DampierPhillip M Dampier
The Changing Definition of "Acceptable"
I am not ready to say Qwest is throttling YouTube, as the linked article seems to suggest. YouTube server issues are notoriously common. When you end up on a bad or congested one, rebuffers are extremely common. This can happen to a server a few times a week and then suddenly just go away. I also don't see the benefit of throttling YouTube, when other applications have far bigger implications for a broadband provider, and nobody seems to be suggesting those are also throttled.
The hidden cap weasel language remains the real issue here, and it sounds like a template Frontier used to define their "acceptable use." When and how they enforce it is kept in their pocket, to be brought forth when "conditions" are right.
Frontier doesn't even monitor what its customers are doing at the moment, but the legal language is there in case they decide to start.
Overall, the issue here boils down to what defines average use of the Internet. Providers want to use a definition of a customer averaging 40+ years of age using their connection for e-mail and occasional web browsing. They don't want to define it in the 16-35 demographic, which are likely to be the most aggressive consumers of bandwidth, particularly multimedia. This is the same group, incidentally, that is responsible for the decline in importance for even owning a television set. These folks belong to an on-demand culture that wants access on their terms, and look to online resources to get it. That threatens just about every aspect of the current business model for cable television and broadband, which is ultimately why we are going through all this.