Fiber and caps are the future: A view from a small ISP

Much of the discussion about ISPs centers around the nation’s largest players in the telecommunications and cable fields, but there are a number of smaller ISPs that can also share how competition is faring in the U.S. and what might happen if more flourished.

Good News for Netflix: Shaw Raises Bandwidth Caps

Shaw is raising its bandwidth caps, making it easier for its customers to enjoy Netflix streams without the fear of overage charges. The cable operator is even introducing unlimited bandwidth broadband plans — but only for those who also subscribe to its pay TV services.

Predictions 2011: If Pay-Per-Use Comes to Broadband, Then What?

If broadband pricing plans are no longer “unlimited,” but increasingly granular and usage-sensitive, one can predict massive disruptions in the current ecosystem. As with all such shifts, this will create new opportunities and drive new technology breakthroughs. Here are some thoughts

Is Pay-Per-Use for Broadband Inevitable?

Two decades ago Tim Berners-Lee invented the browser, HTML, and the web, but things took off six years later when America Online switched from pay-by-the minute dial-up to unlimited flat-rate plans, causing usage per sub to more than triple. But pay-per use is coming back.

Can Usage-based Broadband Billing Be Done Fairly?

The debate over the implementation of usage-based billing frameworks (so-called “metered billing”) for broadband services is far from over, but some execs view it as inevitable. If that is indeed the case, what would be a fair construct? Or is it even possible to be fair?

Yeah, I’d Like Metered Broadband, Too — If It Were Actually Metered

pgesmartmeter1With 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

Is There Such a Thing As a Better Broadband Cap?

istock_000004000555xsmallWe know many of our readers have strong opinions about the idea of consumption-based broadband, and we’ve come out against plans that constrain folks’ access to broadband, especially by way of metered packages that consist of low ceilings and high overage fees. But Rob Pegoraro over at The Washington Post is making a case for consumption-based broadband that many consumers could get behind.

His argument consists of these four essential points, although I also suggest you read the article in its entirety: Read More about Is There Such a Thing As a Better Broadband Cap?

Comcast: Come to Fancast! (Just Not Too Often)

PrintComcast is ramping up activity on its Fancast premium content portal. The cableco has been a busy beaver lately, going back to the networks and studios to get online rights to content so you can watch as much “Rescue Me” as you like…provided you can authenticate that you’re a cable subscriber, that is.
Karin Gilford, senior vice president of Fancast and online entertainment for Comcast Interactive Media, told us in a recent interview that her company sees online video as additive — not cannibalistic — to existing TV viewing. But if bandwidth-hogging online video is no threat to its existing business, why has Comcast imposed a 250 GB cap on broadband service? Gilford doesn’t see caps as an issue and feels the 250 GB cap is almost “impossible” to hit.
Comcast seems to be talking out of both sides of its mouth: We’ll build a great online video destination filled with more content than ever…just don’t use it too much. Check out NewTeeVee’s full video interview with Gilford in which she talks about online video “authentication” and how Fancast will evolve to become more social.

Vid-Biz: Kutcher, Streaming Costs, Limelight

Kutcher Bringing Punk’d-esque Show to Ustream; star’s Katalyst Media will live-stream people getting tricked and embarrassed. (TechCrunch)
What Does it Cost to Stream Video? In light of metered broadband discussions, Saul Hansell at the NYT breaks down the local network and bandwidth costs associated with delivering video. (Bits Blog) Elsewhere, Dan Rayburn has tracked down some of Level 3’s customers, including Netflix, FOX, Yahoo and others. (The Business of Online Video)
Limelight Expands into Mobile; beta of the CDN’s mobile video service was used for March Madness iPhone app and reportedly being used for Major League Baseball’s iPhone app. (Contentinople)
Qik Integrates Facebook Connect; new features include the ability to instantly upload live-streamed videos to the social network. (Qik Blog)
ZillionTV Chooses Verimatrix for Content Security; VOD startup deploys Verimatrix’s encryption and authentication platform. (Multichannel News) Zillion also chose Inlet for encoding. (release)
A Digital TV Feature You Can’t Get; under ATSC guidelines, digital TV sets have the ability to offer dual streams of audio for broadcasts, but no manufacturer has included the decoding equipment to enable it. (Gadgetwise)
BBC iPlayer to Turn on HD; streams and downloads of some programs like Doctor Who and Dragon’s Den to stream in high-definition. (BBC)