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[ NNSquad ] Re: AT&T imposing DSL and U-verse bandwidth caps, fees for "excess" use

I just wish people were required to take a class in basic accounting and
finance and in understanding how language works.

Let's be careful about our metaphors. Electricity is measured in terms of
energy consumed. It doesn't matter if you get 100 Amp or 200 Amp service.
Water is measured not so much for the cost of the water itself but, in many
communities, as a proxy for the cost of the sewer system.

Bits are very different. You're not consuming bits. Any pricing is based on
an accounting model. We need to drill down and look at the context and ask
whether the model makes sense.

In a subscription only model you're financing the local infrastructure by
having a lender who won't let you ever pay off the loan. There are financing
models which allow you to become an owner and which give you many more

I don't want to advocate for more copper but before you throw away existing
copper you have to look at the carriers' incentives for dissing copper and
not investing in it. The carriers have a stake in moving from regulated
copper to unregulated fiber so anything they say is highly suspect.

Before I talk about copper I need to again emphasize that I?m not saying we
should put in new copper nor should we spend a lot to use it. All I?m saying
is that before spend billions on shiny glass we should spend hundreds on
seeing what we can do with what is lying around. I know the carriers
salivate at billions and billions but for the rest of us saving a billion
dollars is a big deal.

Today's carriers are just as profligate as when they forced you to buy a
phone that would last 100 years even if it was already obsolete. If you were
an owner you'd first use what you had before spending money on the shiny

If you give me existing copper (not pairs, just copper) and fancy
electronics and only require I normalize to bits we have a lot more options.
Remember that modems maxed out the capacity of the system -- once we to a
native bit transport that problem disappeared. If you treat all the wires as
a common either then we are no longer at the mercy of being in a congested
lane while all other lanes are empty. With 25 years of Moore's law
improvement in the electronics we can automatically find out what we can do
with the bundle.

And if the DSLAM is indeed full then just pull fiber to the DSLAM (which is
closer to ATT's approach than Verizon's in which they actively cut the
copper because they are afraid people will find it's not useless).

And if you can't use the copper, OK, so borrow $1000 from a bank and pay it
back. You should not go to a loan shark who will never let you pay if off.

Same for cell phones -- that's why I use T-Mobile. I can buy the phone and
not pay each month for the loan. Other carriers charge me for the loan
whether I borrowed money to buy the phone or not.

-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of
Matt Larsen - Lists
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 16:43
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: AT&T imposing DSL and U-verse bandwidth caps, fees
for "excess" use


Your observation is only true when the DSL loops are all perfect copper
back to a central office where it is easy to do upgrades.

In the real world - there is a lot of bad copper out there that won't
support higher speeds, remote DSLAMs are all over the place and often
the backhauls to those remote DSLAMs are already close to being maxed
out.    People getting their broadband from these facilities will be out
of luck, and disallowing bit caps and reasonable network management will
make their broadband speeds worse.

I don't expect a refund from the water company or electrical company for
the "unused portion" of those utilities.   There is no reason to expect
such a thing from an ISP.

Matt Larsen

On 3/14/2011 2:22 PM, Paul Forbes wrote:
> It's more a case of profiteering than any real engineering problem
> that forces Big Telco to charge heavy users more to fund expanding
> infrastructure.
> You can bet that they won't be sending refunds for unused portions of
> bandwidth caps to anyone.
> On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:41 PM, Matt Larsen - Lists
> <lists@manageisp.com <mailto:lists@manageisp.com>> wrote:
>     This is a bunch of noise about nothing.   A big part of that that
>     2% is Bit Torrent and other filesharing traffic.   Setting the
>     future indeed.
>     This debate isn't about the future anyway - it is about right now
>     and how do we make the transition from our current network
>     structures to ones that can handle more capacity without problems.
>        DSL , Docsis 2.0 cable systems are stretched to the max to
>     handle the current load.   Outlawing bit caps will not solve the
>     problem - IT WILL MAKE IT WORSE!    Mobile broadband is already a
>     joke, and without caps it will be even more of a joke to the point
>     of being useless.
>     For example - what do you call an iPhone in New York City?
>     An iPod.
>     Seven years ago, the majority of my fixed wireless ISP customers
>     were buying 256K connections with a 3gig cap and were ecstatic
>     because it was 10x faster than dialup.   Today, I have 25meg at my
>     house on my fixed wireless connection and an 80gig cap that I
>     never even come close to hitting.    DSL is still capped at the
>     same speeds from seven years ago because it is obsolete
>     technology.   Cable has generally seen a 4x increase in speed in
>     the same time frame.   Mobile wireless is just now getting to the
>     place where you can get the same speeds that were available on my
>     network five years ago.    Fixed wireless speeds have gone up
>     almost 100x in that same time.   I am ready to compete with cable
>     and DSL, and so are a couple thousand other fixed wireless ISPs in
>     the US that are capable of serving 72% of US households with
>     broadband.    Even so, we are operating with limited spectrum to
>     deliver the last mile and get backbone to that last mile APs, so
>     bit caps and reasonable network management are a necessity for us
>     to maintain network integrity.
>     Bit caps and reasonable network management are important
>     intermediate steps to get from where we are now to where we want
>     to be without ruining the Internet experience of the other 98% of
>     the population.   If the telcos and cablecos don't upgrade their
>     networks to accomodate the increase in traffic, then we need to
>     have legitimate competition that can take their business - not
>     unreasonable legislation that introduces congestion issues.
>      Push for competition and quit getting distracted by sideline issues.
>     Matt Larsen
>     vistabeam.com <http://vistabeam.com/>
>     On 3/14/2011 11:37 AM, Bob Frankston wrote:
>         And those 2% are the ones trying to define the future.
>         Remember that in the 1970's ATT would've reminded us that no
>         one uses packet
>         networks and thus they shouldn't be forced to provide a
>         service for naked
>         packets and instead only allow packets associated with a
>         tariffed service.
>         Modems were probably far less than 1% of the traffic in the
>         60's so why
>         would ATT have permitted them to abuse the voice lines with
>         their chatter.
>         Any company that can squash the leading edge can prevent the
>         future,
>         especially when it is a threat.
>         Of course this is all about the accounting model in which we
>         assume that the
>         gatekeepers must make a profit no matter what the cost to
>         society. With a
>         different accounting model the rationalization for caps would
>         disappear.
>         -----Original Message-----
>         From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com
>         <http://bobf.frankston.com/>@nnsquad.org <http://nnsquad.org/>
>         [mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad
>         <mailto:nnsquad-bounces%2Bnnsquad>=bobf.frankston.com
>         <http://bobf.frankston.com/>@nnsquad.org
>         <http://nnsquad.org/>] On Behalf Of
>         Lauren Weinstein
>         Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 12:48
>         To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org <mailto:nnsquad@nnsquad.org>
>         Subject: [ NNSquad ] AT&T imposing DSL and U-verse bandwidth
>         caps, fees for
>         "excess" use
>         AT&T imposing DSL and U-verse bandwidth caps, fees for
>         "excess" use
>         http://j.mp/esGMKS  (Engadget)
>         "AT&T U-Verse TV service won't count towards the GB cap"
>         Translation: Screw you, Netflix!
>         "Less than 2 percent of our Internet customers could be
>         impacted by this approach"
>         Of course, that assumes no increase in usage, which assumes
>         the predicted increases in video streaming don't come to pass.
>         But then, the incentive here is clear -- don't watch
>         or use competing Internet services that count against the cap,
>         get U-verse and watch AT&T video services and your usage won't
>         apply against the cap!
>         ===>  We control the pipe.  We win.  Thank you for using AT&T.<===
>         --Lauren--
>         Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com
>         <mailto:lauren@vortex.com>): http://www.vortex.com/lauren
>         Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility:
>         http://www.pfir.org <http://www.pfir.org/>
>         Founder:
>          - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org
>         <http://www.nnsquad.org/>
>          - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance:
>         http://www.gctip.org <http://www.gctip.org/>
>          - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com <http://www.vortex.com/>
>         Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
>         Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com <http://lauren.vortex.com/>
>         Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
>         Google Buzz: http://j.mp/laurenbuzz
>         Quora: http://www.quora.com/Lauren-Weinstein
>         Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 <tel:%2B1%20%28818%29%20225-2800> /
>         Skype: vortex.com <http://vortex.com/>