from the anecdotes,-not-data dept
This is fascinating. A few weeks back, we noted that a press report in the UK was repeating Nemertes’ questionable research on how there was apparently some big bandwidth crunch on the way that would harm the internet. However, someone from Nemertes quickly showed up to claim that the original reporter took their (old) report out of context, and Nemertes wasn’t saying what was claimed. However, Zubin Madon, alerts us to the fact that Nemertes’ Johna Till Johnson (oddly, without any clear disclaimer that she works for Nemertes) has published a piece at ComputerWorld claiming that, indeed, the internet is running out of bandwidth and that “the Internet sky really is falling.” Not only that, but that it’s happening even faster than their original estimates?
The proof? Well, there isn’t any. She takes two data points (that have nothing to do with actual bandwidth) and extrapolates that we’re running out of bandwidth. First, she points out that YouTube was discontinuing servicing certain geographies due to “lack of access capacity.” First of all, I’d be interested in some more details on this, because I don’t recall seeing the news, and a quick look around isn’t turning up much on a story that I would have imagined would have generated a ton of press. Even if it’s true, it doesn’t seem to support Johnson/Nemertes’ point. If YouTube really were pulling out of certain regions due to a lack of access, that would just mean the company is focusing on regions where there is more bandwidth, not that bandwidth is somehow running out. It just means Google is focusing on markets where there’s a larger market.
The second data point is Time Warner Cable’s weak attempt to try to force metered broadband. However, as the actual research has shown, Time Warner’s actions had nothing to do with a bandwidth crunch, and everything to do with simply trying to abuse a market monopoly position to squeeze more money out of customers, even as its own costs were decreasing.
So it’s again difficult to take Nemertes’ research seriously when these examples are the best it can roll out in support of its position — especially when Nemertes seemed to step away from its own supposed position just days before Johnson’s column.