[tpm] [u-u] Usage Based Billing - What you should know..

daniel at benoy.name daniel at benoy.name
Wed Feb 23 13:29:27 PST 2011

>> If they want to give people unlimited bandwidth on their
>> pipes don't you think they should be able to?
> I haven't been able to penetrate the rhetoric on either side to
> determine if that's an option or not.

 If you want, you can do some research yourself into these costs.  There 
 are two networks your data passes into before reaching the internet at 
 large if you're a Bell or Rogers customer.  First, the local network 
 controlled by your ISP that gets your data to nearby central facilities, 
 and from there to main datacenters.  Second, there's the datacenter's 
 peer connections (the 'internet backbones').

 You can go check out some major bandwidth providers and see what their 
 rates are.  They generally charge a fixed rate based on link capacity, 
 or on 95th percentile usage based billing.

 As for the ISP network, typically the interconnects between the local 
 user facilities and their datacenters (called 'backhauls') will be dark 
 fiber connections or simple LAN extensions supplied by third parties and 
 they won't pay based on usage at all, and in the case of cable, the 
 actual cable lines themselves become a kind of shared network for each 
 neighborhood.  (The current network system of this type in wide 
 deployment is called DOCSIS 3)

 Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to research these types of costs for 
 yourself, because Bell and Rogers aren't about to tell everyone how 
 efficient/inefficient their network is.  To complicate matters further, 
 the CRTC enforces a 'one cable and one phone carrier per area' rule.  
 (All third party providers are actually just leasing lines from Bell or 
 Rogers.)  So, with their monopoly position over their respective 
 territories, there's no way to compare competing DSL or cable provider 
 prices, so we're forced to take their word for it when they claim that 
 $2/GB is simply the cost of bandwidth.

 The way I see it, the government just needs to let multiple companies 
 run their cables to your house, so that they can compete on the basis of 
 their entire network, from top to bottom, and this problem will 
 evaporate as third party ISPs like teksavvy elect to just run their own 
 phone, fiber, and cable lines rather than deal with Bell and Rogers.  
 (Or, under the threat of that happening, Bell and Rogers are forced to 
 shape up)

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