[mythtv-users] Per-usage internet billing. WAS: Vote for Miro Integration into MythTV

Chris Pinkham cpinkham at bc2va.org
Mon Jan 21 06:00:52 UTC 2008

* On Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 01:08:57PM +1100, Bill Williamson wrote:
> On 1/21/08, Chris Pinkham <cpinkham at bc2va.org> wrote:
> > This is why your internet provider is selling a service.  You're
> > paying for a service, not a quantity of something.  If grandma only

> 1. Your water service isn't supplied as as "pressure" service, it's a
> consumption service.

Actually, to some it's both.  The same holds true for electrical service.
There's a basic monthly fee, then a usage fee, but that's beside the

> 2. It costs the provider no more to do 1.5mbit ADSL vs 256kbit ADSL.

Actually, it does.  I'll use simple numbers to make the math easier.  Let's
call them 5 Mbit and 1 Mbit lines.

Consider an ISP with a 100 Mbit uplink.  For simplicity sake, we'll say that
it costs them $100 a month.  That's $1 per 1 Mbit.  In a perfect world,
this ISP does not want to oversubscribe their service, so they decide to sell
only 100 Mbit of service.  That's (100) 1Mbit users or (20) 5Mbit users, or
some combination in the middle.   A 1 Mbit customer can use 1/100th of
the total uplink and a 5 Mbit customer can use 1/20th of the uplink.  So,
if they can sell only 20 of these 5 Mbit accounts before the pipe is full.  If
they sell only 1 Mbit accounts, then they can sell 100. 

The 5 Mbit users are definitely costing the ISP more than the 1 Mbit users
because they fill up the pipe faster.

> It costs them more for a person constantly pegging a 256kbit line than
> someone downloading emails on a 1.5mbit line (or 30mbit line)

Providers have to buy their equipment to handle peaks.  They can't buy one
1.5 Mbit line for 100 1.5Mbit customers and assume they're all just
downloading email so the odds of them downloading at the same time are low.
They have to plan for the peaks in bandwidth.  These peaks are much higher
with 1.5Mbit customers than with 256Kbit customers, so the 1.5Mbit customers
are costing them more than the 256Kbit customers.


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