back to article Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

ISPs should be banned from “speeding up” internet packets, says a former senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team, the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Self-facilitating policy wonk Brian Forde (for it is he) earned derision on Twitter after he urged ISPs not to send packets any faster than they already …

  1. td0s

    seems to makes sense to me - isn't this net nutrality?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      It does seem like it on the surface. But the way he worded it smells like he's looking for a job with a major carrier for his "after the election" life.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "metaphors [..] need to be grounded in reality"

    Creating a metaphor is not given to everyone. Creating a proper metaphor on a topic concerning the virtual zeros and ones of the Internet is particularly difficult, because there are many cases when reality simply does not apply (e.g. the eternal copyright infringement/theft debate).

    Politicians, on the other hand, are supposed to be adept at that, since they're business is mostly speaking and making verbal connections to win over public support. But it is easy to see that some politicians are much, much better than others in that domain.

  3. moiety

    It would be very dangerous. As packets exceed the speed of light they would become infinitely heavy and rip your phone out through the bottom of your pocket. (straight face and earnest expression for bonus points)

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      I know, I know

      it's for the weekend etc.

      However, whilst technically you can't speed up the actual packets, you *can* speed up how many packets you can send in a particlar arbitrary time-span.

      Isn't that how we went from 9600 baud to 20+Mbps ADSL2+-ti ?

      Also, I may be mistaken (not bloody likely, but you know, humility) but hasn't wi-fi speeds improved over the last decade?

      I know it's not exactly what the bozo mentioned in the article was referring to, but I'm feeling picky. It's not quite beer o'clock :(

      1. moiety

        Re: I know, I know

        Depends how you read the tweet, I suppose, but my comment was taking the comprehensive piss out of the 'tech guru' for clumsy phrasing; out of Orlowski for nit-pickery; and was just generally being silly because it's Friday. Also I'm quite surprised that nobody has called me out for truly abysmal science....mass increases as you approach the speed of light. Everybody knows that if you accelerate packets to superluminal speeds they won't be able to take the corners and will come shooting out the end of your phone antenna in a tachyon burst that no dry-cleaners will be able to repair. (deadpan).

        1. choleric

          Re: I know, I know

          If you fall for that one you must be a real boson.

          Sorry, I saw the opportunity for a bad joke and leapt on it.

          1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

            Re: I know, I know

            No apology required. It's Friday, damn nice snark (esp. with Nice and Turkey happenings), and if you were serious, ye'd be getting your coat. Soo, thanks for the laugh.

          2. Steve K Silver badge

            Re: I know, I know

            Oh no, just wait till we get Barry on too...

        2. PNGuinn Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: I know, I know @moiety

          If that's the case, like the good guru, Sir, you're holding it wrong!

          Shirley, if you take a deep breath of helium and point the phone antenna directly back at the cell antenna, you should be able to start a fusion reaction and solve all the world's energy problems at a stroke - at least on a Friday ...

          Perhaps that's why smartphones don't have those nice little external aerials like wot we used to have. It's a conspiracy, I tell you.

        3. cosmogoblin

          Re: I know, I know

          Only if the packets have mass in the first place, i.e. you're using electronic communication.

          Using optical communications means the packets always have zero mass, no matter what you do to them. But it also means they're stuck at the speed of light, meaning that actual, real, meaningful, important laws (laws of physics) restrict their speed, so they're immune to regulation.

          1. moiety

            Re: I know, I know

            I feel vaguely guilty about the terrible science.

            Light does have weight, and it does have mass...sort of. It doesn't have invariant mass, though, which is quite lucky because otherwise you'd vaporise yourself whenever you turned a light on (not that you'd be able to afford a light, because electricians would be very expensive indeed, not to mention twitchy). As I understand things the extra pounds put on by physical objects as they travel faster, just sort of cancel themselves out in light's case, so it just trots along at lightspeed with it's original -tiny but measurable- mass.

            I always thought that electricity travelled at lightspeed but it turns out that that is not the case. Turns out that you literally could speed up the internet by swapping it out for faster cabling. Makes sense, actually...just like light slows down in water, so electrical impulses slow down in various mediums (apparently we're talking almost light speed for a copper bar; somewhere between 0.7c-0.9c for various wires and somewhere around 0.5c for a circuit for a motherboard). Of course, in practical terms we're probably already using the fastest affordable cabling.

            The tachyon bit was pure bollocks. Tachyons are a theoretical particle/imaginary mass field postulated to make some sums come out nice and also because -as a species- we take speed limits personally. Nobody to date has ever caught one, or even proved they exist. In fact, according to Wikipedia: "what would be required to avoid paradoxes is that unlike any known particle, tachyons do not interact in any way and can never be detected or observed, because otherwise a tachyon beam could be modulated and used to create an anti-telephone"; so if you did prove they existed, you'd either be doing it wrong (probably with an accompanying Earth-shattering kaboom if I know physicists), or could send yourself the lottery numbers back.

            So what conclusions can be drawn? 1) The guy in the tweet was right, although probably by accident. and 2) If you spout bunk science for your own amusement and then feel vaguely guilty about it just in case somebody believes you don't look up the equations as soon as you get back from the pub.

    2. GrumpyOldBloke

      As packets exceed the speed of light ...

      But you could use the transition back from mass to energy to charge your battery.

    3. PNGuinn Silver badge

      It would be very dangerous ...

      Sure, it'd take a lot of energy, but it'd find a use for all those wind and photoelectric farms someone or someone's cousin might just have shares in ...

      And bankrupt the Google ...

      And get everyone pr0n at warp speed ...

      And Save Kittens ...

      Has the well meaning but vacuous BF confused packets with Welsh Sheep perchance?

      Has he defined the current speed of a packet in a vacuum?

      Has this been scientifically verified by an alarmist climatologist / alarmed porkbarrelologist?

      Have the Kardashians been consulted?

  4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    I guess what he meant to say is that telcos/ISPs technically can send different user's data with different "speeds" or priorities, according to what they pay. So this is, once again, basically about net neutrality. True, he put it very clumsy. Given the topic, the platform and the audience that was just asking for trouble. But then again not everybody has the linguistic eloquence of an executive editor of a technical online magazine. Storm in a teacup on a slow day?

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    You know it's an A.O. article when

    You scroll and things like this jump out: The moral of the story is that you can’t create wise regulation through rhetoric. When you choose metaphors, and sometimes this is unavoidable, they need to be grounded in reality. With progressive arts grads making internet policy, this has been ignored: the rhetoric is all.

    There is no need to check the author's name.

    But I actually agree this time.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: You know it's an A.O. article when

      I've often wondered who determines the policy on the moderation of all comments in AO's articles.

      Drew, care to comment? :)

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Sir Runcible Spoon

        "I've often wondered who determines the policy on the moderation of all comments in AO's articles."

        It's a long standing editorial policy. It's basically to stop comment sections turning into "wow, Andrew sucks, you should fire him" because people disagree with him.


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: diodesign

          And yet the same luxury wasn't afforded the dearly departed Lewis Page.

          Are we really to believe that the comments are disproportionately severe as Andrew pokes, in my eyes righteously, technoutopians' scared cows in comparison to those elicited as Lewis cherrypicks data to support his climate change skepticism? Did John Lettice order Andrew's comments tightly moderated so the perpetually inflammatory commentards don't trigger a runaway greenhouse effect, thus disproving Lewis's suppositions and killing el Reg's two biggest cash cows (*claim may not reflect reality)? Is John, in fact, a black suit and tie wearing, Morley smoking, shadowy type figure manipulating an innocuous tech rag to his own ends, whatever they may be? I've certainly never seen a picture of him on the internet, let alone know any non-Reg employees who can confirm his identity. In fact, how do we know that everyone at el Reg is not, in actuality, John Lettice himself? How do we know that John Lettice isn't actually Mike Magee and that all comments aren't written by cleverly programmed Markov bots (excepting amanfrommars, the only real person here)?

          This is how conspiracy theories develop, Chris. You can't have incongruities like this on a website read exclusively by BOFHs, not to mention the sordid types that actually write for it, especially not on a Friday.

          1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

            Re: re: diodesign

            Many of Lewis's articles were pre-modded. But you are on the money with everything else.

  6. Swarthy Silver badge

    After reading this article

    I feel a bit like Alice after reading Jabberwocky.

    Somehow it fills my head with ideas—only I don't know exactly what they are.

  7. Cynical Observer

    Read this

    senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team


    senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team
    and figured that it probably explained an awful lot.

    Really - those involved with legislating in the tech arena should be compelled to demonstrate a minimum level of knowledge and proficiency before being let off the leash.

    Same applies this side of the pond.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Big Brother

      We must share the same brain-cell, because that's *exactly* how I read it at first too.

      Must be the conditioning.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      No, it works without editing if you read it properly.

      "senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team"

      Yes, we need better tech to make better quality crack. Your tax dollars at work.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, obviously...

    it's only the desire to stop people slowing down others. Why can we not just all get along?

    (Anon, because I assume we cannot get along :P )

    PS, and not doubt the author of the article would still be saying the same thing if the ISPs charged The Register extra to be "fast" on their network? There are no magical pixies, but point a to b delivery favouritism could be against you and your service. How do you feel about it now?

  9. BobStevens

    Slow it down, speed it up

    You might not be able to add speed to an existing connection but you can chose whether to route it over a faster or slower path. If your default routing path is via a slower network then choosing a faster one instead is in effect speeding the data up. It's plainly obvious what the tweet means and this whole article seems to be based around a very pedantic selective quoting of it.

    1. Phil Bennett

      Re: Slow it down, speed it up

      Exactly. Ask people involved in HFT about speeding up connections - shorter network paths (both number of hops and even physical length of cables), faster routing, preferred traffic.

      For more normal bandwidth uses, enhanced caching (local CDN servers), no DPI on trusted sites, no IWP filtering, no court ordered block filters, etc. All of these things can speed up your connection in the same way a bypass speeds up road traffic. The cars are going the same speed, but the traffic is faster.

      Interpreting that tweet as implying ISPS can selectively accelerate individual packets is just being an arsehole.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Slow it down, speed it up

        This is even a plot point in a few books.

        For example the Venus Prime series has a murder perpetrated by flipping a remote control system from the expected "local" to a "satellite" route.

      2. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

        Re: Slow it down, speed it up - Phil Bennett

        "Interpreting that tweet as implying ISPS can selectively accelerate individual packets is just being an arsehole."

        I disagree. Interpreting that tweet as implying ISPs can selectively accelerate individual packets is just conforming to the image most people have of the way the Internet works. Your car can go faster than 70mph but the UK speed limit on motorways says you shouldn't. So why, figure a lot of people, should the Internet be any different? And if you were predisposed to believe they were artificially throttling your connection then this tweet would fit with what you already know/believe. Not "just being an arsehole", more "just being a normal User".

        Of course, unless because *you* know better means it automatically follows that everyone else knows better too, in which case I think you might be sadly disappointed.

    2. Vic

      Re: Slow it down, speed it up

      It's plainly obvious what the tweet means and this whole article seems to be based around a very pedantic selective quoting of it.

      New here, huh?


    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Slow it down, speed it up

      Forget the speed and the queuing priorities.

      Ban pay-for-preferential-access and most other things resolve themselves.

    4. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

      Re: Slow it down, speed it up - BobStevens

      "It's plainly obvious what the tweet means and this whole article seems to be based around a very pedantic selective quoting of it."

      You, sir, are thinking like a Technician.

      He, on the other hand, was talking like a Politician. Even if he does know how things really work, he was making a statement for the sort of person who truly believes that those dastardly TelCos can control exactly how fast you connection will be, and that they do reserve entire sections of really high-speed internet for their buddies.

      The same sort of person who believes that Microsoft, Google etc put their User's desires above their shareholders' profits, or that all politicians are in the job purely because they want to serve the People (it's human nature that at least some of them are in it for what they can get...).

      Of course, I *could* be wrong and he was simply telling the truth as he sees it, but somehow I doubt it...

  10. D@v3

    speeding up traffic

    I hate to be that guy, especially on a Friday, but surely, this is possible.

    Think if you will of computers on a network. Client machine with a 10/100 NIC sends data to 10/100 switch, this switch has a gigabit link to a fibre router. In this case, surely, by the time the data has reached the fibre, it is moving 'faster' than it was across the 10/100 link? If not, then what's the point?

    To take this further, if I was an 'Evil Telco' what is to stop me from having an 'In Pipe' lets say that's 10/100, I then run some DPI on the traffic and decide that the data I like gets switched over onto a faster segment of my network, the data I don't like gets send down the damp piece of string I have, and the rest just goes out on the 'normal' section.

    I'm not saying this Does, or Should happen, just that surely it is Possible. If it weren't then all data would travel at the speed it leaves it's point of origin, and the hunt for ever faster broadband and mobile connections would just be snake oil.

  11. Denarius Silver badge

    Wheres Steve ?

    I was expecting a Steve Bong quote. You mean this was serious ? Yeesh, the Horsemen must be riding soon

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Wheres Steve ?

      They are already abroad.

      I believe they were in Nice last night.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Clearly an idiot

    Brian Forde is clearly an idiot who has no idea on how network technology and the internet work. Unfortunately there are plenty of politicians who will jump on his bandwagon solely in order to get a few sound bites and some air time.

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: Clearly an idiot

      "Unfortunately there are plenty of politicians who will jump on his bandwagon solely in order to get a few sound bites and some air time."

      I doubt they're smart enough to realise.

  13. jamesb2147

    Not much to go on here

    I believe the technical phrase is "Quality of Service." Perhaps you've heard of it?

    In all seriousness, the man doesn't deserve that much derision. On a clogged connection (that's a technical term; I'm a network engineer), you can effectively "speed up" certain traffic by prioritising it at the cost of other packets/streams/metaphor of choice. To the user on a clogged connection, it *will* appear as if things suddenly sped up, especially if you're talking about buffering video. And that exact scenario is exactly what network neutrality has been about since at least 2010, when "backdoor santa" dropped his steaming hot gift of network utilization graphs from the Comcrap-TATA link on NANOG's front porch and ran for it.

    Perhaps that's not snarky enough for El Reg, though.

  14. Alister Silver badge

    to borrow a favourite expression of my daughter's...

    What a twonk!

  15. jonathan1

    Slightly overblown news story

    Andrew - Phil's reponse has three likes and the thread has like four responses. Hardly a twitter storm.

    Fair point that regulation/law shouldn't be driven by rhetoric however it always is sadly.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Speeding up" = higher priority. You can't exceed optimal speed but you can cut in line ahead of lower-priority packets to get there faster.

  17. earl grey Silver badge

    he needs a ticket to a tractor pull

    You know, the one where they hook a chain to him and pull his head from his arse.

  18. Franco Silver badge

    I have visions of the packets sprouting legs to go faster like the Ant Hill Mob in Wacky Races.

    It absolutely terrifies me the number of people in positions of power to make decisions about technology who have not even the slightest inkling of what they are talking about.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      And that down vote has proved your point.

      Strange times.

  19. Ben Rose

    He's not entirely wrong...

    In real terms, I kinda see his point.

    I've upgraded my internet from dial-up to 1meg "broadband" and now I'm all the way up to a lovely "200 meg" connection. I can get the full bandwidth, Speedtest proves it.

    But, in reality, my downloads haven't got much faster since I upgraded from 50 meg. Despite their being sufficient bandwidth from the source (especially P2P swarms) it just won't go any quicker due to traffic management algorhythms in place.

    Meanwhile, stuff like Speedtest, Netflix etc. have indeed "speeded up" with the speed of my internet connection.

    So I'm using the same wire and the same modem, the ISP has speeded some stuff up, but what I actually use it for hasn't seen any significant increase.

    The only real use for a fat domestic broadband pipe is for multiple concurrent streams, like 4k Netflix in different rooms - achieving the full bandwidth is nigh on impossible.

  20. Stuart 18

    Units Units Units

    A popular phrase by my Mech. Engineering lecturer! SPEED is strictly speaking distance over time but is quite often mixed with the similar term RATE which is a volume over time measurement.

    Now a thesaurus or marketing blurb will often freely substitute between the two. Broadband in Megabytes per second or kilo or giga - bytes per second is commonly referred to as Broadband SPEED.

    Common usage often defines words and context. Basically this is getting overly pedantic with regard to extraordinarily normal usage for conjuring up this story out of nothing. So basically YES you can SPEED UP a FLOW of information RATE by prioritizing data with the assignment of more ports, fibres, etc., etc.

    No story here - let me get my coat as I leave....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Packet prioritisation

    "But if anything, “tubes” is a far more technically accurate than Forde’s notion that Evil Telcos (they are always evil) can speed up internet packets. The net doesn’t work like that."

    ...this seems to me to be a non-tech guy struggling to describe QOS-style prioritisation of particular types of traffic. I don't for a minute think he means somehow defy the laws of physics and make the packets fly across the network faster.

    And no, I don't agree with big-money companies being allowed to pay ISPs to prioritise bandwidth for their traffic, because obviously this comes at the expense of smaller companies or websites having their traffic de-prioritised to ensure QOS for the big guys customers.

    Surely its down to the end consumer, who is paying the ISP for a connection to the internet, to use bandwidth as he wishes, which means that the ISP should be shaping traffic (if at all) in a way which ensures that each subscriber gets a fair share of overall bandwidth, rather than giving priority to those who want to watch netflix for example.

    If an ISP can't give each subscriber a fair share of bandwidth then they are probably selling their connections with too high a contention ratio (common), or simply aren't paying for enough upstream bandwidth themselves (sadly also common) in order to reduce costs and make higher profits.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      why can't I pay for "better service" ?

      Here's a thought that NOBODY ever mentions: why CAN'T I pay for "better service" if I can AFFORD it ? Where's the advantage of working hard and accumulating LOTS of money?

      Actually, if I had a super-fat fiber line run from the nearest internet hub directly to my house, I COULD have that. but then my neighbors would NOT have that. And some dumbass would scream "Thats not fair" and FORCE ME to "share it". At least, that's how it seems...

      (and I wish I _did_ have "that kind of money" - instead I have crappy DSL that barely gets 500kbits these days, even after the phone company re-built my phone line to deal with noise and frequent dropouts)

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: why can't I pay for "better service" ?

        I dunno. Why can't you?

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: why can't I pay for "better service" ?

        The issue is not faster links. The issue is that ISP's try to become toll-gate-keepers which locks in the current data *suppliers* as the only ones who can afford to pay for decent service.

        That kills innovation "out there" on the internet since new suppliers can't get access to consumers. It adds cost where there doesn't need to be additional cost.

        Take for example the current Optus advert - "Stream music for free" I'd wager that's not actually what's on offer. I'd bet if I streamed music to an Optus mobile from home, it would come off my data allowance. My home is excluded as a service because it isn't Spotify or Apple music or whatever company they've done deals with. That pushes up the cost for Spotify and Apple, which in turn gets passed back to the consumer via higher fees. It also excludes new-comers who may not be able to afford to pay Optus or be global enough to conduct business with every ISP in the world. So you pay for your ISP and then your ISP charges the provider who charges you (more) to use the service you've just paid your ISP for. It is double-dipping, dishonest (it isn't free, they are just getting someone else to charge you) and corrupt.

        If you want fibre rather than adsl, knock yourself out. That's not what the article is about.

      3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

        Re: why can't I pay for "better service" ?

        Move to somewhere where there's FTTH.

        For what is worth, we live in the suburban forest and have up to Gb FTTH. Waited 'only' several years for it to get rolled out.

        Several houses for sale on my street. Cdn$600k range.

    2. razorfishsl

      Re: Packet prioritisation

      Would have done better to describe the Internet as a train-set.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Phil Riley

    "Please enlighten me, how does one 'speed up' network traffic? Devices can't retransmit any faster than they receive."

    Short Answer: Queue jumping.

    Longer Answer:

    "...increase usable bandwidth for some kinds of packets by delaying other kinds."

    Mr. Riley, I hope that this helps. If you need any further explanations, just ask.

  23. mIRCat

    Those of faith will be rewarded.

    "there’s no Magic Internet Pixie" - Andrew Orlowski

    Your disbelief has been noted. Please report to the Office of Fantastical Re-education at our earliest convenience.

    Coats will be provided.

  24. Scoured Frisbee


    "Please enlighten me, how does one 'speed up' network traffic? Devices can't retransmit any faster than they receive."

    Okay, I'm an electrical engineer in license only, but I thought bits traveled about 2/3c on copper and exactly c on fibre. Thus every copper-to-fibre media converter is changing the traffic speed either up or down depending on direction, surely?

    1. hayzoos

      Re: Eh...

      "Okay, I'm an electrical engineer in license only, but I thought bits traveled about 2/3c on copper and exactly c on fibre."

      Electrical engineers should stick to their realm of electrons and not speak of photons or bits. Since fibre is not a vacuum, the photons must not be traveling at exactly c. Bits must be converted to electrons or photons, and the conversion process is only known to alchemists and wizards. Creatures such as bit pixies or photon faeries or electron elfs may be able to effect the conversion process, but they do not know the process. It's all a matter of limited resources. There is a shortage of alchemists and wizards and no amount of H1Bs will get you enough to speed up the conversion process to effect a speed up of packets.

    2. Alan Johnson

      Re: Eh...

      Actually in the fibre the light will travel at c/n where n is the refractive index and signals* will travel at the group velocity, which for fibre will basically be the same.

      Actually it is very clear what the guy is talking about throughput and latency for specific connections and these absolutely can be improved at the expensive of others. The whole basis of the article seems an unfairly pedantic reading of what is said. All of us must have used language at least this loosely but with it actually clear what we mean.

      * There are rare circumstances when even this is not true if we want to be even more pedantic.

  25. Christian Berger Silver badge

    The problem is actually rather simple

    Any kind of QoS only makes sense when your network is overloaded as QoS on Ethernet can do little more than decide what packets to throw away. That's actually even a rather expensive feature on a router and many routers will have severe limitations once you turn on QoS. QoS means looking at more than one packet at a time, that's not what routers are made for.

    The solution is to make sure your network never is overloaded. No that doesn't mean that you have to add up the bandwidth you advertise to your customers. What it means is that you look at your utilisation and make sure that on a typical month you are never above 50%. That way you'll always have spare bandwidth, even if one of your redundant links breaks.

    We should also note, that unlike the telephone network where individual lines could break (or at least individual 2MBit trunks), we now live in a time where your connection may simply consist of 2 redundant links, each one able of holding the complete traffic. There is no "emergency situation" where capacity is severely limited to 10% or something. Things either work, or they don't. Also in real life emergencies there is no increased amount of bandwidth. People don't watch Netflix en masse when their house is being flooded. They might use their telephone, but even on IP telephony that bandwidth is next to nothing.

  26. gypsythief

    "there’s no Magic Internet Pixie...

    ...providing divine (and always fair) packet management, either."

    Of course there isn't. Everybody knows it's fairies, not pixies. Here, let me quote from the FreeBSD FAQs:

    "FAQ 17.4: Where does data written to /dev/null go?

    It goes into a special data sink in the CPU where it is converted to heat which is vented through the heatsink / fan assembly... <snip> ...I would strongly discourage people sending the data they do not want out to the network. The fairies who do the packet switching and routing get annoyed by it as well."

    So you see, fairies, not pixies. And as fairies are fair, (that's why they're called fairies after all) there can clearly be no slowing down or speeding up of packets.

  27. Bakana

    Actually, they Can sometimes "Speed Up" your packets.

    The last time I had to have someone actually come to my house to fix my carrier's Internet connection, the guy casually asked why I hadn't been upgraded to the carrier's faster servers.

    It turned out that the company had upgraded a bunch of servers, but the Price for that newer connection had somehow gone Down. Which might explain why "Marketing" had not bombarded me with an Avalanche of ads begging me to "upgrade" to the faster service.

    Faster Service and a Lower Price? Why would we tell Customers about That?

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