If you have a broadband internet connection, then you will have probably seen that your package has a fair usage policy of some kind on it. One way in which they enforce fair usage is by doing what is known as traffic shaping. Essentially, if you download beyond a certain amount of data, then your internet connection will be altered so that all traffic for web pages, email and other types of low-bandwidth traffic will be kept at maximum speed. Higher bandwidth applications such as video streaming and P2P will be throttled down to a speed that will allow other people using the connection in your area a fair share of the bandwidth.
The other type of fair usage enforcement is data caps. The way this works is that every month you have a set threshold as to how much data you can upload and download. Now this threshold is your uploads and downloads combined. If you pass the threshold, then your throughput(the actual speed of the internet connection coming into and out of your house) could get throttled down to the point which is only acceptable for the use of emails and browsing basic webpages.
Now the ISPs say that they are doing this to keep these so-called bandwidth hogs from degrading the performance of everyone else’s internet connections. However, technology pundit Leo Laporte(also creator of the This Week in Tech network) says that this argument is wrong and has a different opinion which I completely aggree with.
There are some ISPs out there that offer packages of broadband internet, TV and home phone(i.e. landline telephone). They know that there services such as BBC’s iPlayer, the ITV Player, Sky Player, Sky Mobile TV and Demand Five. These are services which essentially allow you to watch your favourite TV shows online after they have shown on TV.
Therefore, you can watch them whenever you want. Essentially they are scared that people would rather save money and watch TV on the internet using a computer as opposed to watching TV on a TV. They are scared that they will severly leak money. Essentially, this is the ISP’s saying that if you download too much TV to your computer, then we will lose money. I (like Leo Laporte), believe that these companies simply have to invest their money into improving their networks. As a result of this, they are so scared, that they have to impose bandwidth caps and impose traffic shaping. This whole bandwidth hog issue for me is just completely lies. They in no way care for the interests of their customers. I am not complaining.
Either way, let me know what you think of this issue by leaving a comment or an ask. By the way, I should also use this opportunity to remind you all that if you wish to send me an email, then you should be able to. I am getting the email address sorted so it should not take me long to get it up and running.
However, virgin has announced that they will offer up to 100mbps down cable internet for £35 a month. That means you could download a whole CD full of data in just over a minute. They also offer 50mbps down cable internet for £15 a month which would allow you to download a whole CD full of data in just over two minutes. So Virgin media are doing what they can to improve their network. Now these two services have no traffic shaping or data caps on them to the best of my knowledge. BT infinity have a 40mbps down internet connection offering with no data caps or traffic shaping for £26 a month.