Verizon, the iPhone, and Throttling

February 4th, 2011 by · 1 Comment

So nearly every single news magazines and blog ran an article yesterday about Verizon’s decision to throttle bandwidth for heavy users of its wireless network, a memo that lands just in time for its launch of the iPhone.  Seriously, though, was it that big a deal?  It’s a 4G device on a 3G network, if you don’t throttle it somehow, then it will throttle itself even more effectively.  Ask AT&T just how effectively.

Ah well, I suppose that’s just how it’s going to be this year.  We have these wonderful new devices with voracious appetites for bandwidth and the early stages of 4G networks of various types capable of feeding them.  But the networks selling these wondrous devices and magical service plans would really prefer if their customers didn’t actually use them much, if at all.  Why else would you call your most avid customers ‘hogs’?  Yet what choice do they have when any attempt to wean consumers off all-you-can-eat plans is met with outrage of the shrill variety, as consumers see bandwidth a right moreso than a service these days.  The carriers acting so worried about their ability to make money off bandwidth are generally obscenely profitable already, real pain is something they haven’t experienced in a long time.  And so are the content providers, Google and Netflix for example, while the device guys (Apple) are rolling in it as well.  Everyone’s having a ball, and they’re all whining about the fact that the other guys are too happy.

The whole situation is so dysfunctional that reading about the daily progression in the blogs feels a bit like watching the 90’s sitcom Married With Children.  Oh well, I suppose it will work itself out, this is of course the birth of the great mobile data boom.  As Al Bundy puts it, “Let’s Rock”.

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Categories: Internet Traffic · Wireless

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