With an estimated 649 million people online worldwide, it is no surprise that information can be spread quickly over great distances. It's no less surprising that when something seemingly small or insignificant becomes "noticed" on the Internet, things can quickly get out of hand.
Seattle-based author Glenn Fleishman experienced exactly those results when he figured out his bandwidth usage bill would be approximately US$15,000 after making one of his books available for free on his website. Luckily, he won't have to pay it!
For the past few weeks the Seattle-based author was preparing himself for a gigantic bandwidth bill after offering his book, Real World Adobe GoLive 6, as a free download.More information @ Wired News
Fleishman posted the book online in PDF format last month. He expected a few hundred downloads. Instead, it was grabbed about 10,000 times in just 36 hours.
It took Fleishman a couple of days to realize how much traffic the book was attracting. But by the time he pulled the file offline, he was on the hook for downloads of about 250 GB of data. Fleishman estimated the charges for incremental bandwidth would set him back $15,000 or more.
Luckily for Fleishman, he pulled the plug just in time. Fleishman's ISP, Level 3, recently informed him he won't be charged for the fiasco -- Fleishman yanked the file offline just before he reached a threshold at which charges apply.