Too Much or Too Little Bandwidth?

Yesterday morning i was reading a post about Internet Service Providers (ISPs) potentially putting an end to the boom in online video. Supposedly, there are currently ISPs in the UK that are placing a 1 gigabyte cap on users each month. I definitely would flip out if that was the case give that I download a ton of music and videos each month. I have to wonder if this was some hand-picked $5 per month internet service. If they were going to place such a cap there is no way I would be paying what I currently pay. The post also discusses alternative restrictions such as a reduction in max download speed for users once they cross a specified threshold.

By the afternoon, there was a post circulating the web about having too much bandwidth. According to a Business Week post, consumers will start having much faster download speeds thanks to new technologies such as Verizon’s FIOS service. FIOS will provide users with download speeds of up to 30 megabits per second. That is pretty impressive. Video on the computer will suddenly become mainstream once this new technology becomes widely available.

So which one is it? Is there too much or too little bandwidth available? Most likely, if you are a reader of my blog then you are not one of the few individuals that have a small cap on your monthly bandwidth usage (if you are then post a comment, I would love to hear more). I personally am able to download hundreds of songs and tens of full-length movies on a monthly basis. So why did Last100 post an article suggesting the internet arteries will soon be clogged by the overwhelming demand for internet video? Most likely it was simply aimed at creating a little controversy. Conversely, I’m sure that there are internet users that have a small limit on their monthly internet usage, but my guess is they aren’t heavy internet users anyways.

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  • Emalyse

    Here in the UK we seem to be moving from ‘unlimited’ to the use of bandwidth throttling. Certainly my cable broadband service which is not the cheapest available is now employing throttling (‘shaping’ is the friendlier term) so all of a certain I have to watch my radio streaming, joost usage and video watching or I’ll see a sudden crippling of my access speed. We have had generous bandwidth limits unlike say Australia where a meagre 512k service can easily have only a 600Mb(!) monthly limit.

  • Covarr

    My current ISP puts a 10 gigabyte limit on their standard plan and charges extra for usage over that. Not throttled or capped, but definitely metered.

    I think that part of the reason that bandwidth is starting to get cut off so much is that the current leader in bandwidth usage is piracy. Back in 1997, when the most common use of bandwidth was GeoCities, nobody really cared, but now, with piracy as big as it is, ISPs are forced to find new ways to prevent it, including bandwidth throttling/capping.

  • Jacob Wyke

    Yeah most services do have a cap, but you can also pay a few extra £ to get an unlimited service which is fine by me.