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do read !!! Comcast confirms 250GB cap effective October 1
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 13:13:00 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Tony Lauck <tlauck () madriver com>
Date: August 29, 2008 12:55:28 PM EDT
To: Dan Lynch <dan () lynch com>
Cc: "'David Farber'" <dave () farber net>
Subject: Re: [IP] Re: do read Comcast confirms 250GB cap effective October 1


Yes, a cap will solve the congestion problem if it is set sufficiently low. In the limit it definitely solves the congestion problem by driving away all the customers. (The Prodigy solution.)

The problem is that congestion is caused by instantaneous load exceeding capacity, whereas monthly usage measures average load. If there are, say, four busy hours per day, an average based cap will need to be set (roughly) six times lower than it would otherwise need to be. The result will be unhappy customers. In addition, the bean counters (who are unlikely to know any queuing theory) may suggest that expenses be cut by reducing resources!

I have written many IP posts on this subject and you can find them in the archive. Basically, a proper solution is to give higher priority to users who create less congestion. Let everybody go as fast as they want when there is no congestion. If people need or want more capacity than others, let them pay more for more "shares" and adjust the weighting accordingly, and use the money to increase capacity. This approach is politically neutral, i.e. it will work in a capitalist or a socialist society. Unlike the Comcast cap it follows the principle of maximum utilization of resources.

Tony Lauck

Dan Lynch wrote:
Tony, can you teach me how a cap does not solve their congestion problem?
In the limit it sure does...

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