[funsec] Not so fast, broadband providers tell big users

Drsolly drsollyp at drsolly.com
Thu Mar 15 06:28:31 CDT 2007

I had the exact opposite experience.

A couple of years ago, I got an email from my DSL ISP, telling me about 
their new "excessive use" policy.

They gave me an exact number for what they considered excessive, which was 
50 gb/month in peak times, unlimited outside peak times. And you can carry 
forward any unused capacity to the next month.

In addition to that. it turned out that in practice they seem to be unable 
to monitor my usage, so the cap has never bitten.

On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 Blanchard_Michael at emc.com wrote:

>  Way back when, in the late 90's I was a named plaintiff on a class action lawsuit against Hughes DirectPC.  They were doing exactly what was mentioned in the article.  They had this thing called a "fair access policy", that would cut your speed in half if you downloaded too much, then in half again if you kept downloading, then in half again, until your speeds were much less than modem speeds.
>    They would never tell you how much was too much, and never tell you when your speed was cut in half.  I run Dumeter so I constantly watch my i-net speeds, then and now, so I knew when it was happening.  If you called customer service, they'd say that everything was ok and they'd have zero knowledge of any speed throttling.  They'd say, "well your dish must not be aligned properly".  Even when I explain to them that I'm an Engineer and used a thousand dollar meter to establish the strongest signal possible, they'd still say that it must be a problem on my end.  Customer service would have zero knowledge (or deny any knowledge) of any bandwidth throttling.
>     DirectPC's claim was exactly what the article mentions Comcast is claiming, that .1% of the users make up the majority of usage.  I think DPC said something like 1% of the users took up 30% of the bandwidth.
>    Well, I was part of the Windows 95 and Windows 98 beta teams, and was downloading a CD a week from Microsoft.  That was too much downloading, I wound up using just my 28.8k modem most of the time and that would download quicker.  (At that time you used a modem to upload and the satellite dish only for download at advertised speeds of 400kps fast for that time).
>    Even after the suit was settled, I don't think they ever fully acknowledged the amount that you had to download that was deemed "too much" and initiated the throttling.  Heck I'd use the latest Netscape install to test my speed, and that initiated the throttling, it was only 75meg if I remember correctly!
>    The only one that really got justice was the lawyers...  DPC was ordered to "buy back" the equipment from us, at a loss to us, if we chose to sell it back to them.  I think the lawyers got a couple hundred thousand bucks out of the deal for "legal fees".
>    Mike B
> Michael P. Blanchard 
> Antivirus / Security Engineer, CISSP, GCIH, CCSA-NGX, MCSE
> Office of Information Security & Risk Management 
> EMC ² Corporation 
> 4400 Computer Dr. 
> Westboro, MA 01580 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gadi Evron [mailto:ge at linuxbox.org] 
> Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 8:29 PM
> To: Blanchard, Michael (InfoSec)
> Cc: funsec at linuxbox.org
> Subject: RE: [funsec] Not so fast, broadband providers tell big users
> On Mon, 12 Mar 2007 Blanchard_Michael at emc.com wrote:
> >  wow, it's the Hughes DirectPC FAP all over again..... 
> That doesn't ring a bell?
> 	Gadi.
> --
> "beepbeep it, i leave work, stop reading sec lists and im still hearing
> gadi"
> - HD Moore to Gadi Evron on IM, on Gadi's interview on npr, March 2007.
> _______________________________________________
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