Ethics and Bandwidth Usage


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  1. Max Power

    Max Power Member This Topic's Starter

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    This is a question asked in various incarnations across smartphone forums, and I'm sure here as well. But I'll ask again with a slightly different spin. Is it "wrong" to consume much bandwidth from your cell phone? The implication of high bandwidth usage being the stress of the network and unfairly impinging against other users.

    It is an argument I've seem most from iPhone and other users contracted with AT&T.

    My take is to view the availability and use of bandwidth like a market. The supply and demand for data establishes an "equilibrium" bitrate. With this view in mind, I think it seems a little more pointless to begrudge high bandwidth users just for consuming what is available. Maybe there ought to be a cost associated with high usage, which could be funneled into making a more robust network. But the responsibility ultimately is with the carriers to see that demand can be satisfied.
     

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  2. clwoodwork

    clwoodwork Active Member

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    Makes sense to me.

    Peace, Chuck
     
  3. neodorian

    neodorian Well-Known Member

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    When a network advertises unlimited data and I pay for said service, I expect to be able to use unlimited data. If there is a 5GB cap in the fine print then I guess you are obligated to follow your contract agreement and stay within that limit despite the fact that it's a cheap move to bury something like that in fine print underneath huge print saying "unlimited".

    Essentially I don't find it unethical to do anything that is within the terms of your contract but it is borderline unethical to misrepresent something as unlimited when in fact it is not.
     
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  4. Rigmaster

    Rigmaster Well-Known Member

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    There is no right or wrong, and I'd not consider this an ethical dilemma at all. The carriers have a right to charge whatever they price at. Consumers have a responsibility to pay for what they use. Network stress is the carrier's responsibility.

    I could see ethics coming into play if someone is aware that the carrier has no way to enforce it use policies for any reason and decides to take advantage of that inability. But it's only ethical if the carrier acknowledges and decides to do nothing about abusers. In all other situations, it's actually stealing and crosses from ethical into criminal even though at a petty or low level.
     
  5. cesjr02

    cesjr02 Well-Known Member

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    If you sell high bandwidth capable phones you should expect a need for a high bandwidth capable network.

    I always thought it was humorous when developing neighborhoods in my town would sprout up like crazy. meanwhile the school board would be scratching their heads when the new schools just built are almost at capacity.

    Bad example but you get my point.
     
  6. kwaping

    kwaping Well-Known Member

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    If they charge me an extra $10 for the "rich data experience" that is the EVO, then I might as well stream video all day, every day just to get my money's worth.

    Yes, I'm still bitter.
     
  7. adseguy

    adseguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Rigmaster. It's not an ethical question. It's Economics 101. If you want to use 10055834947793478932 GB of data go for it. If enough people do this the price will increase due to the added hardware needed to satisfy the people consuming. Maybe consumers will want to divide into 2 groups. Unlimited data group and pay per kb/mb/gb group. Oh wait.....we have that with minutes/text/ and data already. Problem solved :)
     
  8. reallynotnick

    reallynotnick Well-Known Member

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    Hahaha, sadly I agree with your line of thought. Maybe just use it as a dedicated bit torrent machine at night or something! :D
     
  9. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member

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    If you run an All You Can Eat restaurant and that is what you offer, then you must be ready to provide what you advertise, for the price you choose to charge. Usually you really don't expect the majority of your customers to truly eat you out of business. There will only be a small fraction of endless black holes, aka college students, who will visit your establishment and eat you into bankruptcy.

    Also remember, the WiMAX network is effectively a separate network than the CDMA network which handles voice and traditional data. WiMAX is MEANT to service up lots and lots of data to all of us hungry leeches. So on that level, I'm also not concerned.
     
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  10. Synthetickiller

    Synthetickiller Well-Known Member

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    If I want to run torrents 24/7 on the EVO, I'm not doing anything out of contract.

    If I'm paying $10 for something I can't use, I feel ripped off. I'll be doing high bandwidth everything if I can. ;)
     
  11. RiverOfIce

    RiverOfIce Banned

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    What you are basically saying that everything should be tiered payments.

    1gb, 2gb, 3gb, 4gb, unlimited gb.

    Unfortunately, that leads to abuse of the system by the providers.

    What speed is faster 4GB/s or 4Gb/s. What is a greater amount of Data, 5Gbs or 5000 Mbs.

    What about ads. In the real world ads make up about 50-60% of your data being used. If you just use adblock, noscript, and better privacy, you can cut your data use in half. If you cut out the ad's, no one makes money.

    So no matter what you do, everyone loses when you go to tier system. You get to pay more for less. The companies get to make more marketing terms like 3g, 4g, edge, evdo. And ad companies get screwed.

    I am not saying that it is or is not ethical, I am saying that making people pay more for using more will not work.
     
  12. adseguy

    adseguy Well-Known Member

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    You provide no correlatives nor evidence.

    How would companies get more out of you with a tiered system. If anything it's to satisfy a market. My evidence and correlation are the ones we have now that work great like pay per use phones and also different minute plans/ text plans/ and to the casual non smart phone user: data plans. I like not paying for unlimited texts at AT&T because I don't use it I'm also at the base 450 minute plan. I'm glad to have unlimited data and that's how I really use my phone. Competition ensures that us consumers get the best deal. Hey look at that I'm going to sprint not just for a phone, but a better price too....even with that $10/month...although some have decided not to get the phone because of it. Free economics in action :D
     
  13. RiverOfIce

    RiverOfIce Banned

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    First where you left off, there is not such thing as free economics/market.
    A free market is a market without economic intervention and regulation by government. But if you have a truely free market, you need the government to control fraud and abuse, which makes the market no longer free. Anyone that says free market just wants the rules that control the market to favor him and harm his enemies.

    Secondly, you can not say mins and data are equal. When ads make up 50% of your data use, you are not truely using the full data. If they where equal, then I should be able to call you and force you to listen to me for 225 mins a month, without your permission.Then data and mins still would not be equal, because with mins you have the choice to listen to what you want to, and hang up on what you do not want to.

    You can not hang up on data using todays browsers for phones. If you go to any website with a phone, you are forced to download the ads and information. The ads do not care if they use 1% or 75% of your data. They just want to be seen.

    Now about abuse of the Telecoms, they are telecoms, they will abuse you. Here is how I would do it. I would find out what ever plan is the most profitable, and compress the data for that plan as low as possible. For the plans that are not profitable. I would not compress at all. This would make the other plans burn through the data quickly until the "free market" factors moved everyone to the most profitable plan I have for me.
     
  14. mrk

    mrk Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely untrue. A free market requires protection from fraud of all sorts--freedom cannot exist when one has a gun (be it real or metaphorical) to one's head. Further, those who purport a free market are generally the exact opposite of the people which you describe--they surely aren't the ones getting taxpayer-funded subsidies from the government.
     
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  15. aliveon2legs

    aliveon2legs Well-Known Member

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    So if I get the $69 "Everything Data - with Any Mobile, Anytime" plan, that includes "unlimited data", that doesn't really include unlimited data? :confused:

    That's kind of how it sounds, reading this thread.
     
  16. RiverOfIce

    RiverOfIce Banned

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    You did not read what I wrote, let me try it again.

    A free market is with out regulation and control, except for fraud and abuse. Then the government needs to regulate and control for fraud and abuse.

    Now, my question is who gets to decide what is fraud and abuse? Free market people screamed the government was over regulating home mortgages. So the free market destroyed it self because the government did not regulate and control.

    When the market was making everyone money, it was not fraud and abuse, when it comes crashing down, then it is fraud and abuse.

    Which means that free market regulation is by definition, any control that helps me make money, and harms everyone else from making more money then me.

    It is by definition a paradox and there for does not exist. If free market is free of government regulation and control, except for abuse and fraud. Then the people are going to abuse the system of control, so it will not regulate and control the abuse and fraud.

    That is why we are currently in the mess we are at. Because the every "free market" player screamed free market until the abuse and fraud got out of hand. And they abused the regulation system to make the system worst.

    I am sorry, free market does not exist. Because once it does, the forces will start to abuse the system that controls the abuse and fraud.

    What is regulation and control, completely depends on where it helps you or harms you. If it helps you, then it is free market. If it harms you, then it is not free market.

    You can not have both, a system that protects from abuse with out being abuse itself. It can not happen.
     
  17. RiverOfIce

    RiverOfIce Banned

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    You are capped at 5gigs a month, which they may or may not enforce.
     
  18. Caloy

    Caloy Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree. If you're going to only offer a 5GB plan, then offer a 5GB plan. If you're going to offer an unlimited plan then offer an unlimited plan.
     
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  19. aliveon2legs

    aliveon2legs Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading all of the fine print I can find, and I can't find that anywhere, but I'll take your word for it.

    Another question; if I were to buy the $30 a month "hotspot" plan where I can tether 8 devices, and also buy one of the Overdrive Wimax units, would I need a seperate plan for each, or would the $30 plan work on both units?
     
  20. mrk

    mrk Well-Known Member

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    I very much read what you wrote.

    A free market is different from economic anarchy. You did not read what I wrote.

    Fraud and abuse are easily defined. Theft, infringement on human rights, breaking of contract--it's not that complicated, and it does not require any special interests to decide on the definitions

    According to people who don't know and never knew what they were talking about, perhaps.

    Ah. So if the free market requires that you agree to honor a contract you signed, that means that it forces others to make less money than you? If you are prevented from stealing from others, this, "by definition," helps you make money? If you are prevented from lying to your shareholders, this helps you and harms your economic opponents?

    It is not anything by definition. You are making broad assumptions and pretending that they exist in the definitions.

    I agree, in part. There certainly was not any kind of free market during the latest crisis. The vast majority of the problem was caused by private interests controlling the aspects of the government which should be impartial. The fact that people abused loopholes does indeed mean that there are loopholes to be closed--but they are in no way free market loopholes. If the government has no influence over any section of the economy, how could people use the government to their own economic benefit? (Again, note that fraud is easily defined in a way such that people cannot use it to their illegitimate benefit.)

    Free markets do not currently exist, though they are entirely possible.

    I do believe that your fundamental premise is incorrect. There are things which can absolutely be considered to be unanimously fair.

    Sure it can. One just needs to make sure that the government is not given any power in any manipulatable area. I understand that you believe that there is not such a thing, but I beg to disagree.
     
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  21. mrk

    mrk Well-Known Member

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    You'd need a separate plan. But... why buy both? The Evo is a better Overdrive than the Overdrive (8 devices vs. 5).
     
  22. Aridon

    Aridon Well-Known Member

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    I'll be getting my monies worth as well.
     
  23. aliveon2legs

    aliveon2legs Well-Known Member

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    True. Am I still capped with the $30 hotspot plan, or is it truly unlimited data?
     
  24. eieio

    eieio Well-Known Member

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    You would need to add the 30 hot spot plan to the phone and a separate 59.99 plan to the overdrive..
     
  25. dirkbonn

    dirkbonn Well-Known Member

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    My thought on "unlimited" bandwidth usage.

    When I was in the Marine Corp, and this was back in the 60's and 70's, there was a sign at the entrance to the mess hall. It read,"Take all you want, but eat all you take!"

    This philosophy applies nicely to the "unlimited" bandwidth program. If everyone uses all the bandwidth you need, some will use more than others obviously, but the program will work. But if some, in an attempt to get "their moneys worth" just download stuff 24/7, will just drive up costs and eventually these costs will be passed onto the all consumers in the form of raised prices. And who do you think will be complaining the loudest when these prices go up? Me, whose a little older and has made a pretty good living and whether the price of something is $10 or $20, it doesn't matter? No, cuz I can afford it. Nope, it'll be the younger people who can't afford it but were concerned about getting "their moneys worth" when the price was less.

    I'm sure you all been to an "All you can eat" buffet at one time or another. You've also seen people waste food. Like taking a big bowl of mashed potatoes, and only taking one bite of it and throwing the rest away. If this kind of thing happens enough, it eats into the restaurants profit margin and they either raise prices or go out of business. Again, if the food was good, I'll still go there because whether the cost of the meal was $9.95 or $12.95 I can afford it. But possibly the person who wanted to "get his moneys worth" at $9.95 can't afford $12.95. This same example could easily mirror the "unlimited bandwidth" programs.

    I remember about 6 months ago or so, seeing an article in a computer magazine the said cable companies (like comcast & Time Warner) did some studies and found out that something like 5% of the customers used 80% of the "used bandwidth". (I'm guessing at these figures because I just don't remember exactly but you see my point) I remember reading that they were toying with the idea of charging these "high bandwidth usage" customers more, because as you know, they know who's using what and how much.

    So I guess my point is, when it comes to "unlimited bandwidth", take all you want but use all you take. Don't download a movie or something and then delete it just so you can feel you're "getting your moneys worth." You'll eventually just drive up the price for everybody, including yourself.

    Again, just my take on this "unlimited" bandwidth usage.

    I remain: patiently/impatiently waiting for the release of the HTC EVO 4G!
     
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