Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet IT

Why Is the Internet So Infuriatingly Slow? 812

Posted by timothy
from the because-of-slate dept.
Anti-Globalism writes "The major ISPs all tell a similar story: A mere 5 percent of their customers are using around 50 percent of the bandwidth, sometimes more, during peak hours. While these 'power users' are sharing three-gig movies and playing online games, poor granny is twiddling her thumbs waiting for Ancestry.com to load."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why Is the Internet So Infuriatingly Slow?

Comments Filter:
  • Not so slow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:37AM (#24908925)

    See? First post

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:20AM (#24909171)

      the internet is so slow cause timmy touches himself at night

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by electrictroy (912290)

        I'd be more concerned if Timmy wasn't doing that.

        >>>"poor granny is twiddling her thumbs waiting for Ancestry.com to load."

        SOLUTION: People who use less than, say, 10 gigabytes per month, should get a $10 rebate for that month. Make granny happy & encourage others to save resources too. (Save energy; save the planet; et cetera.) Of course, that idea will never fly past the greedy corporations who enjoy pocketing $50 a month from granny even though she only costs them $10 in actual usage.

        • Re:Not so slow (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lysergic.acid (845423) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @11:07AM (#24910401) Homepage

          or do what smart businesses have done all throughout history: increase supply to satisfy demand. we have some of the slowest and simultaneously most expensive internet service in the world. as the richest nation in the world, and the global leader in science and technology, this should not be occurring.

          check out this chart [muniwireless.com] of broadband prices around the world. then take a look at this map [bbc.co.uk] of broadband speeds around the globe.

          i refuse to believe that South-Korea, Sweden, and Japan have fewer "power users" per capita than the U.S. or that they don't have file sharing in those countries. blaming the problem on consumers to try and divert blame ignores the most obvious and logical solution.

          perhaps ISPs should spend less money and energy on packet shaping technology and trying to curb p2p file sharing, and spend more resources on what we're actually paying them for: internet access. i'm not paying $50/month for them to tell me what i can or can't use my bandwidth for, or how i should be using my bandwidth. if they want customers to only use their connection for web access, then they should just call themselves "Web Access Providers."

          • Re:Not so slow (Score:5, Interesting)

            by autophile (640621) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @12:03PM (#24910879)

            or do what smart businesses have done all throughout history: increase supply to satisfy demand. we have some of the slowest and simultaneously most expensive internet service in the world. as the richest nation in the world, and the global leader in science and technology, this should not be occurring.

            It shouldn't be happening, but it is. Why?

            My personal opinion is that capitalism in the U.S. mutated some time during the 1980s from "spend more to provide a better product, get more customers, make more money" (classic capitalism) to "spend less to provide a cheaper product, get more customers, make more money" (the race to the bottom). U.S. consumers have followed suit: spending less is worth more than higher quality. I've heard some blame Harvard's MBA program for the whole mess.

            Europe appears to be following the U.S.'s lead. As Gordon Ramsey would say, "What a shame!"

            --Rob

            • Re:Not so slow (Score:4, Insightful)

              by lysergic.acid (845423) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @12:31PM (#24911121) Homepage

              but if you look at current trends, it seems like Americans are spending more to get less. if our rates were as low as South Korea, Amsterdam, Japan, France, Finland, etc. then i could understand the slow internet speeds. but we have some of the highest broadband prices for non-rural populations.

              • Re:Not so slow (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Jerry (6400) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @03:08PM (#24912525)

                I agree.

                Corporate greed, along with job outsourcing, HB1 importing and illegal immigration is rapidly turning the USA into a 2nd world nation.

                I pay $72/mo for a "10Mb/s" bandwidth that clocks out at 8.5Mb/s. No cable TV.

                Almost fifteen years ago my city fathers decided that the Ingernet was too important a national resource to be monopolized by the cable and telcoms for profit. They decided to install a city owned fiber optic cable. Why not? We have a city owned police force, fire department and school system. A city owned local, state, national and international communication system affordable and accessible by the poorest of us was, and still is, and excellent idea.

                The cable and telcos went crying to Congress about "unfair" competition and their lobbyists paid enough Congressmen of so that Congress passed a law making it illegal for cities to "compete" with cable and telcoms in furnishing the Internet. To "help" the telcoms finish the job the villages, towns and cities started Congress GAVE the cable and telcoms $200B to "finish" laying the fiber optic cables in this country. The greedy cable and telcoms immediately POCKETED the money and promptly forgot about their obligation to finish laying the cable. Classic corporate greed, approved by congress because congress included no provisions to FORCE the cable and telcoms to finish the job. That's right - there were no punishments for non-performance in that 200B Congressional giveaway.

                IF the US voters had any brains, and their politicians had any ethics, they'd DEMAND the cable and telcoms FINISH the job of laying the optical cable and converting from Copper wire to fiber optics, AT NO COST TO THE CONSUMERS. Then we'd have 100Mb bandwidth and the ISPs wouldn't be able to play the "pipe" game and extort more money from consumers for "better" service. As it is, they are playing word games with Net Neutrality, and using it as justification for their extortions.

                • Re:Not so slow (Score:5, Interesting)

                  by EdIII (1114411) * on Sunday September 07, 2008 @05:04PM (#24913533)

                  FINISH the job of laying the optical cable and converting from Copper wire to fiber optics, AT NO COST TO THE CONSUMERS. Then we'd have 100Mb bandwidth and the ISPs wouldn't be able to play the "pipe" game and extort more money from consumers for "better" service.

                  Your missing part of the big picture here actually. Focusing on something that is not even part of the problem at all.

                  All the copper wire has been converted to fiber optics with the exception of the "last mile". That last little bit of copper is not what is slowing us down at all. The bandwidth that can be achieved on copper is actually quite high and is perfectly capable of delivering 20-50 MegaBYTES per second. How many power users do you know that have all fiber optic networks in their house? Yeah, I don't know any yet either. %99 of us exist on copper networks in our houses, yet we can easily reach sustained Gigabit speeds. Changing the last mile over to fiber is quite difficult considering just how much has to change. The average home builder employs guys that have intelligence barely above that of an average chimp. Maybe that is overly harsh, but changing the communication infrastructure of an average residential house to fiber optics and deploying the devices to use it is not as easy a task as one might think. It is understandable why residential houses are still relying on copper as it really is easier to use.

                  The fiber that was purchased all those years ago is NOT the same fiber that can be purchased today. A mile of 1995 fiber pushes less data than a mile of 2009 fiber. Technology is getting better all the time. Capacity is the problem that exists today, and the inevitable comparisons between South Korea, Japan, etc. are fallacious. The distance between fiber endpoints in the US is dramatically longer than in smaller countries. That results in much higher costs to deliver the bandwidth. A packet has to travel over VASTLY LARGER DISTANCES to get from Los Angeles to New York. Plain and Simple. The US could be the leader in the world as far as Mb/s per citizen, but it would cost at least 10x the money than any other country. Every mile of fiber adds up. The US just requires so much more of it. With that logic, people might as well complain that it costs less to deliver packages from one end of Japan to the other, than it does from coast to coast in the US. You can't compare the two when the scale of the problem is dramatically different.

                  The GREATEST problem facing the US is that a large investment needs to be made in the fiber optic infrastructure yet again to increase the capacity to deliver bandwidth on par with smaller countries. That "5% of users taking %50 of bandwidth" argument is getting old. That is NOT THEIR FAULT. If you were to listen to the marketing-bullshit speak coming out of ISPS one might think that the capacity was endless. Far from it, as any reasonably intelligent person already knows. "Unlimited" was the greatest curse to befall Internet users in the US. It came into existence by a corrupt desire to make huge amounts of profit while never intending to contractually deliver on obligations to provide anything close to unlimited bandwidth.

                  The GREATEST reason why we are still at a perceived standstill today is the Over Sell that exists. Estimates vary between 10x and 150x the bandwidth being sold than the capacity that actually exists. 100 Mb/s per user is a pipe dream (no pun intended), and even with a fiber optic last mile, it could never be delivered.

                  You want to see things change? Then US voters (as if they had any power to change anything) would demand that it be ILLEGAL to sell bandwidth that DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXIST. That would change things in a hurry. Not only would people finally get a clear picture of just what bandwidth is really available in the pipes but it would eliminate the catalyst for truly frightening totalitarian fascist developments in efforts to control the net.

                  • Re:Not so slow (Score:5, Interesting)

                    by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @06:21PM (#24914125)

                    so which ISP's paid you?

                    comcast?

                    the bells?

                    all of them?

                    this is a blatant lie.

                    It doesn't cost substantially more to push data across longer distances beyond the initial investment which you claim has already been expended properly.

                    wooo the HORROR.. a few more boosting stations in the US than japan.

                    The bandwidth doesn't cost anything more than the cost of upkeep on the network because of peering agreements.

                    finally, a fiber cable is a fiber cable is a fiber cable.. the "advancements" in capacity have been in the control units, not the cable itself.

                    once again.. a minimal outlay to increase capacity exponentially which your cash grabbing overlords don't want to put into place.

                    • Re:Not so slow (Score:4, Insightful)

                      by EdIII (1114411) * on Sunday September 07, 2008 @09:35PM (#24915341)

                      so which ISP's paid you?

                      comcast?

                      the bells?

                      all of them?

                      Ahhhh yes. Anytime someone tries to inject some common sense into the argument, the conspiracy theories come out and allegations that someone is being bought by the "enemy". Grow up. Try to talk about the arguments instead of just attacking someone. Besides, if you could read, you would see that I was not supporting the side of the ISPS. In fact, if you weren't so busy being part of the moron brigade blindly labeling anyone that is not yelling as loudly as you are that the enemy must die, the enemy himself... you would see that what I said was a scathing indictment of their behaviors. You could only possibly misconstrue what I said, if you were in fact not trying to comprehend it all.

                      this is a blatant lie.

                      Far from it.

                      It doesn't cost substantially more to push data across longer distances beyond the initial investment which you claim has already been expended properly.

                      wooo the HORROR.. a few more boosting stations in the US than japan.

                      The bandwidth doesn't cost anything more than the cost of upkeep on the network because of peering agreements.

                      finally, a fiber cable is a fiber cable is a fiber cable.. the "advancements" in capacity have been in the control units, not the cable itself..

                      Ummmm, are you sure about that? Don't want to think about that again? How about the "initial investment" part? There have been advancements in fiber optic cable and not just the control units. To say otherwise is misinformed and naive. Of course it costs more overall to transmit data over fiber when the distances are greater. The fiber run does not stretch. Be realistic. The total runs of fiber from Los Angeles to New York COST more than a run of fiber from the north tip of Japan to the southern tip. Same for South Korea. That investment needs to be paid off, which means that they need to recoup more money, hence the cost of bandwidth must rise. It's not all that hard to comprehend. Capacity is finite, and cannot currently support 10 Mb/s for every residential user. You have to lie to them.

                      The capacity you seem to think exists, or should exist, cannot be realized by just a "minimal outlay" of cash. If they could increase the bandwidth that easily, they would. Those telcoms are not just selling to residential customers. They could make more money with more capacity. Now even with retrofitting the existing fiber runs, you cannot increase the capacity "exponentially". Exponentially? Are you serious? You sound like you are going to start talking about an Oscillation Overthruster any minute.

                      There is a capacity problem, unlimited bandwidth contracts are damaging to all concerned and the biggest source of our problem, and the last mile of copper is the least of our problems.

                      If they delivered a fiber optic cable right into your telco box at the side of your house, gave you a fiber optic modem and could deliver VOIP, Internet, IPTV, etc., they would NOT have the capacity to service you all at the street anymore than they are now.

                      If they were forced to be honest about how they can sell you the bandwidth, and you only paid for what you used and what you were guaranteed to receive, they would be forced to increase the capacity at the street. It's not as easy as you make it out to be, but it would be done. It would have to be, since over selling would be illegal and they could only add users by adding capacity.

                      Why are they going to increase capacity any faster than they are now, even if it just as easy as you say, when they can keep dicking with the residential users? The first step is to make unlimited contracts illegal, or at least mandatory performance requirements. None of that exists now for the consumer.

                      Now try saying again that I some paid stooge for the ISPS. It makes you sound stupid.

                    • Re:Not so slow (Score:4, Informative)

                      by AK Marc (707885) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:57AM (#24916393)
                      If they delivered a fiber optic cable right into your telco box at the side of your house, gave you a fiber optic modem and could deliver VOIP, Internet, IPTV, etc., they would NOT have the capacity to service you all at the street anymore than they are now.

                      I work for an ISP. Our costs are getting data from our DSLAMs to the POPs. The price for Internet at a POP is essentially free. The incremental cost of getting 20 Mbps to a house is essentially free. If long core was a problem, the costs would be expensive. They aren't. So I have to presume that you are wrong. If you'd like to correct me, please tell me why it's so expensive to get data to big cities, but essentially free between LA and NY.
                  • Re:Not so slow (Score:4, Informative)

                    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:02PM (#24914811) Homepage Journal

                    You want to see things change? Then US voters (as if they had any power to change anything) would demand that it be ILLEGAL to sell bandwidth that DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXIST. That would change things in a hurry.

                    You're right! It would erase America from the Internet in about a week. I worked for an ISP, and the reason we oversold (by about 10x) was that the typical peak load to our upstream was less than 10% of what it could have been if everyone started a big download simultaneously. After all, my connection is mostly idle as I sit here typing this, and unless you're actively download something in the background, yours is also idle as you read it.

                    For reasons you mentioned, bandwidth is expensive. It's the single biggest cost in providing Internet access. If you pass a law that effectively increases Internet access fees by 900%, then don't be surprised when you can no longer buy it from American companies at any price.

                    On the other hand, it'd be a great opportunity for a non-American entrepreneur to park a satellite on the equator south of America and provide then-reasonable prices for access to the rest of the world.

                    • Re:Not so slow (Score:4, Interesting)

                      by EdIII (1114411) * on Sunday September 07, 2008 @10:44PM (#24915761)

                      Selling bandwidth that does not exist is lying . There is no excuse for selling services that you cannot render. This activity does not exist in many products in the US, and it is corruption that allows it to continue past the point it starts to fail. It is failing now, and instead of changing the business model, they are destroying the TCP/IP protocol with their "bandwidth management" devices to get users to stop using their connection. The way to get them to stop is to bill them correctly.

                      Your FUD about 900% increases in Internet Access Fees is also incorrect.

                      We can't go on selling people on the idea that you can have X Mb/s of bandwidth with an unlimited transfer cap per month. Especially, since now people are STARTING TO FUCKING USE IT. The Golden Days of the Over Sell are coming to a close one way or the other.

                      Over Selling only works as a business model when the average consumer only uses 1-10% of their paid-for slice of the pie. When everyone shows up for their slice, and some have to go without, than things get ugly. It's unethical.

                      With my proposal, people would be forced to use less bandwidth. This is true, unless you believe that the telcoms can waive their magic +10 wand of Infinite Capacity. The main point of my argument here, is that the ISPS have to come clean and just tell people they can only deliver less, but it will be it will be more transparent and easier to understand.

                      The ISP gets paid the same for their bandwidth overall with no over selling.

                      The average residential user would have access to burstable bandwidth at higher than 5 Mb/s, but would be guaranteed a much smaller floor. Even if the floor was only 256 Kb/s, that is guaranteed and more than capable of regular use. For those that are determined to download large files, which would be at the highest sustainable speed with the neighborhood traffic, they would pay for it at the end of the month.

                      So Internet Access fees would not increase for the average user. After all, it's the infamous 5% of the users that use 50% of the bandwidth anyways. Those would be the people that see their access fees increase by 900%, which is the correct thing to do. If you are going to transfer Terabytes of data around each month you are going to have to pay.

                      It's funny, the moment you mention to people that they have to pay 10x what they are paying to max 20 Torrent files 24/7 they go nuclear and start to claim you are in league with the "enemy". They are the victims of the Over Sell and magically-technically-impossible unlimited plans. They don't want to understand the the simpleness of the truth. The free ride is over.

                      You either move to transparent and easy to understand bandwidth contracts, or things will only get worse. Unlimited Internet is about as real as Unicorns. Both words of course, being in the Marketers Dictionary of Bullshit Terms.

                      If you worked for an ISP then you probably have an idea about how bandwidth is sold commercially, and it is nothing like how it sold residentially. I am only proposing that residential users be sold bandwidth the same way. I certainly don't think absolute destruction of the Internet in the US will be a result of doing that.

                    • Re:Not so slow (Score:5, Insightful)

                      by arminw (717974) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:51AM (#24916377)

                      ...I worked for an ISP, and the reason we oversold...

                      Are not many, if not all utility services oversold? If everybody flushes their toilet at once, does the water pressure in the mains not drop? If everybody picks up their telephone at once, do many users NOT get a dial tone? The electrical service of the average home is 200 amps. If every home started using that full capacity, will the electrical grid not collapse? Just last week, when about 2 million people suddenly had to get out of New Orleans. Were there are not many miles long traffic jams on at other times perfectly serviceable roads? In LA, and other large cities, are the freeways not often long parking lots during rush hour? Why should the Internet be any different? After all, it has been called the information HIGHWAY.

                      Is there a power company or water service that offers unlimited service for a fixed price? Is there not a water meter or electric meter on every house? Does the service company not come out periodically and read such a meter? Do the customers not get charged according to how much they use? Why then, should the Internet be any different? Every utility has only limited resources which they sell for prices the users are willing or able to pay. If your electric bill is too high, you find ways to save power.

                      All utilities and many other business services are scaled to average projected use. When you want to make a phone call, most of the time you to get a dial tone and there is no problem. The same is true of your other utility services. ISPs only need to and do scale the networks for average service, not the peak. They should be easily able to determine how much use there is by the average subscriber as well as the highest and lowest users. Then they can structure their prices according to use, just as any other utility does. I don't think that Internet service providers are any greedier than the average utility company.

                  • Re:Not so slow (Score:4, Insightful)

                    by GauteL (29207) on Monday September 08, 2008 @05:16AM (#24917345)

                    "A packet has to travel over VASTLY LARGER DISTANCES to get from Los Angeles to New York. Plain and Simple. The US could be the leader in the world as far as Mb/s per citizen, but it would cost at least 10x the money than any other country"

                    Bullshit. American has 80 people per square mile. Norway has 32 people per square mile. I'm originally from Finnmark [wikipedia.org], Norways northernmost, harshest and sparsest county with 5.2 people per square mile (even Montana and Wyoming are more densily populated).

                    My home town has less than 3000 inhabitants and it is at least 2.5 hours drive away from any other settlements larger than 1000 inhabitants.

                    Yet, if I decided to move back I could order 12Megabit ADSL tomorrow.

            • by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @05:23PM (#24913679)

              When every republican administration eviscerates the labor and consumer rights laws, and at the same time eviscerates the regulations which promoted actual competition, you get this kind of thing.

              People work more, make less, and get fewer choices in an increasingly consolidated market.

              Do you think people like to buy particle board furniture?

              Of course they don't!, but they make less, and the fact that smaller suppliers are squeezed out by global particle-board furniture holdings limited means there is less choice/competition among people providing real wood.

              The same can be said of pretty much every sector, and is exemplified by the broadband and media markets.

          • by Anti-Fascism (1359455) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @12:27PM (#24911097) Journal

            Slashdot readers may have noticed a large volume of submissions coming from Anti Globalism [slashdot.org] and burnitdown [slashdot.org], many of which are being accepted onto the front page. Taken on their own, many of the articles are indeed interesting.

            However, these accounts always link to corrupt.org [corrupt.org] in their submissions, a site that advertises the goal of "remaking modern society". The content is mostly boilerplate 'society is failing' rhetoric, with an emphasis on how we are out of touch with reality and hung up on "emotional abstractions" that are holding us back.

            So what is this reality our society has denied? Corrupt.org is somewhat evasive on the specifics. Talking points include the impending danger of overpopulation, derision and scapegoating of people seen as inferior (who are called "parasites", "schemers" and "leeches", among other things), and why democracy doesn't work and needs to be replaced with "strong leaders".

            As for the "emotional abstractions" they would like for us to dispense with, those seem pesky things like valuing human life. Corrupt betrays their intentions in their mission statement [corrupt.org]:

            "Where in the past we spent huge amounts of money to try to "rehabilitate" many, with a high rate of failure, in the future we should not shy away from removing them."

            And no, they're not referring to prisoners guilty of capital offenses there - they're talking about dealing with the 'undesirables'. This kind of rhetoric is intended to prepare their audience to accept the idea of killing on a large scale as a solution to society's problems. They also preach thinly veiled racial separatism on the same page [corrupt.org]:

            "Ethnic self-determination
            Each local culture is tied to a group by heritage, and no two groups can exist in the same place. For this reason, local cultures can decide who or who not to accept on any basis they desire, including heritage and culture."

            corrupt.org is registered to Throne Networks, which is run by a neo-Nazi [ephblog.com]. Throne has been behind several other fringe sites, including anarchy.net, nazi.org, pan-nationalism.org, antihumanism.com, and amerika.org. Each of these sites targets a different demographic, but the modus operandi has been the same - appeal to intellectual and philosophical outcasts who are inclined to distrust 'the system', and then reel them in with an empowering philosophy that paves the way for fascist indoctrination.

            Their fake anarchist website managed to piss off [libcom.org] some real anarchists earlier this year, who proceeded to do an excellent job of exposing them in that thread. It's long and heavily peppered with debates/flamewars about anarchism (if you find yourself tuning out after a couple pages, skip to page 10), but it documents who is behind corrupt.org along with their goals and strategy. It's really quite damning.

            Of coarse, even manipulative crypto-Nazis have the right to free speech - but that doesn't mean Slashdot should be providing them with free advertising. Unlike dumb aggregaters like Digg, Slashdot is supposed to have editors. Is it really too much to ask that they remove links to neo-Nazi fronts from front page articles?

            • by AxemRed (755470) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @01:19PM (#24911607)
              Yikes! I decided to look at corrupt.org... Their posision on leadership is quite frightening:

              Democratic leaders do not lead. They listen to polls and propose nice-sounding but impractical plans. We need strong leaders who are willing to do what is unpopular if it is the right thing to do. Banning SUVs or destructive plastic products will generate cries of "oppression," but if all of humanity benefits, it is a freedom from oppression. No one can make a decision for a society at large without stepping on some toes, but as most individuals are inclined to see detail and not the whole, their desires are often inappropriate. Among our people there are those who lead intelligently, nobly and compassionately. Rigorous education in history and philosophy can round these people out, and we can start them out as local leaders and promote those that do the best job. Further, we should breed them in a special category of people, or "caste," so that we pass on the genes that produce great leaders.

              To hell with that!
            • by pchan- (118053) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @04:03PM (#24913027) Journal

              Well done, thank you sir. Perhaps the solution is to do away with Slashdot's user link and only provide links relevant to the story. There seems to be nothing but corruption from these, and it leads to the likes of Roland and other terrible bloggers as well as these jerks who are trying to fish people in and raise their website hits (be it for advertising dollars or for their stupid agenda). I'm not sure that linking to a user's chosen website brings any value to Slashdot articles.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bbagnall (608125)
          I don't like that solution at all. You shouldn't encourage people to use less bandwidth because that will just kill the potential new products that use bandwidth. I'd like to see even more things using internet bandwidth, like my mailbox, my car, television, etc... Just let the free markets continue to evolve and come up with faster hardware as they always have in the past. I can't believe how fast it is compared to five years ago. Remember modems? Usually slowness has to do with the server, not the infrast
  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:37AM (#24908931) Homepage Journal

    just the journalists who try to write about it.

    • by Nymz (905908) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:06AM (#24909093) Journal
      ...and it couldn't be any other way. Even if they built 100 times the bandwidth we have now, it would still be slow. Like George Carlin's routine about people buying stuff [youtube.com] that fills up their home, and when it's full they move all their stuff to a bigger house, so they can buy.. more.. stuff.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ed Avis (5917)

        Well, duh. If they built 100 times the bandwidth and it was still flat-fee, use-as-much-as-you-like then... guess what... people will use as much as they like. If bandwidth is a scarce resource then just charge people per gigabit of data sent and received. Or arrange that the first N gigabits of data you transfer each day are high-priority, with priority dropping off (relative to other users of the same ISP) as you use more and more.

        • by E IS mC(Square) (721736) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @10:12AM (#24909975) Journal
          Mod parent up!

          For any other utility (water, gas, electricity), we pay by the usage. Why not this? Everybody should be accountable for whatever they are using and pay as much. At the moment, low bandwidth users are paying for higher users.

          And once pay-as-you-use is in place, it may also force a lot of websites to revert to basic, nice and simple html pages without the bloat (Flash and such) we see today.
          • by fimbulvetr (598306) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @10:31AM (#24910119)

            Comcast used to be able to sell unlimited until p2p came along. Then they started using sandvine and other mitigating tactics to still make it 'unlimited' while continuing to make a profit. Since the FCC has now disapproved of this, Comcast has no choice but to start measuring and capping, since there's no other way to provide unlimited service. Now they've started putting 250GB monthly caps in place, which is exactly what you want. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that soon we will see more tiers available.

            Other ISPs will probably soon follow suite - especially mom and pops since it's extraordinarily expensive to do anything remotely close to traffic shaping without ungodly amounts of money for hardware. A lot of these mom and pops are going in the red in bandwidth because of p2p. Since comcast has set a precedent, they will either adapt so they can control costs, or go away.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Vellmont (569020)


            For any other utility (water, gas, electricity), we pay by the usage. Why not this?

            Maybe because the major cost isn't bandwidth, but maintaining the lines, paying salaries, etc? Also, bandwidth is increasing at an exponential rate.

            I also dispute that all other utilities we pay by usage. We don't pay by usage for cable/satellite TV. We don't pay by usage for local phone service. What do all these have in common? They're all information services.

  • by pecosdave (536896) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:37AM (#24908933) Homepage Journal

    I have on occasion used Firefox plugins that filter out most banner ads. I've found my pages load about 70% faster. I watch the little status line at the bottom of Firefox and I've found that most of my "waiting" time is for advertisements.

    I've also found DNS to be slow for some reason. Things that aren't cached on the local machine slow browsing down significantly (something else adverts contribute to).

    Of course the people who just leave P2P applications running non-stop are a bit of a pain.

    • by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:51AM (#24909009)
      Apols, for just posting a "me too", but that's close to my experience, as well. Frequently when I actually have to wait for a website to load, FF has the link for an ad-farm or 'plex as the site being waited for.

      The other thing that does delay websites is when their front page is a multi-megabyte FLASH. What's wrong with good ole plain text, guys?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by thermian (1267986)

      I've also found DNS to be slow for some reason.

      Try OpenDNS.

      I used to have huge problems with http in the evenings, really long response times or timeouts. Some evenings we couldn't browse any websites for a couple of hours, even though ssh and games worked perfectly.

      I changed to OpenDNS, and haven't had any problems since, not a single night of slow websites or timeouts. I think in my case, and perhaps in yours, the ISPs DNS servers are simply being swamped.

      • by Niten (201835) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @09:17AM (#24909591)

        It's troubling how many people will blindly recommend OpenDNS without understanding the huge problems with that service. Stay far, far away from OpenDNS - that is, unless you just don't care that they redirect all your Google queries through their own servers:

        [noatun:~]$ host www.google.com. 208.67.222.222
        Using domain server:
        Name: 208.67.222.222
        Address: 208.67.222.222#53
        Aliases:

        www.google.com is an alias for google.navigation.opendns.com.
        google.navigation.opendns.com has address 208.69.32.231
        google.navigation.opendns.com has address 208.69.32.230

        Or that they break with acceptable DNS behavior by sending you to their own advertising web server, rather than return a NXDOMAIN response, when a name cannot be resolved. (Good luck filtering spam with a DNSRBL if you're using OpenDNS.)

        [noatun:~]$ host www.ajvelkajslkjalkvjeasl.com. 208.67.222.222
        Using domain server:
        Name: 208.67.222.222
        Address: 208.67.222.222#53
        Aliases:

        www.ajvelkajslkjalkvjeasl.com has address 208.69.32.132

        Use Level3's anycast DNS servers instead: 4.2.2.1, 4.2.2.2, ..., 4.2.2.6. They're faster than OpenDNS and they don't pull any of that nonsense on their users.

    • by Bender Unit 22 (216955) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @09:29AM (#24909679) Journal

      Indeed.
      I worked for a couple of years as administrator for a couple of large websites. We had our own ad system. I kept it running fast on some RH servers, making sure that it served everything quickly.

      Then one day some in da management wanted to outsource our ads to one of the big known companies.
      And I promptly asked if they had made sure that the contract specified something about perfomance. Of course I had seen what you described about other sites being slow when using these banner companies.

      So one day they changed the templates of all the sites to the external ad company and the load times for a page went from 4-8 seconds to 18-30 seconds before the browser were done. I always checked the sites in a browser even though we had some external companies monitoring the response times.

      And then I sat waiting for the call that I knew would sound something like this "the sites are slow, do something".

      So I got my ammo ready and made some speed tests in firefox with Adblock+ and Tamper Data, which clearly showed that all the load time was the external ads.

      Of course I had to be a BOFH about it for a couple of minutes when they called and said stuff like "there is no problem" and "I get fast load times here". :D I mean I did tell them that it would happen

      Then of course I asked politely again if they had some sort of performance / response time written into the deal they signed and then mailed them the results of my speed tests which clearly showed the problem. I also sent at mail to the web developers that gave instructions on how they could make the tests themself.

      I then continued running adblock+ because it was hard to maintain the sites and find problems when there were elements on the sites that could not do anything about.

      The sites were quite slow for many months ahead but it went from all the times to peak hours. it annoyed me because the system I had built could handle the large load, even 9/11 like events. (though everyday traffic now was larger than that day and big news didn't make the same type of spikes perhaps just 4x normal.)

      I know that today it is not just geeks like me that notice that "the internet" has been slower. Friends and family sometimes comment on that it seems that browsing is slower.

      Most people are not sitting on dial-up or ISDN anymore(I pity the ones that does) and the designers make pages that have way more data on them than before. I tried a ISDN backup line I have, about a year ago when my ADSL2 went down. I powered on the router and thought, "hey this was not all bad if I run 2 lines the speed will be acceptable". Wrong. even with adblock+ on it still took 60-120 seconds to load some pages, with all the images, and 1000 objects.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      It goes even faster if you use privoxy instead and let it filter out even more of the junk like cookies, trackers, javascript, etc...

      I love it, the family loves it, and everyone at work loves it.

    • by DrYak (748999)

      I watch the little status line at the bottom of Firefox and I've found that most of my "waiting" time is for advertisements.

      The personal experience of myself and countless other users concurs : Most of the waiting is due to downloading flash monstrosities used by ads. Complete with annoying blinking title, stupid music and sometimes even embed video.

      I think the web would be a much more supportable place if flash could just manage to die. ISP are always pointing to the "Torrent" scapegoat.
      But probably if "Adblock plus"-like plug-ins were more popular on browsers (or even better, if content provider started to use much lighter tex

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Spy der Mann (805235)

      I have on occasion used Firefox plugins that filter out most banner ads. I've found my pages load about 70% faster. I watch the little status line at the bottom of Firefox and I've found that most of my "waiting" time is for advertisements.

      I've also found DNS to be slow for some reason. Things that aren't cached on the local machine slow browsing down significantly (something else adverts contribute to).

      Of course the people who just leave P2P applications running non-stop are a bit of a pain.

      One problem I've got with ISPs is that their bandwidth is asymmetrical. You get half (or even a quarter) to upload compared to what you can download. And if your download capacity is nearing its max, you can't upload at all. This gets even worse: You can't even browse webpages even if you're using your download capacity to half, because your uploads eat all the bandwidth you need to send a freaking HTTP GET request.

      So as a result, I need to use only 10% of my upload capacity, hindering P2P transfer as a who

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hairyfeet (841228)

      If you are on Windows try using Treewalk [treewalkdns.com] and have it pointing to Open DNS [opendns.com]. I have found this combination works VERY fast,at least for me. Treewalk will cache the DNS of the sites you use most often(so no look up at all for those) while Open DNS is usually faster than the ISPs DNS. I then have the ISP DNS set as a secondary in case Open DNS was to experience problems,and I have been using this setup for several years without a problem.

      The Internet speed problem is simple: no competition. If we all have 5 or

  • Is this a US phenomenon? My Internet seems to be pretty much as fast as always and I don't do filesharing. The reason Granny waits for her webpages is because she still uses dial-up and webpages have become increasingly dial-up unfriendly.

  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:38AM (#24908939)
    A contract cuts both ways. People were ranting about personal responsibility when that family got hit by $18k roaming charges a few stories ago by AT&T. Companies need to hold themselves to the contract too, they signed the contract saying they'll provide a service under the given terms, so when a user takes advantage of it they have nothing to complain about. If they have oversold their capacity that is solely the ISPs problem.
    • by KDR_11k (778916) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:03AM (#24909083)

      You can be pretty damn sure the contracts are so onesided the company isn't required to really do anything.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:26AM (#24909201) Homepage Journal

      Of course, you are correct. But we're going to hear a lot more about how "the few are making it slow for the many" because the telecoms and ISPs are looking for a big price increase.

      They're jealous of the oil industry, who was able to raise prices by 300 percent in a few years.

      Believe me, now that the oil industry has raised the bar for profit, the other monopolistic industries are going to go whole hog, especially if their favorite Party gets another four years in office.

       

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kjella (173770)

      What's the problem?

      The real one? That in the US it's far too easy to terminate customers that you don't want. If they tried anything like the blameshifting in the US our consumer protection agency would tell them to put a sock in it and fix their terms. I do remember them trying here in Norway with X Mbit/s for Y GB, then ISDN-speed = 64 kbps for the rest of the month or pay an extra boost. It was pretty much a flop so now the commonly understood definiton is that "X Mbit" means that speed 24/7. Also they've been pretty stric

  • Yeah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wodeh (899541) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:39AM (#24908943) Homepage
    Yeah! Damn all those people slowing down *my* internet by using the bandwidth that they paid for! Damn them for cutting into ISPs profit margins. People who expect to get what was advertised to them and what they paid for are nothing but dirty rotten thieves, stealing from the pockets of poor, disadvantaged company directors the world over!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In other words, ISPs sell more bandwidth than they can cover because they assume you will only use 5% of what you pay for.

      I know why they do that, but hey, a little more headroom wouldn't hurt. If a few saturated consumer connections can make your entire net sluggish, you are cutting it too close.

  • by DamonHD (794830) <d@hd.org> on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:41AM (#24908959) Homepage

    I don't have any grannies of my own left, but I have no reason to believe that every otherwise canny granny has a slower connection than you or that she hasn't discovered the delights of FasterFox or premium service or whatever! Try to give up the annoying and patronising stereotypes...

    Back to the point: it's called the tragedy of the commons. Shared and limited resources are misused by the greedy or impatient or desperate.

    Perhaps we'll need peak-hour kWh and MB charges to help persuade people to use those resources sensibly and fairly, and not be too anti-social.

    I just paid 3x more than baseline up front, negotiated with my ISP, volunteered an AUP for my own usage, and I down-regulate my traffic when there is Net congestion, and hey-ho! I'm not disappointed with my service.

    Rgds

    Damon

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xaxa (988988)

      Perhaps we'll need peak-hour kWh and MB charges to help persuade people to use those resources sensibly and fairly, and not be too anti-social.

      In some countries we already have higher charges during the day for electricity, and lower charges at night (here in the UK you have a choice between that [wikipedia.org], or a flat-rate). Some appliances (e.g. washing machines, dryers, dishwasher) have an in-built timer so you can set them to start at night, or you can use a normal timer switch that you connect between the appliance and the socket. Some buildings have "storage heaters", where cheap night-time electricity is used to heat up a block of concrete, which radia

  • by francium de neobie (590783) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:41AM (#24908961)
    It's ok to blame the users for clogging up your pipes if the pipes you have a already the best in the world.

    But it's not ok to do so when there're plenty of people in the likes of France, South Korea, Japan and Hogn Kong who're already having 100Mbps+ at home, at a much cheaper price, and not-so-clogged up.
    • Realize, though, the population densities [wikipedia.org] are much, much higher in the Asian countries you mentioned (>300 people/km^2) as compared to the US (31 people/km^2), which likely makes it much, much more cost effective to connect all of those people together at high rates. I, for one, would rather have slow internet than 10 more people per every one person who already lives in the square km around me (I live in a suburban area).
  • by iritant (156271) <lear@ofcourseimr ... ght.com minus pi> on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:42AM (#24908965) Homepage

    This report is perhaps based on a false premise. While it may be true that 5% of all the users are using 50% of the bandwidth, that's only because the rest of us aren't as demanding. Were we so demanding, TCP, which is what most of the world runs on, would provide more of a fair share. It wouldn't be perfect, mind you, but particularly with WFQ, if you're using more there is a larger chance that your traffic will drop. This doesn't hold true with UDP-based applications that are less friendly to the network.

    Also, where is that 50% measured? Is it on peering points or is it at the access point? If it's at the access point then (A) it could be p2p traffic that never transits a backbone and (B) some of that traffic could be dealt with by making arrangements with content providers like Akamai to bring the content closer.

  • Slow websites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SigILL (6475) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:47AM (#24908989) Homepage

    Nah, it's more because website designers still haven't figured out how to make compact, fast-loading websites. They swear by flash, while we swear at it. They forget to set content expiry properly so your browser reloads all their little images every time you revisit their site (yes Greg Dean of Real Life Comics, I'm looking at you). They consider their site to be "unfinished" if its frontpage is below 500 kbyte.

    That site mentioned in the article, ancestry.com, has 59,6 kbyte of HTML, 56,99 kbyte of CSS, 64,88 kbyte of images and a whopping 314,39 kbyte of scripts, totalling 495,91 kbyte. And most of the non-image content isn't even compressed! No wonder it's slow.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:49AM (#24908993) Homepage

    How incredibly obvious and transparent is this ad? This is not a problem for DSL providers because they have bandwidth limiting built in to their service. Only cable has the problem described where there is bandwidth sharing going on.

    Comcast is appealing the FCC ruling with the courts. I hope they lose, but it is pretty easy to imagine that they will win by arguing something stupid like "we provide the internet and we need to control it."

  • It's the market (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pmontra (738736) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:51AM (#24909017) Homepage

    If the premise of the article is right let's cut the Internet connections of that 5% of power users. We end up using only 50% of the available bandwidth and ISP paying more than they should. I bet that they'll quickly sell the unused bandwidth (it's called cost reduction and profit maximization) and poor granny will start waiting for Ancestry.com again.

    The Internet will never be fast because ISPs will give us no more than what we need to use it in a more or less acceptable way.

    By the way, how it comes that poor granny's connection is slow while power users play WoW without problems?

  • by bhunachchicken (834243) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:52AM (#24909019) Homepage

    ... but I can still get all my porn just fine! Oh Yeah!!! :)

  • Games? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcmm (768152) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:52AM (#24909021)
    Have online games started using large amounts of bandwidth (instead of trying to minimise traffic in the interests of latency) since I last played a new game?

    Or are they just something that the aforementioned Granny doesn't do, and therefore probably antisocial?
  • What does this mean? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jrothwell97 (968062) <jonathan.notroswell@com> on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:53AM (#24909027) Homepage Journal
    It means the ISPs haven't been bothered to fix the pipes. The ISPs should be able to provide for both users seeding their BT files, and Granny with her Windows 98 machine trying to find out what great-great-grandma did for a living. I can understand, perhaps, if users were downloading the Wikipedia database dump every hour (and then mirroring it) but we're not in 1997 any more.
  • by onlysolution (941392) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:55AM (#24909035)
    Because of improperly implemented ad or site statistics scripts. I cannot even begin to count how many times I have thought a site was being served up slow due to network congestion only to see "waiting for doubleclick/google/etc" in the status bar...
  • Scapegoat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WoollyMittens (1065278) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @07:58AM (#24909063)
    If we let ISP's vilify a minority as an excuse for their aging copper-wire infrastructure, instead of forcing them to upgrade it to European/Asian standards, then their greed with stifle and choke the last growth market the USA has: intellectual property. Good luck selling your movies and music online if downloading is strictly rationed.
  • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:09AM (#24909121) Homepage

    She's being victimized by the file traders! And we, the ISPs, are powerless to help! If only there were some way to make Granny's internet connection higher priority. Some kind of . . . service quality protocol. Quality of Service, perhaps. We could call it that. But no such thing exists, of course, because if it did, we'd be using it by now. And we aren't. So.

    But even if it did, it would rely on web traffic being easily recognizable. And it isn't! It's not like virtually all web traffic goes through a specific "port" or anything. And it's not like HTTP connections are easy to check for and flag as "higher priority". The technology *just doesn't exist*, and can never be developed. Ever.

    And even if that all existed, well, of course it would be impossible to implement it! For reasons I don't feel like explaining right now. Just trust me. And I suppose we *could* just buy more bandwidth but, whoops, that takes too much money! Money which we've spent on . . . uh, we just don't have it. That's right. We don't have it. It's . . . I think someone else has it. Ask them. I guess, instead of solving the problem, we'll just have to whine at the lawmakers until they prop up our badly-designed business. Wait that's not right. Let me try that again. We'll have to complain in news articles and attempt to villainize our customers who foolishly took our contracts as contracts. No, no, no, that's not right at all. Man I just can't think of the proper solution right now.

    Well, to make a long story short, we're too cheap to solve the problem QUICK LOOK OVER THERE it's an elderly person who's being inconvenienced by those damn hoodlums again! Think of your grandmother!

  • by jamesh (87723) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:24AM (#24909189)

    I'd love to have an ISP that could do something like the following:

    1. My hardware identifies traffic streams as 'Interactive', 'Download', and 'Bulk Download'. 'Interactive' is the obvious ssh, rdp, etc traffic. 'Download' is for stuff I want sooner rather than later, 'Bulk Download' is for stuff that I don't necessarily want so fast (eg torrents).

    2. I get 'Interactive' traffic at full speed for the first 10MBytes and then at a much lower speed after that, eg a Token Bucket Filter. The 'much lower speed' is to stop customers just classifying their p2p data as 'Interactive', but the initial 10Mbyte bucket ensures that you'll never hit it otherwise.

    3. I get 'Download' traffic at full speed (lower than interactive though) for the first (say) 200MBytes and then at a lower speed after that. I'm not sure how well TBF's scale up to the bucket being 1GByte though...

    4. I get 'Bulk Download' traffic at whatever is left over after other customers 'Interactive' and 'Download' traffic is taken into account, up to my monthly download limit (eg 20G or whatever)

    This only happens on the customer end of the ISP's business, and because it is done in agreement with the customer (eg the customer nominates the tier of their traffic) I don't think it breaks net neutrality in any way. If an ISP did this sort of thing without customer agreement then the deal is off...

    I've done this sort of TBF shaping (eg with a big bucket) on a smaller scale at the local library and it works really really well. They offer free 802.11abg wireless that works at the full 20mbits/second off of the DSL for the first 10MBytes, and then shapes back to 200kbits/second after that. People coming in to surf, chat, or update facebook etc never notice the limit, but anyone using p2p gets shaped down almost immediately. No deep packet inspection or anything required at all. Having the tiers though would mean that your interactive traffic doesn't suffer just because you hit your download limit...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by James Youngman (3732)

      My hardware identifies traffic streams as 'Interactive', 'Download', and 'Bulk Download'. 'Interactive' is the obvious ssh, rdp, etc traffic. 'Download' is for stuff I want sooner rather than later, 'Bulk Download' is for stuff that I don't necessarily want so fast (eg torrents).

      This technology has existed in IP itself since 1981 as the TOS bits. Your "Interactive" is IPTOS_LOWDELAY. Your "Download" is IPTOS_THROUGHPUT. Your "Bulk Download" is IPTOS_LOWCOST. See RFC 791 [ietf.org] from 1981 and RFC 1349 [ietf.org] from 1

  • Games?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xelios (822510) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:48AM (#24909363)
    I wasn't aware a few megabytes/hour constituted being a 'power user'. Why do online games always get mentioned in the same sentence as people who download 4 gigabyte movies every day?
  • by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @08:52AM (#24909397)
    Seriously, why do we need a bloated, plodding DHTML frontend on a glorified forum? Between that and the ever-increasing ads, the user experience is really starting to suck lately. Please stop.
  • by m.dillon (147925) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @02:54PM (#24912419) Homepage

    It isn't the internet that is slow, not really. Three things have a disproportionate effect on users perception of the internet: (1) Web site load times and (2) Horrible packet management by your DSL/Cable modem for outgoing and (3) Massive packet backlogs on the ISP side of the router in the download direction, mainly due to YOUR devices advertising ridiculously huge TCP windows or otherwise not doing any management of the incoming bandwidth at all. Those three issues cover 90% of the problem space and none of them are really the ISP's fault.

    * Web sites access all sorts of crap these days, mostly related to ad content. Many also run horrible javascript all over the page which slows the site way down even once the page has been loaded. Ad content sources often present a larger responsiveness issue then the site itself. Using ad site blockers will improve site responsiveness.

    * Many home systems these days have more then a few devices accessing the internet. Very few of these devices do any sort of packet management or bandwidth control. The result is that your interactive traffic is not prioritized over all your other traffic.

    * Most consumer (read: windows) boxes, and most cable and dsl modems either have no bandwidth management or have only very primitive bandwidth management for uplink data. They might be capable of separating out various types of traffic, such as VOIP, but they usually can't handle more then a few simultaneous connections and then only under very strict conditions. They simply do not have enough memory to buffer more then two or three packet streams.

    * Programs like bittorrent will easily blow-out the downlink direction of an ISPs DSLAM or cable provider side router. It is virtually impossible to manage the downlink packet rate with a cable modem, even with the configuration options available. In fact, the many ways people use to mask bittorent traffic ends up making things worse by defeating attempts by ISPs to simply manage the packet stream (verses cutting it off).

    None of these issues are really the ISP's fault. People who know what they are doing throw a unix-based (aka linux, bsd) router inbetween their home network and their cable/dsl modem. Simple QOS filtering doesn't do the job, you really need to run a full-blown fair-share sub-scheduler on top of your basic QOS separation and pre-restrict the bandwidth to move all the packet queues onto your router, for both directions. That will take care of the uplink direction at the very least.

    Incoming bandwidth is harder to deal with because you often do not have direct control over the devices trying to downlink the data. The best you can do there is create an artificial bandwidth constriction between your unix-based router and the target devices in the incoming direction. This will shift the bulk of the packet backlog away from the ISP's DSLAM/router and onto your router. Your router has enough memory to deal with megabytes of stream backlog if necessary so you can control all incoming bulk data streams while letting all the interactive traffic bypass the queues.

    Here's an example: Take a single TCP stream downloading a movie. If the TCP connection is advertising a very large data window, such as a megabyte, then what winds up happening is that a megabyte of data winds up getting backlogged on the ISP-side of your connection as the bandwidth is constricted down to your cable/dsl modem's capabilities. The ISP cannot handle that large a backlog, particularly if you are downlinking several things simultaneously (each with a megabyte of backlog). Traditionally ISPs have used RED or other congestion control algorithms but the plain truth of the matter is that THEY DO NOT WORK VERY WELL FROM THE POINT OF VIEW AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE END USER. It is far better to not have the backlog to deal with in the first place, at least not on the ISP side of the connection.

    In anycase, the issue is more due to the many applications trying to use your pipe as if they owned the whole thing then it

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

Working...