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


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  1. identicon
    Derek Kerton, 23 Apr 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Broadband/Cable

    Would I care to explain that to you?

    Sure. The ISP is ripping you off.

    I can see how my arguing the ISP side of this debate may make it appear that I'm a telco shill, but don't read more into what I wrote than what is written. I NEVER said it was OK for an ISP to treat different bits different ways, such as those telcos that use Phorm, port blocking, VoIP blocking, P2P blocking, and other kinds of DPI. That is an absolute abuse of power, and would occur far less if there were adequate competition.

    I find DPI to be an invasion of privacy. I find the use of DPI to de-prioritize or block my bits as extremely arrogant. How does the ISP know that I'm not a doctor who is using P2P to share X-rays and patient data with a global group of specialist expert MDs, who are all collaborating on the best treatment for a unique case of cancer, in order to save a woman's life? Hey, ISP: I pay you to carry my bits...now stop snooping and carry my @#$ bits.

    But ISPs should be free to set tiers, and charge more for more.

    There's dumb pipe: one price, do as much as you want of whatever
    There's smart pipe: tiered services, different service levels, different market segments
    There's Big Brother pipe: sniffs your packets, makes judgements
    There's Monopoly pipe: slows off-deck packets, prefers ISP and partner services

    Consumer seem to want the first. Why not? Seems like a free lunch. The second is a fair compromise. The third and fourth are what the ISPs want to force into the market.

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