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Re: Fair Use Policy
From: Mark Andrews <marka () isc org>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 13:49:00 +1000

In message <391AF4EB-239D-4982-8682-643253440B3A () seanharlow info>, Sean Harlow 
On Aug 22, 2012, at 21:25, William Herrin wrote:

Works for the electric company, the gas company, the water company,
etc. Metering I mean, not a use cap. The notion of a cap is pretty

The difference is that gas, water, and electricity are all resources
that have actual costs relevant to consumer and SMB-level users.  A
fiber-optic line costs the same to operate regardless of if it is
carrying no data or entirely maxed out.  Higher-capacity optics at each
end of course cost money, but they're fixed cost items which are
deployed once and don't often need replacement during their useful life
(especially given the growth rate of network traffic).  Longer runs
obviously need repeaters capable of handling the data rates in use, but
the same applies.

As far as I can tell, the actual cost of the bits being transferred is
so minuscule as to be practically irrelevant for anyone who's not at the
scale to be dealing directly with Tier 1 carriers.  Capacity costs
money, but once it's there utilization is nothing.

Which is why bigger users get discounts on a per GB basis.  The
cost to the consumer has a fixed component which basically covers
the last mile, accounting etc. and variable component which covers
the cost of shipping the bits over the rest of the network which
is almost always over subscribed.  The difference between business
and residential reflects, or should reflect, the level of over
subscription and some penalty allowance to cover out of standard
hours repairs to meet SLA.

Mark Andrews, ISC
1 Seymour St., Dundas Valley, NSW 2117, Australia
PHONE: +61 2 9871 4742                 INTERNET: marka () isc org

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