[LINK] Australian ISPs offer US advice, smugness, on net neutrality

Saliya Wimalaratne saliya at hinet.net.au
Wed Oct 1 15:31:38 EST 2008


On Wed, Oct 01, 2008 at 08:58:02AM +1000, Ivan Trundle wrote:

> Is there an 'all you can eat' plan offered by any non-wholesale ISP in  
> Australia these days?

Hi Ivan,

It's called pay-per-MB; or volume-based charging, and is offered by
any ISP that offers plan + excess charges. Those ISPs don't limit
access (beyond what's required by the ACIF codes; and in some
notable cases not even that :) - since every byte earns them money,
it's in their interests to give you all you can eat.

I'm thinking you meant 'fixed-price' unlimited broadband service; 
once again, the answer is 'yes'. Here are some ADSL-based examples:

256k/64k = $330/month
512k/128k = $550/month
1.5M/256k = $990/month
8M/384k = $2999/month

For some reason, they're not wildly popular. Who'd have thought?

Providers that sell unlimited services at cut-throat prices (e.g.
unlimited 256/64 ADSL for $20/month) _do not want_ customers that are going
to actually utilise what they appear to be offering.

So they keep clauses (often hidden) like "disconnect for overuse" or 
"rate-limit P2P" or (my favourite) "disconnect for negative impact on us
or other users". 

If we accept that at _some_ point there are shared resources, whether they 
be DNS servers, or cross-connects, or peering points, or whatever - _every_ 
user has a negative impact on other users when they compete for those 
shared resources... so all users of a service with this type of clause
could in theory be perfectly legally disconnected under that clause.

The 'limited-but-with-reasonable-limits' packages seem to be fairest for
everyone. Those limits change with time - 200MB was once an astronomical
amount of data per month, now it's 2/3 of the most recent Windows XP update.

Regards,

Saliya


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