those needs are growing, but that growth rate has been slowing, and is quite manageable. So, basically, the broadband companies are hyping up a problem that just isn't there. There is no crunch. There aren't bandwidth shortages that require cutting off heavy users. The only reason to set up such tiers is to squeeze more money out of customers without providing any improvements in service (actually, while providing less service). And it's all possible thanks to the lack of competition in the marketplace.

Filed Under: broadband, caps, evidence, tiers


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 22 Apr 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Broadband/Cable

    So you've seen the business models, and data and figures for running an ISP? I have. You're wrong.

    While it is hard to determine exactly the cost for serving a GB, and it varies a great deal on a bunch of factors, it IS true that to serve more costs more.

    For arguments sake, CableCos are currently upgrading their networks from DOCSIS 2 to DOCSIS 3. This is to provide much more bandwidth. This is the kind of upgrade that makes your top speed faster, and enables the users to pass more data each month. Do you propose that upgrading from DOCSIS 2 to 3 is free? Would you offer to pay your local cable company's bill for the upgrade, then?

    It costs money to install the next generation of technology. To bury more fiber in the ground, to upgrade the head-ends, to upgrade the coax to RG-6, to pay for the (free to the user) upgraded modems in the customer's premise. Once the Cable Co does all that, then, yes, the Internet is basically free to provide until the next upgrade is needed - well actually not, since there are also Operating Expenses! So a bunch of naive consumers get on web boards and chat about how there is no data crunch, and how the service should be cheaper. Why do such people think this stuff is either free, or available in unlimited quantity? Doesn't that sound too good to be true? It probably is.

    Look you don't just pay for the current service, you pay for past and future upgrades to the infrastructure. If you're in a remote area, you pay for the lengthy connection to the backbone, too. This costs real money.

    Yes, there's oligopoly. Yes, the prices are too high. But don't argue ridiculous telco arguments with your own ridiculous positions! Bandwidth costs. More bandwidth costs more.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.