[discuss] African take on Net Neutrality

Barry Shein bzs at world.std.com
Thu May 15 18:16:35 UTC 2014

From: Ali Hussein <ali at hussein.me.ke>
>In Kenya we have had cases of providers talking of 'Unlimited Internet' only=
> to cap bandwidth after a certain threshold. Where would this fall under?=20=
>PS - They stopped this misleading practice of advertising when consumers pro=

Reminds of the time as a strapping young grad student I was thrown out
of an "all you can eat" establishment with the owner yelling "THAT'S

This harkens back to the days of internet dial-up when many would
advertise "unlimited" dial-up access for a flat price but would drop
the connection of anyone idle too long (perhaps they were waiting for
a message?) or other reasons, essentially "not idle too long".

It goes back to the original sin of "over-subscription", the provider
doesn't really have enough resources to service everyone as promised
-- but it was such attractive marketing! unlimited! -- so tries to
find ways to cover the difference as you describe.

Since the issue with dial-up were the number of phone lines and ports
available, someone could get a busy signal, the issue was much

Unlimited simply meant, they explained, that if you could manage to
get on and stay on you would not be charged for that residency.

Marketing can be so clever. The explanation was largely accepted.

I'm sure someone will redefine "unlimited" as you describe and off
we'll go as the entire industry adopts the policy.

        -Barry Shein

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