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User-Controlled Connection Speeds

When you want to save money, choose a slow speed
  [vote for,

My home Internet connection is 56K because I consider all the high-speed connection plans to be too expensive. This probably won't change until every market is saturated with connection points, so that people can choose the connection they actually need, instead of being subjected to the whims of what the providers want to sell.

I'm fairly sure I'm not the only one who thinks that high-speed Internet connections cost too much in the U.S.; the evidence is that plenty other countries have lower costs and larger percentages of their populations on-line.

I'm going to suggest a compromise.

Let's start with the fairly wide choice of high-speed connections; they all come with a special box you plug your computer into. All that box needs is a kind of "speed dial/switch", to be what this Idea is about. It should be a manual switch so that no computer software can change the setting without the user knowing about it.

And the price the user pays for an Internet connection would be directly associated with the connection speed that the user selects. Very simply, choose a slow speed and pay less; choose a fast speed and pay more.

Now, where can I find a company that will provide this option?

Vernon, Nov 12 2009

Google Patent http://www.patents....S20080232574/en-US/
"Flexible Communications Systems and Methods" - Basically it is a system for selecting a telecomms provider as, and when, required. [Jinbish, Nov 12 2009]


       The waters in this area of billing digital comms and Quality of Service are so muddied it doesn't thinking about <gets headache>... that sounds like a complete cop out doesn't it?   

       Thankfully, our argument here doesn't need to go anywhere near it. The nature of the issue here is that long term contracts are not a fully satisfactory method of agreeing digital transactions. The technology and underlying services are evolving at different pace from the business models that are often linked to older technology and market arrangements.   

       The issue that [21_Quest] raises is a very interesting one (which is why I am conducting research in it!): that mobile providers currently offer WiFi and cellular access through the same contracts. What happens when you have multiple interfaces (cellular, wifi, WiMax, satellite, near-field comms etc.)? In fact, why can't you choose between cell companies on a per-call basis? Ok, lots of answers to that question (identity, security, market forces, threat to profitabilty) but also lots of areas of research to solve.
Jinbish, Nov 12 2009

       Absolutely, [bigsleep]. Prioritisation of traffic (and traffic types) makes it even more complicated with guaranteed delivery under QoS constraints (e.g. BER (bit-error rate), delay, and jitter (delay variance) constraints)... especially over IP.
Jinbish, Nov 12 2009

       //allow Microsoft updates to claw down 1gb to correct its own mistakes//
ah, so we could also use a discount for stuff that's already on the ISP's cache and they don't need their external WAN for.
FlyingToaster, Nov 12 2009

       Different services have different perceived value and actual value - the monthly contract allows the operator to obfuscate and subsidise costs (and bundle handsets in to further complicate matters).   

       The complexity of the 2G/3G billing isn't so bad... it's the questions that stem from it; the cat that they don't want out of the bag (as you mention) is the "cost-per-bit"**. That's why some operators previously went nuts when some users were using Skype on their network. Imagine it, consumers accessing voice services without actually making a billable phone call on the mobile network. Scandalous!   

       {**Of course, cost-per-bit of text messaging is astronomical}
Jinbish, Nov 12 2009

       Many ISPs are offering superfast "headline" data rates to subscribers, but the real, achievable throughput is often much lower. Running SpeedTest can throw up a dramatic disparity between the line speed the ADSL modem/router is synched at, and the true data rate when the poor benighted user tries to download the latest IE security patch .... lies, damned lies, and statistics.   

       Advice ? "Trust no-one ...... NO-ONE....."
8th of 7, Nov 12 2009

       (true stories)...   

       originally when broadband came out, a door-to-door guy claimed 2MB/s throughput (impossible at the time). I the asked him to verify that I was going to get 2-megabyte throughput on the provided 10 megabit card (note byte/bit). He said yes. I said no.   

       eventually I caved and purchased "guaranteed 128kb service". After getting consistent 40kb service I complained and started getting 256kb service.   

       turns out (at the time) their way of getting a lower speed was for the modem to not acknowledge receipt of a packet, which the head end kept sending over and over until the modem decided it was time to accept.   

       Called tech-support to bitch about lack-of connection speed. He said their connection to the web was being overloaded, therefore they weren't responsible for the lack-of speed.   

       another time I called about a 3-day outage, they refunded me the 3 days, but the day after I called, my (ISP) e-mail spamload went through the roof.   

       why yes, I am with another ISP these days, how did you guess.
FlyingToaster, Nov 12 2009


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