Delivering HDTV to Typical Household Entirely Over-the-Top: About 600 Gigabytes Per Month [Bit Rate - Multichannel News]
I hate the term "Over-the-Top" used in this headline. It implies that there is some kind of wall to climb over in order to gain access to consumers' TV sets. In fact, cable operators have embraced Internet TV and continue to build more and more capacity in their broadband networks to accommodate all kinds of programming alternatives.
But there is a price to pay.
A recent report on Internet video from Morgan Stanley evaluated the issue by looking at the average HD video currently viewed by American households and the Internet usage that would result from that same amount of HDTV being viewed over-the-top.
The results - the average household usage would increase more than 15 times the current average broadband consumption to 600 gigabytes (GB) per month. A transition for the heaviest HDTV viewers to Internet TV (as opposed to simply the current household average) would result in an average consumption of 1.4 terabytes each month. That's a significant amount of data transfer for a single household.
This total is well beyond the usage caps that some providers have implemented. AT&T, for instance, only allows for 150GB over DSL and 250GB over U-verse.
Todd Spangler puts it well. Trying to deliver this much usage over the broadband networks currently in place is like sending 18 lanes of traffic down a four-lane highway.
So, let's face it. If this is the way people want to consume television, someone has to pay to widen the road. Don't get me wrong -- I totally understand the attraction of Internet TV as it gives access to virtually unlimited choices of programs. I use it all the time. But the question continues to be, should everyone pay for it or should the cost of the necessary additional resources be allocated to those who are using them? If everyone pays, the cost would be spread out over all broadband consumers. But is that fair to light users? If heavy users pay for their disproportionate usage, the same cost would be borne by fewer people who are consuming heavily.
What do you think?