A TidBITS reader contacted us this week wondering if we'd experienced or heard of an issue where subscribers to .Mac in Europe are seeing unusually slow download speeds (capped at roughly 768 Kbps). (More information can be found at Apple's discussion forums.) The issue doesn't appear to affect customers in the United States, prompting the reader to speculate that Apple must be deliberately throttling the bandwidth. No one on the TidBITS staff had experienced this (including Joe Kissell, who now lives in Paris), so I forwarded the message to a contact in Apple's PR department.
Now, please understand that we at TidBITS don't have some special phone line to Cupertino, though there are definitely times when we wish we did. However, this time I got a reply. According to an Apple representative, the only time bandwidth is restricted is when a .Mac customer has exceeded his or her allotted data transfer limit (currently 100 GB per month "for full members and Family Pack master accounts, and 25 GB for Family Pack sub-accounts.") There's no other policy limiting bandwidth, especially based on geography. She also said that Apple is looking into the issue to determine what could be causing the slowdown.