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George Orellana

AT&T's Bandwidth cap, will it impact the time you spend on SL?

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Sorry if this has already been discussed, but I am curious to find out what everyone out there thinks. In May 2nd, AT&T will start imposing a bandwidth usage cap of 150GB per month per household. So I am first curious if anybody out there has ever done any research and calculated how much bandwidth SL uses per hour under certain conditions (i.e.. 300 draw distance, 1500mb bandwidth, and logged in time spent exploring). If you have done such experiments I would love to hear about your findings.

I know many people who keep their avatars logged in 24/7 even if they are not at the screen, will this cap, impact the time you spend logged in to SL? How many hours do you spend in SL?

I am assuming our European friends have more experience on this matter as it is common for their ISPs to have such limits, but for us in the US we have for the most part enjoyed unlimited internet access for quite some time. So how have you, if you are in Europe dealt with bandwidth cap issues? How much time do you spend on SL?

Would love to hear everyone's input.

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George Orellana wrote:

I am assuming our European friends have more experience on this matter as it is common for their ISPs to have such limits, but for us in the US we have for the most part enjoyed unlimited internet access for quite some time. So how have you, if you are in Europe dealt with bandwidth cap issues? How much time do you spend on SL?

Would love to hear everyone's input.

 

As Phil says, it's actually relatively rare for capping in the UK (not sure about the rest of Europe though). There are some ISPs in the UK who have limits, expecially on the cheaper packages.

What's the competition like for ISPs in the U.S.?

That's one good thing about ISPs in the UK - there is a ton of choice and if you are not happy with your ISP there are plenty more to switch to. 

I'm with Virgin Media in the UK myself simply because they have a fibre optic cable network. I pay a bit more for it, but it beats ADSL any day of the week and I'd recommend anyone to go with cable if they have the choice. BT are slowly rolling out their own fibre optic network (finally!) but I lost all patience with BT years ago and am much, much happier with Virgin Media. Who, incidentally, do have a cap of sorts. Not a set limit though. They just throttle back the very highest bandwidth users at peak time - which is basically the extrem P2P file shares who deserve to be throttled back in my opinion! Using SL regularly wouldn't see you throttled at all though. I've never had any problems with VM and I'm a fairly heavy internet user.

Anyway - I'm not sure if any of that helps the situation for U.S. AT&T users. :smileyvery-happy: All i can say is that if fibre optic cable is an option for you in the U.S. at an affordable price you should definitely consider it.

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ISPs here in some states have a monopoly. For example here in my neighborhood the only option is AT&T and the only way to get around it is to move to another area.

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In the US it's standard to have only one provider option for broadband.... 2 if your in a larger city,  maybe 3 if you want count cell service broadband (which has been crap in every market here I've seen, so I DON'T count it).....

the really lucky one are the one in areas with FIOS, no matter who runs it, because I've heard nothing but good campared to the other services.

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well from a uk Virgin media customer Ill give you how things are with me 

 Apparently they have started throttling SL bandwidth as a p2p downloading program.  

The net just takes over 15 mins for me to rez in game and cant walk around any more **Only uploaded images may be used in postings**://secondlife.i.lithium.com/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif" border="0" alt=":smileysad:" title="Smiley Sad" /> Web pages take several mins to load with SL or firestorm running as the net is running so slow.

 Speed comes back up after the Viewer crashes tho still slower than before xmas SL was fine up till xmas too 

Not sure whats really wrong but unplayable at moment 

 

I know I posted most of this under the " is SL slower lately " thread but worried this is the shape of things to come :(

 

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I am with BT, it is unlimited, I think you get what you pay for, virgin is a lot of talk but gives the min, I know that members of my family that have virgin have nothing but problems, I have my broadband and web sites with BT, they are very good and I get a personal service over the phone and to date they have sorted any problems in a matter of hours.

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I am with Virgin, I stay logged into SL most days with multiple accounts and am OCD about monitoring my upload and download speeds. As a result of this I can tell you that Virgin Media have not started throttling bandwidth for connections to SL at least not in my area and normally their policies are rolled out nationwide so you should be the same.

If you are on a low connection speed like 2MB and stream allot of media or just use a lot of bandwidth you may be being penalised under Virgins Traffic Management Policy, this is not just designed to throttle P2P users and filesharers but anyone that uses more than their fair share of bandwidth during office hours and peak hours. Here is a more info on the Traffic Policy as well as a useful chart that basically tells you the optimal hours for downloading large files. I've found if you start downloading about 11pm and switch off at 7am you retain your speed and don't get penalized at all. You can get away with downloading hundreds of GB's overnight, they don;t seem to care. All legitimate and above board files of course.

If you are on at least a 10MB connection you should be able to stay in SL all day, and browse the net and stream some vid files without being penalised for over usage. You should phone up and complain if you can't. 

ETA I did have allot of problems will SL slowing down last weekend, but I am 99% sure that was a server side issue as my connection was perfect when tested in other multiple experiments. That problem seems to have been fixed since Monday.

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I'm trying to use it after 1 am just opening this window took 10 mins :( not useing filesharing either haven't for months

Sadly I think its time to go back to the free account till its better :( I really liked my house too  will give it another week or two and hope for the best

 

 

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I have verizon fios and a bandwidth cap would seriously hinder my life, I think. We do everything online these days, from watching tv and movies to hanging in SL and other virtual places. There are probably only a couple hours per day that a computer in my house is not logged in somewhere online.  I hope bandwidth capping does not become a trend, but it does seem inevitable.

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What package do you have with VirginMedia ?

i have 10 Mb with unlimited usage, cable TV and a Phone Land line for £33 p/mth....no problems with any of the services. I could add a Mobile phone to the package.

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there was another thread around here where i had given a pretty detailed look at what it would take to use up your bandwith..i have at&t also..

i've never hit my cap yet and nothing has changed for us..

i've had u-veres for little over a year now..

if i can find the post  i'll put it in this thread...

 

ETA: KK found the post..i'll just paste it here..

i was curious about that thread myself..i remember at the time they had not set bandwith limits on my u-verse..

but it's gone into action now..i'm on the 250 Gb pack per month..

i'm in the FAQ's right now on their site..there is no way i would ever reach a 250 GB limit in one billing period with my use..

let me see if i can just copy and paste their example of what all we could do in one month hehehe

How much do I get with 150 or 250 GB?
You can do a lot with 150 or 250 GB. Here is an example.
============================================================
 Monthly Activity     

150 GB                       250 GB

10,000 emails           10,000 emails

 -and-                           -and-

Download/upload a medium resolution photo to social media site like Facebook     

2,000 photos             2,000 photos
-and-                            -and-


MP3 Songs downloaded     

1,000 songs         1,000 songs
-and-                            -and-

Stream a one-minute YouTube video (standard quality)     

1,000 views          1,000 views
 -and-                          -and-

Watch hour-long TV Shows (high quality)     

75 shows               100 shows
 -and -                         -and -     
    
Stream full length movies

(Standard Definition: SD; High Definition: HD)   

 50 SD or 25 HD movies     100 SD or 50 HD movies

=================================================

Usage examples are estimates based on typical file sizes and/or duration of file transfer or streaming event.

just some random things from their service i thought might be useful..

Will spending a lot of time on the Internet cause me to exceed my data plan?
Time alone is not the determining factor; it is the activity that matters. You could spend several hours reading emails, for example, and use less than 1 GB of data. You could spend 30 minutes downloading a movie, on the other hand, and use 2 GB of data. It is important to remember that it is what you are doing on the Internet, not how long you do it, that determines the amount of data that you use.

What will happen if I exceed my data plan?
You will receive a notice the first time your usage exceeds your data plan and will not be billed.

 

In the following months, we will send you additional notices any time your usage exceeds 65% and 90% of your data plan to help you track and manage your usage. The next time you exceed 150 GB you'll once again be notified, but will not be billed.

 

If you exceed your data plan in any subsequent billing period, we'll provide you with an additional 50 GB of data for $10. You'll be charged $10 for every incremental 50 GB of usage beyond your plan.

Importantly, if you do not receive a notice from AT&T, it means that you have not exceeded your data plan. In some cases, it may mean that we cannot measure your usage yet. Either way, you should not be concerned about your usage patterns for billing purposes.

 

I have an AT&T 3G MicroCell. Since that utilizes my home broadband network to boost my wireless data signal, does that mean my wireless usage also counts against my wired broadband monthly data plan?
No, the wireless traffic from your AT&T 3G MicroCell does not count toward your monthly home broadband plan. Please register your AT&T 3G MicroCell account and your residential AT&T Internet account at www.att.com/internet-usage-MicroCell to help ensure accurate Internet usage billing. If you have broadband service with another provider, you do not need to register your account.

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Chesso Greenwood wrote:

well from a uk Virgin media customer Ill give you how things are with me 

 Apparently they have started throttling SL bandwidth as a p2p downloading program.  

Throttling isn't capping. Virgin have throttled for a a few years, but there's never a download limit, which is what capping is.

I came across it when they first started to do it. The throttling back then was regular as clockwork. It started at a particular time in the evening (I think it was 7:30pm) and ended at a particular time later in the evening (11pm, I think). It was very obvious when it started, because the internet was suddenly almost unusable, and it was very obvious when it finished because the internet suddenly sprang back into normal life again. The period of the throttling was not the time when the download limit had been exceeded. The period of throttling was like a punishment for exceeding the limit during one or both of two particular periods earlier that day.

A couple of months after they started doing it, we got a letter from them, telling us all about it. I blame them for not telling us in advance of starting it, and for leaving it such a long time before they told us. That was *really* bad of them.

But it's not capping, which is what this thread is about. Capping is limiting the download quantity per period of time (per month, for instance), and no more unless you pay more. Throttling is limiting the speed but not the quantity.

Incidentally, throttling is directly corelated to bandwidth. The more bandwidth you pay for, the more you can download during certain periods of the day before you are flagged for throttling. After they told us what they were doing, and how it worked, I upped my bandwidth and I haven't seen throttling since.

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Suella Ember wrote:

 
 but I lost all patience with BT years ago and am much, much happier with Virgin Media. Who, incidentally, do have a cap of sorts. Not a set limit though. They just throttle back the very highest bandwidth users at peak time - which is basically the extrem P2P file shares who deserve to be throttled back in my opinion

Suella, yes Virgin have a throttle but it's not the P2P who are the only ones who meet it.

Families with internet connected TV's which make use of extensive streaming catch up services or services such as Netflix and Lovefilm are equally impacted and a LOT faster than you might assume.  It doesn't take much catch up TV or film usage to meet Virgin's throttle for those users on the low use plans such as the 20MBit service.

e.g.

 

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Not think its the xl or xxl service I have About £60 per month with tv :( Gonna have to reduce that if it doesn't work.

There have been rumours of a trial policy comming in to stop p2p and some online games Also a fifa football game apparently. Tho star trek online seems to still be fine.

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Chesso Greenwood wrote:

Happy Happy
:)
 Just tried and it now works again
:)
VM must have listened to all the complaints they were getting on their forums
:)
 so good to be able to walk around again
:)
 

I very much doubt that that is the reason. It was probably a technical issue.

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