For the Love of Broadband

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about broadband
usage and trends:
AT&T’s blog about network
strain; Cisco’s
latest Visual Networking
Index; fresh data
from Oolaya about
video streaming; and
even a kerfuffle between
Korea Telecom
and Samsung over connected TVs and
broadband usage.

Whatever the relationship, it seems
the week of the love holiday now coincides
with a lot of observations from
a lot of places about how we’re using

And that’s not counting the rapid rise
of in-the-background, machine-to-machine
computing that’s going on within your machine,
even as you read this: Software updates,
anti-virus activities, cookie-passing.

Again we ask: Is there a need for
some sort of Energy Star-ish focus on
broadband usage, to at least establish
best practices for machine-to-machine
computing? Clearly, this trend of ridiculously
fast growth in wired and mobile
broadband usage isn’t going anywhere
but nutso.

Let’s take them one by one. First,
AT&T senior executive vice president
John Donovan posted a dramatic Valentine’s
Day blog, citing a 20,000%
increase in wireless data usage over
the past five years.

“Running year-end numbers that
show the same results as previous
years is typically a sign of stability,”
Donovan wrote. “But when the year
end numbers show a doubling of wireless
data traffic 2010 to 2011 — and
you’ve seen at least a doubling every
year since 2007 — the implications
are profound.”

Cisco’s ongoing work to quantify
broadband usage is predictably fat with
data. Highlights: More smart phones
than humans on earth by the end of
this year, consuming an average of 2.6
GB per month; video will represent two
thirds of the world’s mobile data in
four years.

Then there’s Ooyala, which describes
its work as “video analytics
technology that measures viewer
engagement in real time.” It also
posted a meaty usage update last
Tuesday. Upshot: People are watching
more video on more screens for
longer periods of time. The bigger
the screen, the longer the dwell.

Meanwhile, over in Seoul, Korea
Telecom got so bent out of shape by
the high broadband usage amongst
Samsung’s connected TVs, they cut off
access. “KT insists smart TVs share
the costs of quality maintenance of
the Internet as they tend to hog the
networks, while TV makers argue they
have no obligation to do so,” reported
the Maeil Business Newspaper.

The Samsung/KT scuffle is by far
the most interesting of the bunch.
Imagine the uproar, if any service provider
here were to cut off any device,
on the basis of usage hoggishness!

Nonetheless, even with all this
video connectivity, to all these screens,
we are still a distracted bunch. Ooyala’s
data showed that tablet users
were “45% more likely to complete
three-quarters of a video than viewers
who watched on a desktop.” So
if you’re preparing anything in video,
don’t bury the lead.

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