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Will Bandwidth Demands 'Break' the Internet? Yea or Nay, We Need Independent Monitoring

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June 22 - The subject of tiered access to high-speed internet services has been much in the news, with the announcements by Time Warner Cable, and also Cox Communications, that they would roll out tiered services.

Well, the news out of NXTcomm08, the telecommunications industry conference last week in Las Vegas, only seems to underscore the prospect that greater control by network providers is on the horizon. According to a survey by Tellabs and research firm IDC, telecommunications professionals are split down the middle on whether increasing bandwidth demands are likely to "break" the Internet.

According to the survey, half of respondents said bandwidth demands would "break" the Internet.

Of greater interest, in my opinion:

Of the 80% who identified a way to deal with internet congestion, 32% think providers address spikes in traffic by prioritizing via packet inspection, while 24% believe that spikes are better handled by charging more for excess bandwidth.

My friend Chris Parente blogged about this development on Saturday, and he was kind enough to ask for my reaction. This is what I said:

Whether or not new bandwidth demands on the Internet cause carriers to offer tiered pricing or to throttle particular applications or protocols, independent monitoring will be crucial. The core purpose of is to provide bandwidth consumers, both individuals and businesses, with a place to find local information about broadband availability, competition, speeds, prices and quality of service.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. He is an attorney who works with cities, communities and companies to promote the benefits of internet connectivity. The articles and posts on and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

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