Later this month France is hosting a summit of political leaders and Internet thinkers. But now it seems that senior industry leaders are being asked to pay up for their chance to dictate the conversation and swap numbers with powerful governments.
Netflix has become the new scapegoat for Internet Service Providers eager to cap, tier or otherwise make broadband more expensive for their customers in the guise of chastising bandwidth hogs. Data out from startup Mu Dynamics drives the streaming site’s pariah status home.
Google has chosen Kansas City, Kansas for its 1 Gigabit fiber-to-the-home network it announced last February, disappointing the hundreds of other towns that sent in applications in the hopes of getting their own Google-funded superfast network.
Two announcements on Monday night illustrated the yin and yang of the streaming market. Amazon announced a cloud storage drive and cloud music service, and Netflix said it would have to degrade the quality of video streams in response to bandwidth caps.
IBM today released its latest cloud offering –- a mix of consulting services, gear and a management platform aimed at communications service providers — with France Telecom and Shanghai Telecom named in the release as pilot customers. It’s part of a shift in strategy for Big Blue.
If you find you just can’t get a fast enough Internet connection, you might want to look for an apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia — a local ISP there named Novus says it will soon launch the continent’s fastest Internet service, offering 200 megabits per second.
[qi:066] Internet service providers may become legally responsible for scam web sites and spam that passes over their lines if a new piece of legislation, the Investor Protection Act, gets turned into law. The act, which passed through the House Financial Services Committee today, requires ISPs to filter fraudulent sites and emails that falsely claim to be from certain brokerage firms affiliated with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) if the ISP is “aware of facts or circumstances from which it is apparent that the material contains a misrepresentation.” If the communications are not blocked, ISPs could be liable for damages. Read More about House Committee: ISPs Must Block Scam Sites
With broadband, as with other utilities such as electricity and water, people should pay for what they use, according to an editorial in The Financial Times today. Demand and use of the Internet has risen faster than capacity can keep up, which means that the all-you-can-eat model of unlimited broadband per month no longer applies, argues Andrew Harries, chief executive of Zeugma, which makes equipment that can be used to provide metered service. However, he neglects to explain that the ISPs’ version of metered broadband isn’t priced like your water or electricity, but is instead priced like a cell phone plan. Read More about Yeah, I’d Like Metered Broadband, Too — If It Were Actually Metered
In 2008, ISPs started to really feel the heat when it comes to video file-sharing. Comcast got reprimanded by the FCC for blocking BitTorrent transfers and consumers rebbelled against P2P throttling. Meanwhile the entertainment industry has been demanding harsher enforcement and HD-swapping users have been eating up more and more bandwidth. In other words: It’s been a big mess.
The good news is that the increased pressure from all sides has forced ISPs to come to terms with the reality of file-sharing and other forms of P2P video distribution, which is essentially: You can’t stop it, so you might as well find ways to make it run more smoothly on your network.
Read More about 2008: The Year ISPs Got Real About P2P Video
Sandvine, the company behind the devices used by Comcast and others to block BitTorrent, has just introduced a network management tool called FairShare that aims to address Net Neutrality concerns. FairShare is supposed to allow ISPs to manage their networks with a protocol- and application-agnostic approach, precisely what Comcast promised to switch to before the end of the year.
Comcast isn’t the only one that could benefit from FairShare. Sandvine itself has been looking for a way to win back customers that were scared off by potential policy implications. The company saw its revenue fall 46 percent in the first quarter of 2008, a downturn that it attributed to customers delaying purchases because of the Net Neutrality debate.
So what will FairShare mean for online video? Well P2P startups will no longer be singled out as the Internet’s bandwidth bogeymen. But your P2P-powered NBC Direct downloads won’t necessarily be any faster with FairShare. In fact, all bandwidth-intensive online video applications are at risk of being throttled.