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Maes

The dial-up/broadband paradox

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I've got my fair share of "why my new super-duper broadband connection is slow sometimes? Will it help if I upgrade to provider X or if I get a 24 Mbps line instead of my current 8 Mbps" ? etc. kind of questions, which are practically impossible to answer with a definite yes or no, and it's simply unthinkable to explain why.

IMHO, what all of these (justifiably) gullible Joe Consumers fail to realize, other than reading the small print in their ADSL/Cable/whatever contracts, is this:

Take a small country like Greece: 10 M inhabitants, and give each one of them a 56k modem with guaranteed full bandwidth, all the time. This amounts to a whooping 560 Gbps bandwidth, which to my knowledge, no INTERNET provider in the world can provide single-handedly. As a representative measure, Estonia's largest provider, Elion has a mere 10 Gbps capacity for international INTERNET connections.

This simply put means, that not even in the dial-up era, let alone now, was it ever technically possible for ALL USERS to use their maximum contractually stated bandwidth all the time. And it also explains why a T1 or a leased line connection, with its "measly" 1.5 Mbps, still costs 100s of $ a month to rent, while a "super duper 24 Mbps ADSL2 student contract" costs maybe $20 or so. What you are really paying for is the contractually guaranteed/reserved bandwidth, not the maximum possible speed allowed by the technology (which has long been surpassed).

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the ten million people of greece are never going to be simultaneously maxing out their internet connections and why does saying in theory giving everyone 56k lines would be more than some estonian company can handle have to do with being able to get the most out of your connection? also only about 3 people live in estonia and that company (that is probably powered by eels on a bizarre treadmill) is not the only isp there and blah blah

what is the point in this thread? you had a mundane thought so you decided to make a fucking thread about it? great. people do not realize something because they are idiots how amazing that you are not an idiot, congratulations.

fuck capital letters also.

also where's the fucking paradox i was promised you pseudo intellectual assfart

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No one told me there was going to be an exam!

All networks - including stuff we take for granted like water and sewerage - have capacity limits and bottlenecks which prevent them from meeting the needs of all of their customers simultaneously. It would be nice if they could but then they'd be priced out of most peoples's reach.

BTW - 56k modems usually run at 33k to get around compatibility issues, that knocks a big hole in the bandwidth requirement.

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... I would have thought that something like this would be the ideal place to post mundane thoughts.

Banks work the same way. In most western countries they work off either a 5% or a 10% fractional reserve. Which means that at any given moment, by law, a bank only has to have, say, 5% of everyone's money actually physically available to give to people who come in and want their money. The rest is tied up in (often) invisible transfers, offshore this and capital growth that and long term blah blah... in other words inaccessible by even the bank most of the time.

So banks go bust when people lose their confidence, and everyone goes in there at once and says "I want my money." And the bank says to them "We're broke now you had a dollar here's 5 cents kthanxbai."

Seems the same thing sort of applies to ISP's "Yes you are paying for this much speed and bandwidth, and as per contract, the facilities are there, so you have what you are paying for," but not if everyone wants the same thing all at the same time. Man, I'm in Australia, so everyone here has crap internet (relatively speaking). I have ADSL 2 broadband, I live in a city with 4 million people, second biggest city in Australia and you can just watch the speed go through the floor during peak times. And try getting a gaming ping less than 250 at any time of the day or night. Am I getting what I pay for? I guess so...

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If everyone in the world simultaneously took a dump and flushed it down the toilet (where those facilitys even exist) then I doubt the sewage networks could handle it and whole countries would be flooded with excrament. Works the same as your dialup/broadband conundrum.

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The point is that people expect to be fully using their connection all the time and at full capacity (usually torrent/P2P/streaming radio+video etc.) yet fall flat on their faces soon after they "upgrade".

The (unstated) premise behind broadband connections (or ISPs in general) has always been that nobody should be using his connection all of the time, yet people fail to realize that.

The "paradox", if so it can be called, is that the capacity of the consumer side of the lines have skyrocketed since dial-up, even more than a hundredfold, yet no provider, anywhere in the world, has actually done the same with his own lines (city to city, international etc.) and I don't know if its even possible to do so economically. So people are mostly limited to about the same total line capacity of the dial-up days, that's it.

(there's your paradox, you bloody dolt ;-) Oh wait...BLOODY DOLT)

The analogy with banks is so far the best one though, and I suppose
that this is a problem common with all sorts of "distributed" services or resources. OK, with toilets too.


Ralphis said:

Here in the land of the free we don't have to worry about your communist bandwidth limits


Don't worry, we got rid of them commies back in 1967.

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If everyone in the world pondered this very question and then sat down at their computers, and typed their thoughts onto a forum much like this one at exactly the same moment...

The concept of making money kinda interests me (No pun intended.) The way that banks can turn $1 of "real money" (at 20% fractional reserve) into another $4 of money that doesn't actually exist is remarkable. And then they invest this non existent money and make real money from it.

If you have a $5000 credit limit on your credit card, chances are, that money doesn't even exist, but it is being traced through the system so the banks can keep track of it. And chances are pretty good that you are paying very real money in interest on it too.

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Kyka said:

If everyone in the world pondered this very question and then sat down at their computers, and typed their thoughts onto a forum much like this one at exactly the same moment...


What really gets on my nerves is how many people start using internet radio or even internet TV (not even the P2P kind) instead of regular radio or TV, and then complain if the sound/video breaks up or if they can't warez stuff at the same time.

Heh, try and explain to them why they can all use a TV at the same time, but not Internet TV at the same time, even if their line's potential speed is already maxed out.

The whole infrastructure just isn't up to this kind of mass usage, and especially those services will soon bring any server-client architecture to a grinding halt.

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Kyka said:

Stuff about banks


What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?

-Bertolt Brecht

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Kyka said:

The concept of making money kinda interests me (No pun intended.) The way that banks can turn $1 of "real money" (at 20% fractional reserve) into another $4 of money that doesn't actually exist is remarkable. And then they invest this non existent money and make real money from it.

You can blame the government for that particular "smoke and mirrors" trick - allowing banks to extend lines of credit that aren't fully backed by depositor's funds, it's a good way to generate wealth when the economy's in good shape and a potential recipe for disaster in a recession. The asset backing for lines of credit is about 50% for Australian banks, 25% for US banks and 100% for Chinese banks - so you mightn't be suprised to learn that no Chinese banks are currently on the verge of collapse.

Maes said:

What really gets on my nerves is how many people start using internet radio or even internet TV (not even the P2P kind) instead of regular radio or TV, and then complain if the sound/video breaks up or if they can't warez stuff at the same time.

They probably expect Internet TV to have much the same carrying capacity as Cable TV - fools.

You're right about the infrastructure being inadequate given the demands placed on it - especially for streaming media. Having a whole lot of traffic routed around damaged submarine cables is probably also affecting communications in your neck of the woods.

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I think what they are advertising on the commercials is that you'll be able to surf the web at that speed if you're the only one in your neighborhood who uses that particular ISP.

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Maes said:

bloody dolt ;-)


Coming from the guy who apparently doesn't know if what he's saying is a paradox, then calling it a paradox anyway just because (and it's still not a paradox, it's just the fact that demand has risen to more than some companies can cope with OMG THAT IS DEFINITELY A LOGICAL CONTRADICTIONRIGHTTHEREoh no it isn't, sorry).

This thread is still a complete load of geek masturbation because They don't know things and They just assume things and what a load of fucking morons They are jesus christ thank god i am better than Them!

Give me a creaphis 3 page essay over this shite any day, at least it's interesting.

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Joe said:

flaming trolling bullshit


Yeah right. Enjoy your mod report, dork. Twat. Asshat. STFU and GTFO if the thread isn't to your liking.

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Damn Joe. You're gettin really defensive about this stuff. You should probably take a cold shower and lie down for a while.

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Maes said:

Yeah right. Enjoy your mod report, dork. Twat. Asshat. STFU and GTFO if the thread isn't to your liking.


Haha, nice.

Personally i find it insulting you classed me as a troll, you're implying that your opinion on matters is right and just because i disagree i'm trolling you. Pretty much confirms the pseudo-intellectual tag. Same thing with calling it bullshit. It seems pretty correct to me.

My posts were potentially flamey but not strictly intended as such, i merely disagreed with things you had said or implied, i only swore like 4 times (i toned it down), i don't see anything wrong with my arguments and i rewrote each of the posts a good couple of times as i reread and saw different angles and built in ripostes or decided to leave things alone because they had worth. Each joe post is lovingly crafted by master chocolatiers. The thread is not to my liking because it is boring and essentially masturbation. As a member of the forum i feel i have a right to express my opinion about threads, whether you like the opinion or not.

BTW i wouldn't have made a second post if you hadn't called me a dolt for saying there was no paradox when there actually was not a paradox. Calling me an idiot because i was right is pretty idiotic.

Maes said:

Damn Joe. You're gettin really defensive about this stuff. You should probably take a cold shower and lie down for a while.


I thought i was on the offensive personally. If you really want to see a rage filled post have a look at the one where i called you a lying moron for taking back your phone like a moron and then lying about it.

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Joe said:

Surprisingly well-written post


OK, I see where you are coming from. Still, given your ehm...posting patterns here on DW, I immediately classed this as a personal, trolling and flaming attack. If you feel that was not the case, my bad then.

However, I couldn't forget that in the old phone thread (if we're referring to the same thing) you openly admitted that you just lurk and occasionally lash out when you spot someone you consider an easy prey/lulz cow/flame bait to pick on. How do you think anyone would react to your "lovingly crafted posts" then?

I concede that this thread is different though, and yeah, I didn't manage to get my point across.

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Joe said:

Give me a creaphis 3 page essay over this shite any day, at least it's interesting.


Hey, glad you like 'em!

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Here's the real reason we haven't seen a CreaphisRant(tm) recently...

Maes said:

The whole infrastructure just isn't up to this kind of mass usage...

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PhilibusMo said:

If everyone in the world simultaneously took a dump and flushed it down the toilet (where those facilitys even exist) then I doubt the sewage networks could handle it and whole countries would be flooded with excrament. Works the same as your dialup/broadband conundrum.

When you were in school. did you ever flush all the toilets in a bathroom at once to see what happens?

Actually I remember flushing all but one would have an effect on the remaining one.

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GreyGhost said:

I've not seen many lately - have you broken your keyboard?


Nope, everything's in working order. I suppose nothing's pushed my buttons lately. But don't worry, something always does.

Or rather, do worry.

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Joe said:

I thought i was on the offensive personally. If you really want to see a rage filled post have a look at the one where i called you a lying moron for taking back your phone like a moron and then lying about it.

Joe, you quoted the wrong guy there.

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I thought he was referring to that old iPhone thread...which is the only other occasion I ever clashed with him. Too lazy to search it through nearly two years worth of post hell.

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Maes said:

Joe, you quoted the wrong guy there.


I would never do that.

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Maes, if it's ever any consolation, you should read into what happened after the last episode of M*A*S*H.

(ok, it's an urban legend, but still a funny read)

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Maes,
I don't know where you get 24Mb for about $20. My 3Mb DSL is $20/mo for the first 6 months, $30 thereafter.

Those I know with cable, at 7Mb, are paying about $50/mo.
As for 10Mb FiOS (Verizon), I think I read it's about $80/mo.

Still, my 3Mb speed is about identical to the 7Mb my family gets. The only real difference is big files.

(I calculate I average about 2.6Mb.)

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