It seems many ISP companies are not being honest with their customers. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081007-plunging-costs-show-theres-plenty-of-backbone-bandwidth.html
Prices for data transit continue to plunge, according to new research out from TeleGeography, and they're falling by almost 40 percent a year. Despite all the doom-and-gloom from ISPs, who claim they need to impose bandwidth caps and throttling in order to keep the bits flowing, the news is a reminder that the world's backbone providers actually have huge surpluses of capacity and that transit costs are plummeting faster than the US stock market.
Not all ISPs pay for transit, of course; the larger ones are able to "peer" freely with other large ISPs. "Transit" applies between ISPs who don't agree to freely swap data from each other's networks, and it's a major expense for local ISPs that need to purchase all of their bandwidth. But paying for that transit is getting cheaper. In the last 12 months, TeleGeography found that paying for Gigabit Ethernet ports in major international exchanges fell by 35 to 40 percent in Asia, Europe, and the US. South America saw less of a drop (20 percent), and its transit prices remain some of the highest in the world.
The bottleneck remains where it has for quite some time: in the last mile, where congestion (especially on uploads) remains a live possibility, especially for cable systems that have fallen behind on infrastructure improvements
This report quite clearly blows the lid on all those stories of bandwidth starved ISP's and destroys the whole reason for throttling and limiting their customers, it seems they are all still refusing to invest in any real upgrading programs and will continue to drag their corporate heels until they manage to obtain taxpayers revenue in the form of govt handouts to get a move on, this is the pattern emerging globally it seems, and its shameful.
We could all by now have lightning upload and download speeds but when no one wants to invest in fibre technology on any scale its cost will remain prohibitive, this need not be the case if they banded together into a purchasing coalition and purchased as a group, but common sense is lacking it seems and using the old copper wires means not a cent need be spent in most cases so one has to ask why are they allowed to charge so much ?
Answers on a postcard to your govt folks, although I doubt they care.