Ars Technica links to an analyst’s blog about the mythical status of the bandwidth hog.  Benoit Felten proposes that most ISPs simply measure the total amount of data downloaded per user and then list the top 5 percent as bandwidth hogs, not even checking if the traffic might not have been torrents or if the activity only took place during low usage times.  There seems no reason to be polite about your downloading, it is simply the sum total you download that gets you labelled as a problem user.  He ends with a challenge to ISPs to prove that their bandwidth capping does actually have a beneficial effect and is not simply a display of ISPs discomfort at actually having to offer a true all you can eat service.

“One analyst has had it with Internet data caps. Bandwidth hogs are a myth, he says, and caps simply penalize heavy users who cause no problems for others. Now, he’s throwing down the gauntlet and challenging ISPs to turn over some data for analysis.”

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