smoketetsuo: (ValveConcept)
Tux Born to Frag Wallpaper Linux Real Guns Are Bad
This entry was prompted by this tweet and this article that was linked from said tweet as well as discussions I've had on PC Gamer previously on a couple of different occasions. It seems to me that some conclusions are naturally being jumped to even by some software "industry" big wigs such as Mr. Stallman. 


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smoketetsuo: (cute kitty)
I've commented on this quite a bit on a friend's journal. But having done that and also having read comments from others and having some extra knowledge in general I figure I would make a post out of it as well. Recently comcast has made official that they have a 250GB a month cap.

First to put this into perspective. A few of my readers may remember that I was talking about this sort of thing a while back when I was talking about the state of broadband in rural areas. I talked about a few alternatives and how they impose such restrictions. Examples are most wireless internet services such as sattelite and cellular. It varies from company to company but most of those impose bandwidth caps. When I was on Wild Blue I had to put up with a 16GB a month cap. But it wasn't as simple as that. It was a rolling cap and you start getting warned when you hit 80% of it which actually turns out to be 13GB. A rolling cap means you don't get a fresh start each month. So if you for example download 1GB on day one it wont get "rolled off" until day 31. Same thing for the next day and so on and so forth.

Other cable companies such as Cox also have restrictions placed on their internet service. According to that page the "Premier" account has a 60GB downstream; 15GB upstream limitation a month. I don't know if they enforce it.. some ISPs have one but they don't enforce it. Upon further reading it seems they have that in place simply so that they can encourage people to move up to a higher account. Comcast had 200GB unoffically before but I don't know if they enforced it as I don't think I have ever hit it. Some companies have caps but they also have accounts that are unlimited. WiMax for example has this. Other ISPs like mine don't have a limit but they reserve the right to terminate your connection if you are putting such a load on their system that it interferes with everyone else's service.

Back in the day with dialup they used to charge people by the minute and people used to get disconnected a lot because they had restrictions on how much time you could be on in a single session. I've also caught wind that in europe and other places people have to put up with bandwidth caps such as 20GB a month or less.

So far no DSL company in the USA has such restrictions that I know of (I suggest reading the terms of service for your ISP.. I have) or plans on making them. Of course that may not stop people from worrying but at least for the time being that's the case. It seems to me that the cable companies in the US are doing this because they don't want online video to compete with their cable TV offerings.

However, even though Cable is doing this it doesn't automatically follow that others will. Again DSL in the US doesn't. An SBC (now AT&T) DSL representative has been quoted as saying that his company did not see heavy file-swapping activity as "a problem to be resolved." That and slowly but surely alternatives are being rolled out such as FiOS (fiber opic on site) which doesn't have such restrictions. Unfortunately it isn't yet in a lot of areas like mine. However, some groups of people in certain communities are getting together and forming their own ISPs such as La Cañada.

It's also possible to do this yourself and certain companies like speakeasy have programs specifically for this purpose. If you get enough people together to cover the cost you can lease a T1 line and share it with them. I was wondering about this before and I found that it's actually a viable thing that people have done such as that community I liked to above. It's just like Municipal COOP utilities. That's if push comes to shove. The internet isn't just a single entity so no single company can control it.
smoketetsuo: (Default)
I've commented on this quite a bit on a friend's journal. But having done that and also having read comments from others and having some extra knowledge in general I figure I would make a post out of it as well. Recently comcast has made official that they have a 250GB a month cap.

First to put this into perspective. A few of my readers may remember that I was talking about this sort of thing a while back when I was talking about the state of broadband in rural areas. I talked about a few alternatives and how they impose such restrictions. Examples are most wireless internet services such as sattelite and cellular. It varies from company to company but most of those impose bandwidth caps. When I was on Wild Blue I had to put up with a 16GB a month cap. But it wasn't as simple as that. It was a rolling cap and you start getting warned when you hit 80% of it which actually turns out to be 13GB. A rolling cap means you don't get a fresh start each month. So if you for example download 1GB on day one it wont get "rolled off" until day 31. Same thing for the next day and so on and so forth.

Other cable companies such as Cox also have restrictions placed on their internet service. According to that page the "Premier" account has a 60GB downstream; 15GB upstream limitation a month. I don't know if they enforce it.. some ISPs have one but they don't enforce it. Upon further reading it seems they have that in place simply so that they can encourage people to move up to a higher account. Comcast had 200GB unoffically before but I don't know if they enforced it as I don't think I have ever hit it. Some companies have caps but they also have accounts that are unlimited. WiMax for example has this. Other ISPs like mine don't have a limit but they reserve the right to terminate your connection if you are putting such a load on their system that it interferes with everyone else's service.

Back in the day with dialup they used to charge people by the minute and people used to get disconnected a lot because they had restrictions on how much time you could be on in a single session. I've also caught wind that in europe and other places people have to put up with bandwidth caps such as 20GB a month or less.

So far no DSL company in the USA has such restrictions that I know of (I suggest reading the terms of service for your ISP.. I have) or plans on making them. Of course that may not stop people from worrying but at least for the time being that's the case. It seems to me that the cable companies in the US are doing this because they don't want online video to compete with their cable TV offerings.

However, even though Cable is doing this it doesn't automatically follow that others will. Again DSL in the US doesn't. An SBC (now AT&T) DSL representative has been quoted as saying that his company did not see heavy file-swapping activity as "a problem to be resolved." That and slowly but surely alternatives are being rolled out such as FiOS (fiber opic on site) which doesn't have such restrictions. Unfortunately it isn't yet in a lot of areas like mine. However, some groups of people in certain communities are getting together and forming their own ISPs such as La Cañada.

It's also possible to do this yourself and certain companies like speakeasy have programs specifically for this purpose. If you get enough people together to cover the cost you can lease a T1 line and share it with them. I was wondering about this before and I found that it's actually a viable thing that people have done such as that community I liked to above. It's just like Municipal COOP utilities. That's if push comes to shove. The internet isn't just a single entity so no single company can control it.
smoketetsuo: (cute kitty)
I've commented on this quite a bit on a friend's journal. But having done that and also having read comments from others and having some extra knowledge in general I figure I would make a post out of it as well. Recently comcast has made official that they have a 250GB a month cap.

First to put this into perspective. A few of my readers may remember that I was talking about this sort of thing a while back when I was talking about the state of broadband in rural areas. I talked about a few alternatives and how they impose such restrictions. Examples are most wireless internet services such as sattelite and cellular. It varies from company to company but most of those impose bandwidth caps. When I was on Wild Blue I had to put up with a 16GB a month cap. But it wasn't as simple as that. It was a rolling cap and you start getting warned when you hit 80% of it which actually turns out to be 13GB. A rolling cap means you don't get a fresh start each month. So if you for example download 1GB on day one it wont get "rolled off" until day 31. Same thing for the next day and so on and so forth.

Other cable companies such as Cox also have restrictions placed on their internet service. According to that page the "Premier" account has a 60GB downstream; 15GB upstream limitation a month. I don't know if they enforce it.. some ISPs have one but they don't enforce it. Upon further reading it seems they have that in place simply so that they can encourage people to move up to a higher account. Comcast had 200GB unoffically before but I don't know if they enforced it as I don't think I have ever hit it. Some companies have caps but they also have accounts that are unlimited. WiMax for example has this. Other ISPs like mine don't have a limit but they reserve the right to terminate your connection if you are putting such a load on their system that it interferes with everyone else's service.

Back in the day with dialup they used to charge people by the minute and people used to get disconnected a lot because they had restrictions on how much time you could be on in a single session. I've also caught wind that in europe and other places people have to put up with bandwidth caps such as 20GB a month or less.

So far no DSL company in the USA has such restrictions that I know of (I suggest reading the terms of service for your ISP.. I have) or plans on making them. Of course that may not stop people from worrying but at least for the time being that's the case. It seems to me that the cable companies in the US are doing this because they don't want online video to compete with their cable TV offerings.

However, even though Cable is doing this it doesn't automatically follow that others will. Again DSL in the US doesn't. An SBC (now AT&T) DSL representative has been quoted as saying that his company did not see heavy file-swapping activity as "a problem to be resolved." That and slowly but surely alternatives are being rolled out such as FiOS (fiber opic on site) which doesn't have such restrictions. Unfortunately it isn't yet in a lot of areas like mine. However, some groups of people in certain communities are getting together and forming their own ISPs such as La Cañada.

It's also possible to do this yourself and certain companies like speakeasy have programs specifically for this purpose. If you get enough people together to cover the cost you can lease a T1 line and share it with them. I was wondering about this before and I found that it's actually a viable thing that people have done such as that community I liked to above. It's just like Municipal COOP utilities. That's if push comes to shove. The internet isn't just a single entity so no single company can control it.
smoketetsuo: (Default)
One thing that sucks about living in a rural area such as the one I live at is lack of broadband options. Here the two major options are either satellite, or a local WISP. The problem with those two are one is restrictive than the next. For example these are the options available to me (comparing the equivalent packages to the one I am using)Details Inside )

That's why I support the idea of bringing more types of broadband services online. I've heard of Broadband over Powerline, using "White Spaces" (unused channels) in the TV spectrum for broadband internet. Some people question the need to have more broadband services since you can get services like DSL but that's not the point. Lots of people don't have options including a lot of the options I listed that are available to me for better or worse. Some people can only get either WildBlue or Hughes.

The only thing is there are things holding back certain types of broadband from becoming widespread for a while. Both BPL and TV "White Space" broadband are being held behind because certain people like HAM Radio operator and TV stations are concerned that they may cause interference with their operations. TV stations have a problem with it because for the TV one you'd have to run unlicensed broadcasting equipment. There's also one potential problem with using unused TV channels for broadband. A lot of people assume that since they can get a strong TV signal in a lot of places that means that would work great for internet. Here's the thing... TV stations (and radio stations) typically have to use HUGE antennae towers and a lot of power in order to broadcast that far and at that strength. So even if you can receive the signal that doesn't mean that you can send at the same strength. Maybe the same equipment that is used on their vans can be used but I'm no expert on that and I'm sure it's very expensive. I'd like to know how that would work out.

I'm hoping for WiMax to spread beyond just Albuquerque\Rio Rancho but who knows if they are in a hurry to do that. Their coverage map shows they cover practically the entire area of those two cities (they are actually more like one city). I'm actually starting to wonder if there's anything I could to do help bring it to Santa Fe.

I've heard of some people and getting others to chip in to pay for a T1 line and then share it wirelessly to their homes. I don't know what kind of red tape has to be gone through in order to do this though. They typically start at around $700+ dollars a month plus equipment... and then you have to round up enough people in your area to help pay for the T1 line. It's possible that some people around here are already doing that but you'd have to do a lot of asking around to find those private wireless networks and who knows if they'd accept you. The upside to this is the more people you get to sign up the bigger the line you can get. Although you'd probably be stuck doing support for those people.

The easiest thing for me may be to find housing in town and get back on Cable or DSL. But that's a ways off.. so for now I have to deal with having a 17GB a month rolling cap on my bandwidth.

Either way there are plenty of under-served areas that I would like to see better more affordable broadband be made accessible to.
smoketetsuo: (Default)
One thing that sucks about living in a rural area such as the one I live at is lack of broadband options. Here the two major options are either satellite, or a local WISP. The problem with those two are one is restrictive than the next. For example these are the options available to me (comparing the equivalent packages to the one I am using)Details Inside )

That's why I support the idea of bringing more types of broadband services online. I've heard of Broadband over Powerline, using "White Spaces" (unused channels) in the TV spectrum for broadband internet. Some people question the need to have more broadband services since you can get services like DSL but that's not the point. Lots of people don't have options including a lot of the options I listed that are available to me for better or worse. Some people can only get either WildBlue or Hughes.

The only thing is there are things holding back certain types of broadband from becoming widespread for a while. Both BPL and TV "White Space" broadband are being held behind because certain people like HAM Radio operator and TV stations are concerned that they may cause interference with their operations. TV stations have a problem with it because for the TV one you'd have to run unlicensed broadcasting equipment. There's also one potential problem with using unused TV channels for broadband. A lot of people assume that since they can get a strong TV signal in a lot of places that means that would work great for internet. Here's the thing... TV stations (and radio stations) typically have to use HUGE antennae towers and a lot of power in order to broadcast that far and at that strength. So even if you can receive the signal that doesn't mean that you can send at the same strength. Maybe the same equipment that is used on their vans can be used but I'm no expert on that and I'm sure it's very expensive. I'd like to know how that would work out.

I'm hoping for WiMax to spread beyond just Albuquerque\Rio Rancho but who knows if they are in a hurry to do that. Their coverage map shows they cover practically the entire area of those two cities (they are actually more like one city). I'm actually starting to wonder if there's anything I could to do help bring it to Santa Fe.

I've heard of some people and getting others to chip in to pay for a T1 line and then share it wirelessly to their homes. I don't know what kind of red tape has to be gone through in order to do this though. They typically start at around $700+ dollars a month plus equipment... and then you have to round up enough people in your area to help pay for the T1 line. It's possible that some people around here are already doing that but you'd have to do a lot of asking around to find those private wireless networks and who knows if they'd accept you. The upside to this is the more people you get to sign up the bigger the line you can get. Although you'd probably be stuck doing support for those people.

The easiest thing for me may be to find housing in town and get back on Cable or DSL. But that's a ways off.. so for now I have to deal with having a 17GB a month rolling cap on my bandwidth.

Either way there are plenty of under-served areas that I would like to see better more affordable broadband be made accessible to.
smoketetsuo: (Default)
One thing that sucks about living in a rural area such as the one I live at is lack of broadband options. Here the two major options are either satellite, or a local WISP. The problem with those two are one is restrictive than the next. For example these are the options available to me (comparing the equivalent packages to the one I am using)Details Inside )

That's why I support the idea of bringing more types of broadband services online. I've heard of Broadband over Powerline, using "White Spaces" (unused channels) in the TV spectrum for broadband internet. Some people question the need to have more broadband services since you can get services like DSL but that's not the point. Lots of people don't have options including a lot of the options I listed that are available to me for better or worse. Some people can only get either WildBlue or Hughes.

The only thing is there are things holding back certain types of broadband from becoming widespread for a while. Both BPL and TV "White Space" broadband are being held behind because certain people like HAM Radio operator and TV stations are concerned that they may cause interference with their operations. TV stations have a problem with it because for the TV one you'd have to run unlicensed broadcasting equipment. There's also one potential problem with using unused TV channels for broadband. A lot of people assume that since they can get a strong TV signal in a lot of places that means that would work great for internet. Here's the thing... TV stations (and radio stations) typically have to use HUGE antennae towers and a lot of power in order to broadcast that far and at that strength. So even if you can receive the signal that doesn't mean that you can send at the same strength. Maybe the same equipment that is used on their vans can be used but I'm no expert on that and I'm sure it's very expensive. I'd like to know how that would work out.

I'm hoping for WiMax to spread beyond just Albuquerque\Rio Rancho but who knows if they are in a hurry to do that. Their coverage map shows they cover practically the entire area of those two cities (they are actually more like one city). I'm actually starting to wonder if there's anything I could to do help bring it to Santa Fe.

I've heard of some people and getting others to chip in to pay for a T1 line and then share it wirelessly to their homes. I don't know what kind of red tape has to be gone through in order to do this though. They typically start at around $700+ dollars a month plus equipment... and then you have to round up enough people in your area to help pay for the T1 line. It's possible that some people around here are already doing that but you'd have to do a lot of asking around to find those private wireless networks and who knows if they'd accept you. The upside to this is the more people you get to sign up the bigger the line you can get. Although you'd probably be stuck doing support for those people.

The easiest thing for me may be to find housing in town and get back on Cable or DSL. But that's a ways off.. so for now I have to deal with having a 17GB a month rolling cap on my bandwidth.

Either way there are plenty of under-served areas that I would like to see better more affordable broadband be made accessible to.

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