ISP Shaping – feels like early 2004!


My 60GB monthly download limit ha always be sufficient. Despite downloading quite a lot of podcasts, iView and similar from TV stations’ websites, I usually hover around 20-40GB of data each month. Some years ago I reached my download limit (might have been 20GB) and had to suffer with a slight slow down for 3 days. From memory my 512/128kbps connection was shaped to 64/64kbps.

This month I’m well over and I hit it with 8 days left in the month! Despite buying a 25GB data block, which should have kept me fine, I’ve downloaded close to 90GB so far this month. I managed to download 32.8GB and 33.3GB on consecutive days, which has probably placed me on some kind of register. So I am now shaped to 256/256kbps.

When I joined my ISP in 2004 I skipped their 256/64 offering for the 512/128. I had just returned from a trip to Japan where 2.5Mbps was the norm. Rather than leap to 1.5/256 I took the intermediate step. Being shaped to 64/64 was still way ahead of using a 56K dial-up modem.

Now that I can get 14-16Mbps down and over 1Mbps up, shaping the 256/256 is a special type of hell. Considering that there are 4 computers, 2 smartphones and a Wii that share the network, there’s a lot going in and out of the pipe. Feels like the time before ADSL.

As luck would have it, Vodafone have finally updated their network so for the first time in 9 years I can use a mobile phone in my house. In fact I have such a good 3G signal that I’ve disconnected my smartphone from my network to save bandwidth until my new quota takes effect.

Next month I’ll have 200GB for the same price (new plans), however I’ll be metered for uploads for the first time. Remains to be seen if that download/upload limit is enough!

UPDATE: I bought another chunk of Internet, effectively doubling my bill this month. I’ll be downloading til rollover to get my money’s worth.

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