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[ NNSquad ] Re: Do the Happy Dance people...

On 1 sep 2008, at 01.51, George Ou wrote:

It's the same dishonesty you have when these people claim that advertised
speeds are guaranteed minimums when in fact they've left out the "up to"
part of the advertisement and the contract.

It's not really this straightforward though: In very few scenarios does 'unlimited' really mean unlimited once you start prodding the system a bit.

Take public transportation: $150 will get me a travel pass that covers unlimited travel - no per-trip charge, one flat fee. In my region (southern Sweden), we got city buses, commuter buses and commuter trains. The trains swallow several hundred people at once and they run fairly often. The regional buses doesn't run all that often and they got a seating limit of 50 people.

If you were to make a somewhat flawed but nonetheless useful analogy, let's call the regional buses 'CMTS'. We can also call the trains 'Ethernet' for posterity.
We'll also assume that human cloning is commonplace and there's more than one of myself (Stem cell research isn't banned in Sweden)

If I catch the same regional bus every morning, that's normal behaviour. If 30 imaginay me's take the same bus every morning, that's normal behaviour. If 70 imaginary me's take the same bus every morning, there'll be two buses. Not rocket science. There's only so much busing one single person (plus clones) can do in one month and I'm guessing it's fairly easy to project usage based on this.

It starts becoming an issue if the buses get crowded. We got limited space - so if 40 me's enter the bus at the garage at the beginning of the day and never get off, there's very limited seating capacity avilable for anyone that's not me or my clone. Am I exercising my right to Unlimited travel? Yes. But it will obviously become a problem. (You really have the same problem on the trains, it just won't be as visible and painful as it'll be on the buses.)

What Comcast basically did in the terms of this analogy was to define 'Unlimited' as '250 trips per month' - or 8.3 trips per day. Your average Commuter Joe would use two trips per (week) day. A guy with two jobs in different cities picking up his kid in yet another city would use maybe five, and that's a fairly extreme example in the terms of train riding.

On the other hand, we have the technology to create clones that do stuff for you without you having to do it yourself. If you have the BitTorrent brand of cereal for breakfast, you get ten clones. Put them on the bus for the entire day and you get all the movies you want for free (and then some) since they'll be mingling with other peoples clones.

So we have the consumer saying "Look, I paid for this and it doesn't say that you can't put ten clones on the bus". We also got the company saying "The buses are becoming a bit crowded and a number of the seats are occupied by them clones, giving problems for the other patrons". If I were waiting to get home and the bloody bus was full of clones carrying little pices of a DVD each, I'd be pretty pissed - so it's not entirely unrealistic thinking from the company side to think of the other - also paying - patrons.

I agree that it's not a good thing to peddle something as unlimited if it isn't, mind. Just trying to highlight that it's not plain cut black and white.