2011 prediction #4: Bufferbloat may be terrible, but your cable ISP won't fix it

As explained ad nauseam in prediction #1, bufferbloat is going to be a growing problem this year as Windows XP machines are replaced and more people are downloading Internet video. But terrible latency, jitter, and dropouts may not be all bad if you are a cable ISP. That’s because cable ISPs are first and foremost cable television providers and the main victims of bufferbloat are video services like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube that have become the natural enemies of cable TV. Cable video-on-demand services, while also digital, use separately-provisioned bandwidth and sometimes even different signaling technology, so the ISP’s competitor to Netflix isn’t bothered by bufferbloat at all.

Bufferbloat also affects BitTorrent, which ISPs hate, though they’d hate it a lot less if they’d eliminate […]

By |January 4th, 2011|2011|29 Comments

Neutrality Begins at Home

netneutralityThis week the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) releases its proposed new rules for Internet Service Provider (ISP) network neutrality.  I have written many times about Network Neutrality and once I have a look at the FCC proposal I am sure I’ll have comments to make here.  In general I’m in favor of rules that allow me, as a consumer, more digital freedom. It would be great to run Skype over my iPhone, for example, just as I can already run it over the cellular connection on my notebook. But right now I’m talking about a different kind of network neutrality, the kind I’m struggling to achieve in my own home.

I live in Charleston, South […]

By |September 21st, 2009|Uncategorized|79 Comments