They tried and failed with UBB. Now they are at it again with “speed boost” technologies. The two technologies at question are Verizon’s “Turbo” service and Roger’s “SpeedBoost”. There are very few technical details, but it appears in the former case that users will be able to purchase additional instantaneous bandwidth to the detriment of other users on the same shared service. Whether this will make a difference to actual throughput is another matter because the slow video may be due to server problems and not network congestion. And if you are in elevator with very poor connectivity, you will unlikely get any faster download speed, no matter how many times you press the turbo button. But will Verizon give you a credit if you don’t get the advertised speed boost? I doubt it. Similarly the Rogers’ service, while still free, seems to imply faster speeds if they detect you are streaming a video, particularly from their own on-line service. Will users who are not streaming video, but using other real time applications get the same benefit such as VoIP or Telepresence? I doubt it.
I agree with his thrust that this kind of practice creates undue preference for certain kinds of content distribution over others. I would just note that (based on some people I’ve spoken to about Rogers’ practices) it seems like Rogers’ system temporarily ‘upgrades’ a person’s throughput capacity to try and get ‘bursty’ traffic to the end-user quickly, and to create a buffer for streaming media. Thus, if you subscribe to a 10 mbps service then you would temporarily go to a 15 mbps connection, and after those few seconds pass by you revert back to your 10 mbps speeds.