[clug] Query re Transact costs.

Paul Hampson Paul.Hampson at anu.edu.au
Fri Nov 26 12:27:32 GMT 2004

On Fri, Nov 26, 2004 at 09:52:33PM +1100, Paul Wayper wrote:
> At 12:32 PM 26/11/2004, you wrote:
> >Oh, and on that note, if Anyone wants/needs downloads/images/etc, let me
> >know off list, we still have 40Gb of quota on the 1.5Mb and 14Gb of Quota 
> >on
> >the 512k (despite our best efforts).

> You know, if ISPs had some sort of saving system, where you got to keep 
> your unused quota for future months, or gave you a discount on your next 
> month if you used less than your quota this month, it'd make a lot of 
> sense.  There's no incentive for people to keep their download usage down, 
> and every incentive to 'get their money's worth' by downloading up to their 
> limit; this increases the pressure on the ISP (who _does_ pay for every 
> byte you download (so to speak), whether you do or not).

> Not that I'm being critical, really; just thinking of ways to make the 
> world better...

The problem with this (as I can see... I've been trying to think of a
way to make it work at the ISP I'm involved with) is that carrying over
unused quota presents a ticking time-bomb of customers with more quota
available than the ISP's instantaneous bandwidth allowances can carry.
This is only a problem if the ISP is buying bandwidth by the megabit,
not paying for traffic used with a large pipe that's largely unused. ^_^

eg. if I pay for five gbytes/month, and use two consistently for 6
months, then the ISP is only budgeting for my usage of five, and in one
month I can then turn around and consume twenty without any negative
feedback on my usage, but showing an unexpected peak in the ISP's
graphs. The ISP has some warning of this since they can see you're
building up a lot of "credit", and the usual solution to this is to
let you carry a limited amount over a limited time (like Optus Rollover
does for mobile phones), which doesn't solve the problem you describe,
just makes it harder for the ISP to predict when it'll happen.

To my mind, the way to go is less quotaing, and more either pay as you
go or unmetered Internet. Choosing between the various Quota/Price
combinations is always a hassle, to my mind.

TPG's recent 1.5Mbit unlimited ADSL plans will hopefully do interesting
things to the Internet market. I'm hoping the "here's some quota, but
we'll punish you if you overshoot it, and you get nothing if you
undershoot it" plans will give way to more straight-line plans (think
cost VS usage. ^_^)

Paul "TBBle" Hampson, MCSE
7th year CompSci/Asian Studies student, ANU
The Boss, Bubblesworth Pty Ltd (ABN: 51 095 284 361)
Paul.Hampson at Anu.edu.au

"No survivors? Then where do the stories come from I wonder?"
-- Capt. Jack Sparrow, "Pirates of the Caribbean"

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