18 Stories

Netflix Seem Slower? You're Not Imagining Things

Site's bandwidth usage spurs disagreements with providers

(Newser) - If your Netflix account seems to be running slower than usual these days, that's because it very likely is slower. Traffic conflicts between the service and major broadband providers—especially Verizon FiOS—are resulting in a slowdown, Wall Street Journal reports. Netflix says its average primetime speeds for Verizon... More »

How Siri Could Hurt Everyone's Cell Service

She's a giant 'bandwidth guzzler': Paul Farhi

(Newser) - Siri is knowledgeable, convenient, even funny—but she has a dark side. "Siri’s dirty little secret is that she’s a bandwidth guzzler, the digital equivalent of a 10-miles-per-gallon Hummer H1," writes Paul Farhi in the Washington Post . Indeed, the iPhone 4S, which brought us Siri,... More »

Apple Tablet Announcement Could Break Twitter

Some tweets already going out 4 to 5 minutes late

(Newser) - Twitter is already buckling under the weight of the massive buzz around Apple’s tablet. Ahead of the expected 1pm announcement, some tweets are already taking 4 to 5 minutes to post, Mashable reports. That sort of undermines Twitter’s “real-time” news appeal, on a day that promises a... More »

AT&T Looks to Rein In iPhone Data Hogs

Company may have to revamp how it bills customers

(Newser) - AT&T says it's working on ways to keep some iPhone customers from hogging everybody else's bandwidth. It will unveil a series of "incentives" early next year, which could include charging customers based on how much data they use rather than offering an "unlimited" plan, reports the Wall ... More »

AT&T Asks Employees to Slam Net Neutrality

And don't say you work here, memo advises

(Newser) - With the FCC holding a meeting Thursday to decide whether to give the green light to “net neutrality”—the principle of universal access to bandwidth—AT&T is stepping up its PR war. In a memo from senior exec James Cicconi, employees are asked to post anti-neutrality comments... More »

On Net Neutrality, Feds Go With Google, Against ISPs

Proposed new rules wouldn't allow bandwidth-hogging services to be blocked

(Newser) - Consumers stand to benefit under a proposal, coming Monday, from the Federal Communications Commission that would mandate so-called net neutrality, forcing Internet service providers to treat all Web content equally and not restrict access to sites and services that take up more bandwidth. The Obama administration is siding with the... More »

Pentagon Weighs Ban on Facebook, Twitter

(Newser) - The US military is considering restrictions on access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, citing privacy and security concerns, the Military Times reports. “Sometimes people, because of the nature of these sites, can have a tendency to get lax in what they put on there,” a... More »

AT&T to Cap Bandwidth of Some Users

Firm tests usage limits in Reno

(Newser) - AT&T is capping users’ Internet bandwidth in Reno as an experiment, suggesting that the practice of limiting usage may soon become widespread, Wired reports. Depending on the service plan, new broadband customers will be held to 20 to 150 gigabytes of usage monthly. Current customers will soon face limits... More »

Comcast to Put Brakes on Bandwidth Hogs

ISP decides to slow down users rather than P2P programs after FCC scolding

(Newser) - Comcast plans to reduce Internet connection speeds for heavy users, Bloomberg reports. The company's "FairShare" system will slow users down for 10 to 20 minutes during peak periods. Comcast was recently scolded by the FCC for improperly blocking file-sharing programs like BitTorrent in an effort to manage Web traffic.... More »

FCC Member: Leave the Internet Alone

Engineers, not politicians, should solve tech problems

(Newser) - The latest crisis for the internet is the gridlock caused by bandwidth-clogging P2P software. But don’t worry, says FCC commissioner Robert McDowell. This has happened before. As far back as 1987, engineers have been solving the net’s bandwidth problems. It’s been a triumph of anti-regulation, and there’... More »

Web's Growth Shows No Sign of Pause

Mobile volume will double every year through 2012, Cisco study says

(Newser) - Internet traffic continues to grow at an astonishing pace, GigaOm reports. A study by Cisco Systems has found that world network traffic will increase 46% from 2007 to 2012. By 2012, the annual bandwidth demand is estimated to become 522 exabytes—a billion gigabytes. More »

Free Broadband Could Be Part of Feds' Auction Plan

FCC head considers plan that could have 95% of US covered in 10 years

(Newser) - The Federal Communication Commission wants you to have free Internet, the Wall Street Journal reports, and it's considering a plan to auction airwaves with the requirement that the winner offer Wi-fi free to most of the US. The free access would come with its own strings for users, though, in... More »

For Some US Towns, Internet Access is DIY

As providers focus on big markets, locals take net into own hands

(Newser) - Around the world, firms and governments are ramping up the speed and availability of internet access. But in the US, telecoms are focusing mainly on big-city markets. To avoid professional brain drain, some smaller cities and towns are investing in more powerful infrastructure, the Wall Street Journal reports. But the... More »

FCC Tries Again With Unsold Spectrum

Officials will take public comment before issuing revised plan

(Newser) - The Federal Communications Commission will try again to sell broadband spectrum space intended to include a national network for emergency workers, Ars Technica reports.The D Block failed to garner the required minimum bid from commercial interests during a recent auction after negotiations became bogged down. Said one commissioner: "... More »

Infinite Bandwidth Is Coming

Tech prophet sees many predictions in 2000 made real, forecasts Ethernet bump

(Newser) - In 2000, technology watcher George Gilder argued in a book called Telecosm that infinite bandwidth and instant communication were on the way, thanks to booming construction of fiber-optic cable. Eight years later, post-bust (both dot-com and telecom), the “telecosm” is not far from what Gilder predicted, writes Mark Williams... More »

Hi-Def Fans Allege Low Blow

Cable's compression of HD signals water down the product, connoisseurs say

(Newser) - TV enthusiasts are miffed that high-definition channels aren't looking as good as they should on expensive home-theater systems, the AP reports. Without much spare bandwidth, compressing the signal is cheaper for the cable companies than increasing capacity. "They have to figure out a way to deliver more HD content... More »

FCC Airwaves Auction Sets Record

But a band that required open access drew a low price

(Newser) - The FCC earned a record $19.6 billion auctioning soon-to-be-available airwaves to wireless network providers, the Wall Street Journal reports after months of bidding closed yesterday. While the auction exceeded the $15 billion the agency expected, it could have earned still more if it hadn’t placed restrictions on certain... More »

Web Demands Could Cause Gridlock by 2011

High-grade apps could slow Internet to crawl, watchers say

(Newser) - The Internet's growing data richness could lead to major web traffic jams within a few years. Some research predicts that user demands—with the high-bandwidth needs of video clips, social networks, and online games—could top network capacity in short order. YouTube alone used more bandwidth in 2007 than the... More »

18 Stories