> The part of this discussion that really infuriates me (and Joe
> Greco has hit most of the salient points) is the deceptiveness
> in how ISPs "underwrite" the service their customers subscribe to.
> For instance, in our data centers, we have 1Gb uplinks to our ISPs,
> but guaranteed service subscription (a la CIR) to a certain rate
> which we engineer (based on average traffic volume, say, 400Mb), but
> burstable to full line rate -- if the bandwidth is available.
> Now, we _know_ this, because it's in the contract.
> As a consumer, my subscription is based on language that doesn't
> say "you can only have the bandwidth you're paying for when we
> are congested, because we oversubscribed our network capacity."
> That's the issue here.
You have a ZERO CIR on a consumer Internet connection.
Where's it say that?
How many different ways can an ISP say "speeds may vary and are not
guaranteed." It says so in the _contract_. So why don't you know
Gee, that's not exactly what I read.
Section 6 (a) Speeds and Network Management. I acknowledge that each tier
or level of the HSD Service has limits on the maximum speed at which I may
send and receive data at any time, as set forth in the price list or Terms
of Use. I understand that the actual speeds I may experience at any time
will vary based on a number of factors, including the capabilities of my
equipment, Internet congestion, the technical properties of the websites,
content and applications that I access, and network management tools and
techniques employed by TWC. I agree that TWC or ISP may change the speed of
HSD Service following such a change will constitute my acceptance of any new
speed. I also agree that TWC may use technical means, including but not
limited to suspending or reducing the speed of my HSD Service, to ensure
Both "to ensure that its service operates efficiently" and "techniques
employed by TWC" would seem to allow for some variation in speed by the
local cable company - just as the speed on a freeway may drop during
construction, or during rush hour. However, there's very strong language
in there that indicates that the limits on sending and receiving are set
forth in the price list.
ISPs tell you that when you order, in the terms of service, when you call
customer care that "speeds may vary and are not guaranteed."
"Speeds may vary and are not guaranteed" is obvious on the Internet.
"We're deliberately going to screw with your speeds if you use too much"
is not, at least to your average consumer.
How much do you pay for your commercial 1GE connection with a 400Mbps CIR?
Is it more or less than what you pay for a consumer connection with a ZERO
Show me a consumer connection with a contract that /says/ that it has a
zero CIR, and we can start that discussion. Your saying that it has a
zero CIR does not make it so.
ISPs are happy to sell you SLAs, CIRs, etc. But if you don't buy SLAs,
CIRs, etc, why are you surprised you don't get them?
There's a difference between not having a SLA, CIR, etc., all of which I'm
fine for with a residential class connection, and having an ISP that sells
"20Mbps! Service! Unlimited!" but then quietly messes with users who
actually use that.
The ISP that sells a 20Mbps pipe, and doesn't mess with it, but has a
congested upstream, these guys are merely oversubscribed. That's the
Once again <blink>speeds may vary and are not guaranteed</blink>.
Now that you know that speeds may vary and are not guaranteed, does
that make you satisified?
Only if my ISP isn't messing with my speeds, or has made it exceedingly
clear in what ways they'll be messing with my speeds so that they do not
match what I paid for on the price list.
Let me restate that: I don't really care if I get 8 bits per second to
some guy in Far North, Canada who is on a dodgy satellite Internet link.
That's what "speeds may vary and are not guaranteed" should refer to -
things well beyond an ISP's control.
Now, let me flip this on its ear. We rent colo machines to users. We
provide flat rate pricing. When we sell a machine with "1Mbps" of
Internet bandwidth, that is very much "speeds may vary and are not
guaranteed" - HOWEVER, we do absolutely promise that if it's anything
of ours that is causing delivery of less than 1Mbps, WE WILL FIX IT.
PERIOD. This isn't a SLA. This isn't a CIR. This is simple honesty,
we deliver what we advertised, and what the customer is paying for.
The price points that consumers are paying for resi Internet may not
allow quite that level of guarantee, but does that mean that they do
not deserve to be provided with some transparency so that end users
understand what the ACTUAL policy is, and what they're ACTUALLY buying?
Think very carefully about the BroadbandAccess case in NY. It is nearly
a model of what this is all about.
I think everyone here knows that oversubscription is not going to go away.
However, that doesn't mean the status quo is right, honest, or acceptable.
And I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend,