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Site Optimisation - Bandwidth Capping

Updated 2 Mar 2004

It appears that, in the UK at least, ISP's are now capping bandwidth in their internet packages. British Telecom is capping users to 1GB transfer per month on their 512k broadband service, which at first glance appears a lot but compare that to Telewest who are offering a 256k service capped at 750mb per day. NTL cap users to 1gb per day

Ok so that seems plenty, after all your site is only a small percentage of that BUT do you want to put people off from visiting your site as it is too bloated with ads and popups and other useless eyecandy? The choice is yours :)

In the attempt to reduce bandwidth used by filesharing programs ISPs could be changing how we pay for internet access (in the UK at least)

First there was dial up plus an ISP account charge - then there was pay for calls only at local rates. Each of those options meant users had to closely monitor their time spent online.

During this period of the internet, the buzzword for webmasters was optimisation. Slow connections meant sites had to be lean to load fast.

The arrival of broadband seems to have seen the demise of the dreaded optimisation buzzword. Webmasters felt they could pretty much do as they wished as download times became irrelevant.

Users are now connected longer than they were before without the worry of having to watch the clock ticking away but now that luxury could be threatened with bandwidth limits.

So, once again, optimisation will be a big issue for webmasters. Instead of speed testing, sites will have to be lean. Some sites I have visited are just rediculous - in excess of 500kb in some cases. I'm afraid that if I am paying for bandwidth then 500kb for one page is a no go area.

The same applies to pages filled with rotaing banner ads - they will just eat away at my bandwidth allocation while I'm reading the content of the page.

So we are back to where we were before, where broadband was a dream :)

It would also be safe to assume that once bandwith limits are put in place by the ISPs that the Government will finally get is wish of a bit-tax as well - adding yet more costs to the end user.

Whether this step will be taken is yet to be seen but webmasters must be aware that in future, visitors could be paying for visiting your site and if you fill it with bloat then the chances are they won't be returning.

Related News Items

BBC News - File swappers face data limits
BBC News - Goodbye to a flat rate for broadband?

Got something you'd like to add to this? Share your thoughts with others in our forum
Originally posted 16 Sep 2003
09 dec 2003 - 2628


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