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HD Video Could 'Choke the Internet'?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-like-the-internet-breathing dept.

629

richdun writes "Yahoo! is carrying an AP story explaining how ISPs are worried large streaming videos could 'choke the Internet.' This is used as a yet another reason for tiered pricing for access to content providers." From the article: "Most home Internet use is in brief bursts -- an e-mail here, a Web page there. If people start watching streaming video like they watch TV -- for hours at a time -- that puts a strain on the Internet that it wasn't designed for, ISPs say, and beefing up the Internet's capacity to prevent that will be expensive. To offset that cost, ISPs want to start charging content providers to ensure delivery of large video files, for example."

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What a load (5, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331723)

Please. As if Bittorrent and P2P isn't already boosting internet traffic. Either people will watch the streaming downloads, or they'll download the movies another way. Looks like yet another cash grab.

Re:What a load (4, Funny)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331737)

As if regular TV is going to be any match for all the porn traffic. Definitely a cash grab.

Re:What a load (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331740)

Yeah, but now it's going to be HD porn traffic!

Re:What a load (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331907)

> Yeah, but now it's going to be HD porn traffic!

w00t!@!!!

Re:What a load (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331760)

bittorrent and P2P isn't used bythe vast majority of internet users. TV/movies is used by almost everyone. Place those things in an on demand context over a network that is used to only a fraction of their users utilizing stressful applications and routers explode, cats and dogs live together and all your base are blong to us....

Re:What a load (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331926)

then how the fuck does television do it? cable companies don't explode

Re:What a load (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331806)

Well what if it is the MPAA that has to pay extra to push all the movies through the pipe?

What a Wagon load (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331866)

"Either people will watch the streaming downloads, or they'll download the movies another way. "

Wow! Someone should invent a mass produced and mass marketed plastic disc that holds video and sound.

... They already do...? (5, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331731)

I own a dedicated server and I have to pay per gig for bandwidth... So I have to ask how is this any different than what is already happening?

Are they just asking for more per gig? Or are they asking for money to flow up a chain (from hosts to network operators)?

Re:... They already do...? (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331747)

Multiply it by 20 MB or so for HD. See how it scales?

Re:... They already do...? (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331846)

Multiply it by 20 MB or so for HD. See how it scales?

Multibly what by 20MB? Neither the unit nor the number used don't make sense.

You might have made sense if you had said that HD video can easily consume 4x to 6x the bandwidth of standard definition. And that bandwidth does cost a lot, even with crappy low bandwidth video from YouTube, they don't have a business model to pay for what they are using. They really don't have the media that justifies HD either.

Re:... They already do...? (5, Insightful)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331756)

No, I could understand paying per gig or meg (look at cellphone providers!). The problem is, they've said "Unlimited Bandwidth! High Speed DSL!!!" to get customers. Now that people are actually trying to use what they've bought, the ISPs are trying to back out of it.

Re:... They already do...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331884)

Yep, plus Comcast is justifying their 2x price over DSL by bragging about their 3-5 Mb/s speed. I wonder what will happen once folks actually start using the 3-5Mb/s?

Re:... They already do...? (2, Interesting)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331899)

If they didn't want us using the full pipe, they should have advertised it as "Latency as low as a 3-5Mbps pipe". They seem to think they mean latency when advertising these things, saying "oh, users are only supposed to do burst traffic", but if they mean latency, they should put it in their contracts. So far, all the contracts say "unlimited".

Re:... They already do...? (-1, Troll)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331918)

Read the contract. They have the right to modify the contract at any point with no notice. You then have the oppertunity to renew the contract by continuing to pay.

If you don't like Wal Mart's practices, then don't shop there.

If MaBell is fucking you with the big blue dick, call SpeakEasy. No luck there? Call DirectPC. No luck there? Get the telecom to drop in a T1 line and share it between 4 neghbors.

You are on /. You *have* to know that the current model is not sustainable. Would you prefer to see the providers go out of service trying to meet growing customer needs? Or would you allow them to price the limited commodity according to the exponential growth in demand?

Attacking Net Neutrality (5, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331805)

This is a thinly-veiled shot at net neutrality, actually. The Internet was designed just fine--it's the ISP's business model that is suddenly in danger. You know, the model where they oversell their bandwidth by ridiculous margins. (One of the reasons I use Qwest DSL instead of Cable, actually--my connection is slower on paper, but I always have all of the bandwidth I'm paying for.)

Now the ISPs are trying to play the "if we can't bill the content provider, we'll have to bill you" card. They want to win support for their ploy to double-dip on delivery charges. Outside the U.S., though, we see a number of countries with extremely high bandwidth available at extremely low cost. As it turns out, the same thing happens in the U.S. with municipal broadband... where state governments haven't outlawed it in favor of their campaign donors.

Part of me hopes that some ISPs actually try to tier things out this way. I wonder how long it would take for them to lose all of their customers to a Google page reading, "your ISP is slowing down your connection in attempt to extort more money from you and from us."

Re:Attacking Net Neutrality (4, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331896)

Here in Japan, the ISPs still oversell. But at least they give you the option of how much oversell you get screwed on.

When you buy FTTH service from NTT, they have a high-speed and low-speed option. The HS option is twice the price. However, if you look at the systems, both give you 100mbps over single-mode fiber.

What's the difference?

Well, the HS option has 16 customers per DSLAM; the LS option has 32 per.

As US customers become better educated about their line capabilities, expect more ISPs to cater to their needs. But, you better be prepared to pay for it.

Electricity is metered. Water is metered. Hell, even my trash is metered. What makes you think bandwidth will be any different? People need to be prepared to pay, per MB or GB, if they want quality service.

Re:Attacking Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331922)

(One of the reasons I use Qwest DSL instead of Cable, actually--my connection is slower on paper, but I always have all of the bandwidth I'm paying for.)

Making that general statement does not sum up the conditions of the providers in all areas. A bottleneck could be at your CO (or the cable company equivelent) or an entire geographical region and anywhere in between those two. I have cable and in my area, I can always get my full bandwidth (8mb/s) any time of the day and any day of the week. Not all cable users are that lucky just as some of the Quest users are not that lucky. There may even be a much larger percentage of users of one service that does not get full speed compared to another but again, the blanket statement still does not apply.

Re:... They already do...? (1)

jest3r (458429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331890)

Of course they already do... The largest ISP in Toronto (Rogers) is also the cable company, HDTV provider, On demand... Payperview hookup .. phone company .. they already run all of this to my living room on a 5Meg line ... not all of it is IP yet but they are slowly converting everything to IP (eg. homephone) ... the HD is compressed bigtime (doesn't look as good as over the air) ... I max my line out all the time with torrents and newsgroups and Rogers own content ... thats why I'm paying like $120 / month.

But thats the point ... they got me paying through the nose ... As long as they charge for the service its not going anywhere ... HD Video over IP is just another cash cow for the ISP's who are the Cable companies anyways .... they've caught up but like to pretend they havnen't.

FIRST POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331732)

Serious though where did my bandwidth go?
Slooooooow (first p0st)
Sometimes even my a/v chokes the internet. Now voip, and HD video!

Strain on the Internet that it wasn't designed for (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331734)

The internet was only designed for transmission of '0's and '1's, but HD video uses a lot of '2's.

Re:Strain on the Internet that it wasn't designed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331821)

The Internet was also designed for the transmission of breasts, but there's a lot of penises too.

Re:Strain on the Internet that it wasn't designed (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331831)

Get a grip. There is no two.

Re:Strain on the Internet that it wasn't designed (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331915)

There is if you use trinary numbers.

Re:Strain on the Internet that it wasn't designed (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331916)

Get a grip. There is no two.

Of course there is, check it out: 2

'Choking the one eyed monster' (1)

DiGG3r (824623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331735)

Actually I do believe we've been 'choking the internet' ever since porn first appeared on the 'net

We probably all know this already, but.... (5, Insightful)

Malor (3658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331736)

This is preaching to the choir, but bits is bits.

What the providers really fear is that people will actually start using what they've been told they already have.

They've got giant pipes running into everyone's houses, and business models predicated on the fact that most people don't use them. So they tell everyone 'unlimited bandwidth!' when in fact they cannot provide this.

The tiered-internet thing is just a way to punish the people who actually use the bandwidth they were already sold. And an attempt to enact a tax on those who dare to actually provide data that's interesting enough that lots of their customers want it, all at the same time.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331748)

"No Shit".

Though to be honest I don't see of the appeal of HD over the net. It's the same bullshit video tape of a monkey falling out of a tree or something, just now it's got 16 times the pixels.

ooooh boy.

Tom

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331772)

You said it. Here in New Zealand, where one company Telecom has a monopoly on the local loop and fibre (we get unbundling in 2007 though!) they only provide a backhaul capacity of 24 kb/s per customer - and that's per BROADBAND customer.

Over the last few months the service has got so bad that some smaller ISPs which are being limited in capacity by Telecom, can only provide 8 kb/s service or less on a supposed 2Mb/s - 3.5 Mb/s connection at peak times.

I wouldn't be surprised if the backhaul capacity for most companies worldwide is only a tiny fraction larger. They aren't going to be handle things like streaming movies without some serious investment in infrastructure.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331792)

"The tiered-internet thing is just a way to punish the people who actually use the bandwidth they were already sold."

No. That's what bandwidth caps and such are for.

"And an attempt to enact a tax on those who dare to actually provide data that's interesting enough that lots of their customers want it, all at the same time."

Yeah, they want content providers to subsidize their customers, so they can charge less than the service they're providing actually costs them.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331822)

so they can charge less than the service they're providing actually costs them.

And you think they're actually going to charge you less? I bet you also think that if unemployment insurance and social security taxes went away today, starting tomorrow you'd have a 17% raise as all of the money the company was paying the government previously went straight to you.

Dream on.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331823)

They want content providers to subsidize their customers, so they can charge less than the service they're providing actually costs them.

And thus make the ISP's own content relatively cheaper since they do not have to pay the same fees that non-ISP content providers would.

Sounds like anti-competitive behaviour and abuse of monopoly control to me.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331811)

What the providers really fear is that people will actually start using what they've been told they already have.

They've got giant pipes running into everyone's houses, and business models predicated on the fact that most people don't use them. So they tell everyone 'unlimited bandwidth!' when in fact they cannot provide this.


You know, when I really think of it, I don't really remember any broadband ISP claiming unlimited bandwidth, but "always on" as in no need to wait for a dial-in.

I will say that I don't agree with their clammor to provide a tiered service, the servers are paying for the bits they push, and the clients are generally paying for the link itself, so it doesn't make sense to make the servers pay again for those bits.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (1)

webzone (924183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331903)

You know, when I really think of it, I don't really remember any broadband ISP claiming unlimited bandwidth

Sympatico (Bell Canada) says that it offers unlimited bandwidth to all users of its high-speed internet service. They never complained that I used 16gb of bandwdith per month, but I guess that it will change when everyone starts doing the same.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (2, Insightful)

ekephart (256467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331840)

"What the providers really fear is that people will actually start using what they've been told they already have."

Yes and no. Yes they have been told they have 6Mbps or whatever of "on all the time" Internet access. This advertising is basically true given certain assumptions about customer behavior. When that drastically changes, it changes the product (service). The FA uses the phone line analogy. Do you think if all of the sudden everyone wanted to use the phone ALL THE TIME they would expect it to work? No, people understand how that works. Articles like this are good at explaining how things work to common users (and incidentally good at dampening some of the blow if it does all go to hell -- think about who has an interest in this article's publication :) ). But I digress. The point is that people are poorly educated and need to better understand the Internet's limitations, but also that it's NOT a punishment on people that want to use "their" bandwidth 24 hrs a day. Anyone who understands the Internet knows 24hr full utilization by every user is unrealistic. If it was the ISPs would have no profitable business model and no one would have access.

False Advertising (1)

mrraven (129238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331873)

Then they are engaging in false advertising if what they really mean is 1.5/mb/s only if you use 750k/bps two hours a day then that's what I want as the advertised capacity. If I went to the bank to withdrawal my money and I was told it wasn't there I'd be pissed. Similarly if my bandwidth isn't really there I'll be pissed too. We need something like FDIC for bandwidth, or to sue the telecoms for false advertising.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331850)

They absolutely can provide the bandwidth. They just don't want to cut into their ridiculous profits (especially the cable companies in non-competitive markets).

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331888)

Agreed. TFA implies that ISPs are "adjusting" to "serve consumers better" rather than privately shitting a brick that their usage is going to skyrocket because people start using what they thought they purchased.

Traffic-shaping is already pervasive for those protocols ISPs don't like (read: BitTorrent), so it stands to reason that if they start seeing sustained high usage from consumers, they'll eventually just throttle the entire connection and/or start offering "enhanced" services.

I can't wait.

Re:We probably all know this already, but.... (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331934)

This model of selling bandwidth was tried in Australia. A long time ago there used to be a couple of really limitless plans. So of course every leacher jumped on to them. They didn't last long. Telstra (and a couple of others) now have "Unlimited" DSL plans but it's just a marketing gymick since they will throttle you to modem speeds if you hit your download cap.

Anyway the point I was getting to, is that down here ISP's, and to some extent their customers, are very aware of how much upstream bandwidth they have available, and don't seem to over sell that badly.

On another note, at least one ISP (Internode) already does prioritise traffic, mainly so they can provide a better service for their VOIP offering, though I'm sure they wouldn't slow down any other traffic.

Dear ISP (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331739)

Thank you for your concern. I'll risk it. Please remove your greedy paws from my content provider's pocket.

Disgustedly yours,

Cash cow 9463450.

Choke the internet? ... (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331746)

...Pull the other one.

End users have been downloading large content for years now; starting with small music media (3-5meg), then moving onto small games and similar (150-400meg), jumping up to good old linux isos (650-700meg) as well as dvd media (4.7gig), and most recently bit torrent which can include series of data not just one or two files (upto 20gig).

So while ipv4 may have routing issues with such large long term streaming it isn't like we haven't been hammering the internet with large data transfers before and I highly doubt HD streaming will bring many more to the fold of heavy net usage than already exists. Besides bit torrent by nature should be more painful for isps than streaming; so get over it or charge us more to upgrade your networks to handle the load like you should be.

Re:Choke the internet? ... (1)

drinkmorejava (909433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331797)

lol, 20gigs, I downloaded a 60 gig split rar of rainbow tables a while back, took damn near forever but hey. BT FTW

Re:Choke the internet? ... (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331868)

End users have been downloading large content for years now

No. Some geeky users have been using the Net for large transfers. Most people might be managing music sharing, but if IPTV or VOIP is going to be coming for the general public, then there could be an issue.

Filesharing is mostly illegal, and the stuff that isn't illegal (Linux) is for people who already can figure out how to do it. this results in a lack of documentation about filesharing and 1-2-3 guides to how to set it up (or a Geek Squad-esque group to do it), which means the general public that didn't go for filesharing will go for a legal streaming video system if there's an easy way to do it (for people who have issues with email)

Dark fiber overcapacity (4, Insightful)

Tontoman (737489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331750)

There is already so much Dark fiber [wikipedia.org] overcapacity that I think the ISP could easily supply bandwidth to grow with the demand.

Re:Dark fiber overcapacity (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331901)

That's not the issue. The issue is the proverbial last mile. The ISP's don't want to upgrade their equipment to handle the new protocols efficently. The reason: a large capital investment with no savings associated with it.

Re:Dark fiber overcapacity (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331935)

You're both wrong. It's the bandwidth at the egress point (POP) where the ISP needs to hand off to a backbone provider (AT&T/Wiltel/Sprint/Qwest/etc). Having fiber available doesn't do you much good if you can't connect it somewhere useful.

Breaking news... duh! (3, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331752)

It's quite suprising that the current traffic fits down the wires we have. Billions of Joe Six packs watching video is obviously going to be an issue. Problem though is that internet costs (to the user) are too low, and there's not a lot of money to be made from providing bandwidth so there's very little motivation to improve the situation.

Roads essentially have, or have had, the same issues. These are funded by state/federal taxes and/or toll roads or some other per-use charges. Perhaps a model like this could work for the internet too.

Re:Breaking news... duh! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331839)

Problem though is that internet costs (to the user) are too low, and there's not a lot of money to be made from providing bandwidth so there's very little motivation to improve the situation.
No, the problem is that bandwidth to the home is a natural monopoly, so it has been taken over by the greedy, lazy telco and cable companies who expect to charge more and more for the same old service every year. Had it been up to them, modems would still not be allowed on phone lines at all, "how dare you invade our network with your unapproved devices and applications"!

I wish I could buy into a municipal dark fiber network, then companies could compete to deliver bandwidth over that network. I'm sick of paying the cable company a recurring bill every month, only to have them begrudge any ongoing upgrades to the network. Fiber has eliminated any real technical bandwidth limitations, it's just a matter of setting up incentives to drive services up and prices down.

So wait.. (3, Interesting)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331753)

So, the bandwidth providers have finally found an actual reason for wanting to charge content owners for content delivery to the consumer. They still have not figured out that the people who should be paying for more bandwidth are the consumers.

Either way--and I say this all the time when someone raises the issue of network neutrality--the Internet was designed to route around troubled, undesirable routes; should bandwidth providers choose to raise the cost of their lines, the Internet will simply route around them. It's as simple as that.

Re:So wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331912)

should bandwidth providers choose to raise the cost of their lines, the Internet will simply route around them. It's as simple as that.

And when you look at the laundry list of bandwidth providers in favor of a tiered Internet, exactly what path will the route around take?

how is this a problem? (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331754)

Simple solution.. using existing business plan

Slow internet is not fast enough to stream HD video. Fast internet is.

Increase the cost of fast enough internet. People don't stream movies over dialup because they cant. The exact same thing that happened in the late 90s would happen once again.

Yes, you'll lose customers to other ISPs from increasing the cost of your faster internet. This is their own fault. Advertising unlimited connectivity and poor infrastructure is what is really keeping them from being able to support tons of people streaming movies.

Balance (2, Interesting)

fosterNutrition (953798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331755)

Maybe I'm just silly, but I'd think that this would have a sort of self-limiting effect, much like supply and demand in economic markets. My logic is that as HD video slows down the internet, the incentive to use the internet to watch this kind of stuff will diminish, thus alleviating the pressure. This balance between availability of bandwidth and demand for it, expressed as "cost," or rather, speed of downloads, would make the problem disappear by forcing usage to level out at a point acceptable to all.

And anyway, isn't there tons of dark fibre around?

Of course, I may be insane, and no, I did not RTFA.

Back stepping (4, Insightful)

qwp (694253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331763)

So, The large corporations are now backstepping. Wait
when we ran all of those small companies out of business by
undercutting them and promising the world (and providing something much less) we were actually ruining another business model?

They are in year long contracts now with people who had a expectation of a service. Since most isp's haven't constantly been upgrading capacity as their client base grows, there is going to be a huge thunk when people realize
that there has been a lot of pocketing profits. Profits that should have gone
into improving the network.

The thunk is comming

Multicast? (5, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331766)

Wasn't multicast (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6552/produc ts_ios_technology_home.html [cisco.com] ) supposed to take care of this?

Re:Multicast? (1)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331801)

No kidding. It seems like such a useful technology yet no-one seems to be putting it to use.

Re:Multicast? (3, Informative)

Crizp (216129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331860)

That's something I've been wondering for years. Not having the knowledge neccessary I still ask: What is the reason anyone and their mother can't set up a multicast audio/video stream? I mean stuff like a 128Kb MP3 stream internet radio station without sucking (128 x N users) Kb in bandwidth?

Re:Multicast? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331908)

Simple, because multicast doesn't solve the problem of givving each viewer specifically what they want, when they want it. And because it doesn't do much to alleviate bandwidth where it really counts - the last mile. And because the airwaves and broadcast cable networks already do a fine job of delivering content (like sports events) that everybody wants to watch at the same time.

Dark fiber... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331767)

What about all that dark fiber that was laid during the Internet glory days before the stock market went kaboom?

Re:Dark fiber... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331817)

Fiber is cheap comparied to the equipment needed to tap into it. As such, expect it to remain dark for years to come.

one word ... (2, Insightful)

zbaron (649094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331769)

multicast. Why oh why don't more ISPs support multicast?

Where I work.. (5, Informative)

dadragon (177695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331778)

Where I work, which is a Canadian telco and ISP, we're doing a major infrastructure upgrade to transmit HD media over our backbone to our DSL subscribers to get IPTV. In October the system is supposed to go live, with 40 meg streams to the house, with a future of 120 meg, and then on to fibre. Quit bitching and develop the infrastructure. It's going to happen sometime anyway.

hdtv, probably not what internet was meant for (2, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331781)

I agree HDTV on the wire could be a serious problem. But, what I've seen from Comcast (my only experience so far) it appears they're introducing extra compression, and the HDTV of a friend gives a status showing a transfer rate of 6MBs. But, this article [merl.com] shows HDTV needing aroudn 20MBs for streaming. To move to a world of on-demand HDTV for the masses would seem to (as they're claiming) require not only some prioritization of the network, but I would think it would also require a more capable internet, i.e., bigger pipes almost everywhere.

In addition, at my friend's, we found that HDTV streams could grind the house network to a crawl, I don't know if it's related (since it really isn't part of the network, but it is coming in on the same coax). Considering everything I've seen and experienced (hiccups in the picture, sometimes outright halting) I don't think HDTV over the wire is ready for prime time yet.

However, if I were a provider, I would have to consider that all of a sudden even a small percentage of my customers could consume all of my bandwidth and would have to come up with some approach to keep the pipes working.

Re:hdtv, probably not what internet was meant for (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331889)

However, if I were a provider, I would have to consider that all of a sudden even a small percentage of my customers could consume all of my bandwidth and would have to come up with some approach to keep the pipes working.
Nobody is against fairly allocating bandwidth to customers, including giving more bandwidth to those who pay more. What does that have to do with content-specific filtering? Nothing.

We already have a tiered system... (4, Insightful)

Temposs (787432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331782)

That is, on the ISPs' customer side business, there are different speeds you could connect to the internet, from dial-up to DSL, from Cable to the Tx connections. If a user wants to be streaming big media in a constant stream over their cable lines, they could subscribe to a more expensive, higher speed connection. And the ISPs need to keep upgrading their bandwidth to allow for these people who want access to streaming big media.

This "choking the internet" complaint seems to be a cop-out for the laziness of the ISPs toward getting off their butts and really competing to bring a smooth connection to its subscribers.

Another half researched article... (2, Insightful)

ekephart (256467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331785)

...proclaiming what could "kill" the Internet... sigh.

From TFA: "The solution, of course, is to make the pipes connecting to the Internet fatter."

No, no, no. The solution is solid multicasting. So what if everyone is watching American Idol and Survivor and Lost and whatever other crap is on TV at once. Content should be limited by the pipe/hardware itself (something that's measurable and predictable), not the erratic behavior of customer.

The obvious question (1)

shareme (897587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331786)

The boiviosu question.. The equipment they are refrring to is located in Telcom substatiosn and is often telecom equipment or fiber.. In the mid 1990s telcoms invested in updating said equipment.. Who paid for that? Hint: It was not the ISPs or thorugh ISP fees. It was our own telcombills that paid for that huge investment.. Even if we sue Cable and or Satellite to connect to internet we are indirectly still paying for the internet infrastructure through our telecom bill already.. Why do telecoms have the unabridged right to double charges?

crashdot.org (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331788)

can someone fix the site? i get gay error messages all the time here. what fucking monkey programmed this shithole?

Bad Request

Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
Request header field is missing colon separator.

Re:crashdot.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331900)

I recommend upgrading your version of Netscape 4.7 to something a little bit more robust

That's why you do local/regional cache (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331789)

Think of local cacheing farms. You can download the content, then when it's time to broadcast, it emerges from a local/home cache to be played.

Otherwise, there just isn't a way to do IPTV unless broadcasters (think the guys with antennas) figure out an alternate method.

The backpressure put on the Internet will one day be able to handle it. But until multiple lambda inter-regional distribution networks using SDH or equivalent methods become available, even OC192 becomes a bottleneck.

Think regional cache. Google, RU listening???

Re:That's why you do local/regional cache (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331910)

Otherwise, there just isn't a way to do IPTV unless broadcasters (think the guys with antennas) figure out an alternate method.

Did you know that there are already companies that offer IPTV services, right? It is a fact that IPTV can be a commercial success.

Kafka-esque (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331793)

It's very telling they want to charge the content providers and not the consumers
who would be utilizing this bandwidth (as they charge consumers and providers for their
bandwidth now). Why charge producers?

Also, it's the notorious three: Verizon's top lobbyist, Bell South and AT&T making a statement on how they aren't prepared for people downloading more content.
Gotta love those companies for turning over all subscriber phone records without a peep of protest.

They mentioned a video of Colbert heckling the president. Would they still feel this way if Colbert
praised the president?

Re:Kafka-esque (1)

castoridae (453809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331827)

Why charge producers?

More profits. Thing is, they charge on both ends. They want to charge the producers, but they are already making money from the consumers. Why do the consumers buy broadband? So they can get (e.g.) video services from producers. More video already = more demand for consumer bandwidth. But why not double-dip?

Re:Kafka-esque (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331891)

(sigh...) The Bells (the article is wrongly lumping them in with other ISPs) already make money from both sides of the pipe. What they want now is triple-dipping, i.e. charge another fee for ensuring a particular provider's content makes it through unhindered.

Yeah if its full quality (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331803)

So what you see on TV is 25 megabits per second - yeah that would put a crimp on things since most ISP's in the US suck - but its really not that much bandwidth.

Re:Yeah if its full quality (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331847)

25mbit x 50-100 users on a local hub == lots.

Also TV is not 25mbit/sec. normal TV is more like 2-4mbit [at most]. What NTSC digital subscribers get is more like 2mbit/sec MPEG-1 (it's compariable to what I can encode with tools locally in quality).

HD on the otherhand is ~19-20Mbit/sec.

Anynways, is Raymond or survivor in quad-fi super-HD really that much better?

Tom

Obviously, this makes no sense (3, Insightful)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331807)

As someone who is well informed as to how the Internet operates, I'm not even going to bother yelling "bullshit!" It's obvious. I'm sure there will be a hundred posts here going into great detail as to why this latest little ploy the telcos are trying is based on flawed logic.

The real issue is that these big companies will be whispering these ideas to the politicians, who of course have no clue about how the Internet works.

Even non-US citizens should bring this issue up with their government representative and inform about the real facts, and what your views as a voting citizen are. Make insistent phone-calls. Mail well-worded letters.

And something anyone can do instead of talking about the Net Neutrality issue to their fellow nerds, is bring the issue to the non-tech public. Tell the E-mailing Moms and Pops what could happen when they try to download photos their family members have sent, tell the teenagers what could happen to their MySpace access or their Skype connection.

The future of the Internet is at stake, dammit, and no citizen of any country is safe until we have widely recognized, firm laws that make sure the public, global Internet belongs to the people and their free speech!

Maybe some parts (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331809)

It may not choke the big pipes. But the smaller ones are the ones that ISPs are likely worried about. What if a whole neighborhood where to try to download HD content at the same time? DLS likely will do a lot better then cable will.

Despicably Misleading (5, Informative)

LightStruk (228264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331812)

What the telcos don't want you to realize is that they are already paid for the use of their wires on a per-packet basis by the owners of the routers that connect to them! Everybody but the consumer pays for the bandwidth they actually use. Today, if an ISP starts sucking down lots of bandwidth because its customers are watching HD TV, the ISP has to shoulder the larger bandwidth bill from the telco. They then pass the costs along to the customers who are using the most bandwidth.

Google and Joe Webclicker are NOT the telcos' customers! They already pay their ISPs for service. Nobody is getting a free ride.

The market should drive this process! ISPs that want more bandwidth (so they can deliver hi-def video to their customers) will look for the most bandwidth at the lowest price, and the backbones compete to upgrade their networks so that those ISPs sign up with them.

Why won't anyone stand up in Congress and say, "but Mr. Verizon, Mr. AT&T, aren't you just trying to charge twice for the same service?"

A totally bad faith argument (3, Interesting)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331813)

Let's start by acknowledging the truth of one basic issue: most Internet users demand far more bandwidth than they once did, and the amount of bandwidth they demand will only rise as video becomes a greater part of the Internet experience. Ten years ago, the Internet was all about low-bandwidth applications like chat and email. Five years ago, bandwidth needs went up as people started downloading MP3s. And now bandwidth demand is surging again with video.

On the other side of things, cost per gigabyte of bandwidth has dropped markedly and will continue to fall.

But in the short to mid-term, perhaps a case can be made that consumer demand for bandwidth will reach levels that current subscription fees can't cover. This is a reasonable argument, but there's nothing to this argument that requires these costs be offset by content providers.

Right now I'm getting about a half a MB a second over my cable modem. Maybe it will turn out that there are HD audio applications I really want, that will require greater bandwidth. Fine. I'm the one consuming this bandwidth. So let me shop around and find the cheapest provider of super-broadband.

But there's nothing in this article, and no argument I've yet seen, that gives any clear reason why content providers ought to be the one ponying up to cover these extra bandwidth costs. This whole argument is being made by large incumbent ISPs who are looking to extort content providers. It has nothing to do with charging people for what they consume. Those costs have traditionally be borne by Internet users, and they should continue to be.

If I find out that my ISP is charging content providers a toll to reach me, I'll immediately do everything possible to change ISPs.

On another matter, it's telling that this article quotes nobody who says that this is a bad faith argument. The reporting in this article is either inept or corrupt.

Caching to the rescue? (1)

Timbotronic (717458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331818)

Funny that caching wasn't mentioned at all in TFA. It'd be good to see more use of BitTorrent at the ISP level to distribute videos around. That way, you could stream with high reliability from your ISP and they only pay for the download once.

Obviously they can't do this with illegal content, but there's plenty of scope to get everyone else on board - from the TV networks to San Fernando's finest!

Re:Caching to the rescue? (1)

qzulla (600807) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331920)

Funny that caching wasn't mentioned at all in TFA. It'd be good to see more use of BitTorrent at the ISP level to distribute videos around. That way, you could stream with high reliability from your ISP and they only pay for the download once.

Does BT do live video on demand? I want the watch it NOW! How many peers watch what I watch? I want it NOW! BT does not deliver my NOW.

qz

Thats why ADSL Works (1)

.tekrox (858002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331832)

The ISP i'm currently with is doing a HD video service - but it doesn't "choke the internet" as such It actually uses a seperate PVC on an ADSL2 Service so the only strain on bandwidth is from the CO back to the main DC.

Invalid Complaint (5, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331833)

Boo fscking hoo.

Let's review: The ILECs have been salivating for decades over the idea of becoming "cable companies," and distributing television content over the telephone infrastructure. (They wanted to be able to force customers to go only to their servers, but Judge Harold Greene said, "No, you don't get to control both content and carriage, because you'll abuse that position.") For the past several decades, it has been no secret just how much bandwidth video broadcasting requires, even with compression. It has also been no secret that the broadcasting industry has been moving in fits and starts toward hi-def.

Now here we are on the eve of large-scale HD rollout, and the ILECs are whining that the network backbone may not be able to handle the load. Well, kee-ryst on toast, what the fsck have you been doing the last twenty years? You knew Internet "television" was coming, you knew hi-def was coming, you knew it was going to be a bandwidth hog, you had at least twenty years warning, and you're telling us with a straight face that you didn't prepare for it??

And by the way, who else here is old enough to remember a few years ago when the same ILECs were complaining that all those modem users phoning ISPs were overloading their switches, and wanted to start charging a premium for data calls? My response then was as it is now: Why the hell aren't you building out your network?

Sympathy factor zero, Captain. You either get to work and build out the network like you were supposed to be doing, or stand aside and let the CableCos eat your lunch.

Schwab

Easy solution (1)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331835)

The obvious solution is to charge content providers for bandwidth utilization.

So, for example, a streaming content company can pay ISPs for their high-bandwidth utilization. Those that refuse to pay this nominal fee can still stream their content, but at perhaps a more reasonable 56 kbit/sec using a sanctioned proprietary protocol.

This way access can remain open to all, but the truly awesome Verizon-quality HD video will be available to all for just a small additional monthly fee!

[/sarcasm]

Choke the what...? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331842)

What is this entity "Internet" that will choke? Where is it, is it a computer?

That statement is a nonsense, looks more like ISP-s running away freaked out that people will start using what they've been sold.

Before "Internet" is choked, the service provider's servers will choke. To which the provider will either adapt or stop providing the service as simple as that.

But reading further reveals that it's just Yet Another Excuse (tm) for the ISP-s to charge providers, which I believe all providers and Internet users have agreed is a nonsense. Apparently the only ones who believe themselves it makes sense is the friggin greedy ISP-s.

Anyone else getting pissed off? Anyone tired of this non-sense?

Let them just try and limit the availability of their clients to a popular media site and see their clients become someone else's clients.

Retards.

Oh noes! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15331844)

You mean the telcos might have to <gasp> invest their huge profits into improving their infrastructure, instead of just giving their executives huge bonuses?

Oh, the horror!

The nerve of those pesky customers, trying to make full use of the "unlimited" bandwidth their ISP promised them!

What users want (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331849)

RTFAing ...

Most home Internet use is in brief bursts -- an e-mail here, a Web page there. If people start watching streaming video like they watch TV -- for hours at a time -- that puts a strain on the Internet that it wasn't designed for, ISPs say, and beefing up the Internet's capacity to prevent that will be expensive.
To offset that cost, ISPs want to start charging content providers to ensure delivery of large video files, for example.

No... they should be charging their own customers. The content provider's ISP should be charging the content provider.

This is just another ploy for certain ISPs to try to drive away competetive content providers so they can be the exclusive gatekeeper to people's homes.

DEATH OF INTERNET PREDICTED! (-1, Offtopic)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331853)

MORE AT 11!

It's Serving (1)

Josuah (26407) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331864)

I think many /. readers will be thinking that you pay for your bandwidth, so you can pay more, and get more bandwidth. But the reality is that pipes are physically/technically limited. You pay for your water, and if you leave your faucet on you'll get more water and pay more. But you can only get so much; there is a maximum limit that the pipes going to your home will carry. It is the same way for serving massive video content.

Let's say you want to serve content to 100 customers, each of whom has a 3Mbps downlink. So that's 300Mbps. Easy enough to get that at a hosting center. But now let's say you want to serve content to 1,000,000 customers. You need 3,000,000Mbps, or 3Tbps sustained bandwidth. Where can you buy that, no matter what the price? Do you think providing 3Tbps of bandwidth is as simple or as cheap as 1,000,000 x 3Mbps? If that sort of thing were true, you could buy a Petabyte of disk space for a linear increase in cost as well.

1999 called... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331870)

...and want their "Napster" arguments back. Suddenly everyone was on P2P and the world would collapse, right? No wait, didn't happen. Time and time again we've seen that the content is lagging behind the bandwidth. By the time content providers are ready to provide HDTV over Internet, it'll long since be a moot point.

Strain on the Internet (1)

vruba (652537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331878)

Remember when images came along and the Internet hung because it was designed for text? And then, only a few years later, music crashed all the transoceanic links? That sucked.

If the anti-video-watching PSAs fail, the only solution will be paying somewhat higher monthly fees for somewhat better service. And that just wouldn't make sense. Telcos would have to ... I don't know ... lay new cables? Is that even possible?

Fish Grow to the Size of the Fishtank, Upgrade! (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331880)

Big surprise... The ISPs encouraged the unwashed masses to upgrade from dialup to DSL/Broadband. Next the unwashed masses were encouraged to upgrade their old spyware laden PCs to new shiny PCs.

Now the simple masses want to use what they paid for and the ISPs are panicing because they have way oversold their bandwidth. Maybe the ISPs should have considered that before they sold my dad a 5MB/s connection and encouraged him to go watch videos.

As a ex-SysAdmin/DBA I know that users will eventually consume all CPU, disk space, and network bandwidth. I think the ISPs need to quit whining and UPGRADE! This is what the rest of us do.

Choke the internet? (4, Funny)

Spit (23158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331882)

Perhaps, but HD video will certainly cause a few slashdotters to 'choke the chicken.'

Seriously... (1)

siokaos (107110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331887)

We've had DVD and higher quality video for a long long time, and yet we still have what I like to call "postage stamp sized" video transferring around the 'net. Granted the number of users will only increase, but I think when all is said and done, new HD codecs will be a drop in the bandwidth bucket.

Volunteer (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331904)

I volunteer to reboot Internet if it gets choked, just tell me where it is.

But wait! (0, Offtopic)

Quick Sick Nick (822060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331906)

640k ought to be enough for everyone!

Insider Opinnion on the subject (4, Informative)

papasui (567265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331913)

I'm a Network Engineer for a major US cable company and for about 15 months or so we've been moving our HD streams as IP multicast across our internal fiber network. It's not really that much bandwidth internally to our facilities, about 30 Mbit per channel. Once it reaches our facilities it's converted to QAM and can be streamed across the RF cable plant. Where this could/will pose a problem is for network rider services (ala Vonage) where this traffic needs to cross the egress POP. Anyone involved with carrier level services is well aware that bandwidth is oversold. It has to be due to the insane prices an OC-48 costs. It relies on the assumptions that 1.) Maybe 20-50% of your users will be using the service at any given time. 2.) Even if 100% of your user base is using the service they aren't all using the maximum speed available (ie web browsing versus running Bittorrent). So to sum up, yeah it's not a big deal for a few people to stream HD at 6~10Mbit through an egress point however if a killer service takes off and everybody starts using it in this way it could seriously impact service. In fact it could force a paradigm shift in the industry.

Are you serious? (1)

nexcomlink (930801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331924)

Last time I checked AT&T is on and going about there project "Lightspeed" for basically FTTH. Covad & Earthlink are moving to ADSL2+. As well as Verizon FIOS.

Also by what means are we talking on how TV channels are distributed? By inside the ISP itself or some other provider where it's peered?

1. If it's ISP to consumer this is done internally so the only congestion will be the congestion at the ISP not through some peer point.

2. We pay you monthly for our broadband connections, as well as when TV services are launched. So you have no excuse on why not to upgrade your own networks. Got to lose money to make money.

3. Content providers pay for there connections of course you just want more but instead of raising prices where everyone would bite you in the ass for it, you want to regulate how fast people go across your network. Oops google did not pay the extra fee so let me slow down there peer connection speed to 5kbps. Oh but yahoo has paid the fee, let me put them on full speed.

Another charge, another tax, another 2 year contract, all coming straight from your own ass.

All they want to do is charge in full but give you half of what you pay for unless you pay even more for it.

Let's not forget (1)

mdboyd (969169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331931)

Let us not forget that telecoms are ready to jump into the IP TV market themselves. By using teired networks, they can still benefit from owning the network lines, while overcharging any other competitors in the IPTV market. Could this be a ploy to eliminate their competition before it starts?

Profit without investment ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15331941)

Huh ?

Wasnt the telecom industry & isp providers were looking for new areas to expand into ? there it is ? broadband - this time fully utilized.

Werent they already basking in the joy of low usage as very little percentage of their users were utilizing their allocated bandwidth in full ?

So when it comes to providing all the contracted bandwidth, is it too painful for the eyes ? Why did they sell internet connectivity for those prices then ? If the service and bw promised can not be provided if everybody demanded them in full, then it means that all this time they were selling us hot air, some product that is not guaranteeable. is THIS legal ? I guess not ? If they were not, then whats the problem ?
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