> yes i truly feel that cable companies go out of their way to help the consumer by lowering costs and operating at a minimal profit margin there by leaving no room for upgrades.
What the heck are you talking about? Did you read any of what I wrote, or did you just make up something to argue with?
> and never over subscribe.
That's precisely the point, that they DO over subscribe, and it would be wasteful for them not to subscribe enough that 2% of the time, it'll be oversubscribed in the sense that not everyone is getting the connection they'd like during those few minutes.
Picture a certain neighborhood. When people are at work 8:00-5:30, there are fewer than 200 people downloading at any given instant. From 6PM-9PM, no more than 300 people. After 9PM, again no more than 200 people. Each subscriber should get 10 Mbps. How much bandwidth does that neighborhood need? 300 people X 10 Mbps = 3,000 Mbps, right?
Right, that's what should be provisioned, 3,000 Mbps. Notice our usage pattern talks about 8:00-5:30 and 6:00-9:00. What about 5:30PM-6:00PM? As it happens, somewhere during that time period is when everyone gets home from work and checks their email, their Facebook, etc. For the busiest five minutes, maybe 5:40-5:45, there are 900 people downloading at once. Each wants 10 Mbps, so we need 9,000 Mbps, just for that five minute peak.
So, should we build 9,000 Mbps of infrastructure and buy 9,000 Mbps of backhaul in order to provide excellent service during those five minutes? If so, that money is being wasted 99.995% of the time. Spending three times as much, only to have that equipment sitting idle 99.99% of the time seems wasteful and stupid to me. The smart thing to do is buy about 3,000-5,000 Mbps of equipment and backhaul. That provides full speed 99.995% of the time. 0.005% of the time it's noticeably oversubscribed.
Note that it doesn't change anything if we upgrade and offer the customers higher speed. If we build 9,000 Mbps, we can provide the customer 30 Mbps ... 99.995% of the time. The only way to never have congestion is to build enough infrastructure to provide 30 Mbps, but only sell 10 Mbps, so most of the bandwidth goes to waste most of the time. That would be dumb.
* I work on the server end of things. I don't know what the exact peak times are for residential service, but I do know it has high peaks, because I see part of those peaks hitting the web server. The web server serves multiple time zones, so it's peaks are spread, meaning the ISP sees higher peaks within each specific area.