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Thanks AT&T: A question about average SL bandwidth


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First a little disclaimer : If you haven't heard, for those in the states on AT&T home DSL services, starting in May, your bandwidth will be capped at 150GB/mo for DSL only and 250GB/mo for U-Verse (voice, internet & TV) services. For the DSL only accounts there will be a $10 charge for I believe every 1 or 2 GB overage.

Obviously if you are not in the States or not on AT&T this is not an issue for you. But if you are, as I am, you may feel that a sudden switch from no cap at all, to a cap that was described to me a few minutes ago as "sufficient for 60 hours of X-Box Live play" is in a word, troubling.

When I am on SL even now after a year and half away from constant play, and starting after 9pm even, I can still rack up 3-5 hours in world in one sitting without much trouble. In fact, I can and have been doing this within the boundaries of maybe 3 locations this week as I shopped and modernized my looks and tried out different viewers. You of course realize then that even if SL only generated the same bandwidth load as X-Box gaming, that represents less than half a month worth of bandwidth. And that doesn't include anything else I would be doing with my connectivity, such as uploading/downloading design files for web projects, remote access to work servers, Youtube, or even streaming from Shoutcast. It is in fact, a comically insufficient amount of bandwidth for anyone but the most rudimentary Facebook checking, e-mail checking, casually browsing users.

I would love to be disagreed with on that last opinion, so if you disagree, please give me what for. Loudly if at all possible. Also, and this was the impetus for the thread, is there any way to find out or guesstimate what the average bandwidth usage figures could be for an SL session over n hours of usage? Has anyone attempted to monitor such a thing before and if so, what have you found?

Thanks :womanmad:  <---- (mad at AT&T not you!)

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I have not got a notice about this!!!! If I had I would be very upset too! Do you have a link to this information?

ETA: Found it. Now I am Mad!!!!!!!!

Broadband Usage FAQs

Are there any usage limits for my broadband service?

Yes.  As of May 2, 2011, AT&T's residential DSL High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 150 Gigabytes ("GB") per month, and its residential U-verse High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 250 Gigabytes ("GB") per month.  The usage allowance is the amount of data you can send and receive each month.

 

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I dunno about HULU, but netflix can get pretty close =X

PS.

this is exactly how the larger companies are intending to do an end run around net neutrality.... they'll offer up capped services, but then won't count their own towards your cap, and still charge you the same obscene prices

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Actually, yes, I have figures for you, as I'm having to use pay-as-you-go broadband at the moment so every Mb costs.  The news is, generally, better than you'll be expecting.

First, a lpt of broadand companies cap monthly usage to 1GB for 'basic' users - that really is only for face-twits and emailers.  The next 'normal' step is 3GB and that's pretty much adequate for most internet users, but not really if you're streaming pron, er, YouTube, etc.  In practice few people would ever break a 5GB/month cap, including watching a few videos online.

... Trouble is, it all depends.  Some months I have a couple of GB of software updates to download, sometimes none at all.

SL specifics:  Most of the traffic between SL and your computer is texture downloads, in the other direction it's movements and clicks (so tiny).  Textures and other downloaded data are of course cached so if you're sitting at home (where everything has already rezzed) almost the only thing SL has to send you is timing information, animation updates (when your AO changes, for instance), info about anyone walking past/objects changing and chat.

If I'm doing that my bandwidth ticks over at around 50-70kbps (roughly dial-up speed) and in a 5 hour session I'll use about 60 - 70MB on average.  Doing that every day is roughly 2GB/month.  Treat this as the minimum you need to use SL.

... Trouble is, it all depends. You've just been shopping and changing clothes/skin/etc.  That means LOTS of new textures, object-information, sculpts, etc. that SL had to download each time you TP'd to a different sim.  That can easily quadruple your usage, but you're not likely to do that every day unless you're a serious explorer. (Or committed shopper, I suppose).   In practice though, 8GB/month would almost certainly be your upper limit for SL.

So - say 5GB for video-streaming and 8GB for SL = 13GB.  You're almost certainly safe with a 10th of the cap AT&T are introducing :-)

[i am building web sites and database, uploading and downloading those, using SL about 5 hours/day, using these fora for another 2 or 3 (they take a ridiculous amount of bandwidth because of all the 'pretties') but not using YouTube or other streaming.  When I'm in SL I'm mostly visiting the same 4 or 5 sims except when I'm sailing.  When I am I go through a lot of sims but there is comparatively little in them.  I had a 5GB/month limit but found it a bit too tight, so now I'm on 7.  It limits my web use a bit, but if something didn't I'd never get anything done in SL ^^]

Does that help?

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Keli Kyrie wrote:

I have not got a notice about this!!!! If I had I would be very upset too! Do you have a link to this information?

ETA: Found it. Now I am Mad!!!!!!!!

Broadband Usage FAQs

Are there any usage limits for my broadband service?

Yes.  As of May 2, 2011, AT&T's residential DSL High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 150 Gigabytes ("GB") per month, and its residential U-verse High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 250 Gigabytes ("GB") per month.  The usage allowance is the amount of data you can send and receive each month.

 

Ya, you see? This is guano. Only more so and said with a far angrier tone. I have to correct one thing I misstated though, which is that the overage charge is $10 per 50GB over, and takes effect after three warnings.

AT&T will be notifying users as they apprroach certain pre-determined milestone percentages of their total allotment. How nice of them. I think it's 60%, 75% and 90% before the over limit warning comes in.

For those who think you'd have to download a lot of stuff to get to that limit, consider what I said earlier. AT&T's own internal guidelines instruct their staff that the 150GB limit is roughly equivalent to 60 hours of X-Box Live gaming. Gaming, in other words, that more often than not will not have to download much of anything once level maps come down - a far cry from the Niagra Falls like onslaught to be expected with every new point of view in SL, and that doesn't even take streaming music or text into consideration.

Oh, and voice users? LOL (bittersweet endgame that it is for SLVoice via AT&T)

So, for relatively simplistic X-Box gaming without near constant 3D geometry to download plus the rest, you'd be looking at 12 five hour gaming sessions a month. And then your bandwidth is tapped out. Without a single additional e-mail message sent or delivered all month.

This is seriously enough for me to dump my 6Mbps connection with AT&T and move down to 3Mbps. I'm already paying $48/mo. for what I have and this pretty much guarantees I just got a hike to $58/mo. I don't see where I should reward AT&T for this, so I might have to go down to $19.95 or $29.95 a month and then it'll take me 300GB/mo usage to get back to what they're trying to charge me.

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FWIW: I ran Verizon DSL side-by-side with Time-Warner Cable for just over 3 years. The entire household used the cable connection, while I dedicated the DSL to my work computer.

During the course of that testing, access speeds and up-time were significantly worse for DSL than for cable. Even though total bandwidth (owing to 8+ computers using it nearly full-time) was much higher on cable, the DSL ran slower than cable for straight web page retrievals .. constantly. No to mention I could count on DSL going down frequently while cable would only go down rarely. (Usually when the cretin up the block tried to steal cable TV and "pinned" the main trunk.)

If you have access to cable, I strongly suggest you go that way. Then get Vonage for your phone service (or go with the cable companies offering) and pick up their TV packages too. Overall you will get higher bandwidth, reliability, and no caps. (today .. *gulps*)

PS: My experience above is only with Time-Warner. Comcast cable has a decidedly poorer reputation IMHO.

PPS: The Verizon DSL plus one phone line cost about 55% of the entire cable bill .. and the cable bill included internet, phone and deluxe TV (but no premium channels like HBO etc.)

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Dilbert Dilweg wrote:

@
Lol I am only playin around.. Don't mind me lol;

Wasn't Comcast flirting with capped services a couple years ago? Not sure if they finalized it or went thru with it

Just glad I am not in that boat

Why not go with Cable Internet? I guess not available in your area?

 

Comcast is already capped at 250GB/mo. The only ones who aren't capped is Time Warner Cable with their RoadRunner service. RoadRunner is garbage. I have it now, after having just left AT&T less than a month ago because I moved and they were going to take 3 weeks to activate my DSL when they didn't even have to come to my house.

I'm paying $46/mo to TWC for supposedly up to 15Mbps bandwidth. To date, I have never Speedtested over 10, and I average around 4.5-5. Downloading Singularity viewer the other night, I was getting 43Kbps. Dialup speed.

Cable is only worth it when nobody is home. Anywhere in the area. It's shared bandwidth, and since most people are home using the internet at the same time their neighbors are surfing and watching cable TV, the bandwidth rate plummets.

So I come back to AT&T, and am welcomed with this.

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Kascha Matova wrote:

Comcast is already capped at 250GB/mo. The only ones who aren't capped is Time Warner Cable with their RoadRunner service. RoadRunner is garbage. I have it now, after having just left AT&T less than a month ago because I moved and they were going to take 3 weeks to activate my DSL when they didn't even have to come to my house.

I'm paying $46/mo to TWC for supposedly up to 15Mbps bandwidth. To date, I have never Speedtested over 10, and I average around 4.5-5. Downloading Singularity viewer the other night, I was getting 43Kbps. Dialup speed.

Cable is only worth it when nobody is home. Anywhere in the area. It's shared bandwidth, and since most people are home using the internet at the same time their neighbors are surfing and watching cable TV, the bandwidth rate plummets.

So I come back to AT&T, and am welcomed with this.

 

Ooohhh .. ouch! Have their techs come out and run a line signal / balance test on your "POP" (the little box on the back of your house where their cable connects to your cable line inside). They will want to run a remote test first. Let them, then once they tell you the numbers are okay .. tell them "BS!" and demand a tech come out personally.

They will grump and groan .. and send one eventually. Pray it's a guy with an empty tummy, and give him cookies. You'll get good speed by the time he leaves.

(Serious! Works for me everytime!)

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Incidentally, for anyone in the UK facing the same questions go Sky (yes they do broadband too).  They're the only company offering "truly unlimited" usage because, according to them, "we worked out what people were asking for in our market research and decided that if they really wanted to stream and download that much video they'd never have time to watch it".

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PeterCanessa Oh wrote:

Actually, yes, I have figures for you, as I'm having to use pay-as-you-go broadband at the moment so every Mb costs.  The news is, generally, better than you'll be expecting.

First, a lpt of broadand companies cap monthly usage to 1GB for 'basic' users - that really is only for face-twits and emailers.  The next 'normal' step is 3GB and that's pretty much adequate for most internet users, but not really if you're streaming pron, er, YouTube, etc.  In practice few people would ever break a 5GB/month cap, including watching a few videos online.

... Trouble is,
it all depends
.  Some months I have a couple of GB of software updates to download, sometimes none at all.

SL specifics:  Most of the traffic between SL and your computer is texture downloads, in the other direction it's movements and clicks (so tiny).  Textures and other downloaded data are of course cached so if you're sitting at home (where everything has already rezzed) almost the only thing SL has to send you is timing information, animation updates (when your AO changes, for instance), info about anyone walking past/objects changing and chat.

If I'm doing that my bandwidth ticks over at around 50-70kbps (roughly dial-up speed) and in a 5 hour session I'll use about 60 - 70MB on average.  Doing that every day is roughly 2GB/month.  Treat this as the minimum you need to use SL.

... Trouble is,
it all depends
. You've just been shopping and changing clothes/skin/etc.  That means LOTS of new textures, object-information, sculpts, etc. that SL had to download each time you TP'd to a different sim.  That can easily quadruple your usage, but you're not likely to do that every day unless you're a serious explorer. (Or committed shopper, I suppose).   In practice though, 8GB/month would almost certainly be your upper limit for SL.

So - say 5GB for video-streaming and 8GB for SL = 13GB.  You're almost certainly safe with a 10th of the cap AT&T are introducing :-)

[i am building web sites and database, uploading and downloading those, using SL about 5 hours/day, using these fora for another 2 or 3 (they take a ridiculous amount of bandwidth because of all the 'pretties') but not using YouTube or other streaming.  When I'm in SL I'm mostly visiting the same 4 or 5 sims except when I'm sailing.  When I am I go through a lot of sims but there is comparatively little in them.  I had a 5GB/month limit but found it a bit too tight, so now I'm on 7.  It limits my web use a bit, but if something didn't I'd never get anything done in SL ^^]

Does that help?

Really??

/EXHALE

Yes it does help! I look at how much stuff gets transferred in a session and I simply can't imagine it would be that small an amount. I guess it really would take an enormous amount of additional services to get to 150GB with your figures. Although I do listen to streaming music, including stations like Deepmix Moscow Radio that play music in 45 minute to 1 hour blocks with one file per block, and those files are averaging around 60-80MB each. I guess the only way to know for sure is to operate as normal and see what happens. Maybe it costs $10 to find out it will be a problem, but that's not fatal I guess.

I guess my real problem with caps is that it penalizes the user for stuff that is not their fault.  Everyone else has to pay for the heaviest 2% of users - subsidizing their accounts. Caps also penalize users for things like junk mail. I've got 16 different e-mail addresses between work, home business, and personal and they all get bombarded with junk. With caps, even junk messages are legitimate messages, because they cost just as much to receive.

I hate that.

Thanks for this breakdown of your finding though. At least I have that to say maybe I could end up way off on this and with nothing to worry about! :womanhappy:

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

FWIW: I ran Verizon DSL side-by-side with Time-Warner Cable for just over 3 years. The entire household used the cable connection, while I dedicated the DSL to my work computer.

During the course of that testing, access speeds and up-time were significantly worse for DSL than for cable. Even though total bandwidth (owing to 8+ computers using it nearly full-time) was much higher on cable, the DSL ran slower than cable for straight web page retrievals .. constantly. No to mention I could count on DSL going down frequently while cable would only go down rarely. (Usually when the cretin up the block tried to steal cable TV and "pinned" the main trunk.)

If you have access to cable, I strongly suggest you go that way. Then get Vonage for your phone service (or go with the cable companies offering) and pick up their TV packages too. Overall you will get higher bandwidth, reliability, and no caps. (today .. *gulps*)

PS: My experience above is only with Time-Warner. Comcast cable has a decidedly poorer reputation IMHO.

PPS: The Verizon DSL plus one phone line cost about 55% of the entire cable bill .. and the cable bill included internet, phone and deluxe TV (but no premium channels like HBO etc.)

The DSL I have re-ordered is the same thing I had a month ago, but with no phone service attached. I am on Vonage right now actually so I don't even need a landline account, and I would have dumped it long ago if the rep from AT&T I talked to had told me the truth, which is that I did NOT actually have to accept 3Mbps on DSL only, because the 6Mbps I had was available DSL-only.

I don't know about Verizon, because I don't live in either of the two apartments in my state (sarcasm = not so much) where Verizon actually lists itself as available. But AT&T almost never went down in 5+ years of operation, was of course never subject to community usage increases so bandwidth never swung wildly up and down, and according to Speedtest, literally ripped the doors off of the Roadrunner figures I am getting. In fact, if I had seen the numbers on DSL that I am seeing now on TWC, I would have lived on the AT&T support lines.

I had one amazing blast of cable superiority last night late, where it registered 18Mbps for two of three consecutive tests. 20 minutes later it was back down to 4.5Mbps. No can do, unless my monthly charge is going to do the same thing!

This is actually not the first time I've had RoadRunner either. I had it a couple of years ago, and just like now, I dumped it and went back to DSL for the same reasons. I just forgot that I had, and I needed connectivity on move week. Not 3 weeks later like AT&T was telling me.

I won't go through cable for TV. I am an avid football fan like my brothers are (my one tomboyish vice - well that and motorcycles) and if I were to let go of DirecTV and Sunday Ticket my family might actually disown me. Or just never come over. Wait, what's that cancellation hotline number again?

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Kascha Matova wrote:

I look at how much stuff gets transferred in a session and I simply can't imagine it would be that small an amount. I guess it really would take an enormous amount of additional services to get to 150GB with your figures.

I used to LIVE on SL constantly (sometimes up to like 10hrs a day at one point.. Shopping! Dancing! Music!), as well as places like youtube and whatnot. Fortunately I don't have capped internet (I'm on Charter), but unless one is downloading and saving lots of full-length HD videos to your harddrive then there's almost no chance one could accidentally move over 150gigs of data. That cap really only affects those who are serial torrent freaks, literally spending all day trading huge amounts of data.

 

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No matter if you get anywhere close to 150 GB per month right now, who knows what the future holds? Actually, I do: ever more bandwidth hungry services, games, and virtual world platforms.

When SL's successor comes along (my money is on Google btw), it is bound to use more bandwidth, not less. AT&T customers need to vote with their wallets and take their business elsewhere. All it takes is one or two companies getting away with this nonsense, and other ISPs will soon follow.

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Kascha Matova wrote in part:

I'm paying $46/mo to TWC for supposedly up to 15Mbps bandwidth. To date, I have never Speedtested over 10, and I average around 4.5-5. Downloading Singularity viewer the other night, I was getting 43Kbps. Dialup speed.

I'd happily pay that for a 4-5 Mbps connection. Where I live, I can't get faster DSL than 1.5 Mbps, and cable is not an option. The only alternative is a mobile UMTS / 3G+ connection with effectively 2-3 Mbps, but that's capped at 2GB per month. Luckily, an 1.5 Mbps connection is still fast enough for SL, but I can't download anything in the background at the same time.

As for the 43 Kbps download speed, that's probably a bandwidth limitation on the server side.

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Dana Hickman wrote:

 

Kascha Matova wrote:

I look at how much stuff gets transferred in a session and I simply can't imagine it would be that small an amount. I guess it really would take an enormous amount of additional services to get to 150GB with your figures.

I used to LIVE on SL constantly (sometimes up to like 10hrs a day at one point.. Shopping! Dancing! Music!), as well as places like youtube and whatnot. Fortunately I don't have capped internet (I'm on Charter), but unless one is downloading and saving lots of full-length HD videos to your harddrive then there's almost no chance one could accidentally move over 150gigs of data. That cap really only affects those who are serial torrent freaks, literally spending all day trading
huge
amounts of data.

 

 

Hmmm?

Huh? Uhh huh...

Ugh...sorry. I just got finished (finally) watching Black Swan and I'm still floating on the magnificence of it, and your gorgeous dancing avie is not exactly helping me make my descent from the clouds. :womanhappy:

The more I think about it, the more I believe you are right. If I had to guess what my heaviest demands would be it would probably be game installs bought in downloadable format, music purchases and recording, streaming music, and stuff like that. I'm not really a Youtube junkie although I do watch music and other videos from time to time and I still do manage to spend most of my time in First Life. I probably have nothing to worry about, but as Ishtara said, the reality of the internet will change, so only The Goddess knows what bandwidth demands the future will hold. Maybe by the year 3000 FIOS will make it to one more house in my state, for a total of three. And that third house will be mine. Or at least it'll be the house I haunt.

That still counts doesn't it? Congratulations! FIOS is available in your urn!

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Kascha Matova wrote:

...If you haven't heard, for those in the states on AT&T home DSL services, starting in May, your bandwidth will be capped at 150GB/mo for DSL only and 250GB/mo for U-Verse (voice, internet & TV) services...


150 or 250 GB/month?!?!?! Most ISP's in the UK consider themselves generous if they allow users 40GB of heavily throttled bandwidth per month. At least your ISP's recognise that people actually use their internet connections. Here people are expected to pay for but not use their internet connection.

 

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Alazarin Mondrian wrote:

 

Kascha Matova wrote:

...If you haven't heard, for those in the states on AT&T home DSL services, starting in May, your bandwidth will be capped at 150GB/mo for DSL only and 250GB/mo for U-Verse (voice, internet & TV) services...


150 or 250 GB/month?!?!?! Most ISP's in the UK consider themselves generous if they allow users 40GB of heavily throttled bandwidth per month. At least your ISP's recognise that people actually use their internet connections. Here people are expected to pay for but not use their internet connection.

 

 

Granted that is a higher limit than in many other places, but I think some are missing the point here. This was a cap-free service. There is a bit of a system shock , as well as a big difference when something you choose to limit yourself becomes something someone else is going to impose their limits on whether you like it or not.

I don't like people forcing their limitations on me when everything is free. I certainly don't like it when I'm paying them.

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Kascha Matova wrote:


Dilbert Dilweg wrote:

@
Lol I am only playin around.. Don't mind me lol;

Wasn't Comcast flirting with capped services a couple years ago? Not sure if they finalized it or went thru with it

Just glad I am not in that boat

Why not go with Cable Internet? I guess not available in your area?

 

Cable is only worth it when nobody is home. Anywhere in the area. It's shared bandwidth, and since most people are home using the internet at the same time their neighbors are surfing and watching cable TV, the bandwidth rate plummets.



Lol I have never once seen my bandwidth get weak on any cable system I used because people came home to use the service.. That is a silly myth

 

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Wow, that's seriously messed up. I have Cox Cable and consistently get 28Mbps when I test. Something had to have been wrong.

I used to have DSL through AT&T and, let me tell you, once I got cable there was a noticeable improvement in speed. That plus it hardly ever goes out, like my DSL was always doing. I don't think I'd ever go back unless I was forced.

...Dres

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