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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crisis, what crisis? Throttling to be replaced by Virgin's garrotting

I have received some very expensive and personalized glossy brochures from Virgin cable - their street furniture is in my hedge 3 metres from my window so I know they are there, but they kindly tell me that if only I will take their fixed line phone (why would I pay £12/month when I have a mobile?) they will supply me fibre to the said cabinet. However, in the small print on the back page, they explain:
"Traffic management policy applies 4-9pm and 10am-3pm."
Erm, that's any time after my first cup of tea. That's garrotting, not throttling. Its also so hidden in the small print that I may be the first potential customer ever to read it.
It reflects a worldwide trend towards extreme traffic management, it seems, which Dave Burstein sees as running exactly counter to technology and usage trends - bandwidth is getting cheaper (especially for mobile), punters are using less P2P and video, so allround CAPEX is decreasing - the ISPs should be coining it in. Why all the anti-piracy when the market has already turned?
He quotes a Wall Street analyst: "These new wireless bundles from ATT seem demonically brilliant! See the cap rates? ATT is going to be flowing in extra money and quickly."
Elsewhere, appalling roaming data rates are featured in El Reg, which have got even worse for non-EU travel since the EU roaming regulation was introduced.

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