To even support configurations as you suggest, with extreme per-customer configuration
Precisely my point, this should not be "extreme per-customer configuration". This should be default. And as I already said -- the configuration I am talking about on my end does not have to be supported by your tech support line. Having the option to do it yourself is what counts. Which I do. I don't expect you to troubleshoot my routing tables, tc, etc. -- in fact I'd be very surprised if anybody at all in your customer tech support line chain would have any idea how.
we'll need to double (at least) our network engineering team AND add a team of developers for good measure, to enable you to actually modify these settings.
A decent sized IP can get decent firmwares with these options quite easily from their suppliers. Take FritzBoxes for example. Or have a look at the various OpenWRT-kind of things as a base. It is not as if you have to reinvent the wheelp.
We'll also need hardware upgrades, and things that support these sort of configurations don't come cheap.
Well yeah, as said, it costs money to provide services as advertised. Mostly in the laying/lighting fibre and non-core routers.
Additionally, right now your traffic is about cut in half by the proxies, and in general it is shaped so it cannot overload our upstream lines. If a customer attempts to overload any specific line, *his* packets will be dropped. This allows an overprovision ratio of (on average) between 30 and 50 (ie. we sell 1 megabit about 40 times).
If we are to support your speeds as you "demand" it (and you seem to think are advertised, even though they're obviously not),
Uhuh. I have yet to see an ad that states the oversubscription percentage, the expected average availability of bandwidth, etc. -- or anything other than the "top speed" (with a small "up to" in front of it, which is not qualified further in any meaningful way).
A customer "attempting to overload any specific line" is a customer trying to use the speed allotted. You are basically not providing him the service he paid for. Again, this is fine if it happens once in a blue moon, it is not fine if it happens every day -- that tells the story of how your oversubscription us miscalculated and your lines underdimensioned.
it will become a more-or-less symmetric line, where traffic cannot be cached very effectively anymore (or it at the very least looses a lot of effectiveness, because it can't cache upstream traffic if you're running servers - p2p or otherwise). Additionally, if you plan to actually use this bandwidth, it becomes 40 times more expensive for us (although on symmetric lines we're seeing about 50% usage, so let's assume it becomes 20 times more expensive, but combined with the caching issues we'll be having, we're back at about 40).
I did not say you had to overprovision. It is understood that, given 1000 households, there will be a large percentage that do not use the advertised speed and traffic all the time. In fact, usage on average will be much, much lower. A marketing guy will now complain about the top 5% of these households as being bandwidth hogs and cut em off (or have techies cut em off). A few months later, there are still 5% that have unproportionately high bandwidth usage. That's the nature of the beast. The idea is not to cut those households off, the idea is to provide enough bandwidth for the usage pattern you are seeing. This will be drastically below 100% on average, but some customers can and will use the allotted bandwidth. And unless you plan to change your advertising, "unlimited" plans, and all that crap, you should provide these things. There is nothing at all wrong with not providing an unlimited data plan.
So let's add all of it together :
-> MUCH more difficult job for network engineering, obviously resulting in increased manpower
As opposed to administrating DPI and customer service calls / complaints caused by that ?
-> MUCH more difficult job, including serious software development for network operations, and I'm absolutely sure we'll need to at least double the department size for that
-> Due to the necessity of hiring an actually competent first line helpdesk, that cost will skyrocket as well
As I already said, I don't want you to support my network configuration. I want you to provide sane defaults, open standards, and a specific, well-defined product. If I shoot my routing tables with a shotgun, it's my mess to fix, not yours. You just better not drop packets delivered to you in accordance with the plan purchased.
-> 40 times as much bandwidth required in our network, both on the (cheap) upstreams and the (VERY expensive) lex interlinks
I hope this can give you a bit of perspective. A factor 25 "above market rate" is not a bad deal - at all. Sorry to say it.
We'll just have to disagree on both the numbers and the intent :) I don't fault you or your company at all for doing what they think is in their best interest. I take issue with false advertising and subverting the practice of "best effort delivery" by curtailing its potential.
We *can* provide massive connection speeds for very cheap, in quite a few datacenters. So if you run your applications on a server you put at our site, we'll gladly sell you 10 Mbit symmetric for less than $100 monthly (because we don't have support issues, you just get a flat internet pipe, all problems are yours to solve (unless you pay consultancy rate : ~ $75 per started hour))
$10/mbit is quite expensive when I am providing the servers, have no burstable, and you can likely fork off the traffic in peering. Hell, I can get 95th transit for a fraction of that, at the same commit. Looking over the big lake (and I am usually based in Europe, so I know the market a bit better here), it is quite easy to get 100mbit/s unmetered including a decent-powered server for that price; even burstable to 1gbps.
And of course, for this kind of connection we don't have to pay to AT&T for lex interlinks.
These are the deals that are available, and I hope this can clarify a bit the business position of these "evil" isps, and your options, and why they are that way.
Unfortunately I can't change these options. Nobody but AT&T can. And until the day comes that 10-20% of internet users are prepared to pay seriously more for these kinds of services, I don't see them happening.
I count AT&T as one of the evil ISPs. Well technically AT&T surpasses them in evilness quite a bit. I realize it's a LOT cheaper to get bandwidth at MAE-E/W than it is to get in a rural city due to monopolistic/oligopolistic corps that basically got a whole lot of infrastructure for free. This, however, does not absolve ISPs of wrongdoing in marketing and spending R&D on shaping, DPI, etc. instead of on infrastructure investment. I hope you also see where I am coming from on that.