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[ARSTechnica] ISP explains data caps to FCC: Using the Internet is like eating Oreos - Page 14  

post #131 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Majin SSJ Eric View Post

Yeah, I do remember when Comcast was testing out data caps in certain markets a while ago and was definitely worried they might do so in my area as well. If they had I would've certainly been pissed about it and probably switched to a different provider, but I would not have ever argued that they didn't have every right to impose a cap if they wanted. It is not up to me to decide how much profit a company is allowed to make on its products / service. All I can control is whom I choose to do business with...

What happens if Comcast is the only ISP in the area though?
post #132 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by incog View Post

What happens if Comcast is the only ISP in the area though?
Oreos will be the local currency.
post #133 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by incog View Post

What happens if Comcast is the only ISP in the area though?

Then Comcast makes a killing on substandard service until competition arrives.
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post #134 of 155
Isn't this more analogous to bandwidth usage at any point in time, like 25/50/100 megabits cap? That's why you buy a bigger speed limit if you want more 'oreos' instantly. What this has to do with data usage over a month, I do not know.
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post #135 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tivan View Post

Isn't this more analogous to bandwidth usage at any point in time, like 25/50/100 megabits cap? That's why you buy a bigger speed limit if you want more 'oreos' instantly. What this has to do with data usage over a month, I do not know.

It has nothing to do with data usage over a month.

The limitation on the part of the ISP is on bandwidth, not on total use. The cost is things like "do I need to buy another transmitter in this link to cover another channel." Utilizing an existing channel is completely insignificant, the only cost is the electricity needed to run the equipment and that's peanuts.
post #136 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

It has nothing to do with data usage over a month.

The limitation on the part of the ISP is on bandwidth, not on total use. The cost is things like "do I need to buy another transmitter in this link to cover another channel." Utilizing an existing channel is completely insignificant, the only cost is the electricity needed to run the equipment and that's peanuts.


Seems like we agree, though the person quoted in the article is not agreeing. Let me quote: "People thus shouldn't complain when Internet providers impose data caps and charge more when customers go over them, he wrote."

Pretty odd line of argument by Mediacom, if you ask me.

edit: reminds me, my ISP has a clause to be able to throttle speeds at peak hours to 40% of the purchased rate (but no less.). Maybe that makes sense if optimizing hardware usage is the concern. Though in my case it's because of the semi shared nature of tv cable based internet. So not sure if this is close to reasonable with other types of wired internet access.
Edited by Tivan - 9/29/16 at 1:50pm
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post #137 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagget3450 View Post

Wow, so now i understand how it works. So when i go on netflix and watch a movie it will tell me how many oreo's the movie uses? Where exactly is the labels of data size for every item you wish to view or use on internet? I would like to throw oreos at this man instead.

Yeah, and another reason this analogy (the ISPs) falls flat is the oreo is produced by Nabisco and sold through grocery stores. A more accurate analogy would be if a grocery store charged you a "shelf cap", where the standard price includes up to 4 oreos, and for each additional pair of oreos over 4, they'll charge you .25 cents. All this because building and maintaining shelves to hold all these products isn't free y'know? If you consume more oreos than the average oreo lover you need to shoulder your fair share of shelf maintenance.

The way I see it ISP's already make their "margin" on the product being sold through their "store" via a monthly subscription.

Needless to say, they should work on their analogies.
Edited by Aemonn - 9/29/16 at 1:52pm
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post #138 of 155
Are any analogies really needed? Maybe Mediacom is just the drum of basses.
post #139 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tivan View Post

Seems like we agree, though the person quoted in the article is not agreeing. Let me quote: "People thus shouldn't complain when Internet providers impose data caps and charge more when customers go over them, he wrote."

Well, yes. What I'm saying is that the guy saying it's like eating Oreos is full of crap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tivan View Post

edit: reminds me, my ISP has a clause to be able to throttle speeds at peak hours to 40% of the purchased rate (but no less.). Maybe that makes sense if optimizing hardware usage is the concern. Though in my case it's because of the semi shared nature of tv cable based internet. So not sure if this is close to reasonable with other types of wired internet access.

Again, this is the part that has some justification. The limitation on the part of the ISP is one of bandwidth, not total data delivered. The reason they have that clause is because if every single one of their customers starts streaming Netflix on three different devices at the same time, they won't have the bandwidth to cover everyone at an acceptable quality.

That one individual person might stream Netflix 24 hours a day for a month is completely meaningless: at 3am, their bandwidth usage is low, so it really is zero cost for them at that point for that user to continue streaming. The reason they have the caps is that there's potentially an argument that they will control the peak bandwidth by constraining any one individual's consumption, but the math just doesn't back it up. That, and they can charge you exorbitant fees by going over arbitrary and completely meaningless thresholds. I'll leave it to you to figure out which motivation is more dominant.

And it doesn't depend on the type of delivery. Cable, DSL, FTTH, Satellite, it doesn't matter. Total data for an individual user is irrelevant, only the peak bandwidth of their entire customer base affects the ISP's cost of building a network.
Edited by Mand12 - 9/30/16 at 12:05pm
post #140 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

Well, yes. What I'm saying is that the guy saying it's like eating Oreos is full of crap.

I agree, the analogy is not accurate. I don't think they owe anybody an explanation about data caps at all as they are well within their rights to do whatever they want. That said, it will likely become harder and harder to try to maintain caps going forward as data use continues to soar worldwide. People want unfettered internet and eventually the ISP's will realize that attempting to maintain caps is going to become an untenable position and they will start losing customers as a result...
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