The Myth Of The Bandwidth Crunch Just Won't Die
from the this-again? dept
A few months back we noticed a trend. Whenever we heard fear mongering reports about the internet running out of capacity, they almost always came from folks who weren’t technologists. Instead, they tended to be telco business folks, lobbyists or politicians. When it came to actual technology people who had real experience and real data concerning what was happening on the network, we would see over and over and over and over again that the “threat” of a bandwidth crunch is pretty much a myth. We’re not running out of bandwidth, and the ongoing upgrades to the network should be able to handle whatever growth comes along. There’s no reason to panic… yet, that’s not the message that the telcos want you to hear. After all, it’s in their interest to work up fears of internet capacity problems so that politicians will pass legislation providing them with subsidies or other unnecessary benefits.
So, when Broadband Reports pointed us to an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe by a Harvard professor talking about the coming bandwidth crunch and the need to switch to metered pricing (another telco favorite, after they were too clueless to accurately predict that unmetered pricing would lead to more usage), it wasn’t difficult to guess that she didn’t have a technology background. Instead, it appears her background is entirely in public policy. There’s certainly nothing wrong with folks looking at this issue from a public policy position (in fact, it’s important). But, before they claim that the internet is running into trouble, shouldn’t they look at what those who actually have the data have to say about the matter?