The Belgium ISP had been up in arms since a subscribing household was clocked using 2.7 TBs of “unlimited” bandwidth in a single month. The company was so nervous they launched a PR offensive and posted the anxiety provoking stats. Commentators worldwide decried the unidentified user, even on tech sites, saying the pig was ruining it for the rest of us.
People wondered how it could be. How could any household suck up so much bandwidth?
The poor guys at Telenet sounded so hard up I thought I’d have a look, and you know, see if I could help them out.
Turns out, well, it’s easily done. Probably a bunch of roommates sharing a connection. That’s all. You wouldn’t even need a frat house (but that might be more fun).
I once did 110 gigs in just over nine days (11.78GB/day-avg) when Oink had a free leach and I had a slow 1.25 MB connection. That was quite a while ago. Since then my ADSL speed’s increased four-fold to 5 megs down so I could do nearly 1.5 TB/mo now or more than half the Belgian’s totals by myself if I had a reason, and free leach at a good private tracker is a great reason. With higher speed cable in a house share I could see this happening occasionally, and unremarkably. The Telenet customer(s) had 30 megs down, or 24x my old speed. They could have done it the same way I did in 2006: by maxing out their connection for nine days straight and then shutting down for the rest of the month. Not even news as far as I’m concerned.
What is worth remarking on however is the fact that the minuscule totals of an ISP’s least active customers garner neither headlines nor refunds, nor do ISPs offer rollover gigs when their breathless PR results in the inevitable capping, which as you’ve probably guessed is what this nonsense is all about.
Fairness has nothing to do with it. It’s about money. It’s about charging more. Mostly it’s about ducking responsibility by blaming customers instead of upgrading equipment. It’s shock and awe. Screaming press releases and forum posts of gluttonous subscribers making life hell for hapless oligarchs.
A very good point made there. Do all the low bandwidth users ever get mentioned? You bet your life they don't. ISP's, like the cartels, paint a picture that suits the case they want to portray.