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US video streaming about to be throttled

by on30 November 2018

Lack of Net Neutrality about to bite

The US is about to discover first hand what happens when you are dumb enough not to regulate telecoms monopolies.

Right now, there is a trend towards video streaming in the US and consumers are just starting run face first into broadband usage limits and overage fees.

Cisco's 2018 Visual Networking Index (VNI) -- an annual study that tracks overall internet bandwidth consumption to identify future trends -- predicts that global IP traffic is expected to reach 396 exabytes per month by 2022.

Cisco's report claims that's more traffic than has crossed global networks throughout the entire history of the internet thus far.

Much of this data growth is video. Cisco found that 75 percent of global internet traffic was video last year, up from 63 percent just two years earlier.

Cisco says this number could climb to 82 percent in 2022, with 22 percent of overall video consumption coming from bandwidth-intensive 4K streaming.

The problem is that as monthly household bandwidth consumption soars courtesy of 4K Netflix streaming and other new services, many broadband users are likely to run into usage caps and overage fees that jack up their monthly rates.

The report mentions Comcast imposes a terabyte usage cap on all its service areas except the Northeast, but users can pay an added $50 per month to avoid such limits.

All this means that the telco monopolies will be coining it in at consumers’ expense while being cheered on by the FCC regulator.

The effect of this will be amusing for all those who thought that Donald Trump’s FCC would be good for consumers. It means that those who can’t afford the higher bandwidth charges will have to live with a lower video streaming service than those who are wealthy or live in countries where regulators do their jobs.

It should ultimately backfire. You might be able to endorse the hacking to death of a journalist by your Saudi chums, or have your election campaign run by the Russians, but if you mess with US peoples' television you much find yourself becoming unstuck.

Last modified on 30 November 2018
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