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P2P To End Unmetered Broadband?

Posted: 21st Feb, 2004 By: MarkJ
The management equipment vendor, Sandvine, has spoken about how it believes UK ISPs are now reviewing their packages and services. The group feels that strong use of P2P is pushing ISP costs up, something that will ultimately impact end-users:

The growing popularity of P2P sites is driving ISP costs to unacceptable levels. Since much P2P traffic does not originate from ISPs' networks it costs them more to deliver it, leading to their consideration of unpopular measures such as port throttling P2P sites, data download limits or pay-as-you-go pricing.

But ISPs are still deeply reluctant to change to alternative pricing models because of the unpopularity of such schemes with consumers.

"None is going public with this yet because there is a real risk they could lose customers, but 10 are thinking about introducing application intelligent services rather than using the speed-equals-price business model," said Chris Colman, Sandvine's EMEA managing director.


The VNUNet item highlights that roughly 5% of ISP customers could be classed as 'heavy users', yet they account for an estimated 55% of all traffic.

In short, while most ISPs are keeping their heads low until broadband has better established itself, that may well change in the not too distant future.

We can’t help but feel concerned that a culture of unclear restrictions, as occurred in the early days of unmetered dialup access, could again be preparing to cause chaos. Perhaps this time ISPs will have learned from such mistakes and get things right from the very beginning, which may be wishful thinking.
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