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@Home quietly initiates 128k upload cap 309

Ethan Butterfield writes "Looks like the days of wine and roses are over for @Home subscribers. A global 128k upload rate cap is @Home's solution to their chronic bandwidth problems. Man, I'm glad I have DSL. " Even 128k seems fast to me, but this article will definitely raise your eyebrows.
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@Home quietly initiates 128k upload cap

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  • I, too, use Optimum Online... I've had outages since it was installed, but at least they don't have that evil firewall anymore. I certainly hope they don't impliment an upstream/downstream speed cap. Then again, I'd rather have a speed cap than an outright, and arbitrary, download limit. They should upgrade their connection to the backbone, not limit user's speed.

    It's all a government conspiracy, I tell you. The NSA is probably involved in Echolon... thnk about the connection here! With high speeds, Echolon computers cannot scan and store inernet traffic fast enough... so they try to limit the speed of a download.

    "When the government[or company, for that matter] no longer meets the needs of the people, the people have a right and a duty to rise up and replace it."
  • I guess you spend all your time on the @home home page, right? :-)
  • concentric runs a private DSL network; they make a ppoint of establishing service where the local telco doens't reach yet. so you pay more because there's less piggybacking off the existing infrastructure.
  • Actually, I would have to disagree with you. As suggested in previous comments, the type of data possibly played a large role in the abuse of @Home's services.

    "Warez/mp3/porn(Insert Illegal stuff here)" are inherently bandwidth intensive, and when placed on any public server, they become the target of tens of hundreds of hungry--so-called--leechers. Granted, "private" servers exist, with a supposedly limited audience; however, they still maintain the singular flaw of all servers, which, I think, @Home and most all broadband "bargain" consumer ISPs truly wish to avoid--redundancy.

    It's one thing to have John Doe download a piece of data (regardless of its type or legality). However, it is an entirely different case when John Doe serves that same data to others. In the latter situation, that data may be served 10, 100, or 1000 times, ultimately leading to redundancy and inefficiency.

    This is where Warez/Mp3/porn come in. Unlike the occasional hot development, like Linux, items of questionable legality (or decency, in the case of porn) seemingly effortlessly draw crowds on the internet--regardless of the quality or quantity of the data--as there is, unfortunately, a natural tendency for some people to experiment with the darker sides things. And quantity is the biggest issue of Warez/Mp3/porn. Like a pesky roach, much tends to gather around one--how many single disk (1.44MB) warez releases exist? How many Mp3 ftp servers have just one single? Or porn sites?

    The mere popularity and size of Warez/Mp3/porn naturally brings about a huge amount of redundancy, and thus wasted/abused bandwidth, for any "home" oriented service. The sad fact is that few things surpass Warez/Mp3/porn in server usage and bandwidth consumption. (Exceptions do exist, of course... I know that for a fact, but for a general consumer service like @Home, I think this generalization is reasonable.)

    Unfortunately for some, @Home may even have proof of questionable data being the cause of the majority of its abusers and could levy that to its advantage in any upcoming disputes...

    This is, of course, my opinion based upon some personal observations, so.... don't take it too harshly--'kay? Thanks. :)

    --Oh...as a passing note, I bet it has been a shocking experience for those warez/mp3 couriers/ops operating through @Home lately. Though, it's probably for the better...
  • I have MediaOne in Canton, MI (near Detroit) and I've had no bandwidth issues at all. The news server was having trouble a few months back but they seems to have resolved it. The mail server goes down periodically for a short time but it hasn't been much of a problem.

    I love MediaOne and I never want to be w/out my cable modem again!
  • Nope, except for near-mythical multicast broadcasts, at least as much is read from a web or cache server onto the network as is sent to the user - usually more, due to dropped and resent packets - and the server receives at least as many bytes of acks as the client sends it. Perfectly symmetrical.

    If, however, you are only concerned with the cable modem end rather than the Internet as a whole, then in the cases the article is concerned with you have it exactly backwards - the servers require as much or more bandwidth to the Internet as from.
  • Can't ipfwadmin (on linux) be used to set up rules to disallow connections from machine to specified ports? I've done it before with RCP wrappers but it always allows the initial connection and appears to be a live port. I had a friend set up his machine in this way with ipfwadm and it did what he expected, ignored the connection attempts.
  • This isn't what he's talking about. He's talking about the fact that during a download the amount of data going in one direction is much larger than the amount of data going in the reverse direction. That's the asymmetry that he's talking about.
  • Yes, I know, and this is part of the issue. The point I am trying to make is that the Broadband ISPs can't afford to supply unlimited bandwidth to people who are going to run servers on it. This is fact, it has nothing to do with what the stupid companies said or didn't say.

    So as it is, you have a choice between a ratecap, a firewall, and generally bad service. That @HOME are a bunch of idiots who couldn't do the elementary math of guessing that their network would be overloaded when they launched it is really a moot point. You should have done that math...

    Their is a certain group of people (who I seem to find are more predominant in America then here) who are always whining about whether things are right, fair, instead of just looking at the situation and trying to make the best out of it. This is the same philosophy that has turned the American legal system into the great cludge of stupidity it has become.
  • I doubt that it was sold as "unlimited" I had cox@home for a while (until I moved), and I knew from day 1 that you were not allowed to run a server. Just read the contract that you sign.
  • I thought this was a well known English proverb, but maybe I am mistaking (proverbs are a bitch to bilingualism, I can never remember which come from what language).

    More clearly stated it would be - "You have to decide whether you want to eat your cake or have it later - you can't do both."
  • um dsl is only 256k total... so you'd be geting twice the upstream, for 1 18th of the downstream....

    Um... look who's not paying attention. DSL and Cable u/dl is different depending on the provider. Around here, (if you can get dsl) you have options for 64u/256d, 384u/d, 768ku/d, 768u/1.5M d, and 1.5M u/d. All numbers are for kilobits unless otherwise specified.

    However, in other places, just depending upon the provider, the speeds may be very different.
  • @home I feel is in violation of a couple of FTC laws regarding advertising. I know listening to the Dallas radio stations that @home advertises speeds of 50 times faster then a modem. The cap thing would be like the water company saying to you "Were sorry you can have all the water you can pump but as a feature to our customers you can only give x amount of gallons of water to clean per day." Pretty pathetic isnt it. I would go ahead and contact your public utilities commision about this also might be a good idea to write the FTC. I have no problem with @home needing to restrict pipeflow while they upgrade backbone but

    1. Dont advertise what you cant deliever
    2. Dont tell someone a restriction on your service is an added feature.
    3. Dont do the above unless you plan on compensating subscribers with a rate reduction.
    4. Dont be go sneaking around about it and not tell your

    Any sort of move an RBOC, electric company, water company makes has to be approved by the state governing body and also clearly explained to new and exisiting subscribers in the form of correspondence. Bad @home, Bad. No cookie.
  • In the US something like 95% of people use dial up access. Where I live, there are no cable modems (nor are they likely to be anytime soon as this is not a high tech or affluent area) and ADSL is far too expensive for the average user.

    Like you said, you get what you pay for and anyone who knows anything about shared bandwidth on cable modem systems should have seen this coming.

    Is hard for all us 56k dial up users to get all teary-eyed just because your upload rate has been cut back to a mere 128k. Consider yourself very, very lucky to even have a cable modem.

    Contrary to popular opinion, universal broadband internet access is a loooooong way off. . .
  • Paull Allen owns Trnsmeta, I belive
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • OK, for the purpose of discussion let's assume that all the @Home customers are wanting from their internet service is fast web browsing. Let's do some math. The internetnews.com article says that downstream speeds of up to 3 Mbit/s will remain unchanged. So let's divide 128K into 3M: the outgoing traffic associated with full use of the downstream connection would be some 23 times smaller.

    Have you ever, while browsing the web, seen outgoing bytes less that one twentieth of incoming bytes? I never have. One to ten, maybe one to twelve is realistic. With modern browsers, more than just the URL is added the TCP header with each HTTP GET request. Yes, for the second and subsequent incoming packets of each connection, nothing much more than an ACK needs to be sent, but the average outgoing packet is still going to be closer to 100 than 50 bytes.

    Let's do another calculation: let's divide that factor of 23 and a bit into a typical incoming packet of 1500 bytes. That comes to exactly 64 bytes. Considering that the IP header for each packet is normally 20 bytes, and the TCP header is another 20, that doesn't leave much room for HTTP payload before the 128K upstream cap would start to limit the rate at which downstream traffic can be requested and acknowledged.

    About the only kind of web access that would be immune to slowdowns under a 20-to-one ratio policy would be large file downloads, but we were talking about web *browsing*, were't we?

    The conclusion of this exercise? Let's look at it this way: Of course ftp servers etc. would slow things down - if outgoing bandwith is clogged, incoming traffic will need to wait for the acknowledgements of already-received packets to get out, and new requests to get out. That much is elementary. From an egalitarian perspective, capping everyone at a "reasonable" outgoing data rate will have the desired effect of allowing everyone to get their due share of the inbound data. But from a selfish perspective, a 128Kbit/s cap on outbound data will cut my incoming data rate from 3 Mbit/s to something more like half that. A cap of 256Kbit would be large enough to create almost no practical limitation on web browsing speed, and very little effect on the cost of providing service.

    So why is the cap at 128, not 256? Here's my guess, and this is only a guess: 256Kbit/s would
    still be enough to make it "worth the while" for those who want to flout the AUP and run a server from home.
  • Umm, don't see it. Because:

    In large, and despite fantasies of caching sheeplike subscribers into a desired few web pages, there is as much incoming John Doe as there is outgoing John Doe.
    The packets don't just appear on the net magically - where are those 10, 100, etc John Does going to get their data, otherwise - while probably *not* themselves using much outgoing bandwidth, and thus freeing their own net's outgoing bandwidth up?

    @Home has X amount of incoming network bandwidth. You can bet your bottom stack location @Home doesn't use ADSL to its peers - it has X outgoing bandwidth wired up too.

    Caching servers don't deal well with dynamically built pages (like the one you're reading), responses to POSTed data for forms, or pages not in the ten percent of URLs requested ninety percent of the time (or whatever percent rule web cache servers depend on). These have to come off of the Internet. Unless, of course, the page requested is already *on* an @Home subscriber's server.. oops, that's out.

    Okay. The data is coming from somewhere. and going to somewhere. "Flash Crowds" are likely to occur, tying up networking to the locations doing the serving, and network-adjacent sites. This means that - gosh - those people aren't tying up other sites!

    I'm not saying someone should be allowed to operate a site that continuously serves at megabit data rates to a cable modem. But @Home is the one that is "leeching" if it feeds off the Internet's data without providing a channel to feed as much data to the net, and trying to cleave the internet into an unnatural division between "subscriber" and "content provider". To the extent that pages cannot be served at decent rates even to a few users, despite @home having *more* outgoing than incoming bandwidth free - the proportion of pages cached is not going to be anywhere *near* the ratio of outgoing to incoming packet bytes from apps like web browsers.

    The solution to the problem: An ISP should not be so greedy as to *combine* caching and selling off even the limited outgoing bandwidth they have. Not, IMO, by forbidding the serving of the same data that *drives* the growth of the internet, and *sells* those cable modems for @Home - that popular data that you state should be restricted.

    Are the majority of @home subscribers are mainly concerned with downloading linux quickly? D'oh! If it wasn't for such items as the porn and even such troublesome things as the Star Wars trailers, there wouldn't be an @Home to subscribe to, like it or not. There probably wouldn't be V.90 modems yet. I'm not sure what extent MP3 will drive technology. But, like it or not and the RIAA doesn't, MP3 is a legal, legitimate music format, and via it or another format, music *is going to be distributed on the Internet* for MP3 players. And to quote Angelo Sotira (who runs the Dimension Music site) from the Wired article at http://www.wired.com/news/news/culture/story/20427 .html: "I'm 18 ... and no matter what advertising you run or how you promote to me, I will never buy a CD again." So much for keeping MP3 off the Internet.

    Personally, I'm glad that "adult entertainment" and other hedonistic services have helped provide incentive for fast connections and backbones to be developed and deployed. And will continue to do so. Yes, providing bandwidth-intensive services, and so on.

    And I suspect that in the year 2005 at the latest, I'll hear people complaining about the bandwidth used by teledildonics slowing Linux downloads on T3+ connections probably developed for that very industry. Let's just think a little about whom is leeching off whom.
  • 5. Don't try to put in a set of water mains and promote water use beyond what your sewer system can handle, even if you can make more selling water than charging for processing sewage. And if you do make that mistake, don't bitch that your customers are overloading the "outgoing" channel.
  • Well, the local cable modem provider
    (videon) has a different solution. A fixed upload/download quota.
    For a standard account you are limited to 10GB down and 1GB up of data. If you exceed these values you get charged $$$. (especially for the upload one, its like $10/100MB) It is very effective in deterring people from running bandwidth sucking servers. They have no problem with you running a server as long as it doesent exceed the quota. In case you think these numbers are small, only 1% of subscribers even do more then 5GB down/month. Im not sure about the upload
    stats, probably a bit tighter since 1GB isnt a walloping amount, fine for online gaming and sending small stuff around but bad if you happen to be an iso warez courier. Its a shame that they will be merging with @home in sept. Oh well, time to get xDSL. :)
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    That was close! TCI is upgrading the equipment in my area and I think @Home is soon to come. I just about signed up. Now I think I better look into DSL...
    Put Hemos through English 101!
  • Exactly! And for a connection going in the opposite direction, trading the server and client end, just the opposite condition prevails. So it all balances out over the whole Internet, get it?
  • I think of capping as a thing that must be done and spoken about a head of time. To not do so is misleading, I don't run a site, but I do transfer a lot of meggage back and forth to work and right now, I don't think we have a cap in our area, but damn'd if i don't get 20kps which connecting to our T1 at work seems small. They as a provider should also realize that the model is forever changing and that the rules of today are be prepaired for the unexpected, and expand and grow as necessary. A cap is not a solution, but a temporary gate. Also, I do expect to be catered to persay, as technology gets better and we get smarter, I expect more for less. Every year something is on the market, it costs less and less to manufacture or maintain. Its not my fault that they didn't build the system right the first time. All I do wish is that there was more compeitition to give the consumer more equal options.

    Once E-Trust is lost, your screwed. They had better remember that.


  • My Dutch provider also has an upstream limit of 128 kbit, and they arbitrarily change it to 64 kbit whenever they feel like it..
    You also risk having to pay extra money when you've reached a traffic limit they haven't specified, which leaves them enough room to get more money off anyone who's got a subscription..
  • no it wont. it may even make it worse. His problem is latency, not bandwidth. Compression adds a small amount of latency (compressing and decompressing takes time) in return for less bandwidth. I must say for all the crap the phone company puts me through, I'm still glad I went with ADSL. Latency is usually under 100ms to sites with decent connections.
  • This is interesting. ADSL and Cable have a lot in common, as they're both shared bandwidth, and ADSL is bottlenecked by design. And like cable, you can get get a fast download with the condition that you're overall monthly bandwidth doesn't exceed a certain amount (in this case, 1 gig).

    Whats interesting is that my 64K isdn dedicated
    connection will get me 16 gig per month in each direction of raw speed, and I can get 1:4 compression if the data is text (like webpages and such). Since my total monthly charge for isdn is about $160 when you consider the dedicated isdn rate from my isp plus the phone company charge.

    Currently, I use about 95% of my bandwidth, and I'm permitted to use all of it, so I don't have to worry about them disconnecting me because of it.
    But if I was only allowed to pull 1 gig per month, the service would only be worth $10 a month to me.
    Now, with adsl you have an advantage of being able to get what you want RIGHT NOW, instead of having to wait for it.

    The difference is, while adsl could handle a slashdot effect, I would probably choke on it. But in the long run, I can easily support a steady bandwidth stream, and I'm not held by any restrictions other than the technical ones.

  • Bellsouth gets about 120KB/s max download, and 20-40KB/s max upload (Those capital B's mean Bytes). Its also only $40 a month and while you get some whack-ass hostname, it doesn't seem to change.
  • I think Cablevision of CT *may* use them. My speeds were awesome until about MArch. Since then, service has sucked. Frequent outages (which usuall last a minute or two, but when you're playing Unreal online, it SUCKS!).
    Also, newsgroup access speed has slowed tremendously. I finally wrote to them last week and they have been having a "hardware problem" in my area. Uh, yeah, right...
    Anyway, Uploads "seem" to be OK from this end..... Wonder is DSL is available in my area... hmmmm......
  • It's not about the 128k cap, people.

    I have cable service from Rogers@Home in Vancouver, BC. Like jamesm from Ottawa, I find the service to be horrible. And like him, I still use it, but for different reasons.

    I don't know about all of you cable users who deal with other cable companies, but to me the issue isn't the 128k cap, it's the way they're implementing it.

    These cable companies don't have a clue who their marketbase is. The majority of people paying twice as much as a casual analog service are going to be computer-savvy power users. The kind of user that reads "network upgrade" and "128k upload cap" in the same sentence and gets very angry.

    This is just another example of the cable companies demonstrating a complete lack of comprehension about customer service. I would like to receive an email that says "Due to the abuse of outgoing bandwidth by some users, we have been forced to implement a 128kbps upload cap for all connections to improve the overall quality of service." There it is, plain to my face, what they've done and why they've done it. I can respect that, and understand it. If I don't like it, I can choose to leave, but I don't have a right to be angry.

    But this "let's quietly lower the quality of their service, and if they notice, try to convince them it was actually an upgrade" is insulting. I'm not some schmuck who can't get the difference between left-click and right-click straight. And treating me like one really pisses me off.

    Unfortunately this is not the first time, or the worst. When I signed up for cable service a year and a half ago, it was great. It was fast the service was almost 24/7.

    Now, periods of no service lasting several hours are not uncommon and the service is always slow. I've had disconnections lasting longer than 24 hours. I've even had weeks go by where I've had no connection for more than half the time!

    This too, I could deal with, if there was the slightest attempt at communication. A broadcast email apology for the lack of service and a promise that they are aware of it and working on it would be great. But instead there is nothing but silence, as if they expect that if they don't say anything, no one will notice, or the users will think it's something they're doing wrong. "Maybe I should double right-click on Netscape?"

    Further, if you call the tech support line, you're greeted with a friendly message that tells you the average hold time is one hour. If you email their support department, you get a reply three weeks later that suggests you call their tech support line. If you call their automated report of service outages, your area is never listed. If you call their sales line, and ask to be transferred to someone who can take a complaint, the complaint line is always busy. Finally the poor salesperson tries to make you happy by taking down your complaint and filling out an escalation form. "A supervisor will call you back within two business days." That was two months ago, and I still haven't been called.

    This is absolutely pathetic, and no company should be able to get away with it.

    But unfortunately it comes down to having no choice, at least in my case. An analog connection is too slow, and for my usage needs would cost much more than a cable connection does. DSL service isn't available in my area yet. So I'm stuck. But there's no doubt that as soon as another ship comes along, I'm jumping off this one.

    And all it would take to keep me content would be to talk to me, to listen to my problems, tell me what was going on, tell me when it was going to be fixed, apologize for the problems, and treat me like a valued, respected customer. If they just did that, I might be willing to put up with the frequent disconnections, the slow service, the oversubscription, and maybe even the ridiculous waits on the rare occassion I want to talk to someone from tech support that thinks my cable connection doesn't work because my hub has an IP address.

    That's the point. It's the methodology, not the results. A 128kbps cap is a bandaid for the oversubscription and gross mismanagement of their network. But at least it's action, and it might make things a little better for a while.

    But never, never, never will I accept a company trying to sneak something in behind my back, expecting me to be too ignorant to know the difference. This is just plain wrong.

  • I have Cox@Home, and the other day I was at work and decide to check the speed of my connection. I sent a 10 Meg file to my home computer (on the @Home network) at 70 kilobytes/sec. That's normal for the amount of traffic on Cox and at my employer. I then reversed the process, sending the file from my home computer to my work computer and got only 15 kilobytes/sec. I was rather miffed.

    My question is: Can anyone shed some light on why this might be?

    I have four possible theories:

    1. Since my work computer is a Pentium III and my home computer is 486DX4-100, there is some sort of speed issue, like my 486 can receive data quickly, but hasn't got the horespower to send it out quickly. (This doesn't sound right, but its a possibility.)
    2. Cox@Home has already rolled out a bandwidth cap in my area. While this is possible, I don't think the cap would be this low. (We're talking 1/4 the cap described in the article.)
    3. My friend tells me that Cox regularly portscans computers on the network, and if they find FTP servers, they cap the bandwidth for that computer. I don't know if this is real, or if it is even possible. I do have an FTP server on my 486, but it is only for personal use.
    4. The availible bandwidth coming out of the Cox network was very low due to other people filling it up with their high-volume FTP servers.
    I don't know which of these possibilities is more accurate, so I would be interested in hearing the experiences of other Cox@Home users.
  • GOOD! This time I am glad the man busted you! I am home for the summer at my parents house in San Diego (Time Warner Road Runner, San Diego) and I can't get over the speed of RR. I just hope people like you, no offense, don't screw this service up. I don't know how many ISP's I have been on that came down on people for *ANY* big downloads or upload because some other fools abused it. Just use what you need and nothing else. No 31i+3 warez servers, web servers, or Icecaste servers. Your also kinda lucky I don't work in the Abuse Monitoring section of your cable provider. I would have kicked you off for about 3 months and then called you after your ban and asked you if you still want to run an Icecast server.
    @Home is reacting in a bad way, but its the only way it can react to protect itself and legit users of it service.
  • ...a bigger epub picked it up. All over the US, @Home has been doing this, and get indignant if you 'call them' on their ploy.

    You see, along with lowering the xfer rates, making thinks like video out or audio out or game servers (which folks, are really what they are trying to kill. Every OS out their with any usage numbers runs a webserver when it boots up...) useless, they are slightly (and in some cases not so slihtly) raising the rates, or charginge extra for the cable'modem' when they previously were not.

    The reason most folks around here that I know (power users and such) got cable modems was to avoid the limitations and cost of DirectPC, which @Home consantly compared itself to in its sales material.

    Now they are really no better.

    But, I'm a Sprint customer; they'll be taking care of me real soon...

  • By definition anyone who is uploading huge
    amounts of information is adding content to the
    web. This is a _good_ thing. I find it annoying
    that all the high-speed service providers want
    all their subscribers to be Microsoft-sedated

    Very few (I'm sure) subscribers are running
    high-bandwidth services so is it _really_ a
    problem? I doubt it. It seems more likely
    that they encountered a few problems, realized
    they could convince most of their (non-technical) subscribers that this is the _only_ solution.
    Now they have a way to charge more $$$ for offering hosting services.

    I think @home subscribers should VOICE their
    objections vehemently in the newsgroups and
    demand a technical compromise that makes sense.

    It worries me that the net is becoming more like
    TV where you can't become a content provider unless you have the $$$.

    The AOL analogy sounded like bogus logic. It doesn't fit this situation at all.
  • by dr_strang ( 32799 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @05:43AM (#1830470)
    All you @home subscribers, let's get on the newsgroups and start hollering about this. To me, this cap is totally unacceptable, whether or not I use a web/ftp server. What happened to "100 times faster than a modem"?? Indeed, if @home sees this as an acceptable alternative to actually upgrading their network, I will certainly find another type of service.
    The newsgroups you can post to and get more information from are as follows:
    athome.discussion-gen eral
    I think that only @home subscribers have access to these groups.
  • I'm on with CGO@Home in Hamilton, ON and they have had a 128kbps upstream cap for a few months now. I just flat out sucks. It is impossible to upload and download at the same time. I tried to send a file to a friend over ICQ and browse the web, and no go. 128kbps outgoing just isn't enough to support a 2mbps down connection (not like we ever see that either).

    I hate @Home. I wish daily that DSL was affordable and in my area.
  • From the help for the Linux Traffic Shaper option
    x x
    x The traffic shaper is a virtual network device that allows you to x
    x limit the rate of outgoing data flow over some other network x
    x device. See Documentation/networking/shaper.txt for more x
    x information. To set up and configure shaper devices, you need the x
    x shapecfg program, available via FTP (user: anonymous) from x
    x ftp://shadow.cabi.net/pub/Linux in the shaper package.

    The shaper limits outgoing traffic. In the 2.2.xx documentation it lists the maximum as "about 256K, it will go above this but get a bit blocky."

    If you try limiting to just under the 128K cap, then packets should not be dropped as readily. Assuming that the cap and not simply an overloaded network is responsible.
  • Correction... IT just flat out sucks... Typo on my part... :)

  • I am getting that this is all happening on an "as needed" basis.

    What about TCI? I called them today, and they were unaware of the issue. I told them to check into it and call me back. They never did. Bastards.
  • Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ever use a University network? Ever connect to a machine in a university? Ever connect to a machine anywhere? Gosh, you could be vulnerable to packet sniffing. Better not use any machines. Ever. :)

    Solution: SSL
  • ..that it came to this due to:

    • cable modem half-life servers with 26 player limit
    • people trying to run big web servers
    • war3z ftp servers

    However I do not like the policy of deception. I'm fine with them imposing rate caps, but let's make it crystal clear and not advertise "unlimited service".

  • If you average it out, with the overhead of TCP/IP header info, you end up with about 10 bits of data transfer per actual bit sent.

    So, saying 16 kbps of raw throughput is correct, but also, 12.8 kbps of true data throughput is also correct.
  • This is true, but he was talking about download speeds, not network speeds. Download speeds are most definately not rated in kilobits per second.
  • Roadrunner won't be able to use the excuse that @home uses if they try to do this due to the fact that they don't have static ips. If you're IP address is constantly changing, it makes it fairly difficult to keep any type of web server up and running.
  • Media One (now owned by ATT) is the cable providing Affiliate.. Road Runner is the company that owns and manages the cable routers, backbone networks and internet systems...

    It's not a merger, it's a partnership of services that takes place to give you the service.
  • Ack! That previous message should read "about 10 bits of data transferred per actual BYTE sent."

    Sorry about that! :)

  • I get 1.1mbps upstream with a static IP and non-proxied access for $65 - Canadian. It's not sold here anymore, now Bell uses Nortel's 1Meg modem.
  • It's owned by a partnership called ServiceCo, which is jointly owned by MediaOne, Time Warner (that's where the beeping bird comes from ^_^) and some other partners who I can't remember offhand. IIRC they are Advance/Newhouse and Microsoft, but I could be wrong...it's Sunday, and all my nifty business bookmarks are at work.

    I'm still looking for more info, but at this time, I'm pretty much dead on info other than what I put above.
  • I have to correct a number of things here.

    First off, about the portscanning... YES, you will quickly get the idea that it's not safe to have a *nix machine running for more than a week without going through the basics of wrapping your login mechanisms and disabling unneccessary services, because on average three and five connections to commonly exploitable services will come in per day as all the lamers blindly scan the CIDR block with their super-kool 'sploits. You will also be portscanned if you call tech support with a problem, at least that's the way it is with Intermedia in Nashville, and several other areas as well. Literally any ports responding at all will get your IP reported to the Abuse Team, and they're still working on getting their sh*t together. (I had my connection cut off for running *sshd* by some woman who I can only assume was undergoing severe hormonal distress. You can't be that big of a bitch all the time and keep a job in most places.) Note that they also seem to only scan *nix-used ports, not windows ones. (I find this rather abusive in and of itself.) The message seems to be, "Complain and we'll try to get rid of you because it's faster than fixing the problem."

    NFR does *not* scale well enough to be used for something like a cablemodem network. Period. With a just a heavily used 100Base-T segment on a PII-400 with 256Mb of RAM it simply can't keep up with what it needs to analyze. (Although if you need a nearly turnkey IDS, and you're not passing *insane* amounts of traffic, it's definitely worth checking it out, because it's pretty obsessive about details.)

    My suggestion to folks is to a) not abuse things by trying to set up 0-day warez sites and etc., b) turn off the services you don't need and wrap the rest on *nix and windows users c) STOP RUNNING WAREZED WINGATE!@#$! and d) everyone block ICMP (screw fragment_needed packets--if you actually find a site that emits them, let me know! I've been looking for *years*.) since a lot of the lamers don't even know that their speed scanners won't probe anything it doesn't think is up (because it pings it first).

    ...and always remember: A little common sense goes a long way, but an idiot can go further if you drop them from a high-enough precipice.
  • 2400bps? I think your networking background could use some work. Back of the envelope calculations: Let's assume MTU=1500 bytes; no IP/TCP options; unlimited down, restricted up.

    14k up means 1.2 full sized packets/s (14k/(8*(1500-40))); or 45 ack-sized packets up.

    TCP steady state is 1 ack / 2 pkts, hence 90 pkts/s down (1 Mbps). I'm feeling sorry for you now.

    In addition, this is assuming a zero-loss case. If you're transfering over anything lossy, your pkt losses will hurt you more on the data path than the reverse path (retransmits cost more, acks are redundant).

    If you want to get really good measurements, see how much ping throughput you get to the border router with packet size of 40 (20 payload, 20 IP).

    I'm on DSL, and accept the limited uplink (640k down, 90k up). Yeah it sucks for sending files on the reverse path, but I'd rather that than 365k symmetric.
  • Road Runner makes every customer SIGN and DATE a copy of the TOS at every install. They keep it on file. I have the service, I had to sign the TOS, and they change it every so often (see @Home's debacle w/TOS changes) so I read it every so often. It's best to be informed.

    I'm sorry, you should have known. It's idjits like this that make ISPs create bandwidth caps...
  • If you're having problems with your cable service, check out www.cabletraffic.com .. they offer a proram that logs all cable traffic and tests speeds. This way you have to something to use when you need to complain to your isp about the service.
  • Oooooooooh, you're getting ripped off.

    PacBell charges $50/mo. (Some of us even less) for guaranteed 384down and 128up. (On Sat morning, I usually get 1.84Mbps. No sh*t!)

    The SDL is slightly more. However, it's not $200/mo.

    They charge $140/mo for 1.54down/384 up guaranteed.

  • If they do do this, they will have to come up with a better reason than cox's reason, because they don't have static ip's. This means that people can't feasibly run servers, so they'll need some better idea.
  • $200 per month, Youch! Down here in GTE territory its $55.00 per month for 384Kbps each way plus ISP fees which I've been quoted at $45.00 per month. I was debating whether to go with this or go through Time Warner for Roadrunner cable modem access. I haven't found any useful info on Roadrunner yet though.
  • Let's see...
    128Kilobit streaming MP3 download 24/7
    (this is normal for me)

    128Kilobit / 8? = 16Kilobytes/sec
    16K/sec * 60sec = 960K/min
    960K/min * 60min= 57600K/hr = 56.25Megs per hour?
    57600K/hr * 24 = 1382400KiloBYTES/day = 1.350 GIG's per day
    1382400K/day * 31 = 42854400K/mo. = 40.86 Gig's
    Per Month

    That's not including ANY gaming/browsing/downloads/Mucking
    Etc. etc. etc. etc.....

    How much was that per extra 100M's?

    Yeah.. I pay a bit for 768K DSL... but it's worth it not to have to bother with junk like this...

    768K u/d Servers up to the individual.... No slow times of the day... *shrug* Who could ask for more?

    If my numbers are off... I do apologize... (I'm just a wee bit tired this morning)

  • It's making me feel better about my 128K ISDN connection. If my dedicated connection is going to cost three times what a cable modem does, then I want it to work as well at least. :-)
  • Rogers @home in Ottawa has the no servers policy but has made it clear that as long as you aren't running mp3/warez/porn or other services that you've advertised or publicly made known, they don't care. They're not out to get people who set up an ftp server to share files with friends or leave telnet going to get in from work. They're leaving themselves a legal way to get rid of people who are a drain on the system for everyone.
  • Because you know what, the backup from this sewer system stinks like Hell and so does this deal from @home. We need to all broadcast alot of light on it.

  • What? do the math, buddy!

    He has a T1. Max speed: 1544000 bits/s.
    His audio channels use "128k". at least 128000bits/s. 12 of these could optimally fit in the T1.
    He is serving the internet needs of up to 350 people. This is an amplification rate of 29 times the bandwidth from his net to the multicast servers!
    And you think *that* 29:1 ratio is unacceptable?
  • I'm curious... I pay $75/mo for the DSL line from the local phone company and $50/mo for the ISP connection.

    This is 768K up and down......

    Do you pay extra for your digital subscriber line from the phone comapny.. or is that included?
    I don't understand how that works....

    Incedentally.... the dsl network is owned by the local phone
    company around here. To increase my up and down
    bandwidth.. I have to pay the phone company
    more money per month... the isp rates stay the same. Weird, huh?

  • What?????

    Dallas,TX is in SBC territory. SBC made PacBell lower their rates.

    It's $39/mo for DSL where you are.

    Check your facts.
  • The end of it all will be @Home making more money off a service that existed before they implemented the ONadvantage crap. They are going to offer a premium service of higher up-bandwidth for more money. They use 'user abuse' as the perfect taget for the SCAM.
    Thank God @Home isn't down here in Jacksonville (although I do feel kinda dirty for using AT&T's mediaone.. yeah thats right.. AT&Ts.)
  • It just occurred to me: @home is being awfully foolish to (apparently) implement this inside their network. If, as I gain the impression is the case, those packets are actually being sent over segments of their network before being dropped, then they aren't gaining much if any benefit for the other subscribers. Their client software in the subscriber's PC *should do traffic shaping itself*. If the problem only exists between the cable modem and the NIC (and the cable modem isn't just a modem+bridge), then the cable modem's own networking is flawed.

    The only reason I can see for doing it further into @Home's network would be to *deliberately* screw up so-called "subscriber abuse" cases, who are actually trying to use their connections, and to condition those subscribers to use the internet in just those few ways desired, like reading the WWW and their @Home email box. Rather a rancid tactic, and the only reason they could have any objection to the Linux Traffic Shaper limiting to 127.9k or whatever.

    If they should say otherwise, and that even less than 128K outgoing is "abuse", then the obvious question would be "Okay, so what bandwidth *am* I allowed?"
    2nd quote from /usr/src/linux/Documentation/networking/shape.txt:

    "The shaper shapes transmitted traffic. It's rather impossible to shape received traffic except at the end (or a router) transmitting it."

    Unless, you don't mind fscking up the person sending the traffic.

  • Yes, but you need to detect the port scan first, unless you want the port always closed, but then you might as well not run a service on that port, since no one will be able to use it.

    That's where PortSentry comes in handy. It watches traffic, and when it sees a pattern that looks like a port scan in progress, it uses ipfwadm, ipchains, or other methods to disable that route.


  • Fine, as long as they're willing to put the second part in writing. :-)
  • If it weren't for people whining and bitching about SOMETHING, nothing would get done. Why make the best out of a situation when the possibility is there to make it BETTER? Its called advancement. Its life. Don't avoid it and take whats given to you, make something of it. Although I do agree on the legal system having lots of fun problems (my dad's a lawyer even..ha)
  • Well, he's right about that being "the type of user @Home is looking for". In fact, I gain the impression that they would prefer would:

    Buy the cable modem subscription for status, or because they are told it is "good".
    Be in the wide range between too computer-naive to effectively use a computer's capabilities on the internet and not so naive that they cannot run a Windows 98 box.
    Not have had a previous decent internet connection to apply the advertised speed multipliers to.
    Become quickly bored with the Internet as @Home Would Have It Be and thus condescends to present it to them, but keep the account to read email with once a month.

    As for the credibility of his sociology, I simply suggest the AC author of the previous response look at the Magellan Search Voyeur at http://voyeur.mckinley.com/cgi-bin/voyeur.cgi - unless their personal ethics forbid reading other than easily cachable static pages.
  • Perhaps they did, but the AUP also states that its terms take precedence over any other agreements, particularly sales representations. We have a hard time understanding why a company would set things up so that the only people doing business with it were the ones willing to violate their contract from the git-go, but there you are. As for us, we *aren't* willing to operate on the "it's all right as long as you don't get caught" basis and aren't too thrilled about dumping our excellent ISP in favor of @home only to have our plug pulled and bye-bye to a sizable deposit.
  • "Oooooooooh, you're getting ripped off."

    Your making part of my point for me.

    The PacBell DSL for $50 is 1 IP address; and they do not guarantee a fixed IP.

    The Concentric DSL is 8 IP addresses, and they are fixed; and they provide reverse lookup.

    Let's not even get started on the reliability vs pacbell, or how PacBell wasted 3 hours of my time trying to figure out if their service was available in my area (The final answer depending on who you asked was "yes", "no", and "we can't figure it out").

    Try to figure out how much a PacBell DSL line with 16 fixed IP addresses including reverse lookup is a month. They couldn't answer that one either.

    Your "ripped off" is my absolute delight. In addition to all of the above, the service has been near-perfect, which is much more than I can say for my associates with PacBell DSL.

    The Point? As I said -- You Get What You Pay For.
  • Uh, network speeds are always measured in bps (bits per second).

  • USWorst gives you 256, 512, 768, 1meg, and a 7 meg down 1 meg up line.

    However, I did not qualify for it. The CO I go through won't have DSL for 18 months!!
  • In Holland, @Home measures it in webpages/minute in their ads...
  • @Home probably loves the idea of all those customers of theirs, each watching their own RealVideo stream of that press conference. :-)
  • Interesting point in marketing... [marketing hyperbole is quoted] If you are marketing something faster than average, find the slowest of the average and base your product on it. Thus, the "modem" in question could possibly be a 2400 modem...

    So, my 56K modem can be advertised as "up to" 24x as fast as "before". (Which is devious, yes, deceptive, probably not, since "up to" means "Yeah you *CAN* get it, but not damn likely")

    Unfortunately, we're surrounded with this hyperbole, like 17.2 GB HD (GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes, technically correct), 17" monitor (- .75" of nonusable area around), 1600x1200 resolution (interpolated), 1000 watts (peak). This goes for benchmarks, too. It's takes a lot of brains to cut through the (deviously true) marketing hype nowadays.

    Oh, as if it matters, I'm using a 56K modem (high speed (cheap) pipes are either @home [yuk. Always been *SLOWER* than dialup during peak times, according to several users] or ADSL [something I cannot quite afford ATM]).
  • Yes, but kiddies, don't forget, SOMEBODY has to run those ftp servers (and iceCAST servers) for you damn leeches. You might not upload, but your sure as hell download. Don't get me wrong, I've been there (and don't let these others trick ya, they've all been there too..). Now I've moved on. I run Linux and everythings free. :) @home is really in a plot w/Microsoft to limit bandwidth of Open Source writers so they can't upload their new code. --[YALC]-- Yet Another Linux Convert
  • How easy for you to stand on your high horse and assinate the character of faceless people you don't know, by discriminating against them on the basis of nationality. As an Anonymous Coward to boot! For once, it's a well deserved name.

    As an American, I think his point was lost due to do the fact that the proverb didn't really apply to the situation, and had nothing what so ever to do with the nationality of the majority of his audience.

    When will we no longer suffer the slings and arrows of self-righteous eurotrash?

    "I have no respect for a man who can only spell a word one way." - Mark Twain
  • So what, subscribers to this service want to have servers that use a huge (by todays standards, in 5 years we'll be laughing over this shit because we'll all have unlimited BW) amount of bandwidth. So, as a caring, concerned corporation (right?), @home should upgrade their networks to iso warez courior specs (funds-permitting, of course, although I dont think anyone here thinks @home is strapped for cash exactly). Nobody needs 800kbps transfer speeds for web browsing! Those kinds of speeds are for file-transfer, and if files tend to come in the form of warez/porn/mp3s/VCDs, so be it! Cable modem companies sell a relatively expensive product that could only be fully used for large file transfers, and bitch and whine when their paying customers fully use it!
  • That's just it, @Home isn't being an internet node, just a leech online service sucking off it.
  • "if you use @HOme like a modem"

    ... such as the BBS I run using a modem?

    Not all modem users are AOLusers in nature. This article makes me glad I am not an @Home customer.

  • I've used dialup. Thats why I went cable. When I first got my cable modem from CGO Cable, which is now CGO@Home, the speed was 500kbps both ways and it cost me $60/mo. I'd GLADLY pay $60/mo for 500/500 or even 500up and 1mbps down. @Home has screwed their customers... Big Time..

  • Whatever. Jeeze - settle down!

    The point of my post wasn't to defend myself. I took the bloody thing down - the last thing I want to do is degrade everyone else's service (and I fail to see how an Icecast server running mostly at night, serving maybe 3 clients at a time, at the most, could seriously impact things. Maybe I'm wrong.)

    The point is they should have called before yanking my service. The "shoot first, ask questions later" policy is rubbish no matter which way you slice it. I see this (and other instances) as the action of a company unwilling to shell out to upgrade their network to fit their client base.

    Enough. Peace.
  • "By definition anyone who is uploading huge amounts of information is adding content to the web."

    While I agree that adding content is a positive, why do you make the assumption that the World Wide Web has anything to do with the subscribers' usage? There is much much more to the Internet than "the web."

  • Give us a break...

    Ever thought of getting Satellite?

    The point I believe the original poster was making was a feeling of resentment at being mislead. It's one thing to advertise a specific quality of service, but when that "QOS" gets to the point where it's perceived to be the same as what you have, it's natural to feel a little miffed.

    So, I say again, Relax. Feel OUR pain. We were lead to believe one thing, and given another.

  • Tried that. We had about 50 people screaming bloddy murder on the CGO@Home newsgroups. The people who work for CGO@Home have stoped reading/replying to messages about the cap. They don't care about their users. To them, about 3% of the users use their outgoing connection on a regular basis. They'd be happy to see us go.

    As a matter of fact, the only people who knew about the CGO@Home cap was the people who read the cogeco.concerns news group. CGO wasn't even going to tell their users that a cap was in place.

    Like I said before... I hate @Home.
  • I'm sorry to take the side of the big bad corporation in this issue, but I definitely don't agree with all the whining.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too people, if you super cheap flat rate broadband, you just can't expect that they will let you run a 100 channel shoutcast server off it as well.

    Yeah, it has its disadvantages if you want to send large files around or remote heavy x applications, but for all other purposes this is enough for home usage, well enough in fact.

    I know that several Cable Modem and ADSL services here in Sweden have taken it one step further in combating the server problem and put every user behind an ip masquerading firewall instead (goodbye ICQ, goodbye DCC, goodbye Telnetting/SSHing to the home machine, goodbye any kind of server what so ever). If that is the option, I know what I would choose (if I wasn't stuck on a stupid minute metered ISDN that is)...
  • > They do occasional port scans, and then tell violators to turn off service or get their service terminated

    Better be a really fast scan. I have most services turned off already as a matter of security (I use fetchmail to get my mail from my ISP). What I do have on those ports are boobytraps that firewall off the scanner. If I could get it to just refuse the connection as if it weren't listening, I'd love to do that but have no idea how.
  • Less is More, and 128kbps is "orders of magnitude" greater than 28.8kbps. since when is *4 an order of magnitude?

    At 128kbps, the service certainly isn't what it could be (though it's better than what I've got). I fail to see how capping upstream rates constitutes scaling the network up to meet demands. If they lie like that to their own staff, what does that say about what they tell the customer?

  • Actually, since mediaone (now part of the roadrunner/@home network) has advertised their modem as "up to 50x faster than a regular modem"... I'll be raising hell with the Public Utilities Commissioner in my state.

    Actually, maybe I'll sue them for false advertising, and intent to defraud.

  • There's no need to have anyone surfing channels looking for abusers. You just meter the connection. Exceed X amount transferred in Y days and have your bandwidth throttled by a factor of Z. Totally automatic. Coldly fair.
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @06:17AM (#1830578)
    graph available [mediaone.net]

    I just have to tell you right now why the real reason for these caps are. It has nothing to do with "bandwidth" problems. They've oversubscribed their userbase. I have a graph [mediaone.net] up on my website detailing this. If you want the scripts to generate it yourself, contact me. What disgusts me the most is that I was paying $40 a month when the service was *good* during prime time. Now I'm still paying $40 a month, but the service is completely unusuable during prime-time. Please contact your PUC (Public Utilities Commissioner), as well as the technically-savvy press. This is an outrage - they're delivering less, but charging the same rate. In any other industry, this would be outright fraud.

  • Sorry, bad link, this one [mediaone.net] will work better.

  • Yeah, but upgrades are expensive, and I'm not willing to pay the extra costs. Never forget that any upgrades get passed directly on to the subscribers.


  • by Restil ( 31903 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @06:46AM (#1830600) Homepage
    I've known all along that cable modem companies would have to start capping rates. Just join any major IRC server (dalnet, efnet) and look at a few of the channel topics and you'll see why. Warez junkies are going to ruin it for everyone.

    And don't forget, you're getting EXACTLY what you pay for. I can't tell you how many times people have bragged to me about the high speed of their internet connection because they have a cable modem, and my attempting to tell them that its a solution that will turn around and bite them in the ass, falls on deaf ears.

    Cable modem statistics and prices are based on the assumption that the average user won't use any more bandwidth than a regular modem user will. The average person "surfing the net" won't read his webpages any faster, they'll just load faster. Email won't increase by much, and sure those downloads will be faster, but your average modem user doesn't download that much. $40 a month, or whatever cable modem prices are going for, is more than enough to cover a large number of users.

    Ok, so there will be a few users who use more than their share, this also isn't a problem. Every isp has the occasional dialup user who never disconnects and is literally tying up the line 24/7. However, there aren't enough of them that they cause busy signals for others, so they can safely be ignored, or at least worked into the average appropriately.

    The big problem with cable modems is that the average user, to whom a 28.8 modem is more than
    adaquate, has no reason to switch to cable. Therefore, cable has a skewed user base. They have a lot more bandwidth hungry users who are exploiting high bandwidth at low cost, and fewer
    low bandwidth users to balance the load out.

    This means that cable modem providers are going to spend more money on bandwidth than they will recieve from their users. Also, cable networks are optimized for downstream. Certainly, they can handle the bandwidth in both directions, but since they expect clients to be primarily in the business of downloading, they therefore provide more bandwidth on the downstream side. This is why they don't want servers, as servers, especially when something in demand is offered for download, will chew up a LOT of bandwidth very quickly.

    So they cap the uploads. Complain if you want, but 128K is still pretty damn good for only $40 a month. And while they may not have capped the downstream yet, I wouldn't blink for too long, because it will come there eventually too. GTE has done it already.

    So, you want a large number of IP addresses, you'll have to pay for it. If you want dedicated high bandwidth rates, go get a T1. Yes, it will cost you a lot more money, but its all yours. 1.544 mbps and NOBODY will tell you how much of it you can use, as you can use all of it. But you're going to pay for it.

  • dammit CmdrTaco fix the goddamn less than/greater than tags!!

    Transmit speed on your cable modem is limited by design. The cable has a finate amount of bandwidth and any provider with half a brain would devote a much larger amount to download.

    from talking to people in the know down at the local cable co., the modems all receive on a given "channel" (e.g. the bandwidth allocated to channel 50) and all transmit on the sub-lo part of the spectrum (less than 50MHz I believe) -- they cannot allocate more for sending from subscribers to the internet since the distribution amps are set up to amplify the sub-lo IN to the office and amplify everything else OUT to the subscribers.

    Cable modems work in the exact same way that cable companies can backfeed a live broadcast back to the main system. They transmit locally into the same cable you use in your home, but in the sub-lo band. When it gets back to the office it gets upconverted to whatever channel YOU watch it on, mixed with the general distribution signal and transmitted out. They can't just add more reverse channels because that means redesigning the entire cable network.
  • Just curious, what part of the Country is this?

    I was one of the first to jump on Mediaone Express service when it rolled out here in the Chicago suburbs last fall. It was excellent - I loved it and I never even had to *think* bout how long something was going to take to upload/download, or did I have any trouble finding fast game servers.

    Now, almost a year later, it is still a very good service, but I have seen some deterioration as more users are added. I see some slowdowns on Saturday nights, the e-mail and news servers are usually much slower than before, and we get short outages from time to time.

    Overall, I agree that MediaOne has been a good ISP - I'm just wondering what happens when AT&T/TCI/@Home takes over here?
  • by Bald Wookie ( 18771 ) on Sunday June 27, 1999 @07:44AM (#1830640)
    Please remember that the bandwidth for a cable modem is shared among all of the users. Now when everyone on a block is using a shared resource, I'd like to think that we can all have a bit of respect for our fellow users. Let me put together a little analogy.

    For example, lets say that you live out in the desert on a dirt road. There are about 50 or 60 other families who all live along the same road with you. This road is so bad that you have to leave an extra 20 minutes for your commute because of it. Fed up, you look into paving a section of the road, but it costs way too much for you to take on alone.

    Now imagine that some big company comes to town and offers to pave the road for a small cost, split among all of the negihbors. Everyone chips in thier small monthly fee, and soon there is a pristine 2-lane strip of asphalt. You cut your commute in half and now you can get a boat and trailer for the weekends. Life is good.

    Then your next door neighbor tears down his house, and tilts up a 500000sf Wal Mart national distribution center. Pretty soon trucks start clogging that little strip of road. Not to be outdone, the Flynts up the street build a mega-theme park. Cars line up for miles just to get in. The Waltons and the Flynts are still only chipping in a few bucks a month, but they are using most of the capacity of the road. Now your commute has expanded by 40 minutes each way, but your stuck.

    OK, so how to fix the problem? Limit the number of axels on the residential road. Close the gates to the theme park. Then everyone can share the same strip of highway. It might be hard on their business to have these restrictions imposed. Yet, if they as a business customer want that much road, they should build their own. The same goes for the theme park. The same goes for the guy running Phil's Playhouse of Porn and Top 50 W4r3Z site next door off of his cable modem.

    The cost of the bandwidth for cable is so low because it is shared among all of the users. If you want or need your own big pipe going out, you really should be paying for it rather than taking advantage of the guy next door. Just because you can sit in your living room with the blinds drawn and suckle on the teat of high bitrate bliss, does not mean that you should be the only one on your block with the privelage.

    Its really easy to make the company the scapegoat in this situation. False advertising claims fly. Hey, its really not 50X faster than my old modem! No, that is a marketing come on phrased for a technically illiterate public. Sadly, people are starting to think that 56K is a brand of modem. Grandiose claims of peak speeds of 1.5megabits per second with a CIR of 10kbps does not make a catcy ad (but it does make a nice line in a service agreement.)

    What it comes down to is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Yes, there are good non-business uses for upstream bandwidth. However I would rather have some sort of limit to curb abusers, than have an unusable connection because of my neighbors. Yes the company can take steps to increase bandwidth. However those steps are costly, and those costs are either reflected in higher bills, or lower returns for investors. A little respect for the guy next door would go a long way in this case.
  • Not really. One is not plural, so it is not technically true. Even without the cap, it would just qualify.

    And your interpretation of the phrase is the most generous (to them) of several. Many would consider an order of magnitude faster to be 288kbps (2.88 * 10^1 vs 2.88 * 10^2 ), and this to be PLURAL orders, it would need to be at least 2.88Mbps which is untrue even without the cap.

  • Hmmm, according to this line of reasoning, @Home might actually be BETTER off if they let AOL onto the network. You know over 99% of AOL users don't know what a server is, let alone how to run one.
  • Most of the @home users who are upset with this upload cap (like myself) are not as upset with the quality of service as we are with the lack of integrity of @home.

    When I subscribed back in Dec-98, I was promised - via advertising, phone calls, emails, and from the technicians who came and installed the service - that I would receive 1MB upload speeds and 2MB downlooad speeds.

    I asked about FTP/HTTP servers and the like, and they said they did not recommend this, due to security issues. They did not claim that this would violate the AUP. In fact, I read through the policy with the technicians, and the only thing that we could find relative to these servers, is that if you decide to run them, @home would not be responsible for the security issues involved.

    The point is, if @home is only going to allow 128kb upload speeds, they need to make it perfectly clear to subscribers. I have no problem if they want to "downgrade" my service. But, they should inform me ahead of time, and I should not have to pay the same price for fewer services. Their marketing department needs some work.

  • I understand why they capped the network, and that they probably had to do it to meet demand with their current infrastructure. However, that is NOT expanding your network to meet demand. That is capping demand to avoid expanding your network.

    As far as it goes, some sort of fair allocation scheme is certainly needed on any public network. I think the parts many object to is the way they want to dodge the questions, and the misleading information in the document. That and the use of a simple minded congestion control and the underprovision of bandwidth in the first place.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong