Bandwidth ain’t free

The Joost staff posted a public blog post discussing the bandwidth requirements when using the app. Apparently you need about 300 MBs down and 100 MBs up, per hour. Now, I don’t know if these guys are using h.264 instead of plain MPEG-4 but in any way, there is no chance in hell that my internet provider, Comcast, will allow its subscribers to use Joost after it’s released. Not only Joost will suck out all the available internet bandwidth if it becomes as popular as their other product is (skype), but it is posing a threat on Comcast’s TV business. It is well within Comcast’s powers to filter them out (with or without a net neutrality law), which will be a big blow to Joost’s plans. Comcast is one of the most important US ISPs that the Joost folks need to make deals with. Personally, I see a rocky road ahead for Joost. I am not convinced at all about their business model, even if the idea is promising. But I guess, every innovator’s business die easily. It’s the second implementor who succeeds, because he learns from the mistakes of the first one.


HandsOff wrote on February 20th, 2007 at 11:42 AM PST:

I work with and agree that applications such as Joost are going to face tough battles when it comes to securing the necessary bandwidth. However, their situation looks even more dire if so-called net neutrality legislation is put into effect. Net neutrality laws will only dissuade investment in the the new broadband networks that will be necessary if not only concepts like Joost but also the Internet as a whole is to continue its continued evolution and expansion.

KCorax wrote on February 21st, 2007 at 1:29 AM PST:

@Handsoff, I’m sorry but are you blaming them ? Broadband networks are a reality due to the fact that in each contract a customer is sharing his bandwidth with others (10-50 depending on context). If someone is about to suck out all the juice out of a connection is the ISP supposed to allow that ?


HandsOff wrote on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:25 AM PST:

KCorax, I’m simply saying that the passage of any net neutrality legislation would greatly reduce the incentive for investment in broadband networks at a level that would keep pace with ever-increasing broadband demand. As Discovery Institute fellow Bret Swanson has argued, “Wall Street will finance new telco and cable fiber optic projects, but only with some reasonable hope of a profit. And that is what net neutrality could squelch.”

KCorax wrote on February 23rd, 2007 at 4:13 AM PST:

@Handsoff, Pointing to a greater authority and the underlying infrastructure of that authority is a tactic most often used by fanatics and religious sects (eg pointing to Jobs and Hubbard).

Kindly answer my question: “If someone is about to suck out all the juice out of a connection is the ISP supposed to allow that ?”

HandsOff wrote on February 26th, 2007 at 12:52 PM PST:

KCorax, I’m not exactly following your first point, though I’d wager that there are select few topics which one could discuss without relying on the authority and expertise of others to make his assertions.

That said, to answer your question, the majority of so-called “unlimited” ISP accounts already have usage caps to prevent one user from monopolizing the bandwidth of a connection, as can happen with bandwidth heavy applications such as torrents and streaming video. Having exceeded a certain limit, the user’s bandwidth can be throttled or simply cutoff to allow access to other users. My assertion is that the situation you describe will become quite commonplace, as increasingly more of these bandwidth-intensive applications are on the horizon, unless we expand our overall broadband capabilities, an effort that would be hindered by the passage of net neutrality legislation.

KCorax wrote on February 28th, 2007 at 11:17 AM PST:

Handsoff, I sincerely understand your considerations. I really really do. I live in Greece where bandwidth is a comodity much more valuable than in the US.

It’s great that you understand that ISP have to set caps in order to protect users from monopolizing the juice, and not out of their black vindictive heart.

However for the third time you choose not to answer my question: “If someone is about to suck out all the juice out of a connection is the ISP supposed to allow that ?”

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