To Wendel- Plusnet, a UK ISP claims local caches are useless to ISP's

Plusnet is pretty much the only ISP in the UK who cares about their customers any more. They have fast internet that is cheap, and their policies mean they don't throttle (much). I was reading an article written on their forums that was titled "How UK ISP's are charged for broadband - the cost of IPStream" and an interesting topic they covered was "Can you reduce the bandwidth costs?" and they say this:

A number of people have suggested that ISPs set up local caches, for example with content providers like the BBC, in order to reduce costs. If the data is already being transferred across a peering link then there’s going to be little if any cost saving (and maybe actually a cost increase in running the servers that make up the cache). Even if the data is being transferred over a transit link the savings would still be small in comparison to the BT Wholesale charges. The transit and peering cost make up less than 14% of the total bandwidth costs. So even moving 20% of traffic from the transit links to a local cache only saves a couple of quid per Mbps at best out of £147 and at worst saves nothing but increases data centre running costs.

What do you think? 


If by "useless" you mean that "30% of the traffic could be saved" (Since that's netflix average usage) Then, yes, it's "useless." 

BTW Old post is Old.

The post says 1mbps constant usage is about 150 Pounds per month. This ISP must have a terrible negotiator for upstream bandwidth. I have a modest sized customer with 18 42U racks in an SSAE2 data center in the midwest. Build out (i.e. getting fiber to them) cost about $150k but their upstream ISP charges them about $100 per month per 1gbps port. That's unmetered. 

So the article can't have it both ways. Either it doesn't matter because bandwidth for the ISPs is insanely cheap (and so ISPs can just buy more capacity cheaper than they can do some caching stuff). 

Or, bandwidth is so expensive that they could deploy caching for their top two services (netflix and youtube, possibly also newsgroups) and slash their bandwidth utilization in half.

Let's look at it another way. How expensive is it to get a fiber optic cable from A to B? Well, if you're being charted 150 Pounds per 1mbps (!!!!!!!) you can Run Your Own Damn Cable more inexpensively pretty quickly. 

Do some research and find out how much dark fiber there is in the UK. If there is any dark fiber (and I'm betting there is a lot) there has to be hanky panky going on. Can't not be at those prices. 

Overall, article is a disingenuous argument that seems maybe plausible, but falls apart under scrutiny.




Plusnet's prices are more expensive that Virgin Media. I currently have Virgin's 60MBit package. It costs £31 a month and I will receive a free upgrade to 100Mbit in a few months. Plusnet offers 76Mbit for £35. Virgin also offers 152Mbit download speed for £39. One thing I will say about plusnet is it appears they have upload speeds that are quite a bit faster.

i hate plusnet, before i moved to BT, i discovered that their "unlimited" package had a limit, :C