Can P2P applications learn to play fair on networks?

> If I'm sitting at the end of 8Mb/768k cable modem link, and paying
> for it, I should damned well be able to use it anytime I want.
> 24x7.
> As a consumer/customer, I say "Don't sell it it if you can't
> deliver it." And not just "sometimes" or "only during foo time".
> All the time. Regardless of my applications. I'm paying for it.

No you're not, it would be considerably more expensive if you were
paying for what you think you're buying. You're being sold something
less, the small print usually tells you.

Broadband may not be so popular if it was provided at the 20kbit/s
or so the ISP is budgeting for you using.

What I don't quite get is this, and this is probably skirting
"operational" and more into "capacity planning" :

* You aren't guaranteed 24/7 landline calls on a residential line;
  and everyone here should understand why.

* You aren't guaranteed 24/7 cellular calls on a cell phone; and
  again, everyone here should understand why.

So please remind me again why the internet is particuarly different?

Because we can. That's the packet vs circuit switched difference,
we no longer need to contend on time. That's a major benefit but
there's always someone who'll abuse it spoiling it for others.

The only reason I can think of is "your landline isn't marketed
as unlimited but your internet is" ..