I'm currently on the island Diego Garcia and have been wondering how the only ISP (owned by the Brits) on this island works. Right now, they offer two speeds, 128kbps and 256kbps at $90/$160 a month with a max data transfer of 3 to 8 GB down and ?? to ?? up. Their service is satellite provided and is contended.
The download speed wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the congestion. Is there anything the ISP can do to alleviate this congestion? During duty hours you could get a decent 25-30kbps actual download speed but when everyone goes home and jumps on the internet, it gets bogged down to 2-4kbps. Isn't there some sort of upgrade or hardware change they can implement to fix this? Another thing, what makes them incapable of having unlimited data transfers? Why charge for how much you download/upload? Is the data actually take physical form and uses up space that they need funds to maintain? Or is it just an excuse to make money?
The questions you asked have some obvious answers.
Sure they can upgrade the hardware.
Nothing technically stops them from offering unlimted data.
Why charge for how much you download? To make money.
Since they have many people looking for service in an area with no other options, they can do what they feel they need to to make a profit. They also need to pay for the bandwidth they use to some-one, if they offered unlimited service to everyone they'd end up with huge slowness issues, satellite is a really inefficient way to provice net access, but if it's the only way in your area, not much that can be done.