Does TV Over The Internet Actually Reduce Last Mile Bandwidth Requirements?
from the to-some-extent dept
It looks like Tom Evslin is kicking off another interesting series of posts. This one is about the bandwidth requirements needed for next generation internet offerings, with a specific focus on video over the internet. This has obviously been something of a concern to many, with various warnings that the internet faces near certain collapse if changes aren't made. While Evslin does admit that there's backbone capacity that needs to be dealt with (on which he promises more details in future posts), he points out something that many people probably haven't realized. When it comes to the last mile, routing TV over the internet could actually decrease the amount of bandwidth needed -- at least when it comes to cable systems (which is part of the reason you don't hear cable companies complaining as much as telcos these days). Current cable systems deliver 200 or so channels to your TV system simultaneously. In other words, all that bandwidth is already there -- just not using the internet. If you switch to delivering the content over the internet, you no longer need to deliver all 200 channels all the time, but can simply deliver the content more "on demand." That decreases the bandwidth needed towards the end of the network. Obviously, there are still concerns about other parts of the network (as well as what it would take for cable providers to shift existing infrastructure to support TV over the internet), but it's still an important point as people discuss whether or not the rise of video online is a huge threat to the overall internet.