Google has delivered its riposte to Precursor LLC, which accused the search giant of using 21 times more internet bandwidth than it pays for in its maiden research study of U.S. Consumer Internet Usage and Cost. Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington Telecom Counsel derided Scott Cleland, the author of Precursor’s contentious report, for what it calls “payola punditry.”
He questioned the neutrality of the report given the fact Cleland’s anti-Net neutrality group – effectively against Google - is funded by telecom and cable companies. He expressly made it clear that he believes that the report was at the behest of Cleland’s paymasters.
Whitt even hung a question mark against the accuracy of the calculations upon which Cleland based his diatribe against the search giant. "Mr. Cleland's calculations about YouTube's impact are similarly flawed. Here he confuses "market share" with 'traffic share.' YouTube's share of video traffic is decidedly smaller than its market share. And typical YouTube traffic takes up far less bandwidth than downloading or streaming a movie."
But Cleland is standing his ground. He described the report as a “transparent attempt to estimate something of significance.”
Just this week Precursor LLC released their first research study of U.S. consumer Internet bandwidth usage, and as it turns out Google has been taking more than their fair share.
The company reportedly used 16.5% of all Internet traffic in the U.S. in 2008, and it’s predicted to grow to a staggering 37% in 2010. The cause of all this bandwidth use is primarily Google’s search bots, that keep tabs on virtually the entire Internet and YouTube, which is responsible for streaming almost half of the video on the Internet.
What’s more, it looks like Google is trying to skimp on the bill! According the report, “Google’s payment to fund just the U.S. consumer broadband Internet segment to be approximately $344 million in 2008 or 0.8% of U.S. consumer’s flat-rate monthly Internet access costs of $44.0 billion. Thus Google’s 16.5% share of all 2008 U.S. consumer bandwidth usage, is ~21 times greater than Google’s 0.8% share of U.S. consumer bandwidth costs – or an implicit ~$6.9 billion subsidy of Google by U.S. consumers.”
Comcast is in the news again, but this time it has nothing to do with throttling connections or those ever-unpopular bandwidth limits. Instead, the ISP has announced it is rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 'wideband' internet service, giving (er, selling) subscribers up to 50Mbps downstream and 10Mpbs upstream.
At those speeds, Comcast puts itself nearly on par with Verizon's FiOS service, who's top-tier package offers the same downstream but twice the upstream at 20Mbps. But a key difference lies in compatibility. DOCSIS 3.0 means that cable operators don't have to install new lines and instead can use existing infrastructure.
The Extreme 50 service, as Comcast is calling it, will run $140 per month for residential subscribers and $190 per month for businesses. According to Comcast, Extreme 50 customers will be able to download a high-definition movie in about 16 minutes. Initial availability is limited to subscribers in parts of New England, Philadelphia, and New Jersey, with a planned expansion to more than 10 million homes and business by the end of the year.
Would you be willing to pay $140 per month for 50Mpbs/10Mbps? Hit the jump and let us know.
Do you do a lot of uploading? If so, chances are high it's of the the P2P variety, according to a new study. You'll have to take the research with a grain of salt, as the company who performed the study, Sandvine, is the same one that manufacturered the hardware for Comcast's now infamous intentional throttling.
Be that as it may, Sandvine reports that while P2P traffic accounts for 22 percent of downstream bandwidth, upstream remains much more busy at just over 61 percent. A distant second is web traffic, which only accounts for 17 percent of bandwidth used, according to the report.
"Bulk bandwidth applications like P2P are on all day, everyday and are unaffected by changes to network utilization," says Dave Caputo, Sandvine's co-founder. "This reinforces the importance of protecting real-time applications that are sensitive to jitter and latency during times of peak usage."
Do the numbers surprise you? Hit the jump and let us know.
A new survey conducted by Zeugma Systems reveals that more than 8 out of 10 U.S. broadband customers disapprove of having their bandwidth capped with fees for going over a predetermined limit. Judging by the comments in previous news stories we've run on the subject, it's the same sentiment shared by many Maximum PC readers. But unlike the latter, 83 percent of those polled also were clueless about what a gigabyte is or much bandwidth they're currently consuming. Despite the lack of information, just over half of the respondents claimed they would switch service providers if their ISPs implemented a broadband cap.
"These results are both an opportunity and a warning for BSPs," said Kevin Walsh, Zeugma Systems vice president of marketing. "The opportunity is that consumers are signaling a willingness to pay more for dedicated bandwidth over and above basic high speed internet for such services as premium internet video, VOIP, gaming, and corporate VPN access. The warning is a clear distaste for bandwidth caps. At a minimum, providers moving forward with bandwidth capping schemes may want to consider a more intelligent and flexible application of caps.”
Today marks the beginning of Comcast's 250GB cap, which has drawn ire from those who fear it might not be enough, particularly as HD streaming moves to the forefront of digital distribution. But if this latest poll is any indication, the cap size may not even matter to the majority of subscribers, it's the fact that there's a cap in place to begin with. That perception may prove to be an even bigger challenge than trying to convince subscribers that 250GB is a lot of bandwidth.
It seems that in the rapidly approaching future I may have to pay extra to my ISP to download my collection of Steam based games when I upgrade my PC or wipe a hard drive. Forget about streaming movies over the net. In fact, best keep your quality internet time to surfing text pages, email without pictures, and IMing. Okay, not quite that bad, but close, if some ISPs have their say about it. The Associated Press covered a story in which a man in New York changed from his cable company to his phone company based on the offer of a year of free service on a two-year contract, an attractive deal. Soon afterr Frontier Communications quietly updated its policies saying it would limit internet activity each month to 5GB. That’s the same figure that several other companies are trying out.
This story is particularly interesting because it’s a phone company trying the cap, not a cable company. Since in this man’s particular area the cable company is Time Warner, which is trying a pilot program in Beaumont Texas with a 5GB cap on its cable service for new users, it might not help to switch even if he can get out of his phone company contract. That is a scenario that we could see repeated in many areas if this catches on.
These scenarios are tough sells to customer that aren’t interested in having additional fees tacked on to their bills, especially after the fact. If consumers are left without a choice because all of their area ISPs are capping their downloads, it’s customers that lose out and it becomes pretty easy for ISPs to charge more money for less service. 5GB of data isn’t much at all.
Do you think this will backfire on ISPs? Sound off below.
Rambus, the company most known for its rampage of patent lawsuits on all things memory, may soon be better known for something else. The company announced a Terabyte Bandwidth Initiative last year, in which it set a goal of developing a future memory architecture capable of delivering a terabyte per second of memory bandwidth to a single System-on-Chip (SoC), and Rambus showed at IDF that it's getting ever closer to that goal.
On display was a DRAM emulator pushing 16Gbps, a key hurdle in making a terabyte of bandwidth possible. However, the test chips were only single channel, putting a slight damper on the display. Still, if Rambus can bring to fruition its new memory architecture, which it looks to be well on its way to doing, it could usher in a new era of high performance memory products.
Comcast is not about to stop in its attempts to manage heavy users on its network after the hand slap from the Federal Communications Commission that found that Comcast had improperly blocked peer-to-peer programs.
Bloomburg reports that Comcast now has plans to slow Internet service to the heaviest users during periods of congestion. The internet speeds for targeted customers will be reduced for periods lasting from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, to keep the service running smoothly for other users.
How much of a slow down? Mitch Bowling, Comcast's senior vice president and general manager of online services said it would back down to “a really good DSL experience''.
Internet Service Providers need a way to control bandwidth hogs during peak times in order to keep things profitable. The only other way is to add additional bandwidth that they would never even touch the rest of the time, which comes off their bottom line. Comcast’s first mistake was being sneaky about it and not disclosing the practice to consumers.
I actually like their latest idea, but from the sounds of this, they are about to repeat their second mistake; not defining what constitutes a heavy user and what exactly is this penalty phase with the bandwidth cap? The generalities just make users uneasy. Those same uneasy users will backlash if they unknowingly get caught up in Comcast’s heavy user slowdown, with what they see as reasonable usage. That reasonable usage is completely subjective, unless Comcast chooses to define it.
What do you think? Is Comcast’s latest plan an improvement?
The folks behind the popular torrent site,The Pirate Bay have added another project to their list. They want to encrypt the Internet. Not just little pieces, but the whole thing. They have named it Transparent end-to-end encryption for the Internets, or IPETEE for short. The encryption would happen on the network level so most anything could be encrypted transmitted and decrypted, providing the systems have adopted the technology on both sides. It would be completely transparent to the user, unlike say IPSEC on IPv4. IPv6 may make this moot if its implementation is more polished (and we will have to leave IPv4 sometime)
Apparently the European Union’s move going to a DMCA like copyright enforcement effort is what spurred this interest from the Sweden based group.
I love anything that keeps our privacy, private. I do have to wonder if it’s going to really be practical or worth it to encrypt everything. It adds overhead to bandwidth, and increases loads on CPUs. Granted these are minimal, but on busy servers this will pile up and run up costs, which would impede adoption.
Of course it still has to be launched, and track records count. The Pirate Bay’s other unlaunched projects include: The Video Bay, music site PlayBle, and a new secure version of the P2P protocol. IPETEE is a much more ambitious and involved project than any of those. We will have to wait and see if there will be enough interest to get it going. In the mean time we can be entertained by their legal section.
What do you think of total encryption of all internet traffic? Is it worth it? Let us know in the comments section!
A report by network equipment manufacturer Sandvine has once again saddled P2P traffic with the blame for hogging most of the precious North American bandwidth. The report pegs P2P traffic’s share of internet bandwidth at 44% - up 3% from the preceding year.
The scales are heavily lopsided as web traffic comes a distant second with 27.3% followed by streaming media with 14.8% of internet bandwidth.
VoIP is expected to grow steadily over the coming few years but it currently consumes the least internet bandwidth, a paltry .2%. Although there has been no consistency in reports detailing bandwidth usage, P2P traffic is logically most bandwidth-intensive.