While You're Waiting To Watch: YouTube Also Points Finger At ISPs

It’s not just Netflix now. YouTube is also blaming Internet service providers for the sometimes slow and buffered videos being streamed into homes and offices.

There are a few places you can see Google/YouTube attempt to explain how the speed through which its videos flow to your computer is the main culprit, even providing a graph to show the peaks and valleys of video consumption in the area where the viewer is watching. Netflix famously has pointed the finger at Comcast, shortly after making a side deal with Comcast to speed things up over there.   

Netflix also irked Verizon recently when it called out that ISP for being pokey, though it cut that out after Verizon complained and threatened to sue.  

The fact is, that video pipe is being stuffed as it is right now and that volume is going to increase at an even more unbelievably fast rate in the near future, in this country and around the world.  

That’s what is behind the FCC’s Net neutrality dogfight as it tries to convince skeptics that a two-speed Internet will solve the problem of jamming all of that stuff in there.

In the FCC’s world, the Internet would be provided in two speeds, but neither would be slower than the other, or at least it doesn’t want to say it that way. Neither would be slow. There would be fast and fasterer.  I take some liberties here, but that’s the way the FCC’s proposal plays out in my head.   

Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast is an awesome document about the growth of online video, noting, as Reuters reported, that video consumption of this year’s World Cup, just by itself, will generate as much as Internet traffic as occurred in Australia through all of 2013.

Reuters reported Robert Pepper, Cisco's vice president of global technology policy, proclaiming,  "In the future at some point every month is going to look like the World Cup month because the consumption just keeps getting bigger and bigger."

I have a feeling you’re going to start seeing other online video purveyors making videos or making news stories explaining to consumers that the rotating on-screen circle—it always reminds me of Jack Benny’s “I’m thinking it over” retort.

Video will constitute 84% of the U.S. online traffic by 2018, actually one of the more startling facts in the Cisco report, mainly because it reminds us (or me, anyway) that it’s already 78%. That insatiable demand for video that we think is coming in the future is, for all practical purposes, the one that already exists.

It might make sense for content providers to just remind viewers of that enormous demand. If people in the business are still shocked to discover how rapidly video is growing, providing reminders to the users might serve dividends. 

The online warnings, advice or finger-pointing YouTube and Netflix have employed so far is just a technological equivalent to blowing your horn in a traffic jam. It really doesn’t do much good but it does become the music of the frustrated commuter. That frozen image is the on-screen equivalent that says there needs to be some quick work done to rescue the infrastructure.  

pj@mediapost.com

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