Online games stealing your bandwidth

Warren Bailey wbailey at
Tue Sep 28 19:01:57 UTC 2010


Apologies, I did not realize that you guys were doing so much. Please don't take my last email as anything which was intended to question or insult you guys. Up here (Alaska) we have about 100,000 cable subscribers along with mixed Fiber/DSL/POTS access and nearly 50,000 cellular customers with high speed data around our Metro network. I am an RF Engineer, however the network I run is IP based (satellite) and I run in the neighborhood of 250mbps forward and 30mbps return to most of the State of Alaska. I find that anywhere from 40-65% of our total traffic is "questionable", which is why I was asking about an ISP who liked their users downloading torrents. It is very difficult to gauge a users behavior if they are on an "all out" downloading binge over a weekend. Normally, a user logs in and does what they need to in a relatively short amount of time (hours). In the case of most providers, we oversubscribe our resources and have found this model is beginning to not apply to user behavior changes. Long gone are the days of the user turning off their computers, and our customer base (rural Alaska) have few things to do besides use the internet. This has made a "perfect storm" of sorts, as we are now seeing most of our users utilizing 70%+ of their allocated (purchased) bandwidth 24 hours a day. The vast majority of the night use is gaming, and bit torrent. It makes things much more complicated when trying to give an experience to people..


-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Bates [mailto:jbates at] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 10:26 AM
To: Warren Bailey
Cc: Richard Barnes; NANOG
Subject: Re: Online games stealing your bandwidth

On 9/28/2010 1:00 PM, Warren Bailey wrote:
> Jack,
> Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but looking at your website - do you only offer dial up services? This could be the background for a statement like "a proper ISP doesn't encourage any type of traffic." We have a couple of OC-192 running to Seattle, so certain "types" of traffic can make a good day turn very badly without some traffic "management".

BrightNet itself has ILEC's as customers. We're a turnkey glue for ILECs 
nearby. Among other things, I provide engineering support and advise for 
each ILEC. Each has their own levels of service, management, and 
technologies deployed including wireless, cellular, DSL, FTTH, and 
cable. I'm currently running around 1.2gbit between us and 4 NSP 
transits with 3gbit available. Some of the ILECs have additional load 
shifting with other transits. I estimate the need to go 10Gig ring or 
split transit in less than 5 years at current growth rates, and the 
largest problem we've run into is getting infrastructure to handle gig-e 
speeds out of rural ILECs for the 100+ mile longhauls. I've had issues 
with gig-e connectivity just getting out of OKC to enough NSP transits 
and it will become more difficult/expensive when we do hit 10G.

As it currently stands, we usually have no problems with event spikes, 
though we sometimes have to tweek the traffic paths depending on how the 
NSPs do. The largest issues have always been the last mile. As we 
resolve last mile costs (which dropping 100% fiber in a rural area today 
doesn't have the safety nets and guarantees that were provided when 
copper was dropped in), we'll then have to tackle the longhaul 
connectivity issues, but hopefully the cost to handle that will drop as 


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