If You're Going To Meter Or Cap Broadband, Shouldn't You Provide A Meter?

from the where's-the-problem? dept

With various ISPs implementing forms of capped or metered broadband, you would think it would be standard (if not required) that they also provide consumers with the tools to measure their consumption. Otherwise it seems a bit unfair to say you can only use x amount, but you have no way to know when you've actually done so. But, it seems that hasn't really stopped various ISPs. News.com is noticing that despite capping broadband connections at 250 gigs/month for many months (and rumors and screenshots of it), Comcast still refuses to deliver a broadband monitoring solution for users. If that's the case, it makes you wonder how accurate/reliable its own internal monitors are, and how it can guarantee that users actually get the 250 gigs they're promised. Perhaps I'm missing something, but is it really that difficult to measure broadband usage? If so, that would seem to be yet another reason that ISPs might want to stay away from metered broadband: the cost of developing a system to actually track it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:59pm

    Just want to point out vnstat, a great and very simple bandwidth monitoring tool for those of us on *nix platforms... FOSS obviously.
    http://humdi.net/vnstat/

    A bit old, but if like pretty picture view:
    http://www.sqweek.com/sqweek/index.php?p=1

     

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  2.  
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    tim, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:08pm

    they are full of it

    measuring usage is not hard. All ISPs in australia at least have an online portal that you can log into, to see how much of your quota you have used. some are even easier, I have a windows sidebar widget that reports on my peak quota available, offpeak quota available, and days remaining until reset, making it the easiest thing in the world to keep control of. it does a remeasure every 30 minutes.

     

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  3.  
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    CleverName, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    Gve you a meter ?

    Where's the money in that ?

    If you knew that your cap was about to be exceeded, you might just stop using the damn thing and then the poor ISP would be out the stupid overage fee.

    It is not unlike the bank fees and all the silliness that goes along with them.

     

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  4.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Call me a nut, but I'd guess that Comcast has no system in place to measure every individual user's bandwidth. My guess is that they do have a system in place that tracks net use such as bittorrent, VOIP, and video streaming services. And those people who do such things "excessively" get clipped by Comcast.

    To put it another way, Comcast uses this illusory "cap" merely as a means to get rid of users they no longer want to serve.

    The wireless companies are lucky. The "own" their networks so they can limit any service they don't like. But ISPs such as Comcast are forced by tradition to carry everything the net has to offer, including services that directly compete with their services. This is just their attempt at leveling the playing field.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:31pm

    If you are going to make a post about bandwidth meters, perhaps you should research the subject a bit?

    As mentioned, Australia has it. Bell in Canada has it. Comcast may have other reasons not to have it, but their issues aren't a reason for all over ISPs to back away from capping bandwidth.

    Sort of like finding one house with a leaky pipe so the rest of us should live without water for the rest of our lives.

    Mike, you never cease to amaze me.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:57pm

    They should invest in more streets, than in traffic cops

    Makes sense, most T1 CSU/DSU hardware has a screen with statistics on it.

    Shouldn't be hard to implement. But if the broadband companies had to spend $50.00 to replace all the cable modems, DSL modems and similar hardware currently in service, wouldn't it make more sense to invest that into building out infrastructure?

     

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  7.  
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    thublihnk (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 8:16pm

    Re:

    Before you write a scathing comment on an article, perhaps you should read it?
    There's plenty of reasons not to cap and meter broadband, what Mike's saying in this article is that if you're going to do it you should give something to the consumers of your service to monitor their own usage.
    Also, your analogy is flawed because unlike water, a world without capped and metered broadband would be a much brighter place.

     

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  8.  
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    bob, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 8:32pm

    Small Claims Court

    When they cut you off and you have no way to know what your limit is that you used.
    Sue them in small claims court for the max allowed.
    When many people do it, it will make news and it might get their attention.

     

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  9.  
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    Jim (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 8:37pm

    I am a ComCast User

    Want to hear something funny??? They just updated our speeds for FREE to 32MB DOWNLOAD and 12MB UPLOAD.

    If they are not trying to MAKE you go over the limit, I don't know what they are doing....

    F'in B A S tards..

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 9:17pm

    Re:

    Man I with Techdirt had a "punch commenter in the face" button (there's a CwF + RtB feature for you) - especially when the commenter delivers with such snark.

    All that is being said is that if you are going to cap usage - you better offer a way to monitor usage. If you are not going to offer a way to monitor - it's probably a bad idea to cap.

    But no - the water companies in your world can cap your water usage, but not offer you a way to know how much water you have used - NICE!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re:

    The snark comes because once again,it's like Mike ran a story without checking anything, and draws a very wide conclusion without the facts. It's amazing to watch him go, and even more amazing to watch the sheep eat it.

     

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  12.  
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    rhc (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 9:53pm

    Hmmmm somebody doesn't like Mike. Anyways, I think it'd be nice not to have caps. I actually REALLY find them disturbing...so much so I cancelled my Time Warner Road Runner Service with the mention of it and signed up for a T1. I tried verizon but just did not have a good experience with them.
    DOWN with broadband caps!

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 9:54pm

    DU meter i bought a copy back in 2001 and still use it, only problem is if you have several PCs you'll need one or each. back then cost very cheap too

     

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  14.  
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    Kurtis Schmidt, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 9:59pm

    Router Bandwidth Monitor

    Probably the nicest solution for monitoring your bandwidth is with a router that supports it. For example, if you have the know how and can install dd-wrt or tomato on a router, all devices that use the internet will be monitored together.

     

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  15.  
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    tim, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 10:24pm

    Re:

    The thing is, if they are forcing the cap on you, there is no way in hell you should have to pay to get a monitor to make sure you dont go over it. It would be like someone saying 'you have a huge fuel tank on your car, but it you use more than half of it, you get charged extra fees.' and then they take the fuel gauge off your car.

    The caps themselves are a ridiculous idea, but imposing extra fees/restrictions without letting you know much you have used in the first place should be criminal.

    BTW, in Australia, we generally get the option of internet shaping OR excess fees, depending on how much we value the fast speed - is that so in the US as well? or is it only fees?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    With various ISPs implementing forms of capped or metered broadband, you would think it would be standard (if not required) that they also provide consumers with the tools to measure their consumption. Otherwise it seems a bit unfair to say you can only use x amount, but you have no way to know when you've actually done so. But, it seems that hasn't really stopped various ISPs.

    What didn't he check? Does Comcast cap bandwidth? Does Comcast offer a bandwith monitor so capped users can see how much bandwith they have used? THAT is the story - not some snarky comeback that is contrary for contrary's sake.

     

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  17.  
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    Luci, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'd be interested in hearing what conclusions you believe he is making and what facts are missing? Comcast meters usage. Comcast does not offer a utility to monitor your own usage. Conclusion: Comcast should offer a utility or not meter usage.

    Where am I missing what you're after? Or are you truly just trolling? I believe the latter.

     

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  18.  
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    Ilfar, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    No more water!

    Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide! It's one of the most addictive substances on earth, and you'll never get unaddicted!

     

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  19.  
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    Falindraun, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Gve you a meter ?

    You sir have hit the nail on the head.

     

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  20.  
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    Reyaan, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:28pm

    Over in South Africa we have been capped for years. Telkom only allows limited usage to home users. Personally i have a 384kbps line with 1 GB cap. So i don't see how people can complain about having a 250GB cap on them. at least Telkom is kind enough to give us a meter though. :D Good day.

     

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  21.  
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    Sailingmaster (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:30pm

    Comcast doesn't want it's customers to know...

    how much bandwidth they're using. Makes it easier to charge you more money, and lets be real specific here.

    Comcast is not interested in providing a service. What Comcast wants is as much money as they can squeeze out of a customer, even if it will cost them that customer's business.

    I know, that doesn't make any sense. However, there are people who do not have a choice. Outside major metropolitan areas, most small towns have only one choice for cable. DSL may or may not be available. Worse off, in some major cities, collusive agreements between cable providers prevent actual competition between said providers except in areas of new home & commercial construction. Even then, in some areas it's already been divided up as to who gets what.

    At any rate, with what amounts to a hostage market, it should be no surprise that Comcast treats its customers shoddily and fights municipal ISPs tooth and nail.

    Microsoft is not the evil empire, it's Comcast.

     

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  22.  
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    AnonCow, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:41pm

    I called Comcast to find out my month-to-date bandwidth usage and nobody could tell me. After being transferred around, I ended up in their fraud & abuse department. The fraud & abuse group is the team that reviews usage and decides who gets bounced off their network. I was told that it is not done in real-time. They look at traffic reports well after the fact and then decide which customers to shut off.

    The solution is simple. The FCC just needs to require that any ISP that caps bandwidth has a real-time tool for customers to check their usage. It's not really that outrageous of an expectation. Same goes for traffic shaping. If an ISP is going to dump my packets, it should be able to tell me when and which packets are getting dumped.

     

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  23.  
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    Kuwi, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 1:57am

    Only 250gigs.

    Sucks to be you guys. Nearly every residental non-dial up connection in New Zealand is capped. Mine is capped at 10gigs a month and I pay $2.95 for every gig I go over, which is usually by at least another 10 gig.

    250gig cap. You don't want to know the digusting things I would do to have such a data cap in my life.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 2:18am

    Re:

    Yea but if they gave you guys over there any more bw you would send your spam letters trying to get tons more money out of the suckers here.

     

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  25.  
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    Kuwi, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 2:34am

    Re: Re:

    Moah? Tee hee.

    Nah, just means no seeds for you suckers.

     

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  26.  
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    Paul-G, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 3:06am

    You already have a meter

    Pop up your router management screen and click a few links. The numbers are normally found in the ADSL connection status pages somewhere.

    Admittedly a power outage or device reset loses the numbers. Most users have a reasonably consistent profile over time so it should not be too hard to estimate a general value.

    The advantage of this is that it is YOUR meter so you can trust the results.

     

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  27.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's also interesting to see how people who want to see certain things, *always* see them, regardless of the facts. Now that sounds like a sheep to me....

     

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  28.  
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    jilocasin, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:13am

    I don't think they offer DSL.

    "Pop up your router management screen and click a few links. The numbers are normally found in the ADSL connection status pages somewhere."

    You do realize that they are a cable company right?

     

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  29.  
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    Mechwarrior, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:43am

    Re:

    Dont be so daft. We're talking about United States, you ISP crony.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, please read the last sentence:

    "that would seem to be yet another reason that ISPs might want to stay away from metered broadband: the cost of developing a system to actually track it."

    It's wrong on many levels. First, there are plenty of ISPs with metering systems. Second, Mike hates capped internet usage (it goes against his "FREE!" view of the universe), and third, the issues of Comcast should in no way stop other companies from doing what they see as right.

    It is a massively overreaching conclusion, one drawn only to support Mike's large universe view, not to impart any useful information.

     

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  31.  
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    Mike, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:00am

    BW Meters

    You can always find free tools online for this sort of thing but remember there is overhead to worry about as well, the 12GB you transfer every couple of days will probably have a bit of overhead on it.

    Most Major Canadian ISPs have BW Meters for their customers: Bell, Shaw (I believe), Telus, and Cogeco. The only one that your customer can't see on their own without jumping through 50 hoops is Rogers.

    Give the guy a break, he (or someone he knows) probably got tagged with an over-use charge and couldn't find out what happened :P

     

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  32.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:01am

    Do people hit that cap ?

    As I've stated many times, most people posting as 'anonymous coward' or similar are ignored by me and presumably many others.

    "despite capping broadband connections at 250 gigs/month"

    Poor dears. I have a 35Gb/month cap, and that's considered large to most people I know near me in Australia. I don't often go near it but there are times I do.

    To keep on topic though, the ISP should provide some form of monitoring tool. My ISP (iiNet) provide a sweet set of tools for managing your account and viewing usage.

     

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  33.  
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    AC, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:19am

    Re: Gve you a meter ?

    ..but at least you can check your bank balance. Whether or not you actually check it is up to you.

     

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  34.  
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    Glenn, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:20am

    Close...

    If you're going to meter or cap broadband, shouldn't you...

    just get out of the ISP business altogether?

     

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  35.  
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    Jiminy Cricket (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:23am

    Re:

    If by level, you mean tilt firmly in their own direction, I wholeheartedly agree.

     

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  36.  
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    TPBer (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:39am

    Meters

    I would always prefer my own meter over theirs. Wouldn't it be like the fox guarding the hen house using theirs?

     

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  37.  
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    mklinker, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: Gve you a meter ?

    That's assuming they show you an updated and correct balance. I'd lump this with all there check holding and payment processing crap. Why is it that the banks push so hard for Check 21 to get there overdraft fees, but they still take a week to process a check *into* your account.

    I like to call it the corporate raping of America, but that's just me :)

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Gve you a meter ?

    except comcast doesn't charge overages. and you guys villify comcast, but they don't even enforce this in all areas. i've gone over 250gb many times living in my major metropolitan area and they haven't even sent a notice.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 8:22am

    Re: Meters

    Well the smart people would refer to both their own meters *and* the ISP provided meter, thereby gaining the ability to note discrepancies and take action if needed. Including "class action", if that's necessary. But the fox guarding the henhouse doesn't like the idea of a dog guarding the henhouse as well. Then he can't secretly grab a hen now and then. Unless he can bribe the dog.

     

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  40.  
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    TwoHats (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Here is a web based free meter

     

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  41.  
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    vastrightwing, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    you agree to a fee

    Once up on a time, companies produced value: today they resell stuff and charge fees:
    Late fees, overdraft fees, insufficient fund fee, maintenance fee, exceeding cap fee, convenience fee, downgrade fee, early termination fee, in activity fee, unpublished phone number fee, check bag fee, print ticket at home fee, restocking fee, fee for including a safe in your hotel room, etc. By the way, in reading this text, you have just agreed to pay me a reading fee of twenty five cents. Thank you!

     

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  42.  
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    Jon Bane (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re: They should invest in more streets, than in traffic cops

    I used to do BYOM with Comcast and it had a nice counter in it. Further, I have never seen an enterprise networking device that didn't include the ability to show usage statistics. It is an expected feature in that class of hardware. So there is ZERO reason from a technology standpoint that Comcast couldn't provide it. Even in the off chance in hell that their equipment doesn't have simple counters, they are certainly a large enough customer that they could request the functionality to be added in.

    The bottom line is, this is about money. Whether it be financing the application to provide the statistics or simply wanting to charge overage fees. There is no reason they can not. Simply, they will or have not.

     

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  43.  
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    Ian L, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    A few corrections

    1. Broadband metering, even cable metering on a system identical to Comcast's, is easy to do and is done right now on many ISPs.
    2. How can Comcast easily beter broadband? Push an update to all modems (simple) that enables SNMP and sends the data back to Comcast. Done.
    3. In reality, 250GB is just an arbitrary limit that Comcast equates to "a lot of data". From what I've heard/seen, they're only going to cut a customer off if they're downloading/uploading enough to congest the network for everyone else. So at that point Comcast has the choice to cut the person off, or upgrade their infrastructure, or make the customer move to a business plan whete a higher payment means Comcast can invest more into their infrastructure.
    4. Want to measure your own usage? Grab a router compatible with DD-WRT or tomato, install it and there you go. Any Linksys WRT54-series router (G, G2, GS, GS2) can support the firmware, as can some of their higher-end routers (like my WRT310N) and routers of other manufacturers (for example the Dell TrueMobile 2300 if you can believe that). So you can go ahead and monitor your own usage.

    I don't like caps and overages (or service cutoffs; we don't have after-overage throttling in the US for wireline carriers) more than the next guy, however people need to get their facts straight. Comcats's 250GB "soft cap" is to my knowledge the most liberal one in the residential ISP field for companies who do cap usage. If you don't like the cap, $60 per month will buy you a business-class connection at their lower tier (6/1 or 12/2 depending on the area) and you're good to go.

    I have Comcast in Colorado and it works fine. I use TWC (no caps yet, thankfully) in Texas and it works fine. I use a wireless ISP in Texas, with a 25GB cap...I haven't hit that cap in a long time since the internet is pretty crappy to begin with. If I had a 250GB cap on the wireless connection, I'd be on a higher speed tier and download more, but they don't offer that. So I do all my downloading in town, where the tubes are clear...yay adaptation.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    They Just Don't Want To

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but is it really that difficult to measure broadband usage?

    The mistake you seem to be making is that of making an unfounded assumption.

    You seem to be assuming that because Comcast is not providing the information that it is difficult to do so. Having experience as an engineer in this area, I would say that it would be very easy to do. So, if Comcast isn't, then I'd say that it's likely just because they don't *want* to.

    If so, that would seem to be yet another reason that ISPs might want to stay away from metered broadband: the cost of developing a system to actually track it.

    That's a conclusion based your previous faulty assumption of Comcast's motivations.

     

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  45.  
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    Peter (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    Caps?

    Well we have caps here in the Yukon from are only ISP provider and they give us a way to track our usage per month. Let me tell you we do not get anything close to 250 gigs/month cap! Max connection speed is 10Megs, and the monthly cap is 20Gigs/month with 10 dollar charge for every 1 gig you go over. We get to pay 79.95 a month for this privilege.
    So be happy with 250Gigs for a monthly cap I say.

    http://www.nwtel.ca/personal/internet/cable/cable-ultra/

     

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  46.  
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    Peter (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    No smoke here!

    Sorry, this link is better for info on what we get. They are the only provider in the North.

    http://www.nwtel.ca/personal/internet/cable/cable-ultra/

     

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  47.  
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    Peter (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    No smoke here!

    Sorry, this link is better for info on what we get. They are the only provider in the North.

    http://www.nwtel.ca/personal/internet/cable/cable-ultra/

     

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  48.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: they are full of it

    We have that in the USA for most of the wireless 3G data plans...but usually the data is woefully delayed. AT&T provides a disclaimer like "the data here may not accurately reflect your actual..." admitting it's basically as useful as a speedometer that always reads 30mph. There's a number displayed - it may or may not be correct.

    Mike and I disagree about caps, but I'm certainly on board that ISPs can't effectively use a cap without an excellent "odometer", and should also include outbound messages when thresholds are crossed (50%, 80%, 90%).

     

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  49.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I feel weird as I write it, but you and I agree that caps are OK. However, what has Mike written in THIS article that isn't plainly true?

    As the others have written, comcast has a cap, caps should come with a good meter. That's the bulk of the article, and not even you are debating it. Butchers who charge by the pound should have a scale in the shop...not so radical.

    His last sentence is not the crux of his article. Mike is merely tying it onto some ongoing arguments he makes. He says that there appears to be a cost to the project of implementing meters. He then makes the minuscule leap of logic to the fact that this cost counts against any benefits. Why can't you make that tiny leap?

    It's simple cost/benefit analysis.

    There is one blatantly wrong, self-contained falsehood in this thread, and it's yours:
    "Comcast may have other reasons not to have it, but their issues aren't a reason for all over ISPs to back away from capping bandwidth."

    Well, as a guy who works with telecom carriers, let me assure you that sentence is wrong. Every ISP looks at their competitors to learn lessons. I get paid to help them to it. If Comcast has reasons not to have caps, ALL the other ISPs want to know as much as they can about those reasons, and how they relate to their business. If "a reason not to have it" is found at Comcast, then it usually IS "a reason for all other ISPs to back away". It won't be the only factor in their decision, but it will be one.

    Do you not know the concept of cost/benefit analysis?

     

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  50.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: They should invest in more streets, than in traffic cops

    I think you're right. Of the two options you list, I think it's just that putting in a meter solution takes some time, and some money. You have to:

    - meter each user
    - get that data into a telco-grade database
    - develop a real-time database update data feed from meters
    - develop systems that trigger actions at certain events like overage
    - change marketing
    - develop web pages for user self-support
    - develop notification systems like email and SMS
    - get an SMS partner to deliver messages
    - have a call center trained to handle inquiries, remediation
    - have a system to implement repercussions, like throttling
    - integrate all of this

    This is a real project, and not trivial. It costs money, it takes time. It is, however, the kind of things that ISPs, telcos, and MSOs do (in their slow, plodding manner). What is actually more likely to happen is that most of them will carry on stumbling as they are, until a nimble vendor (billing company, throttling company, etc.) sells them on a complete solution. Then they'll skip to the integration step.

    In short, it's totally doable, it's not prohibitively expensive, but don't expect turtles to move like hares.

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    Wouldn't work for many people. I have many non-PC devices pullind data at my house. Tivo is just one example of about a dozen. What about guests using your Wi-Fi? Your modem itself has some overhead.

    Bottom line, a PC-based meter can't be assumed to have measured all of the traffic.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re:

    You offer an analogy that hit home. I have a Honda Superhawk VTR1000. Great bike...no gas meter!! There's a light that comes on when about 8 miles before empty.

    I used to run out of gas ALL the time, then I got cautious and just use the trip odometer, reset each fillup. I now know my range is 120 miles riding + as far as I am willing to walk after that.

    A normal gas tank meter gives lots of useful information through all levels in the tank. Honda's stupid light is almost useless: it tells me, suddenly, that I'm out of gas and desperately need more NOW. And even that light is better than what Comcast offers.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Because to us dum 'mericans, SA and Nigeria are the same place.

    You know, it's not like you're 3000 miles apart from the Yahoo Yahoo boys of Lagos. Tell them I said "Phflllt!"

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:42pm

    Re:

    BTW, you know why, yes?

    You ZA people tend to hit a lot of the same sites we Americans hit, served from...America. A very high percentage of your traffic travels overseas.

    However, you don't have a lot of undersea fiber to connect you, so the big ZA ISPs must use satellite to pull in the foreign content. That's expensive, even with lots of local caching. Your ISPs, thus, can't offer unlimited because they don't have unlimited wholesale deals.

    And that's why your caps come with good notification systems, because your ISPs have had some time to develop and integrate it.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Only 250gigs.

    Agreed that it sucks, but read my comment above for South Africa guy. Same applies to Kiwis.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Do people hit that cap ?

    Australia, NZ, ZA: the story is the same. Smaller population nations with lots of English speakers tend to hit a lot of servers in the USA, which are very far away and overseas. Read my comment to South Africa guy above if you want some of the reasoing behind your caps.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 25th, 2009 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Meters

    Sure. Just like you have your own meter beside the water company's, gas company's, and electric company's, right?

    It's a good idea, but you're inconsistent if you don't also monitor those other meters.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2009 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Meters

    I would always prefer my own meter over theirs. Wouldn't it be like the fox guarding the hen house using theirs?

    Yah, I know a guy who tried that with his electrical power meter. His meter showed that he used a lot less electricity than the power company's meter, but they still charged him based on their meter. They even replaced the meter a couple of times, but it didn't make any difference. Long story short: Eventually, they told him they were going to cut him off if he didn't pay up. Can you imagine that?

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Victor Matson, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    I've always thought that their cap was meant more to induce you to use protection(security)so they could sell more wireless services to your neighbors.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    lut, Jul 27th, 2009 @ 11:51pm

    you guys can call yourselfs lucky you don't live in Belgium ...speed sucks and all is capped

     

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


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