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136 posts

Master Geek


#271988 4-Jun-2020 15:15
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Posting following an conversation in the office this moming...

 

We live in a rural area and are shortly to get cellphone and wireless broadband coverage from a new tower provided as part of the Rural Broadband Initiative 2 and the Mobile Black Spot roll-out.

 

Unfortunately while the speed of those wireless broadband connections are great - a big improvement over the copper alternative - the data caps make it prohibitive for us and a significant portion of us locally who use more data (gaming, streaming TV etc etc)

 

Don't mistake this for a complaint - I accept that choosing to live in a rural area comes with benefits and disadvantages.

 

What I'm curious to understand why the data needs to be capped. I'm presuming there's a technical reason. Given we are unlikely to have the option of fibre I'm interested to know where the bottle neck is and if the data caps are likely to increase over time. 

 

Hoping someone here will know the answer to such matters!


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  #2498332 4-Jun-2020 15:25
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wifi is a finite spectrum and if everyone had unlimited it would adversely affect others on the same tower. ie everyone's speed would drop.

 

providers have chosen a balance between speed and download caps to try and give everyone the best experience




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Master Geek


  #2498339 4-Jun-2020 15:36
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That's exactly what we're trying to understand - I can see why the speed might be affected - but why does that impact the amount of data I can pull?

 

I understood that a fixed number of wireless customers are allowed per sector to ensure speeds can be maintained. But we are still struggling to understand the relationship between speed and quantity of data.

 

Analogy: I can turn my kitchen tap on and get water at high pressure. If i turn on the bathroom taps as well the rate of flow is reduced - but I can still draw as much water as I like.

 

I accept that analogy doesn't apply to wireless broadband - but we're trying to understand why!


 
 
 
 


'That VDSL Cat'
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  #2498347 4-Jun-2020 15:47
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Chrisclarke:

 

Analogy: I can turn my kitchen tap on and get water at high pressure. If i turn on the bathroom taps as well the rate of flow is reduced - but I can still draw as much water as I can.

 

I accept that analogy doesn't apply to wireless broadband - but we're trying to understand why!

 

 

That's kinda how it works in extremely simplicit terms.

 

 

 

the thing that's really hard with Rural is, often you have a proportion of customers who are on the edge of coverage, that's like having a hose down the end of a few km's of pipe. the flow is pretty limited.

 

The impact this has on the tower itself though is it's having to pump so much harder, to end hose gets it's share of flow.

 

 

 

so while your end user may only be getting 1 bucket of water every hour, they essentially will consume the same amount of pressure as 10 hoses up close. 

 

 

 

That's why it's easy to do things like Unplan metro in dense urban areas, We have lots of "Water Towers" fairly close together, so when everyone turns on the tap at the same time Yes there might be a dip in flow, but it's a pretty balanced requirement from the "Pump" still.

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully the water analogy makes a bit of sense, there is a lot of simplification in the explanation, you can go far further into what modem or attenna the customer has (Hose fitting) to improve or balance the situation. 

 

So while yes, it's potentionally possible, all you need is Little Jimmy to want to download all the internet 24/7 and he will impact the exprience of all other customers.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


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Ultimate Geek


  #2498354 4-Jun-2020 15:59
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Wouldn't it simply be to disincentivise people using heaps of data? Ie if you know you have a cap you are more likely to ration it and not download heaps of stuff all the time, to the detriment of other users.





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  #2498360 4-Jun-2020 16:05
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Looking it another way - capacity at the tower is restricted to let's say 500meg. They could choose to cap 500 customers to 1meg each but that wouldn't be particularly useful given that most users like to burst to higher dose speeds for short periods. Capping usage is an alternative that lets people download at high speeds for short bursts without causing too much congestion

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  #2498364 4-Jun-2020 16:08
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With the water analogy; wireless is like a fixed diameter pipe based on the amount of wireless spectrum you have. You then have the type of wireless technology which is like the amount of pressure that can be applied to that pipe. All users of that tower share the same pipe, so there is a total fixed amount of data that can be sent down that pipe. To increase capacity you either:

 

A. add more spectrum, i.e. make the pipe fatter; but spectrum is a finite resource and you just can't keep adding to it.

 

B. improve the wireless technology (like increasing the water pressure), 4G, 5G, 6G etc

 

In the fibre world, it's like every body has their own pipe and if you need more you just install a bigger pipe and a bigger feeder pipe. There is no shortage of pipe sizes.

 

 





Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.

 

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Master Geek


  #2498372 4-Jun-2020 16:12
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All helpful and interesting.

 

If the capacity at the tower is limited - why not increase it?

 

I've spoken to a number of people in the last few days who are considering two connections - wireless broadband for streaming TV and keeping the copper for everything else. So some people are clearly prepared to pay significantly more for 

 

If I could have wireless broadband with unlimited data I'd happily pay $200 a month. Four of us in the office and the other two wouldn't blink at $150...

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2498378 4-Jun-2020 16:18
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@Chrisclarke Only so many Mhz of spectrum the carriers can use, It's licensed  


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  #2498379 4-Jun-2020 16:22
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Chrisclarke:

 

 

 

If the capacity at the tower is limited - why not increase it?

 

 

 

 

Because there is only a set amount of radio spectrum available and if you increase it by adding much higher frequencies, then only the few houses with close line of site to the tower would be able to pick up sufficient signal strength to use it.





Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.

 

Cel-Fi supply and installer - boost your mobile phone coverage legally
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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  #2498380 4-Jun-2020 16:25
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Chrisclarke:

 

If the capacity at the tower is limited - why not increase it?

 

 

Cost is one factor, i'll avoid commenting on that one.

 

 

 

the other primary factor there though is simply sometimes an upgrade in capacity isn't useful at all.

 

 

 

for example, if you take an urban site, it's very common to upgrade the capacity by adding high band layers, that boosts capacity overall but also helps to deload the lower layers.

 

as you get further away from the site, the high band starts to get out of range where it's not ideal, and so you need to start moving down to lower bands.

 

 

 

 

 

For a rural site, Often your only options are what we call low band (700mhz, 850mhz, 900mhz) and so your capacity is quite limited unless say there is a bit of a denser town area closer to the tower - then there might be value in adding high bands too.

 

on some you might have good coverage to use mid band (1800mhz or 2100mhz if your really lucky) but it can be hit and miss.

 

 

 

There are some extremely smart folk that make these calls considering these factors and a ton of others.

 

 

 

RCG towers are kinda their own little beast since they technically can use all 3 providers 700mhz bandwidith to provide multiple layers, but there are alot of points for them to consider there too.

 

 





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


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  #2498388 4-Jun-2020 16:42
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Chrisclarke:

 

...

 

Analogy: I can turn my kitchen tap on and get water at high pressure. If i turn on the bathroom taps as well the rate of flow is reduced - but I can still draw as much water as I like.

 

I accept that analogy doesn't apply to wireless broadband - but we're trying to understand why!

 

 

 

 

The amount of water that you can use in your house is limited by the size of the pipe feeding your house (or the size of your pump if rural).

 

If you put 1000 taps in your house and turned them all on the flow to each would slow to a trickle and be to slow and frustrating for most purposes.

 

Similar deal with mobile data. The available bandwidth gets shared around all the users, If everybody left their taps on all the time, each person's share of the bandwidth would be frustratingly slow, so data caps are put in place to ensure that bandwidth gets shared, and speeds are reasonable when people choose to use it.




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Master Geek


  #2498422 4-Jun-2020 17:59
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Thanks all - thanks to the different ways of explaining it everyone in the office has a better understanding.

 

Here in the Mackenzie about 2/3 of the population will have access to fibre within a year or so. But the remaining third are outside the boundaries of the three townships - and only a small percentage of those are close enough to exchanges or cabinets for VDSL.

 

So wondering what the future will likely hold for the rural population.

 

Is the balance between speed and data likely to be a limiting factor for the foreseeable future - or are we likely to see data caps lifted or removed as newer technologies are rolled out?


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  #2498426 4-Jun-2020 18:04
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Chrisclarke:

 

Is the balance between speed and data likely to be a limiting factor for the foreseeable future - or are we likely to see data caps lifted or removed as newer technologies are rolled out?

 

 

my own personal view is that covid made networks do alot of things that they otherwise would have never risked.

 

 

 

I feel this brings an interesting datapoint to talk back to, if you look at how did your customers experience go. 

 

I also personally wouldn't say lift it all - but then I have a pretty extreme expectation of cell networks, i like to pull out my phone and be able to see a big number on a test :)





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


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  #2498788 5-Jun-2020 10:07
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Simple answer

 

Are you willing to pay 10-30x the cost ,
and then because its uncapped you cant be connected anyway as others are  maxing all out the bandwidth

 

so , they ration what they have.
If huge costs are no obstacle for you, there will be options available
:-)

 

 


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