Our company sells to US, European, and South American cable companies.
Outside the US, we see that the dominant service plan is broadband with a
byte cap.  

Inside the US that is rare probably due to the US having been the birthplace
of the Internet and the widespread reverence for it as a system with
"universal" deeply embedded into its concept...universal connectivity,
universal access, universal usage for whatever you want and nobody can tell
you what you can do with your connection.  That also appears to be related
to the widespread revulsion to the Telcos' proposal to have the ability to
charge content/service sources to be available to their subscribers.

I don't know if byte cap plans will make a dent in the market in this
country at any time soon.  However, the BitTorrent applications open
thousands of TCP flows and often run 24 hours a day, unattended.  That is
causing a real problem for the providers.  When they throttle down those
guys, they get complaints because the users are often sophisticated enough
to be able to measure it. Nevertheless, broadband providers are increasingly
including references to "abuse" and consequences in their terms of service.

Byte caps are also problematic...especially when most homes have multiple
PCs and the kids are free to initiate one of these BitTorrent monsters to
get movies and games while they're at school or asleep...without their
parents understanding what's happening.  Such households could easily reach
almost any arbitrary byte cap very early within a billing cycle and cause
significant resentment from the very folks that pay the bill.  

On the other hand, perhaps it's their responsibility to control what their
kids do that can run up a bill.  The parallel with kids and their family
plan cell phone usage is a valuable lesson...except that there is often no
competitive Internet broadband service that the parents can migrate to that
would offer less risk (such as the cell plans that give kids a fixed bite at
the apple every month).

. . . j o n a t h a n

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of John Scrivner
Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 3:08 PM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Service Offerings - Competing

The devil is in the details. I only sell "unlimited" connections over 
leased line connections. Everyone else signs our AUP and agrees to a 
maximum speed on their plan. We do not do this to be punitive either. We 
do it because you will go broke if you try to sell multiple customer 
connections per access point in any other way. Selling "unlimited" 
anything is opening yourself to failure in the residential broadband game.

John J. Thomas wrote:

>Sam, Walmart has made most of its money by screwing others.
>Truck driver makes delivery to Walmart ad unload pallets. Goes to have
receiving sign for them. Receiving refuses to sign, and says that *after*
the truck driver *unloads* the items off the pallets, then he will sign.
This is NOT the truck drivers responsibility.
>Walmart decides that a Gallon jar of pickles shoud cost $3.97-*regardless*
of whether the company can make 10 cents on that. Company sells $3.97 jar of
pickles and goes bankrupt after that.
>Walmart is costing the State of California Millions of dollars each year
just by telling its employees " we won't give you that benefit, but if you
go apply for State assistance, they will."
>A little bit of research on the Internet will show you to what degree they
have gone to to screw others. If that is the way you want to do business,
then so be it. Me, my family and anyone else I have influence over won't do
business with you-period.
>You have to structure your pricing in a way that you can successfully
market. I have a problem with those people that say "512k unlimited $39.99
per month". Then, when you download a single movie, they cut your service.
That is Dishonesty-period. If you tell your clients, 4 Gig for $39.99, then
there is no issue. I'm sure MANY are going to jump in and tell me I'm wrong,
and they certainly have a right to. At some point, this will have to be the
way it works-you can't sell unlimited pipes for $39.99 per month, when you
have to pay $100 or more per month-the economics are not there.
>I applaud Marlon for what he is doing, and I hope that he will review his
pricing regularly. If he finds that he can drop the rates a bit, or adjust
the limits upward, I'm sure his clients will appreciate it. They should also
appreciate that fact that he isn't trying to squeeze every last dime from
>John Thomas
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Sam Tetherow [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
>>Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 10:49 PM
>>To: 'WISPA General List'
>>Subject: Re: [WISPA] Service Offerings - Competing
>>There actually are some of us out here that don't have this luxury in 
>>our markets.  My total market is approximately 3000 people (not 
>>households) and I have to go 45 miles in any direction to find another 
>>town with more than 80 people in it.
>>I'm not saying this in a 'woe is me' tone, just stating a fact.  Some of 
>>us operate in the well under 10,000 people areas where 'finding a higher 
>>ARPU customer' is not really a viable option.  We have to be all things 
>>in order to have enough customers to pay the bills.  The top 10% of my 
>>market would get me less than 100 customers and they would have an 
>>average income of less than $100K.
>>As a slightly off-topic aside:  (those that don't want to listen to my 
>>ramblings can safely stop here :)
>>I do find the Walmart reference interesting.  Since I have started this 
>>business I have tried to read as much as I can in terms of business, 
>>marketing  and sales books.  Having come from a purely tech background 
>>it astounds me how clueless I really was until I started a business.
>>One of the things that I have struggled with is the price point vs 
>>service aspect of the business.  Obviously being the cheapest option has 
>>it's sales advantages, especially in the residential best effort 
>>internet business.  But as we all know, being the cheapest makes it a 
>>bit harder to pay the bills.
>>When I read business and marketing books they all espouse the higher end 
>>customer is the better customer view.  I understand this view, you have 
>>a valued customer who is willing to pay a reasonable price for quality 
>>service.  You look at brands like Lexus and Bose and think, these are 
>>the people I need to be like.  These companies have made millionaires. 
>>But what I find interesting is that companies like Walmart and McDonalds 
>>who do live in the quantity, not quality world have made billionaires.  
>>The trick seems to be, if you can somehow manages to be the cheapest and 
>>do it right you can make a boat load of money and it doesn't have to be 
>>at the expense of the customer.
>> Sam Tetherow
>> Sandhills Wireless
>>Peter R. wrote:
>>>John J. Thomas wrote:
>>>>But, the model will work if you bill by the bytes....
>>>>If Joe is paying $40 per month for 6 Gig and gets throttled at 6 Gig, 
>>>>then he has a disincentive for keeping going. If he is paying $40 for 
>>>>unlimited access, he has no reason to slow down.
>>>>Charter cable is doing 10 meg down/1 meg up in some markets for like 
>>>>$99 per month, how can you compete with that?
>>>Well, the reality is this: you can't compete with it.  And why try?
>>>Why not move upstream to a larger ARPU customer?
>>>Cable & ILEC can handle and deliver service to the masses cheaply - 
>>>for now.
>>>But there is a segment of every population that needs more than the 
>>>cheap dumb pipe attached to the cheap dumb support. That is the GAP. 
>>>That is where the money is.
>>>That is where your market is. But it may mean selling beyond just a pipe.
>>>I've been preaching this for years - and clients that have listened - 
>>>narrowed their focus; but the shotgun (marketing) away; have done well.
>>>See articles here:  http://www.rad-info.net/newsletters/walmart16.htm 
>>>And there:    http://www.rad-info.net/newsletters/winninger.htm
>>>Peter Radizeski
>>>RAD-INFO, Inc.
>>>(813) 963-5884
>>WISPA Wireless List: wireless@wispa.org
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