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Opinions please - what is acceptable bandwidth usage?


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Old 08-07-2004, 18:00
DavidT
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We've had a lot of threads recently about Boradband capping and how much different members use.

I'm interested to know now what people think is reasonable bandwith use before becoming a bandwidth hog or leecher etc.

A few points:

There are sites like movieflix.com and radiolovers.com where you can watch free streaming movies or download MP3's of classic radio shows etc. A movie a day would reach about 15gb a month. Is that bandwith absue or excessive.? What is the point of these sites existence otherwise? Is an hour and a half a day watching a film excessive? There are 24hr Broadband TV stations, whats the point if you are limited to a few hours a month?

Is listenening several hours a day most days of the week to Internet Radio acceptable especially at high quality 256kps?

How much file swapping or online gaming is excessive?

I'm really interested to know what you all think on this as to me there is a real question of the whole point of large parts of the Internets existence? I'm not asking how much you use but how much you are prepared for someone else to use. To me the way its going anything involving regular streaming is to be seen as a perk and almost rationed. Is the concept of the always on, do what you want when you want, Broadband culture already dead? Is capping really stopping many people really exploring the Internet and getting the most out of it?

I'm not knocking anyone's habits or usage but wonder if we have any sort of consensus as to what acceptable usage is?
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Old 08-07-2004, 19:18
sean2003
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I think the internet should not be capped at all.

I don't belive other countries cap as badly as the UK has started to.

It's just a big money making invention by ISP's. I don't think it's really going to make that much difference. If ISP's have big enough 'pipes' we should be able to use what we want. I'm with Pipex and i can use what i like. I use more than 15GB in a month.

I've downloaded 132mb in past 11 and half hours. And i have uploaded 55mb.
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Old 08-07-2004, 19:21
raymartin01
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In my view the important point we're missing is that up until very recently Broadband was being sold as 'always on, always available' and was aimed specifically at the higher user. Now all of a sudden we're being told that we're bandwidth hogs and that we're being greedy for using a service in the way in which it was sold to us!!

WTF!!
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Old 08-07-2004, 19:28
DavidT
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I mentioned the always on bit because I know from other places there are quite a lot of people who wouldn't hit a cap but disagree in principal with the idea.

A lot of ads emphasis the more "exciting" bits like video clips etc but not what it means in practice.
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Old 08-07-2004, 23:11
Everything Goes
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A brief History lesson.

When FRICO started for the then dialup users it was 24/7 service this was eventually cut by many ISPs to typically 16 hours 12hours or with BT even less! When Broadband became availble the ISPs told high users to go to their Broadband packages that would suit their need better ie 24/7 unlimited service. Now we are back to the bad old days with capped services and needless to say BT being one of the worst offenders.
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Old 09-07-2004, 00:17
StuL
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Originally Posted by Everything Goes
and needless to say BT being one of the worst offenders.
I can't believe they've actually imposed a 1GB cap on their BT Yahoo service! It's unbelievable. If we were on that package, there would be hell to pay because I need my fix of Big Brother USA and that is only possible by downloading it at the minute which wouldn't happen on a 1GB cap. 15GB even looks in jeopardy at the minute.

The problem is that even though there are some ISPs still providing an uncapped service, I think they will soon start to follow the other ISPs and start to impose caps. Looking at it that way means that it's dangerous to move from ISP to ISP just because one does not impose a cap, especially as you are tied into a 12 month contract.
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Old 09-07-2004, 00:32
sean2003
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Originally Posted by StuL
I can't believe they've actually imposed a 1GB cap on their BT Yahoo service! It's unbelievable. If we were on that package, there would be hell to pay because I need my fix of Big Brother USA and that is only possible by downloading it at the minute which wouldn't happen on a 1GB cap. 15GB even looks in jeopardy at the minute.

The problem is that even though there are some ISPs still providing an uncapped service, I think they will soon start to follow the other ISPs and start to impose caps. Looking at it that way means that it's dangerous to move from ISP to ISP just because one does not impose a cap, especially as you are tied into a 12 month contract.

I will go mad if Pipex decides to cap. No good when using VoIP ! I need my bandwidth!
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:47
jonat8
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AOL don't cap, thank goodness Most of their TV advertising at the moment is centred around the fact that they don't have any sort of cap. Although I don't go over 30Gb a month, and that's on a heavy use month.

I used to use loads of bandwidth leaving Big Brother streaming on all day but now I don't bcos it's just boring! Yesterday I put Big Brother USA streaming on but they were all asleep! At least on BB USA you could choose from 4 cameras.
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Old 09-07-2004, 08:04
DavidT
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Think this is the real issue, streaming. I''ll be watching my nieces graduation on the Internet next Monday. Its about two hours I believe, so I guess that's about 500mb.

Big Brother is a good example of the problem. You pay C4 for streaming and pay someone else for your BB connection and yet with a 15gb cap you'd probably be limited to watching it an hour or two a day.

I can see if all you do is surf and email its not much of a problem but anyone doing any regular streaming has a problem. I don 't see much middle ground to be honest.

I think the problem is when you say leecher or bandwith hog the mental picture is of someone downloading hours and hours of video flat out day after day on two or three computers at a time, whereas in fact relatively little activity can achieve usage far in excess of most caps if you are doing some sort of streaming activity. We've also got to get used to the idea of usage caps and not download caps. Too many people only think about downloading not their total usage.
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Old 09-07-2004, 16:41
FaiLSaFe
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Originally Posted by sean2003
I will go mad if Pipex decides to cap. No good when using VoIP ! I need my bandwidth!
Pipex are already capping some of their services. I'm a Pipex customer as well and I'm getting worried.

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Old 09-07-2004, 16:51
sean2003
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Originally Posted by FaiLSaFe
Pipex are already capping some of their services. I'm a Pipex customer as well and I'm getting worried.

FaiLSaFe
Yeah, 2 of the packages.

And 1GB, and 2GB aint much use! http://www.solo.pipex.net/xtreme-sol...e19df655525687
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Old 09-07-2004, 16:58
FaiLSaFe
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Originally Posted by DavidT
We've also got to get used to the idea of usage caps and not download caps. Too many people only think about downloading not their total usage.
Just ran DUMeter, and in the last 10 minutes I've downloaded over 2.5mb just surfing...

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Old 09-07-2004, 19:44
Digimonster
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Plusnet have introduced capping. But you can choose what cap you have, or not to have a cap at all. Just means you pay more.
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Old 10-07-2004, 00:28
Mikey_TM
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I'm on tiscali x10 (512Kbs), I pay £24.99/month for unmetred access. Tiscali now offers a capped 512Kbs for £19.99/month which gives you 50 minutes of surftime in that month.
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Old 10-07-2004, 01:27
Doctor_Wibble
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Nobody seems to have mentioned contention ratio or bandwidth sharing, which are phrases we don't like to be reminded of.
The implications are grim. They always are...

(apologies - ropey back-of-envelope maths follows)
OK.
500kbit gives (with rounding errors...) 50 kbyte per sec, multiply by 3600, 24, 30 gives you 130GB per month if you go on a major download frenzy. That then has to be shared amongst your fellow contenders - at 50:1 that's 2.6GB per month (86 MB per day), 20:1 is 6.5GB per month (216 MB per day) per user on average if you are fully contended. Both figures easily exceeded without going anywhere near any major downloads. Streaming is a little different, but would still suffer.

If everyone tries to hammer their line at the same time, they all get a glorious 1 kbyte per sec each. Magnificent. When the day comes that everyone has broadband and is overloading the contention, I will dig out my 33.6 modem and make fun of all those people with that slow ADSL thing...

If my calculations are wildly off (as opposed to nitpicking over accuracy), that would be good news. Anyone? Please?
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:24
raymartin01
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It's not the 500k that's shared amongst 50 users, it's the large 'pipe' in the exchange, which I seem to recall is something like 1555Mb (I THINK!).

Since the 1st of July I have downloaded 9.7Gb and uploaded 5.3Gb - a total of 15Gb (I am on a 1Mb connection). That equates to 50Gb for a full month. Quite expensive at £2 a Gb over the 30!
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:57
jonat8
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I've spent the last hour or so watching music videos at either 450kbps or 1000kbps and have managed to use about 250Mb. If I were on BT Broadband Basic that would be 1/4 of my usage!

Streaming is a massive bandwidth hog, but it's so nice! Although acceptable quality for video can be achieved even at 150-200kbps so if my music videos were encoded at that then I would have used maybe 100Mb, or less.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:26
sean2003
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Just seen the BT Broadband ad on TV the other day. The man says something about large picture files, and video clips loading almost instantly. They forget to mention you can only watch 1 video clip for 5 seconds a day! (donít know how much you can really watch, but 1GB for 19.99 is a joke!)
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:31
DavidT
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As you say streaming is a huge bandwidth user but what's the point of it being made available in the net if its not practical to use it? Hence me always banging on about Internet radio. The whole point of radio is that it's something you tend to have on for long periods of time in the background. And if you have it on surely you want to listen to it at a decent quality and if the broadcsater makes it available on a 256k stream why shouldn't you use it?

Geogrpahically speaking cable is only available in a few places and for most of us ADSL via BT is our only real practical option.

Its just not going to work in the long term. Caps and streaming just don't fit together.

As I say I think there is a fundemental issue underlying all this and that is what the actual point of the internet is? The amount of content is increasing but the means for accesing it is being resricted at a similar pace.

I also go back to my point that this is exacerbated for any household that has multiple users and or computers which must be pretty common. There are two users in my household. We both take part in a number of message boards. My partner likes music and I listen to the radio and like downloading alternative programs etc. Open Office would be about 100mb on its own I think. I don't see that as excessive but together we must use quite a bit of bandwith. Add a couple of kids and what would be the usage?

Out of interest people a mentioned other countries, does anyone have any actual figures for other European countries and what caps etc they have?
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Old 10-07-2004, 12:11
Doctor_Wibble
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Half the problem here is the way broadband is being sold - for many you have to dig to find the bit that says your bandwidth is shared with e.g. 50 other people.
Cable is shared as well, though this is on a different basis, and the level of sharing varies widely.

As for streaming, that's up to the content providers and not your ISP. If you want 256kpbs all to yourself, then you need to get a leased line. The content providers want your money, and really don't care whether or not your connection will be adequate for the task because that is between you and your ISP.

Given that you are sharing bandwidth with (as many as 49) other people, are you using more than your fair share? Should they all stop what they are doing to let you listen to the radio? Or just 48 of them because you can go halves with number 49?
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Old 10-07-2004, 12:45
sean2003
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Just spotted a good point in another forum.

SP2 for windows is 134mb i think.

Not good for people on a 1GB cap!
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