Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Web’s Primetime Broadband Traffic Jam (Chart)

You come home from work, you grab something to eat and you boot up the Internet. Just like everybody else.

Which leads to a traffic jam. Which you can see in this convenient chart from a new FCC broadband study (via Zach Seward, via GigaOM. Phew.).

Now, imagine what that chart looks like in a world where cord-cutting — or cord-shaving, or cord-nevering — really does take off, and lots and lots of people are simultaneously hitting Netflix and iTunes and Amazon servers at the same time.

Keep that 8 pm to 10 pm “busy hour” dip in mind as we head to a world where broadband providers start capping or metering Internet usage — or at least try to wring more profit from broadband by upselling customers to higher connection speeds. When it comes to congestion, when you use the Internet is usually more important than how much you use the Internet.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik