[funsec] Not so fast, broadband providers tell big users (fwd)

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Tue Mar 13 17:02:37 UTC 2007

Thus spake "Jack Bates" <jbates at brightok.net>
> I would like to blame the idiots that decided that of the signal range
> to be used on copper for dsl, only a certain amount would be
> dedicated to upload instead of negotiating. What on earth do I
> want to do with 24Mb down and 1Mb up?  Can't I have 12 and 12?
> Someone please tell me there's a valid reason why the download
> range couldn't be variable and negotiated and that's it's completely 
> impossible for one to have 20Mb up and 1.5 Mb down.

That's ADSL.  I have 25+25 VDSL at home.  My ISP frowns on "excessive" 
uploading, though, but they were kind enough to tell me what "excessive" 
means and I happily capped my uploads at that rate.  Everyone wins.

So why has Ma Bell chosen to only use ADSL for consumers?  Economics.  Their 
model of having business customers subsidize residential customers relies on 
having at least one end of every conversation be a business customer.  When 
both ends are residential, as in P2P, there's nobody to pay the bills and 
keep them afloat.  That's also where the net neutrality and peering disputes 
come from; you only care about people using your pipes "for free" when your 
customers aren't paying the true cost to get bits to/from the peering point. 
By limiting residential upload speeds, they make it difficult to source 
content and thus keep their subsidy model on life support.

At least the cablecos have a decent excuse for bad upload speeds; shared 
bandwidth is bad enough, but in addition 1000 nodes transmitting to 1 node 
is much tougher electrically than 1 node transmitting to 1000 nodes.  Sooner 
or later, they're going to have to start shrinking cell sizes and/or 
allocating a heck of a lot more channels to data to keep up with demand.


Stephen Sprunk      "Those people who think they know everything
CCIE #3723         are a great annoyance to those of us who do."
K5SSS                                             --Isaac Asimov 

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