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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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August 4, 2008 9:34 AM

Don't Watch The Olympics If Your Bandwidth Is Metered

Wow, the impact of metered bandwidth is starting to be felt.

If you want to watch Olympic video online, then you'd better not be using a broadband connection that's metered, or so warns the site where you can download the app that'll let you watch it. Here's what it says:

"The NBC Olympics On The Go software is designed to keep you up-to-date with the latest Olympic events. The software will initiate downloads without notification. Since the NBC Olympics On The Go software delivers large video files, it may use a lot of bandwidth. This software is not recommended for people with dial-up or metered broadband Internet access."

On the one hand, I'm glad NBC and TVTonic included this warning. To use this service you need to download and install an app that will then download videos as they're posted rather than as you request them. As such, it's easy to imagine users who want to watch a lot of Olympics video but don't track their bandwidth usage getting hit with massive penalties when their August broadband bill comes around. So it'd be irresponsible for NBC and TVTonic not to include some form of a warning.

But this is also an incredibly depressing reality. The whole reason to pay for broadband is to enable you to enjoy services like this. You get broadband to watch video, and there are few events that'll attract more viewers wanting to watch video than the Olympics. Yet those viewers may now get penalized for that interest. And the more they want to watch, the more they're going to get penalized.

While I absolutely understand that there's a need for network operators to make sure they're making and not losing money by offering broadband services, but this is truly an untenable situation.

What good is broadband if you can't use it for things like watching video from the Olympics?

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