As more demands are placed on your hardware infrastructure you’ve got two choices: (1) increase your hardware infrastructure; or (2) make your hardware infrastructure more efficient. Google’s been grappling with the problem of late, and has decided that option (2) the the preferable way to go.
To reduce latency on videos, Google Labs has devised Feather, now in beta, which delivers YouTube pages without a lot of extras. The Feather edition of YouTube does away with search suggestions, comment posting, viewing all comments, video rating, and customization of the embedded player. The downside: not all videos will be available under the Feather option.
Just recently Comcast dropped the price on their “Extreme 50” Internet package (for those that are also subscribing to their Digital Voice or cable TV) from $139.95 to $99.95.
This new Extreme 50 package was just launched in Washington, DC and surrounding areas today, but the price for the $139.95 service is dropping nationwide. Along with this deployment, Comcast plans to get DOCSIS 3.0 to 65 percent of their territory by the end of this year.
According to Comcast spokesperson Charlie Douglas, “We already have a bundled incentive with our other tiers, so this is similar. It was just a matter of time before we introduced a bundled incentive price for Extreme 50.”
With this drop, Comcast now offers the cheapest 50Mbps broadband in the United States.
According to the rumor mill, Comcast is going to release a 100Mb service sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Currently, the fastest available service from Comcast is 50/20Mb, and will run consumers roughly $189 per month. There’s no word yet on how much this rumored service will cost, but going from the current model, we can gather that it will be costly.
We’ll be sure to keep our eyes on this as it develops.
So here's the deal: You don't want 101Mpbs broadband. And because you don't demand ultra high-speed internet, you're not the least bit impressed with Cablevision's recently announced Optimum Online Ultra, which will offer Long Island, New York residents uncapped 101Mpbs starting May 11 for $99 per month. Heck, if you cared at all about such high speeds, Verizon would have been offering a similar package two years ago, but you just don't.
Don't agree? Tell it to Eric Rabe, senior VP of Media Relations for Verizon, who posted a blog downplaying Cablevision's high-speed announcement. Rabe had some interesting things to say, essentially calling the service a sham.
"With today's technology, you don't have to break much of a sweat to deliver 100Mbps to a few customers," Rabe wrote. "But given the inherent limits of the cable platform, a cluster of bandwidth junkies living near each other could be a real problem. One estimate is that a single 101Mpbs customer would use some 60 perent of the capacity in a neighborhood. Other users? Outta luck."
Rabe went on to ask "How many customers have been storming the castle, asking for 101 megabits per second bandwidth?" Considering the lack of demand and scope, Rabe called Cablevision's announcement a "parlor trick."
And why stop at 100Mpbs? Rabe points out that Verizon's FiOS network has the capacity to deliver 400Mbps to a single home, along with the muscle to carry the load. It also has "plenty of room for more" upstream bandwidth than the 20Mbps it currently offers.
With all the hubbub surrounding bandwidth limits and tiered internet, it would seem that dark days lay ahead for broadband. So excuse us if we refer to Cablevision as a beacon of shining light, as the cable company today became the fastest cable ISP in the US with its Optimum Online Ultra service.
Optimum Online Ultra takes advantage of the multi-channel DOCSIS 3.0 standard, and by doing so, Cablevision is able to woo customers with up to 101Mbps peak downstream and a more than respectable 15Mbps upstream. On paper, that make's Cablevision's service more than twice as fast as Comcast's 50Mbps package, but it's the lack of a bandwidth cap that may ultimately prove to be the biggest draw for consumers.
Long Island, New York residents will get first crack at the new service starting May 11, which will run $99 per month.
Newton's third law of motion states "to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," which might help explain why ISPs feel compelled to offer increasingly faster broadband, yet place bandwidth restrictions as low as 40GB/month. It hardly seems fair considering that streaming HD content is finally starting to take hold, along with downloadable games, an increased interest in Linux, and other ways to use up that monthly allotment. New York Congressman Eric Massa doesn't think it's fair either and has pledged to introduce a bill called the "Broadband Internet Fairness Act."
"I am taking a leadership position on this issue because of all the phone calls, emails, and faxes I've received from my district and all over the country," Massa said in a statement. "While I favor a businesses' right to maximize their profit potential, I believe safeguards must be put in place when a business has a monopoly on a specific region."
Massa was referring to Time Warner Cable (TWC), who said it plans to test tiered internet service in Rochester, New York, which resides in Massa's district. Even more startling is AT&T's plans to test its 20GB data cap in the same town where TWC began its pilot program.
It remains to be seen what, if anything, will come from Massa's proposed bill, but the lesson here is that if you take the time to write, email, or call your Congressman, someone just might listen.
Bandwidth caps are the latest and greatest ways for ISPs to keep people in check, and while some ISPs do have admittedly sizeable caps (such as Comcast’s 250GB/month and AT&T’s slightly less impressive 150GB/month), Time Warner’s is a pathetic 40GB/month, and starting soon, those living in the Lone Star State won’t be the only ones subject to it.
Austin, San Antonio, Rochester, NY and Greensboro, NC will be the next cities that will have to deal with the diminutive bandwidth cap. And, a note to people in these locations, every gig you go over your cap, it’ll cost you a buck.
Now, that’s not to say that a buck all on its own is a big deal, but when you consider that downloading four conservatively sized HD movies, at 5GB a piece, takes up half of your monthly allotment, there’s something to ponder. And, if you enjoy the perks of HD video on Hulu and YouTube, there’s more to worry about. And gamers, if you like to buy your games on Steam, you’d better watch yourselves too! Those megabytes sure can add up quickly, and so can your bill.
Pretty soon select high speed internet subscribers in Kansas and Arkansas will learn how their ISP got its name. That's because Cox Communications, the third-largest cable ISP in the country, said it will start testing a new method of throttling internet traffic on its high-speed network in the two states, starting in February.
This isn't a bandwidth limit like Comcast and AT&T have implemented. Instead, Cox breaks down internet traffic into two categories -- time sensitive and non-time sensitive -- and when the traffic becomes congested, non time sensitive traffic will take a back seat to higher priority packets.
Hit the jump to find out what qualifies as non-time sensitive traffic.
Though many people are keenly awaiting the commercial launch of USB 3.0, it is advisable that they subdue their alacrity a touch as it will take some time for the technology to warm-up. A prototype USB 3.0 hard drive being showcased at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show is only able to manage read speeds up to 1320Mb/s and writes speeds of up to 1000Mb/s, which is around a quarter of what is possible with USB 3.0.
A representative for the USB Implementers Forum also confirmed to TG Daily that it will take a bit of time before devices begin to fully tap the potential of the new technology.
All systems are go for Comcast, who confirmed to DSL Reports it has implemented its broadband throttling system across all markets. The two-condition throttling system works by first examining aggregate traffic usage data for individual segments of Comcast's high-speed internet (HSI) network. If the overall upstream or downstream usage reaches a predetermined level, the software system then identifies which subscribers are using a disproportionate share of the bandwidth and assigns them a lower priority status. According to Comcast, throttling won't actually occur "so long as the network segment is not actually congested" (see Comcast's filings with the FCC in PDF form).
It will take a sustained use of 70 percent of the downstream throughput for a user to be assigned a lower priority, which will remain that way until usage drops to 50 percent of the provisioned upstream or downstream bandwidth for about 15 minutes. In this throttled state, traffic may or may not be delayed or dropped, depending on the overall demand, Comcast says.
In the past, Comcast received heavy criticism over its decision to use forged TCP packets to throttle upstream P2P services no matter how much bandwidth a user was consuming. This new system of identifying and potentially thwarting bandwidth hogs sounds a fair bit, well, more fair than the ISP's previous approach, but we'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Do you like what Comcast is doing? Hit the jump and sound off.