Linked by fran on Tue 1st Feb 2011 23:04 UTC
Internet & Networking There is a falling out between governments & ISPs on the one hand and consumer groups and companies like YouTube and Netflix on the other. Lately more punitive measures affecting these companies and consumers have emerged that include increased throttling, greater per-usage billing and lower internet caps. The internet as whole is struggling to find a self-sustaining business model that supports the rising speed and bandwidth requirements of consumers and online media purveyors. The conflict boils down to who should pay and to what degree they should pay.
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RE[2]: Simple proposal
by Yamin on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple proposal"
Member since:

In 'economic terms', it is very difficult to price data to have an accurate cost. It's certainly not a cost per GB. I could go into more detail here... but basically... it's very difficult to price it. It would be some overly complex formula with time of day usage, destination of the packet (peering), current congestion, infrastructure pricing... All to create what is an artificial price. There is really no cost to data once the infrastructure is in place... with the exception of transit charges.

But more importantly, it is too tempting for a natural monopoly like an ISP to abuse it's power to get overuse charges from users beyond what it actually costs.

Also ISPs can abuse their power to prevent competition for voip, video services... as many ISPs are involved in many markets. This is what happened in Canada. Netflix sets up... suddenly Rogers, Bell... decide to start charging for usage above 25 GB... basically making Netflix not usable.

Lastly, I don't believe the regulators should play numbers games or deal in details when regulating. They should make big blanket regulations and enforce them. That's my own political view of regulations.
And I don't want government regulators having to go into pricing details and trying to figure out if ISPs are abusing their monopoly or pricing correctly for data...

Given that an ISP can throttle traffic... just do a big blanket regulations and ban usage charges and avoid the whole mess.

It's simple. They all have the network equipment to do it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Simple proposal
by zlynx on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 15:08 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple proposal"
zlynx Member since:

It certainly is a cost per GB!

When the ISP is using oversubscription, and almost everyone does, then each of their customers can use the full network speed, one at a time. But they cannot all use it, all of the time.

Oversubscription is a completely legitimate way to set up the network. It lets each customer enjoy the high speed connection as long as they don't use it for long periods of time.

This setup directly translates into a cost per usage. The user who uses large amounts of bandwidth is taking it away from the other users. To support all users using full bandwidth would require additional build-out of routers, fiber, etc.

The real cost of a 20 Mb Internet connection used 24/7 is much, much higher than $30/month, so anyone paying for cable, be glad you're oversubscribed.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Simple proposal
by Yamin on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 15:33 in reply to "RE[3]: Simple proposal"
Yamin Member since:

Oversubscription is legitimate. It's the only way to run a network. But that has nothing to do with pricing of per GB.

If I use 1 GB in offpeak times, it's not taxing the infrastructure.

You're also forgetting issues of peering and transit where the destination of a packet matters.

Any price the ISPs come up with WILL be artificial just for the sake of pricing it.

Ultimately, they all building their infrastructure for some maximum use. All that matters is they control congestion as too many users try and use that capacity. That is far better controlled via lowering each user's speed when that happens than having an artificial price.

About the best you can do is take
Maximum bandwidth / number of users = bandwidth/user/second

Maximum monthly use / user = bandwidth/user/second*seconds/month

That's about the best you could do.
But even then, the ISP will throttle when congestion happen and it doesn't take into transit charges.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:

So, what your saying is that it's perfectly legitimate to sell the same hammer to two customers and tell them to simply not both build at the same time while each is paying you the full price of the hammer? After all, the store only ordered one hammer with the last stock shipment so it seems perfectly reasonable that they should double-sell that single unit.

See, I didn't sign up for a time-share. I pay for a monthly amount of data transfer with a specified rate of transfer. The ISP over-subscribing the network to the point of one user's traffic affecting other users while promising each user a dedicated feed.. doesn't that amount to fraud?

Reply Parent Score: 3