[CalFiber] This is a new one from Comcast

Christopher Mitchell christopher at ilsr.org
Wed Nov 18 19:19:13 PST 2020

I remain surprised that smart people feel that the number of bits sent in
the download direction vs the number of bits sent in the upload direction
tells you something about how you value download vs upload.

Video content sends a lot of bits. Me going from 250 Mbps to a gig on
Comcast hasn't changed anything in my perception of how good my downstream
is. Not at all. But going from 10 to 40 Mbps is why I pay that bill. I
*really value* my upload and pay more for it. But every month I download
far more than I upload.

There is no reason to believe the number of bits transacted in a month in a
certain direction tells you anything about what a user values in the
service. But this is the first argument people use to justify connections
that throttle the upload.

Christopher Mitchell
Director, Community Broadband Networks
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

MuniNetworks.org <http://www.muninetworks.org/>

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 7:55 PM Dane Jasper <dane.jasper at sonic.com> wrote:

> I can provide some insight into how people with symmetrical services use
> their access. We've got tens of thousands of asymmetrically connected DSL
> customers, and tens of thousands of symmetric gigabit fiber customers.
> And in this case, Comcast's claim is not incorrect: regardless of having a
> symmetrical connection, usage is predominantly asymmetric. That's why xDSL
> and DOCSIS were designed the way they were, allocating more spectrum to
> downstream than up. And it makes sense: anyone can flip on a 4K TV and use
> 12Mbps all night long, while producing that amount of content in the home
> and uploading it is a niche activity.
> What isn't niche anymore is Zoom et al. And with the onset of COVID and
> the SF Bay Area SIP orders, Sonic so a huge uptick in usage - and this
> increase was greater in the outbound, because consumers were not producers
> of content in ways that were not common before, participating in video
> conferencing all day long. So while inbound/download usage increased by
> 30%-35%, outbound went up by more, nearly 45%. See:
> https://twitter.com/dane/status/1247646654490017793/photo/2
> But while outbound did go up by more due to this change, it remains a
> small fraction as compared to inbound usage by consumers. You can get a
> rough view of the ratio of inbound to outbound here:
> https://twitter.com/dane/status/1247646654490017793/photo/1  The green is
> inbound usage toward customer homes, downloads, while the purple is their
> outbound utilitization.
> That said, you still want a symmetric connection. And fiber enables that,
> so why not? An abundance of outbound for a majority of consumers should
> allow for new applications, and we could expect this ratio to shift
> somewhat toward outbound over time as a result.
> -Dane
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 11:22 AM Ernesto Falcon <ernesto at eff.org> wrote:
>> One of Comcast's lobbyist on this California Broadband Council meeting
>> made the standard cable argument that people use the Internet
>> asymetrically because look at what our Comcast customers do.
>> I suggested that perhaps people with symmetrical services use the
>> Internet differently and that data would provide a bigger picture.
>> Comcast's person responds. I am unaware of any ISPs that offer
>> symmetrical services.
>> I just left it that at.
>> --
>> Ernesto Omar Falcon
>> Senior Legislative Counsel
>> Electronic Frontier Foundation
>> Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
>> Cell: 202 716 0770
>> _______________________________________________
>> CalFiber mailing list
>> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
>> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
> --
> Dane Jasper
> 707-237-6205
> dane.jasper at sonic.com
> _______________________________________________
> CalFiber mailing list
> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
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