15 June 2007

Overdoing it?

Internet-service providers are worried that new online-video services, such as a television-over-internet service called Joost, will overload their networks. Many ISPs have taken the less drastic measure of "throttling" the download speeds available to their heaviest users at peak times, which are between 4pm and midnight - in other words, prime-time for television. Virgin Media, a British ISP that recently introduced throttling, offers a maximum download speed of 20 megabits per second, but this is reduced once a three-gigabyte limit has been exceeded. If the connection is running at full capacity, that will take 20 minutes.