The broadband ISP community has been coming in for some bad press recently with high profile stories of
- bandwidth capping and throttling,
- the use of deep packet inspection to manage and shape traffic,
- complaints to the ASA by BT regarding deception of customers by Virgin
- complaints from the ISP industry about who pays for the bandwidth for users of iPlayer and other internet based video streams
- complaints on user forums about speeds throttled back to less than that of dial up at peak periods
The B2B broadband ISP community has not generally been suffering from these complaints. They arise in consumer-oriented networks from the need to cram as many customers in as possible in order to meet low price expectations. Whilst a B2B ISP still suffers from the general rise in internet bandwidth usage (currently running at around 3 – 4% a month) it cannot impose the consumer bandwidth management methods described above because a business’ internet connection is normally too important to mess with. For example when throughout drops (as it will with too many users on a network) so do VPNs therefore you have to maintain high quality throughput.
The response of the B2B ISP is to increase the overall ADSL bandwidth available and bear the cost. At the end of the day the cost has to be passed on to the customer otherwise the ISP doesn’t stay in business and the customer doesn’t have an internet connection. Business customers are likely to less sensitive to changes in costs (we aren’t talking about big numbers here anyway) recognizing that they get a better service at the end of the day.
Whilst I can only speak for Timico, Twang.net and KeConnect the business customer pays for what he gets but at the end of the day he gets a much better service than the consumer.