That sharp pain you feel in your back isn’t a piece of maple bat wedge in between your ribs, it’s Big Cable’s hunting knife half way in your spinal chord. And trust me, they’re about to twist it some more.
Thanks to a leaked memo, we learned back in January that Time Warner was considering instituting some kind of trial run, capping the amount of web traffic a consumer of their broadband service could get under the traditional price scheme.
That program is now a reality, as the good folks of Beaumont, Texas will be allowed a 40GB max on their $55-a-month broadband plan; with every additional GB costing a buck.
I know I don’t need to spell out why this is relevant to any one of you out there. But for the sake of redundancy, let’s go through it, one more time. This time, we’ll do the math:
- Time Warner (and don’t let the fact that it’s just them fool you, it’s Big Cable in general) wants to control the amount of bandwidth people consume via their broadband connections.
- They claim that a few bandwith hogs out there are consuming as much as half of local traffic in some areas. A claim that, of course, only they could corroborate. Good luck trying to get those traffic logs.
- As little as a year and a half ago, Cable was whining about the fact that MLB Advance Media would be moving its MLB Extra Innings service exclusively to DirecTV. Congress got involved, MLB opened the deal, and Cable was allowed to buy into it, keeping the Extra Innings service (poor old Dish was left out in the cold).
- As an alternative to the TV package however, MLB Advance Media was hawking its mlb.tv service, one that resides online and makes excellent use of the “unlimited” bandwidth those of use who get broadband internet enjoy.
- This year, mlb.tv began offering a “tv-quality” stream for games, which downloads at 1.2 MB per second. An average baseball game lasts about 3 hours, so that would be 180 minutes, equaling 10,800 seconds.
- That times 1.2MB, equals about 1,296 MB, so if we’re watching those fancy streams (like, say, I do), then we’d be downloading about 1.3 GB per game (1,000 MB in a gigabyte, and don’t forget some users have access to the multi-stream of games, also known as mosaic).
- Say you watch a game every night, for, oh I don’t know, 20 nights a month. That’s 26 GB a month spent on just baseball. Who knows how much bandwidth you would’ve consumed doing other things.
I know I’m framing this issue as baseball centric, but I only do this as a practical illustration on a very plausible scenario. It’s much broader than that. Do your part, contact your Congressman or Senator and demand Net Neutrality.