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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work