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The Internet Your Rights Online

Telstra Says Freedom (Plan) Has Its Limits 233

Toliman writes: "The former national Telecommunications company in Australia, Telstra, announced changes to their flat-rate cable and ADSL Freedom plan yesterday. The following email was sent to all users on the cable and ADSL residential plans -- restricting data download to three gigabytes per month with additional downloading attracting a hefty 35-cent fee per megabyte ($AU). Usage after that 3 gigabyte allowance is limited to the internal network if the customer does not choose to pay the fees for excess traffic." Read on for more.

"Slashdot readers in Australia will remember that Telstra's last pricing plan change was to charge per megabyte of traffic, including email and local network traffic, including paying the costs of receiving spam or unwanted data. During the rollout of optus @home's cable network, telstra implemented a flat-rate 'freedom' plan, offering a capped speed of 512kbit/128kbit with unlimited downloads suject to a flexible AUP, in order to compete with Optus's Network. Now the AUP has been changed to limit usage down to 3GB per month, reducing ADSL and cable users to the speed of a 28.8k modem.

Since the contract includes a reference to the AUP, the new limit is enforceable without express consent, and takes effect next month for all telstra 'Freedom' users. ZDNET australia,,, ausforums all have links to various stories, even a petition for Telstra to change their minds on this. As of this article, there are 4,300 users on the petition already quite angry, and more who are fed up with Telstra exploiting their monopoly of the internet bandwidth in Australia.

While some are calling this a purge of network 'abusers,' more rational users are asking for reasonable limits to be set up, if the old 'Freedom' plan cannot be reinstated."

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Telstra Says Freedom (Plan) Has Its Limits

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It would be cheaper to actually buy the software I download. Imagine that!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    According to the terms of the Telstra, you are not allowed to have more than one computer connected to the broadband line at one time...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually the freedom plan price is the highest. I can't give telstra any more money. If they had an option that was truely unlimited (as this one implied it was) and priced higher then I would of signed up for that instead.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Acutally..that was the CAP a while ago, has been increased twice now... it went from 3 to 6 to 8gigs in download, 2 in upload. But the real killer is the 15k limit in uploading. Someone said a old cable modem cannot be counted,'s the NEW samsung DOCSIS, and starting in July...they can track how much you download...expect to recieve an EMAIL from Videotron soon to confirm do I know.... inside source (plus..I work for Videotron)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Telstra (formerly Telecom) has a long and colourful history as a Telecommunications Monopoly in Australia. They always had a well deserved reputation for acting however they liked, giving substandard service and shafting customers. With the derugulation and introduced competition in the very late eighties, they switched their advertising to being "Australian" and being for the people. They are however the same pack of money hungry bastards they always were. If they had a (truthful) motto it would be : "Its always the customers fault" and "F*ck you , we're Telstra"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am currently one of the people who use Telstra's Broadband internet and I was quite happy with my service for the year or so I had it since the introduction of the 'Freedom' plan. I had just moved from a string of terrible dial-up isp's that had first been good only to be bought out and have their service go down the drain. I loved broadband with telstra, hey I still love Telstra broadband but for me this is the stick that has broken the camels back so to speak. I work for 10hrs a day 5 days a week and I enjoy coming home to do a bit of surfing and read the BigPond cable newsgroups (this is all I do I am not a heavy downloader) yet to my dismay just these few activites (and perhaps a bit of online gaming) put's me just over the 3gig limit per month. Myself and much of the BPA userbase was shocked with this and absolutely everybody is up in arms about it on the day we recieved the email the Telstra newsgroups were bombarded with more than 3000 new posts about the limit alone. Almost immediately petitions were signed, thousands of users sent emails to Telstra for them to leave their service and various other places (ACCC for instance). However it's only the next day and we are already finding out that Telstra have pretty much covered themselves with this change. They must have had their lawyers going over the changes with a fine tooth comb as from what we are hearing from the consumer watchdog's et al is that basically it's all legal. Telstra has flexed their muscles and we must all take it. The other other broadband company here is Optus@Home which doesn't seem to be in very good condition right now. Telstra have owned a monopoly on broadband services in Australia for quite some time now and they are simply reminding us that there is damn little we can do about it. Even Bill Gates (dare I say it) condemned Telstra for their stiffling of Australian broadband. Well Telstra's decision has forced me to flee to the relative safety of Optus@Home, that is until they decide it would be profitable for them to institute a similar system. So I am stuck having to shell out another AU$500 for that to be installed.

    (Don't hate me just because I'm Anonymous!)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    *groan* Stop going on. You're not charged for ARP packets, or anything which originates in their core network as soem sort of management traffic. Usage collection is done on the border routers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @05:16AM (#172680)
    ISP promises unlimited bandwidth, assumes that 99.9% of the customers are never going to use it, then panics when it finds itself losing money.

    Bandwidth isn't free, cheap DSL connections only exist because most web users are content to spend vastly more time reading than downloading.

    Anyone who uses their cheap connection to shift loads of data is costing the ISP money rather than being ripped off, therefore the ISP doesn't like it.

    Sure changing terms of service to exclude anyone who actually tries to collect what they were promised is a pretty underhand thing to do, but IMHO you can expect to see a lot more of it in the future.
  • Bzzt. Pay more attention in maths tomorrow - you've converted everything the wrong way.

    AUS$89 = US$45.7194

    Unlimited broadband in Australia was way too good to be true. Get over it already.

  • Theres an existing interesting Thread [] on Wireplay (Telstra's gaming network) about it all. And also a petition [] you can sign to protest against the move. Furthermore the ACCC [] (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is already investigating [] the matter.
  • Your Rights Online? What is this bullshit!?

    Bandwidth is not a right, it costs money! Being at the arse-end of nowhere (to quote a former PM), Australian carriers have to pay through the nose for traffic from the USA (and afaik all connectivity to countries elsewhere in the world from Australia goes through the USA?). If you want to use that connectivity to leech more than 3 gig of pr0n and mp3z a month, then you have to pay for it. Quit your whining.

    Jesus, this is as much of a "Your Rights Online" issue as crying about your "rights" to copy mp3z being infringed by the big bad RIAA. Fuckin' selfish generation.

    Mod down at will, I've got the karma to take whatever abuse the slashbot moderators want to dish out.

  • Telstra is claiming that the changes are meant to provide "improved network performance" because of "severe burden on the network" placed by the "abusers".
    However, one needs to look at this with some information about the history - mainly that Telstra had placed a limit on the network speed (50kB/sec) precisely to limit the abuse of the system. And now, on top of that they also limit the volume usage.
    What the links fail to mention is that, up until recently, Telstra advertised the service as "broadband, unlimited Internet access". Now, not only is it not "boradband", it is no longer "unlimited" either.
    Furthermore, their previous Acceptable Use Policy defined the limit to usage as "reasonable usage". With the limit to 3GB per month, this means that less than 2.5% of the cable connection is useable. How one can go from "reasonable" to 2.5% is beyond me.
    And to add salt to the wound, Telstra offers a "Big150" modem dial-up Internet account for $37.5/month for 150 hours. This gives 150hr x 3600sec/hr x 56kbit/sec = 30240000 kbit/month = 3.6GB / month. Cable service is $72.55. So, you pay twice as much and get 15% less service for your money.
    Just a quick rant... TPTB couldn't care less...


  • I love the Mach 3. I also love my Panasonic bazzilon RPM wet/dry electric. But the blades/foils for my Panasonic go dull faster than my Mach 3.

    Sure the blades for the Mach 3 are pricey, they were pricey on the Sensor too, but they last forever. I shave about 4 times a week (working in a basement lets me get by with scruffy) and my blades last about 3-4 monthes. Not only do they last forever, they do a good job shaving.
  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <> on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @08:09AM (#172686) Journal
    > Gilette no longer does animal testing.

    It's just too expensive. Have *you* ever tried to teach a monkey or bunny to shave?



  • Of course it can. Once a company finds out that they are losing money on something, or more likely, that they can charge a customer more money for something, they will. Its how business runs. I'd love to tell @home where they can shove it, but unforunately, for my location, other than getting an ISDN or above (with a hefty payment increase), there really is no choice for me. Until there is competition in the marketplace, there are no options, and companies that see competition on the horizon have two choices, change their policy and product to include services that the consumer would choose over the competition, or squeeze every last penny out of them while they still can. I sure hope that the local telco's / high-speed providers don't get the idea to follow suit.
    Secret windows code
  • Well, thats a bit screwed, becouse thats a 28.8 modem talking full speed, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.. It's low, but thats comparing apples to oranges..

    No ISP infrastrucure comes even close to covering 100% constant usage on all modem ports.. Modems deal in bursts of data, and rarely are blaring full speed all the time. Hence, bandwidth is usually less then required for that kind of usage..

    The number you came up with sounds more like a coincidence.
  • They were most likely assuming that no one would ever use the internet for more than 8 hrs a day.

    9.7*3 comes to 29.1k.
  • We've always had it with Cox Cable, in theory at least.

    Their $50/mo consumer plan used to be 7 .5 or 10 GB, is now 15 GB I believe. Rate capped at 1.5 down, 128 up, used to be 512 down, 128 up (and back in the day was 512 down, 64 up).

    Rarely enforced, as their page to check this is usually down. Typically you don't exceed this unless you're a warez/mp3 hound or running a server.

    I don't complain though, even under the old rate caps. Cox treated it as just IP connection, with no attempts to regulate what you did with it. None of this @Home garbage of what is and what is not a server.

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • If I understand correctly, the most expensive bandwidth is the overseas bandwidth... the inter-AU bandwidth shouldn't be that expensive. If that's the case, why doesn't Telstra put up a couple TB web cache and require that people use it?
  • Please visit Squid's documentation [] to enlighten yourself on how caches work.
  • I am a user of the BigPond Freedom plan. I would
    consider myself a little above average in my usage, but definatley NOT excessive.

    I play Q3 and Tribes2 online, I read newsgroups, I send/receive email, and a spend a little time browsing the web. The only bandwidth intensive thing I really do is when I apt-get update, and thats not very often, I have a cron job do it at 3am from an australian mirror.

    madness:~# ifconfig eth1 | grep bytes
    RX bytes:2556879164 (2438.4 Mb) TX bytes:138309404 (131.9 Mb)
    madness:~# uptime
    12:07:01 up 9 days, 22:09, 5 users, load average: 0.13, 0.03, 0.01

    Oh yeah, and my little sister does some web browsing for school work too. These figures are
    a little higher than avg, because she did a windows update on her win2k box, SP2 IE 5.5 etc

    Am I really all that EXCESSIVE?

  • by TBone ( 5692 )

    But this won't happen - the people that will get cut off are the being BEING DDoS'd, not the people performing the DDoS. Any single node in the DDoS attack sends a trivial amount of data - Well, maybe not trivial, but not exactly bandwidth-breaking amounts of data. The beauty of the DDoS is that it's power comes from the number of computers doing small parts to contribute to the larger scope. One computer sending 1K packets every second is no big deal. 1000 computers doing the same just dropped 1M of data onto your link every second.

    No, the caps won't stop DDoS's - except that the DDoS's won't be able to hit their targets after the first 1G of data comes in after 10 minutes.

    This space for rent. Call 1-800-STEAK4U

  • Not quite true - the Disney channel on cable (at least in the past, I haven't had access to it in a year or two) used to use his show as filler.

  • Telstra is claiming that the changes are meant to provide "improved network performance" because of "severe burden on the network" placed by the "abusers".

    I've noticed that the network is very slow today, the day after the notice went out ... I can't help but wonder if all the leechers are trying to get it while it's good.

    Oh, and I bet that 50kbyte/sec cap you're talking about doesn't go away.

  • If I understand correctly, the most expensive bandwidth is the overseas bandwidth... the inter-AU bandwidth shouldn't be that expensive. If that's the case, why doesn't Telstra put up a couple TB web cache and require that people use it?

    Telstra is already using transparent web proxies.

    And you're right - traffic within Australia is considerably cheaper than international traffic. A few years ago Sydney University introduced per-megabyte charging for its students, I believe basically at cost. International traffic was about five times more expensive, at 17c/Mbyte.

    But Telstra's quite happy to charge you for Australian traffic at twice that rate - which looks like about ten times as much as it costs wholesale.

  • One reason bandwidth charges are common outside the US is that the US ISP's charge the rest for peering. I.e., a European ISP has to pay both for the use of the undersea cable between US and Europe, and then by the byte for the traffic going to and from the US part of the Internet.

    The US ISP's typically do not pay for the traffic that flows to Europe, or for the lines connecting to Europe. I would imagine that the problem would be worse in Australia. Every few years a new cable is added between Europe and the US; whereas laying cable between the US and Australia might be a bit more expensive.
  • I would, except that a lot of Telstra ADSL users are on a fixed contract, with penalties for an early opt-out (just like a mobile phone contract)

    They changed the contract so technically you do have a right to opt out ... I think a judge would look kindly on your part if you asked Telstra to either continue with the current terms for the remainder of your contract or release you from your contract ... and maybe even refund your installation fee ...

    Well, I can hope, can't I? (I'm also in the same boat as the other ... oh ... 5600 signatures on that petition page now)

  • No MicK, you're absolutely right - we just have a bunch of people (I use the term loosely) in charge who have desperate need of the size 10 clue hammer.

    It is a nice place, and most of us are OK people, but our politicians, opinionators and decision makers get confused and challenged when confronted with issues that don't have "...for Dummies" books written for them (by an overseas publisher, of course!).

  • Hint: I wasn't being entirely serious, but there was a point to my little rant. It's *really difficult* to escape crap American pop culture in Australia, because it's everywhere you look and crowding out our own voice (mainly because it's cheaper to import yours than produce our own), whereas Americans can disappear back into their own comfort zone and ignore the rest of the world any time they feel like it.

    As far as Priscilla goes, blame Miramax. The urban legend around here goes that the only reason that was released in the US was that Patrick Swayze had that drag queen movie coming out (if you'll pardon the pun) soon afterwards, so when Miramax saw Priscilla they used it as a low-cost opportunity to discover whether American audiences could cope with drag.

    As for being a troll, I dunno. I thought you were funny. Maybe the laugh track went missing and the presumably American moderator didn't recognize it was supposed to be funny.

    Oh, and we've got fighter planes ready to destroy any vessel carrying Paul Hogan or Olivia Neutron-Bomb back from LA :)

    Go you big red fire engine!

  • I don't have a huge problem with a download limit. I don't have a problem with charging a per-megabyte fee for excess use. But 35 cents per megabyte? You've got to be kidding!

    Let's do some sums here. Let's assume that 35 cents per megabyte is the actual cost of providing that bandwidth. Furthermore, out of the 60 AUD monthly charge, let's assume $10 of that is spent on the essentially fixed costs of billing, line maintenance, and another $5 is taken out in profit. These are guesses, of course, I don't work in the industry, but they are pretty generous IMHO. Anyway, given that, the $45 of bandwidth charges, at 35 cents per megabyte, means the average user is only using about 129 megabytes per month! Something doesn't add up here, and I'm betting it costs far less than that to provide the international bandwidth.

    So, in essence, Telstra is ripping me off. Looks like it's time to investigate the alternatives . . .

    Go you big red fire engine!

  • by Goonie ( 8651 ) <> on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @06:55AM (#172703) Homepage
    You mean, you lot weren't in on the joke?

    I must tell you, whenever the parlous state of the Australian dollar and the fact we have a moron as our leader gets us down, we just pull out a tape of Mr Irwin and realise that there's Americans out there that take him seriously. We also wonder where you lot hide your irony-removal clinics that you pass through soon after birth . .

    And, if you lot are complaining about getting our junk culture, let's do a comparative list here:

    Junk Culture successfully exported from Australia to America

    • The Crocodile Hunter
    • Nicole Kidman (she used to be able to act when she left Oz, though - check out Dead Calm, and Bangkok Hilton).
    • Savage Garden
    • Greg Norman

    Junk Culture successfully inflicted on Australia by the US (well, just the highlights, there's too much to list)

    • N'Sync. Britney. Christina. Mandy Moore. The Gwenyth and Huey duet.
    • The entire canon of Jerry Bruckheimer movies.
    • Overdubs of foreign-language films. For fsck's sake, haven't you ever heard of subtitles?
    • TV ads that are obviously shot-for-shot remakes of US ones.
    • Touched By An Angel - straight from Utah to us.
    • Infomercials *on network television*.
    • Survivor 1 and 2
    • Oprah Winfrey
    • Jerry Springer
    • Dawson's Creek and Party Of Five
    • All the spinoffs from Law and Order, none of which come close to the (excellent) original show.
    • Letterman. He knows he's not funny. The audience knows he's not funny. The only reason I could conceive of to watch the show is to stare agape at the utter embarrassment of it all.
    • Seventh Heaven, which despite its Religious Right friendly themes contains the horniest, most sex-obsessed teens of any show I've ever seen on television.
    • All-Time most dramatic Amateur Video of Cops beating the Shit out of Some Incompetant and Unresisting Petty Crook Episodes 1 through 107
    • Studs
    • Temptation Island
    • Baywatch
    • Foreign TV news that's almost entirely clipped from CNN.
    • And, my pet hate, line dancing! Take it back, now!

    Now, if you want to swap, we might just have a deal :)

    Go you big red fire engine!

  • Yeah, but of all those examples of American crap pop culture, I don't watch any of them - I purposefully avoid them. I can't avoid Steve - I have a six year old who LOVES his show. Loves it at the top of his lungs. And, let's face it, 6 is too young to grasp the subtle nuance involved in the explanation that Steve shouldn't be watched "because daddy thinks he's an asshole." :)

    Besides, you're selling yourselves short. Don't forget:

    Olivia Newton-John

    Men at Work

    Olivia Newton-John

    Paul Hogan (and you can have his wife, too)

    Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

    Did I mention Olivia Newton-John?

    As an aside, I'm a troll now? Methinks someone's office switched to decaf when they weren't looking ;)

  • ...presumably American moderator didn't recognize it was supposed to be funny.

    Oh, I'm sure it was American. We seem to have experienced the rise of a new breed over here, Americanus Apologeticus, who is so terrified of reinforcing stereotypes of the "ugly American," and so desperate for overseas acceptance that they feel the need to apologize for every single thing that their 270 million fellow citizens have ever done, either historically or recently. Oh well...humor survives ;)
  • Hey, I thought Australia Day was in January...

    I used to generally have positive feelings about Australians and Australia in general. Now, I think "Fuck 'em - they'll get what they deserve." I say this after having witnessed the unleashing of an unprecedented horror on the rest of the English-speaking world by Australia, a horror that must be condemned by civilized peoples everywhere, a horror that must not be allowed to stand.

    I am, of course, referring to Steve Irwin. "The Crocodile Hunter," as if you needed to be told.

    Please, Australia, what did we ever do to you to deserve this? We like you - we like koalas and kangaroos. We don't like being bombarded with the fact that there are 300 species of snakes and spiders in Australia that are SO POISONOUS that people die just by looking at them from a distance.

    But it's not all bad. I taped that Fedex commercial; you know, the one where Steve gets bitten by a snake and dies. Whenever I need to relax, I just pull out that tape and watch it. Again and again.

    In a heavy Aussie accent:

    "Lookit that! Isn't she a beaoooty? But she's REALLY mad! And I don't blame her a bit, 'cause I've got my thumb RIGHT UP HER ARSE!"

    Please, no more. Please.
  • The enforcement of specific policies seems to lie upon the actual @Home partner: i.e. While I get scanned for NNTP servers I have never been scanned for any other type of servers (well...from @Home at least. From script kiddies I've been scanned for every server imaginable).

  • They who are the bane of the 21st Century. The stupid people.
  • This is all true. What is also true is that a number of people (who seem to be under the dillusion that companies care about their customers) asked for a fixed limit. Despite being counselled (flamed everytime they posted) by others who actually live in the 21st Century, they continued to ask for a fixed limit. Telstra is now able to say with an absolutely straight face they are listening to their customers. It's just most of them are extremely stupid rather than everybody like the cap does.

    I disagree with you on the lights. While numbers would have been nice, they could have just done what the other major broadband provider does and have more lights rather than the three they had. That way you get a decent idea of how much you can use. And it only affects the people who are putting an undue burden on the network
  • Unless you pay for it and there's been no word if you get extra allowance for the second connection (somehow I doubt it).
  • You have 14 days to exit from the contract (from Tuesday) with no penalty. Of course the system doesn't start until the end of June and there's no way to find out how much bandwidth you've used in the past.
  • by M@T ( 10268 )

    Now you get it... there are no other providers.

  • The biggest problem with broadband is, as was mentioned in the Freedom letter, a small percentage of the users is responsible for a huge percentage of the pipe.

    It is within their rights to come up with an acceptable usage policy, and they seem to be doing it in a responsible way. If they had wanted to do this better, they should provided their customers with the information that they were considering a cap, and asked for feedback from them.

    I kind of like the name of the team: BigPond. Does that imply that they are just some little fish?
  • And how many network operations do you know of that use the same amount of bandwidth equally for a month?

    I agree that the limit is low, but, for the average home internet user this is probably not a huge issue. I know we could operate our home internet connection quite well under that limit.

  • If telstra are trying to kick people who watch broadband streaming media all day.
    Well the other day I was having a quick look at the big brother website and using real player and you wouldn't guess which ad was below the video.
    Yep you guessed it Telstra Big Swamp Broadband.
    So Im confused.
    Anyway lucky I didn't end up going with telstra. I am quite happy with my satellite setup with a perm modem, so basially it's the same for less cost.
  • Hint: I wasn't being entirely serious, but there was a point to my little rant. It's *really difficult* to escape crap American pop culture in Australia, because it's everywhere you look and crowding out our own voice (mainly because it's cheaper to import yours than produce our own), whereas Americans can disappear back into their own comfort zone and ignore the rest of the world any time they feel like it.

    That's because American studios/producers/whatever are either much smarter than our ones, or much bigger and thus their standover tactics work...

    You want the rights to show , yes we can sell you that, it comes in this package which includes 500 of the worst shows we have ever made.

    So the lucky Australian TV station gets the good show it wants and 500 crappy shows as well. Now its not going to spend more money when it has got all these hours of TV it can run against the other crap the other stations got bundled with their good imports...

    Oh, and we've got fighter planes ready to destroy any vessel carrying Paul Hogan or Olivia Neutron-Bomb back from LA :)

    A better idea might be to force them to land in NZ. That'll teach them to disband thier airforce...

  • What application will they provide every user so that they can watch their download useage? Or, will they try to hide the numbers and then just start executing PING requests to users to put them over the 3GB limit each month?

    Would be a nice way to suppliment their cash-flow, no?

  • Personally, I wish @HOME would start billing on a bandwidth basis, and stop telling me what I can and cannot use on their network.

    The more bandwidth you use, the more it costs them, therefore, the more they should charge you. Makes sense to me.
  • My old twin blade Schick used to last at least 2 weeks of shaving every morning in the shower.

    The Mach 3's I change every monday. Also, if I store the blades in the bathroom cupboard, they rust (invisible to the naked eye) and after 3 weeks (beginning of the fourth blade) they are already blunt. This didn't happen with the Schicks.

    I am getting a closer shave with fewer strokes though. Now Schick has released a 3 blade in Australia, I'm trying that next.
  • Unfortunately, that is not the case. Telstra has to pay for its overseas links -- not just for having them, but also for the traffic it incurs.
  • What's funny tho is that Telstra is also an international transit provider for Australia, meaning that if Telstra DID have to pay for the bandwidth, it would just be paying Telstra :)
  • Here in Paris there are two choices for broadband: Cable, cheaper but with a mothly traffic cap, and DSL, somewhat more expensive but free of traffic limits. Net result is: Cable is vaguely stable (remember the overall market is expanding), DSL grows real fast.

    I guess it's time for some competition in Australia...

  • this hasn't happened in the states. I realize that this may be a bit offtopic but it does interest me. Do we just have the infrastructure to handle all of these spiffy new 1.5mb DSL lines or is there enough competition

    Back-end bandwidth is cheaper in the States. Reason: you are right at the core of the network, while Australia is at the far-end, and has to buy heaps of undersea bandwidth (or fiber+hardware) for those pesky broadband customers.

    [off-topic rant:] yet another case where market rules are biased towards the bigger players.

  • You know that the blades last at least an order of magnitude longer than other ones, right?

    The reason the blades are so expensive is because they are of a much higher quality. Gillette spent a ton of money researching the technology they used in those blades.

    For me, they last virtually forever. I highly recommend them.
  • That's not how most caches work. The first user to hit a site makes the cache pull the data from the remote site, but then the cache saves the data. So, the cache doesn't grab any more than it needs.
  • There's only one way to effectively protest this kind of stuff... vote with your dollars. That would mean informing them of your intention to stop using thier service unless they change their plans.

    I don't know if I could do that, though, if I didn't have an alternative to DSL. I have no interest in going back to the bad old modem days. That's a tough choice. It's like a drug dealer... first we'll get you hooked, then we'll take everything you've got.

  • I'm on Bell Sympatico, I would die if they had anysort of limit.
  • Users are also capped at 512/256kbps, so how can "5% of users use 35% of the network" at anyone time?

    Assume 10,000 DSL customers. 5% is 500 users. Download at 512Kbps each is 256Mbps, if they were saturating their link 100% of the time.

    Assume that the high-end users utilise their link at 20% full saturation each day - 5 hours at 512Kbps or 10 hours at 256Kbps. This is still highly unlikely, but hey...

    20% of 256Mbps is 51Mbps. Thus 35% of the network is 51Mbps, and their DSL network is a total of 150Mbps shared between all their users, by their own words.

    Stick 10 cities on that network - Telstra are allocating 15Mbps of bandwidth for DSL to each city, or per 1,000 users. And that is being very generous towards Telstra. More accurate numbers would probably suggest under 10Mbps per city, maybe even 5...

    So that initial statement is clearly very misleading and incorrect (read: lie), or the service is dreadful.

    10Mbps divided between 1,000 people is 10Kbps of bandwidth per person. That is a contention ration of 50:1 - very poor.

  • > Thats's why Telstra should try to get as many servers as possible on their network. Servers run by their customers, that is.

    Great point!

    Consider the MP3 leech from an ISP's point of view. Would you rather have 10000 users downloading (transiting) 3GB per month of MP3s from Supernews or Newsguy, or would you rather have them doing it from your own news server?

    One way, you pay 300GB per day (a full NNTP feed) for 9TB per month transit to your NNTP server. After that, it's all internal traffic to you.

    The other way, you pay 3GB per month times 1000 users, for 30TB per month to someone else's NNTP server (or to P2P servers located outside your network, etc...)

    As "bad" as the situation is wrt USENET and binaries, for a sufficiently-large ISP, there may be a business case for upgrading/maintaining your own news server farm, rather than expecting your users to outsource it.

    The same applies to P2P servers within the network:

    Suppose you had a news server with only one day retention, but 100 of your 10000 USENET users each downloaded 1% (2.5G per day) of the feed and redistributed it by setting up their own NNTP servers for "Stuff They Liked". If each of these 100 individuals, who would only need to eat 2.5G per day off your news server (and it's all LAN traffic, so you don't pay for their transit), dropped $150 on a 30G hard drive, you could effectively have 10 days' retention, and take some of the load away from your news server.

    I'm sure similar economies apply to Gnutella and more pure P2P solutions. I'm just using NNTP as an example.

  • > 3 GB / 30 days
    3072 MB / 720 hours
    3145728 KByte / 43200 mins
    25165824 kbit / 2592000 secs

    9.7 kbps

    Which reminds me.

    Suppose we take a typical US dialup user and have them use the hours between midnight and 0600 for my USENET MP3 l33ching, That's six hours a day, or 180 hours a month, to download stuff.

    I'm sure my ISP would be pissed at you (and righteously so!) if you were to use six hours a day during peak time, but by doing bulk downloads in the off-hours, you're not costing them anything - the modem pools are mostly empty, and even your local phone company's network is unloaded.

    Six hours at 48000 bps = about 12M per hour of MP3s from USENET once you subtract out the uuencoding bloat and allow for some latency. 72M per day, or about 2G per month. If we assume 160kbps MP3s, that's about an hour's worth of new music every day. Egad.

    (Given a 2-3G per month cap, why bother with broadband? ;-)

  • To be honest, I can see why Telstra has imposed such a limit, data costs them money (not much mind you), and they have share holders that want to see a higher profit year after year.

    But the concept that they market the product as "broadband" and then go ahead and chop the ability to use this "broadband" product seems somewhat, Telstra like.

    In the city I live, there is a project known as eLaunceston [] and they have a project known as the Launceston Broadband Project [] where they are currently using ADSL customers (including Telstra ones) in this city, to trial bandwidth intensive products, such as delivering lectures over the medium, and medical data, tourist guides, video conferencing, and hell, they even have a gnutella server and some game servers!

    It seems weird, that one arm of Telstra can embrace and the other arm can restrict, then again, that's the corporate world for you.

    If Telstra really want users to be more considerate when it comes to data usage, then have the cap by all means, maybe even lift it up to 6 to 8gb even - but if they really want people to pay for what they use, why can they not make it affordable.

    The reason people would go with the Freedom Deluxe over the pay per meg plan is simply because for $10 or so more ($89 month for 512/128), you didn't have to pay through the neck for data.
    Why can they not market the volume based plans at a much cheaper monthly rate, with data available at 10c/mb, or even different rates if you get it from a cache or not, as the Bigpond Direct plans now offer.

    If we are to ever see true broadband in this nation, they just need to make it slightly more affordable, so they make more money out of the extra loads of people they sign up, and rather then giving their shareholders extra dividends (as nice as they must be to get) put extra money back into further developing the network.

    Personally, I don't want to be stuck on 56k dialup for ever, but the way it's going, especially with the state I am living in, I don't really have any other affordable choice, $27.50AUD a month for 400 hours/1.5GB is a bargain, although, not so when two months ago it was totally unlimited.

    Make your voice heard, but don't be lame about it, they will ignore you, and people will forget about it, eventually.

  • I noticed a couple of stories yesterday in various news sources talking about the dwindling competition of internet providers in the US. One of the fears mentioned was that big corporations would be able to actually control content on the net once all competition has been eliminated. Certainly, high speed access choices are dwindling with the alternative DSL providers going out of business left and right. The local baby bell just announced that they weren't going to put any more money into residential expansion of DSL either, since offering the service just isn't profitable enough.

    Some number of years ago, I discussed running a T1 line into an apartment complex and wiring the whole thing with ethernet. At the time there were no other choices and in a neighborhood full of techies I'm sure you could find enough people who'd be willing to pay a bit extra a month for the service. It wouldn't take much to defray the cost of the thing (Local ISPs were offering T1 access for as low as $400 a month back then, though to connect to the MCI backbone, they wanted $1600 a month.) These days you could probably do something along those lines with a wireless microwave setup, kind of like the guys at are doing. Doing an end-run around the telco like that may be the only way to get a fair shake in the long run.

  • According to the email, this is the result "many requests from customers for a defined usage allowance under the Acceptable Use Policy." Of course, we've all asked our providers (many times) to limit our otherwise uncontrolled downloading.

    We just need to be saved from ourselves.

    "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."
  • by jdcook ( 96434 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @06:16AM (#172784)
    "Bait-and-switch" is when, for example, a store advertises something but when you go to purchase it, they are "sold out" (because they never had it) but have plenty of a different model that is "just a little bit more money."

    The software model of cheap software / expensive support has evolved because a few people need much more support than others. If you wish to subsidize other people's need for support, be my guest. I'd rather have cheaper software and fix my own problems or research the answers online. (Thanks, Google!)

    Video game consoles and razors are a different, classic pricing model. It is called the "razor pricing model." A razor is two things: a sharp thing and a handle thing. The sharp thing is a precision manufactured blade designed to scrape away unwanted facial hair (which has a tensile strength comparable to copper wire of the same diameter) with out scraping away the wanted flesh underneath. The handle thing is a modified stick. Which do you think is the value-add in this product? Moreover, the blade wears out. You may view this as part of the Illuminati's conspiracy to keep hirsute men in chains. If so, you are welcome to use a straight razor and a strap. Pay up your health insurance first though.

    The Gillettes and Shicks of the world give away, practically, the stick part because it is cheap in itself and it will give you an incentive to purchase their blades in the future. Eventually you will see third-party blades that fit the Mach3. And you may or may not like them.

    In addition, Gillette apparently spent $750 Million doing the R&D on the blade and blade assembly. There was an interesting article on it in the New Yorker a long while back. (Sorry, I couldn't find a link on Google.) I imagine they didn't do that for fun. I use the razor and am annoyed at the high cost of the blades. But, they do seem to give me a better shave than my Atra did and the blades seem to last a bit longer as well.

    In short, none of the things you mentioned are bait-and-switch. The change in DSL pricing described in the email doesn't fit classic bait and switch either. Rather, it looks like a pricing change designed to avoid having to offer the service at a loss. It is more akin to bait-and-switch then the examples in your post because it is a change in the product. But they aren't pretending the product exists at all. There is *no* all-you-can-eat DSL anymore. This may be rude or unfair or gouging, but it isn't a bait-and-switch.
  • What has always annoyed me about 'extra minutes' is that it seems counterintuitive to pay MORE for additional volume of anything than you paid for the original amount. Not that it doesn't happen elsewhere -- all calls up to 20 minutes just $.99, then $.07 each minute after. What? Why not $.05?

    Similarly, I can't see why you can pay like $100 or whatever for your DSL line, get 3 GB/mo, then have to pay $1050 for the NEXT 3GB. Can you just buy two lines, and switch over halfway through the month? How about you just buy 10 DSL lines and get 30GB for your money?

    I guess the assumption is that they are expecting miniscule total downloads...maybe a few hundred MB a month or less, per average user, and the high cap is in place to force the bandwidth devourers to get a different ISP -- except, of course, there ARE no other ISPs in Australia, since Telstra has a government-granted monopoly, and this is definitely what comes of that.
  • So, if you were to use an additional 3 gigs (assuming HD gigs and not memory gigs), you would end up being charged an additional $1050AU. I haven't been able to find the Freedom Plan on their site (you need to fill out forms with area codes and such that I don't know), but from the plans I can find, they are not charging anywhere near this. It make me wonder where did they get this number from? If you buy a second account, can you get 6 gigs for less? Why is it so much for 3 more gigs? The overhead costs are taken care of by the first fee.

    These are the kind of facts and questions customers should present to the custer service representatives. When they say they don't know the answer or cannot answer the questions, ask for them to transfer you to someone who can answer them. Let them know that they are not just charging you, they are massively penalizing you for going over the limit.

  • by zpengo ( 99887 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @05:14AM (#172787) Homepage
    Bait and switch. Works every time. Welcome to Business in the 00's.

    It's a time-tested technique. Software companies for the past two or three decades have offered reasonably-priced software, only to follow it with astronomically-priced support. Video game consoles are sold cheap because the games cost so much. Even toiletries: I just bought a Mach 3 razor, and realized that they could make a mint on it even if they gave it away, because the blades for it cost $armleg.99.

  • Probably not since most people within 5-10 years will have the choice of cable or DSL. The people will be able to tell their service provider to stop screwing them lest they go to another type of provider. Also it could get very nasty for the service providers here because at a minimum they would find the state regulatory agencies sinking their teeth into their hides, then the FCC would eventually jump in too. What telecoms sometimes forget is that they are actually under the jurisdiction of the state for all telecom transactions within the state. That means that here in VA, if GTE tries that kind of shit, the general assembly can pass regulations mandating that all Virginians have unlimited downloads. And it is perfectly constitutional as GTE is operating within state borders and the sole purpose of the law would be to regulate what goes on in GTE inside our state.
  • Or how about wireless? [] Sure, there's that $400 Canadian setup fee (around $260 US), but isn't $50 Canadian ($35 US) per month a reasonable fee for a 2 Mb connection, with a 10 Gb limit?

    Disclaimer: I do own shares in Storm Internet's parent company.

  • by wizarddc ( 105860 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @05:19AM (#172791) Homepage Journal
    I calculate even less b/w than a 28.8kbps modem

    3 GB / 30 days
    3072 MB / 720 hours
    3145728 KByte / 43200 mins
    25165824 kbit / 2592000 secs

    9.7 kbps

    That's just wrong.
  • This happens a lot on the abusive country that I live (Brazil). There is a major cable ISP called Virtua [] that used to allow the ridiculous amount of 1 GB per month. Nowadays, they allow you 7! Gee!!

    Even though Ajato [] really sucks sometimes, it doesn't have this sort of bullshit yet. I hear there are a few other ISPs doing the same thing Virtua is doing... I just hope mine doesn't get "infected" by this evil idea :-(
  • But it seems reasonable to me to have a 3GB cap per month. My cable provider (Videotron) allows 6GB/month (up from 2) and I've never gone beyond that limit, despite having a gaming family, two machines, and lots of free time. The figure of "about equal to a 28.8 modem" is extremely misleading. Since when would you have a 28.8 modem downloading at top speed continuously for a month?

    No, what gets me is this extra fee of $0.35 per megabyte. THIS is the highway robbery. If you use 3GB it's whatever the plan is (usually no more than $50), but if you use 4GB instead, you're billed for $400! if you double it and use 6GB, it's $1100 a month. You could buy another computer for that kind of money.
  • this hasn't happened in the states. I realize that this may be a bit offtopic but it does interest me. Do we just have the infrastructure to handle all of these spiffy new 1.5mb DSL lines or is there enough competition (until all of the smaller DSL companies go bankrupt) to keep things pretty much free and open? I know that the satellite folks (hughes) implemented a cap on downloads awhile ago - actually, they would just reduce your bandwidth and not tell you - but I haven't seen this with cable or DSL....
  • Do you have a name for a company offering a product purporting it to be unlimited (even confirmed over the phone), users paying a substantial signup fee ($400), getting 1 month's unlimited service, then the service becoming restricted within absurd limitations? The words misleading and deceptive come to mind for me. This whole thing wouldn't sting nearly as much if Telstra would refund the signup fee.
  • by techcon ( 139772 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @06:08AM (#172812)
    I have been running some IP accounting software for some time now. The Telstra routers (or something behind them) keep sending out ARP requests for random IP Addresses, about 130Mb a month. Do we get credit for this NO! Swap files with mates on the Telstra network and they still charge you (or record it against your usage) and it doesn't cost them a cent! All traffic charges should be accounted for on the border of the Telstra network not internal traffic, surely?

    The are absolutely no options avaiable, no alternatives, I signed up for a rate capped unlimited service! I can't believe the ACCC have said this is all OK
  • by Woefdram ( 143784 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @05:28AM (#172816) Homepage
    I don't really think this is an absurd idea, it happens everywhere. And let's be honest, for most users 3GB a month is more than they'll ever use in a month. There's just the few fanatic geeks who use their bandwidth as much as possible (#includeme) and place a relative burden on the network. Relative, yes, for if Telstra would have a better network, this wouldn't be an issue.

    Sure, for the few souls that will have to decrease their traffic it sucks. But think of it again: a bigger, faster network costs money. Would it be fair to let the lightweight users pay for that, while only a few consume the bandwidth? Nah. The heavy users should think about what they want: decrease traffic or pay more. I'm sure there are options subscribe for unlimited traffic, but at higher cost. Will it be worth the extra cost, is the question these people should ask themselves. If 10 people in a city want a car that can do 200MPH, would it be fair for a car manufacturer to give all its cars this feature and increase the price? Or would it be more appropriate to sell normal cars to normal drivers and offer a sports car to those that want it?

    It's easy to start yelling that Telstra sucks, but try to think what you would do if you were mr. Telstra and had to cut cost. If you really need the bandwith for downloading ISOs, movies, MP3s or whatever, you'll have to think about am I going to be fine with this, or would it be worthwhile paying more to continue this habit?

  • by rtscts ( 156396 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @01:55PM (#172820)
    bunnies [] can shave just fine, as far as I can tell...
  • Isn't this exactly what Junkbuster [] is for? I.e. not just blocking them for their annoyance. Great help when I'm on a modem connection. Of course another solution is one of the excellent text mode browsers like W3M [].


  • Thats's why Telstra should try to get as many servers as possible on their network. Servers run by their customers, that is

    Except that Telstra's terms of service prohibit you from running any servers on their network.

  • There's only one way to effectively protest this kind of stuff... vote with your dollars

    I would, except that a lot of Telstra ADSL users are on a fixed contract, with penalties for an early opt-out (just like a mobile phone contract). For instance, I'm on a 12 month contract...If I don't like it, I'm more than welcome to leave. I'm also more than welcome to pay Telstra a whole bunch of $$$ in penalties. They've got their DSL users bent over a barrel....

  • The term "skipped country" comes to mind. But lets not go ahead and let Telstra know whom might have done that, or where they are now, or exactly how large that bill was. I must say though, when that person had cable internet, the prices were higher, the limit was lower, and the per megabyte price was higher. There was talk of charging for data in-network too. The service was terrible, with downtime all the time, and support was worse. The customers were *all* unsatisfied, except for the persons brothers, who only played Quake 2 (which was the fashion at the time). The ONLY way to get ANYTHING done was simply to contact the top, and you had to go through hell to get *that* number. Perhaps that's why they didnt chase this person... they had they number to the top.

    Cheers, Telstra.


  • I just signed up on the Freedom plan, before they have even INSTALLED it they add this insulting restriction on monthly bandwidth. In my opinion Telstra have a long track record of over charging Australians for the internet and especially for their business internet. In fact I heard they were only using 0.5% of their network capacity a few years ago and they were still making companies and business BLEED big dollars for anything better than dialup. I reckon this is the very first time they have offered a half decent product at a reasonable price and they HAVE STUFFED THAT UP. DON'T let them get away with it. Don't mess around. Voice your opinion directly to at their web site Telstra online complaint form [] choose a service area (pick one you like the sound of) and shoot them an email. If you have multiple objections then it may pay to send them a few separate emails directed to different service areas to ensure that you convey all the aspects of your objection whether it be - you feel they have used deceptive and misleading advertising - you feel that they are abusing their position as market leader - they are letting their existing ADSL customer down - their excess per meg charges are far to high - others I have sent a couple of emails to them and hope they get back to me soon. I have requested they increase or remove the limit for all users. Just doing my bit for the cause. I'll let you know how we go. thanks falsemover Viva la revolution - drive around in your BMWs and ROCK the system.
  • Take 3 GB/mo, divide by (31days/mo)*(24hrs/day)*(60min/hr)*(60sec/min) and multiply by 8 bits/byte, and you get 26882 bits/sec - on average, a little less than a v.34 modem. Could it be that ISP infrastructure is designed for 28.8 kbps, even though the technology exists through DSL to increase the peak data rate?
    Nice reasoning but no. This is a cable network (well cable and ASDL but cable was first and that's what 90% of customers use). The claim is that they are trying to improve conditions for most users. They claim 5% of users are using 35% of available bandwidth. But they're not capping bandwidth they're capping volume, which has little impact on service quality. Besides the Freedom plan already has bandwidth restrictions of 512k/128k, and I've never had any trouble hitting those speeds to the US so I question whether any improvement is possible. This change won't help the service quality at all. Rather Telstra are simply looking to make more money. And they get away with it because they have a virtual monopoly. I'm on the Freedom account and I'd be changing providers if I could. But I can't because the opposition, Cable and Wireless Optus, won't connect appartments (last I checked anyway). So even though I'm in the middle of Sydney, the largest city in the country (4 million) I have exactly one available broadband option and it's no longer unlimited volume.
  • The big issue is that this account (the Freedom account) has been advertised as an unlimited (volume) flat-rate account. Suddenly it's not anymore.
  • you conveniently forgot to include: Xena, Warrior Princess, Hercules, Cleopatra 2525, Jack of all Trades... Crocodile Dundee - granted, kind of a collaboration Fosters - no, wait; its good - it takes the edge off the stuff you listed under your US culture list.
    Xena and Hercules are US productions filmed in New Zealand.
    As for Fosters, well it's a standing joke that no one in Australia drinks it.
  • by RedWizzard ( 192002 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @07:24PM (#172835)
    You don't have a *right* to unlimited bandwidth.
    I don't have unlimited bandwidth. I have a 512k (download) limit which I regularly hit. Explain to me how a volume cap is going to make my service better when I don't have any problem using the full bandwidth I'm allowed.
    I think if you're downloading more than 100MB *every day* then you should pay for the privilege.
    I do pay for the privilege. I pay for the most expensive (by fixed monthly charges) account Telstra provide. I got that account because it was fixed-rate, unlimited volume. Now I don't have a particular problem with the idea of a volume limit but IMO 3GB is too low. The latest set of RedHat ISOs come in at 2GB. I'd probably only get them every 6 months or so but now I have to worry about exceeding my monthly quota. Telstra have claimed (not in the email) that those 5% of "problem" users average 10GB per month so why make the limit so low?
    My university (I am studying/working) has done something similar in restricting total bandwidth usage (admittedly we don't have broadband connection to the uni) - all bandwidth costs money to an organisation somewhere along the line.
    Universities are not in the ISP business, Telstra is. Telstra sold me an 18 month contract for an unlimited volume account and now they are going to cap it. They offered to let me out of the contract (although they didn't offer to refund the installation cost), but there is no other broadband option available to me.
  • This is a DIRECT quote from the ADSL FAQ posted by Telstra.
    5.5. I am on the Freedom Plan - Why can't I view my usage online ?
    Unfortunately, the usage meter service is not available to customers on the Freedom plan. This freedom to use the service with no data transference limits, subject to the Acceptable Use Policy, is the reason there is no usage meter with the Freedom Plan service. If you would like to monitor your usage, you may like to make enquiries with a relevant newsgroup. Members of the newsgroup may be able to provide you with suggestions about the type of software available, which is suitable for your needs. Telstra does not recommend one type of monitoring software over another.
    Never advertised as an unlimited plan eh?
  • i'd like to point out that i break 100MB a day on my dialup connection...

    in fact, i probably do this pretty much every day, so i probably pull down at least 2 gigs a month, every month, over DIALUP. sick, isn't it?

    "I hope I don't make a mistake and manage to remain a virgin." - Britney Spears
  • This was posted on earlier today:

    Thank you for your e-mail to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ('the Commission') concerning your broadband service.

    The Commission enforces the Trade Practices Act 1974 ('the Act').

    The Commission received complaints late last year concerning the enforcement by Telstra of its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) on its cable product. The AUP allowed Telstra to restrict or suspend users from the service where Telstra considered that the use created an undue burden to the network or degraded use of the network by others. A large number of complainants were also concerned that they could not determine what level of use would breach the AUP.

    You should note that the mere use of an AUP is not illegal, although the Commission does not encourage the use of this type of term.

    The Commissions concern was that the service was advertised as "unlimited subject to an Acceptable Use Policy". It was the Commission's view at that time that the use of the term "unlimited" combined with what the Commission considered was a vague AUP could be misleading within the meaning of the Act.

    Telstra subsequently agreed to remove the word unlimited from the cable webpages. The word unlimited did not appear on the ADSL webpages. Telstra also advised that it would change its AUP to allow for greater clarity in its enforcement.

    Telstra has now changed its AUP. In relation to data limits Telstra has set the limit at 3 Gigabytes per month. In line with its contract Telstra has allowed users that do not feel that this limit is acceptable to cancel their contract. If you wish to exercise this option you must advise Telstra by the 18 June 2001.

    The Commission is aware that some users of the service are unhappy with the outcome. However it should be pointed out that the service provided by Telstra was always subject to an Acceptable Use Policy. Previously this limit and how it was calculated was not clear to users. The Commission considers that the increased clarity of the AUP can only assist consumers in deciding to purchase products.

    Similarly the Commission is aware that some consumers are of the view that the internet products should not be capped or limited. The Commission is not a price setting body for retail internet products and cannot determine product characteristics.

    Should you have any queries please contact me.

    I'm actually glad Tel$tra hasn't cabled my suburb, nor ADSL-enabled my exchange :)

  • For the large majority of Freedom Plan customers, this allowance will not impact on their current usage patterns and will provide them with improved network performance. This is because around five percent of users take up 35 percent of total bandwidth at any one time.

    I'd say that if their network does not have optimal performance today, it is because they designed it that way (knowing the current usage patterns, including the 5%/35% ratio and all). And just because they are going to force some high volume users to pay more for their traffic, or to change their usage pattern, or leave, does not mean that the utilization of their net will be lower. It could mean that they will be able to push their network investment schedule back a couple of months, and let the performance level crawl back to what it is currently. Considering the boom in the number of broadband users, and in the band used/user, this would not take long.

    Another aspect, too, that should be considered, is: who cares about 3 Gb being downloaded/uploaded in off-peak time ? Why restrict it ? What impact does it have on costs, or on the network performance for the average user ? The answer is none -- no impact. Maybe we could one day evolve towards more economically sophisticated ways of charging for traffic []...

  • what about the loverly US murderings of good movies such that all holiwood movies run from the same script and the concept is usually a remake of a french movie done to holiwood ending.

    a) Desperado...El Mariachi
    b) Truman Show...I cannot remember the name of the origional
    c) The Magnificent Seven....The seven samuri

    there are heaps more but I cannot be bothered looking them up.

    and I would also like to look at 2 of the "good" movies you quoted faceoff and con air....corect me if im wrong but these are both John Woo films...very very US in a hong kong kinda way :-)

    and finally..."Pracila Queen of the Desert" released a year later with Patric Swayze in "So long from wong fu" or something.

    ....dont get me started on the quality of the movies that the US produce. If you want to see a prime example go to IRC and find a show called Junkyard wars...origionally english (it rocked) then baught by a US company at which point it sucked. yeah I know im going to get flamed

  • No, because they idea is for people to either never have a chance of hitting 3 gigs (like my parents) or to be terrified of doing so because of the high charges for going over...
  • I'll assuming you're a fellow pegger, Hi!

    I've had shaw for 3 years now. Their TOS says nothing about bandwidth limits, beyond 'excessive use will have consequences' or something to that effect. For the record, I generally average about 30GB down, maybe 4-5GB up per month.

    I've never been cut off, however when the upload becomes excessive they will give me a 5-minute timeout, then the connection resumes :)

    Someone suggested 're-booting' the cable modem, as apparently this is where Shaw gets their figures from, and guess what? IT WORKS! I haven't been kiced off in months, including the 5GB upload I did one day :)

  • Didn't realize Videon was still active in Edmonton; figured Rogers ate all that up ages ago :)

    Shaw gave me a Terayon Terapro in the beginning, the reboot trick was suggested to me by one of their former techs. I've never seen anywhere online where I can check my usage stats.

    As for checking bandwidth, I've personally found DUmeter (sorry, no URL handy) to be one of the more accurate tcp/ip loggers. Nothing fancy, but damn precise speed measurements, and it keeps track of total transferred nicely.

  • He never gave me an upload range but its got to be much much lower, and their system calculates things on a per-day (or maybe even per-hour) basis, so if you dont upload a thing all month and then blow your entire gig in one day, they might bug you (thats basically what I did.. except I did it two days in a row ;)..

    This is precisely what I see happening with them. Long, steady upstreams for more than a few hours tend to fire off alarm bells (especially on weekends :).

    As for usenet, I think we all know just how crappy @home tends to be re: retention. And don't get me started with DSL speeds.... :P

  • i'm one of those poor users who has just signed up for a 12 month contract with said telstra and what really pisses me off is that as far as i can see, I've got no choice but to live with this for the next 12 months or pay a hefty fine (about $300AUD i think)....unless...any of you budding lawyers out there know if this is in breach of my contract in anyway? i mean i signed up for no download limits..(or don't lawyers read this site) nim
  • Assuming that it costs $FOO per month for this 3gb limit, wonder would they allow someone to pay $FOO x 2 for 6gb month, and so on?

    Tequila - drink of the gods.
  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2001 @05:25AM (#172888) Journal

    Take 3 GB/mo, divide by (31days/mo)*(24hrs/day)*(60min/hr)*(60sec/min) and multiply by 8 bits/byte, and you get 26882 bits/sec - on average, a little less than a v.34 modem. Could it be that ISP infrastructure is designed for 28.8 kbps, even though the technology exists through DSL to increase the peak data rate?

    On a related note, most companies find that "unlimited access" to a resource that normally costs per use is a bad business strategy. In Canada, "unlimited" long distance services were recently introduced, then caps were rapidly put in place when it was realized that people would phone across the country and leave the line open all night, just because they could.

  • In Québec, the main cable provider (Videotron) charges a fee after 3 Gigs of download and 1 Gig of upload.

    On the other hand, the adsl providers have a flat rate.

    The day I switched from 56K to ADSL I downloaded 3 gigs worth of stuff, so let's just say I don't regret my choice ;)

  • Unlike what your mommy told you, nicest things in life e.g broadband connection , are not free. Anyone rememebr the Dot Gone Hippies ? Its better that the ISPs have a business model that ensures their longevity than go under. Remember Covad, NorthPoint ?? Get a bandwidth reality check at

  • Below are a few links, not going to well, Telstra have written the terms and cons very well. One thing is for sure, They have another public relations nightmare like they did back in 1999. ,3811,2085164%5E442,00.html [] FFXHH7FZLNC.html [] G6FZLNC.html [],2000020 799,20227632,00.htm [] un2001-50.htm [] [] []

  • If you're now being charged by the byte that you download, this means that you're actually paying for those banner adds and other popups on websites. It's bad enough we're subjected to advertising we don't want to see and now we'll be expected to pay for the priveledge?! I sincerely hope this doesn't become a worldwide trend.

Loose bits sink chips.