Internet Service Provider’s are stealing us!

Passage of Time I
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Riebart

ISP are, like their name implies, Internet providers and shouldn’t charge for traffic that doesn’t reach the Internet!

Passage of Time I
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Riebart

First, lets limit this to ISP’s that offer plan that aren’t unlimited. Most of them have a monthly quota system in place. Usually, this quota is calculated just before their network reach your home.  This can be a big advantage to them as additional chattiness from local Internet protocols can quickly add up. If they were calculating quota at the outer edge of their network, only legitimate Internet traffic would be included.

Also, using your ISP’s local network shouldn’t count into your quota! Imagine your long distance phone company billing you for calling your neighbor! Imagine Pay toll booth on residential streets!

Here are some technical questions I’d like answers from my ISP about their quota policy :

  • Do you count quota at the outer edge (Internet border) or inner edge (consumer border) of your network?
  • Do you count traffic that doesn’t leave your network? (example : I send a file to my neighbor who’s also your client)
  • Do you count it when I check my quota status on your website?
  • Do you count access to your websites? (it’s like calling 611 on a cell phone and should be free!)
  • Do you count it when my email client checks for new email on your POP3 servers?
  • Do you count DNS query’s made to your DNS servers?
  • Do you count DHCP request made by my computer or router?
  • Do you count routing protocol traffic?
  • Do you take into account the overhead added by routing protocol (802.1Q)?
  • Do you count management traffic to or from my modem?
  • Do you count RFC 1918 traffic?
  • Do you count protocol errors?

I think something must be done and as a first step I’ll send a letter to my ISP asking for clarifications. Next step might include asking advise to pro-consumers groups.

I’ll try to post answers when they come in.

Read my earlier stand on this subject for more information on questionable practice by ISP’s.

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