A Bandwidth Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, a social primate lived with his wife and son in a big, huge house in a magical place called the “American suburb.” In the American suburb, the social primate was able to connect to the internet at a fairly low price, but what was more amazing is that his download speeds were incredibly fast and there were never (ever) any limits on how much he downloaded. Life was good for the social primate and his family, who loved to spend hours everyday listening to and watching all sorts of new media content.

Then, one day, during a period of turbulent weather, the social primate and his family were forced to leave the American suburb and its plentiful high-speed bandwidth. They boarded a large jet and went flying for what seemed like days to the other side of the planet. They arrived in a magical country called “Aus-tra-li-a,” which resembled the American suburb in many ways, but also contained lots of strange animals that screeched and crawled all over the place. After patiently waiting a few weeks in their new but much smaller home, they were finally able to connect their computers to the internet once more, happily resuming their sedentary lifestyle in front of the glowing screens.

But while the social primate and his family happily downloaded new podcasts, streaming audio, photographs, movies, and television shows, something sinister was happening, about which the social primate was totally ignorant. You see, even though they were now paying double what they used to pay in the American suburb for their high-speed broadband service, they were also quickly starting to “use up” their bandwidth capacity each month.

Finally, after a particularly heavy weekend of downloading inspired by the offerings of the iTunes store, the social primate received a bill from the Big Bad Broadband provider from the Big Pond. Imagine his horrible shock when he found that it was for $732! You see, the social primate and his family had exceeded their monthly 25 GB allotment just a few days before, and were now being asked to pay nearly $600 for the additional 4 GB of downloads that had since occurred. As you might expect, there was much crying and thrashing about in the social primate’s household, and it looked like they might never download again.

Hope returned to the social primate’s household a few days later when the Big Bad Broadband provider from the Big Pond told the social primate’s wife that he could appeal the bill if he submitted a form explaining what happened. It would take 3-4 weeks for the Big Bad Broadband provider to make a decision. The social primate and his family now wait patiently for an answer.

What is the moral of the story, you might ask? Well, I can’t think of one. Perhaps you can…