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[ NNSquad ] Re: [IP] It's Showtime for Tiered Broadband

My forwarded message text below reflects my personal opinion only,
of course.


------- Forwarded Message

To: dave@farber.net
cc: lauren@vortex.com
Subject: Re: [IP] It's Showtime for Tiered Broadband 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Mon, 11 Aug 2008 19:12:20 EDT."
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 17:39:57 -0700
From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com>

> Time to look at why they like tiered approaches. Does wreck internet  
> video deliveries economics. Sounds like maybe carriers should be  
> banned from media delivery. djf


You're not kidding.  Or, count their own content within the metered
limits.  I realize that the economics of intranet vs. Internet data
are different, but these caps are in the Twilight Zone -- they're
obviously arbitrary and aimed at suppressing the use of outside
content providers.  

The TW Texas "Golden Triangle" info pages describing how "Our new
usage-based billing makes your Internet experience even better" are
a real hoot (must be a typo in there where they accidentally
substituted "your" for "our"?  Yeah, right, pay more for what you
used to get for less.  Now that's an improvement (if you're a TW
stockholder, perhaps).  Wait until people see what automatic
software updates do to their usage, especially at the lower tier
levels ...

The page also describes 1GB as 70K e-mails (lessee now, subtracting
out the spam, that leaves about 5 messages per GB these days, eh?)
or 1344 hours of Web browsing.  Hours?  I think that's the first
time I've heard Web usage expressed in terms of browsing time in
such a manner.  "What's the conversion factor between browsing hours
and bytes?" he asks.

A related page explains that bandwidth caps are already covered by
the terms of service:

     Also, the terms of service for Road Runner subscribers notes
     that "a subscriber (sic) may not be used to engage in any
     conduct that interferes with Operator's ability to provide
     service to others, including the use of excessive bandwidth."

Of course, TW need not *demonstrate* or even assert that any actual
interference is taking place, hmmm?

They claim 1GB == 7 hours of low-resolution video (YouTube) -- but
YouTube resolution is on the rise so even that number is suspect.

Most amusing part perhaps:

    1GB == 3 hours of standard definition streaming video or 45
    minutes of high-definition streaming video.   

So, at their highest tier where you get 40GB/mo, you can watch a
grand total of one hour of HD video a day (by this calculation) --
*if* you don't use your connection for *anything* else.  A simply
dandy way to nip those troublesome outside video providers in the

Of course, you can watch all of those wonderful Time Warner adult
movies (and any other TW content) to the limit of your heart's
desire with no bandwidth limits at all!  The choice is clear, dear
TW subscribers!

The fox is guarding the henhouse, plain and simple.  If this situation
isn't ripe for regulatory scrutiny, we might as well shut down the 
FCC and FTC.  Hey Congress, knock knock.  Anybody Home?

- --Lauren--
Lauren Weinstein
lauren@vortex.com or lauren@pfir.org 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR
   - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org 
Co-Founder, NNSquad 
   - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com 
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com 

  - - -

> Time to look at why they like tiered approaches. Does wreck internet  
> video deliveries economics. Sounds like maybe carriers should be  
> banned from media delivery. djf
> Begin forwarded message:
> From: dewayne@warpspeed.com (Dewayne Hendricks)
> Date: August 11, 2008 2:41:12 PM EDT
> To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy@warpspeed.com>
> Subject: [Dewayne-Net] It's Showtime for Tiered Broadband
> [Note:  This item comes from friend Randy Burge.  DLH]
> From: Randy Burge <burge@proactive.to>
> Date: August 11, 2008 11:19:40 AM PDT
> To: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayne@warpspeed.com>
> Subject: It¹s Showtime for Tiered Broadband
> It?s Showtime for Tiered Broadband
> Stacey Higginbotham, Monday, August 11, 2008     at 9:00 AM PT
> The two-month grace period is ending for Time Warner Cable customers  
> in Beaumont, Texas, who are part of the ISPs tiered broadband trials.  
> A spokesman for Time Warner Cable declined to comment but confirmed  
> that residents would soon see bills reflecting the $1 per gigabyte  
> overage charge for those who have consumed more than the 5 GB allowed  
> under the $29.95 plan all the way up to the 40 GB allowed under the  
> $54.90 plan. Now they?ll have to pay them.
> <snip>
> <http://gigaom.com/2008/08/11/its-showtime-for-tiered-broadband/ >RSS  
> Feed: <http://www.warpspeed.com/wordpress>
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------- End of Forwarded Message