Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Cable modems, ADSL

Author:Sidney Markowitz
Posted:7/6/1999; 1:57:22 PM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 7/2/99
Msg #:8250 (In response to 8182)
Prev/Next:8249 / 8251

Most cable modem providers -- and I bet most ADSL ISPs as well -- explicitly forbit users from running servers on their connections.

With a cable modem you share a fixed amount of bandwidth with other customers in your neighborhood. Bandwidth from customers to the Internet is less than in the other direction. To prevent customers from hogging bandwidth from their neighbors, the cable companies impose restrictions on running servers that could potentially ship huge amounts of data to the outside Internet.

An ADSL customer's usage does not affect other customers in the same way. Each customer gets their own maximum, which is typically much smaller than the peak levels possible with a cable modem. There is no reason for ADSL ISPs to restrict the services available to their customers.

Many cable modem customers are disgruntled with restrictions that are based on type of usage (e.g., outlawing servers even if for low-bandwidth personal use) rather than volume of data in the upload direction. There is a thriving market of services to work around the probes and blocks set up by the cable companies.

I think that competition from ADSL and other high bandwidth providers will force the cable companies to find ways to restrict (or charge for) use of bandwidth without restricting use by type of service. That supports Dave's prediction for a boom in a consumer server market.

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