Friday, January 21, 2005

Fast Forward: Is Internet Video Ready for Primetime?

David Kirkpatrick - Fast Forward: Is Internet Video Ready for Primetime? - FORTUNE And we’re seeing real progress. Software like BitTorrent makes distributing video increasingly easier. BitTorrent is a clever peer-to-peer application that enables users to send lengthy videos around the Internet without overtaxing the originating server. And the nation’s biggest broadband ISPs are broadening the pipe further. For its highest-paying customers Comcast Tuesday announced it now will offer six megabits per second, up from a previous maximum of four. That’s a huge bump up from the two megabits per second or so, at the most, that I’ve been getting on Time Warner’s Roadrunner. And Verizon is advertising that it has doubled the speed of its DSL. These changes are important for all kinds of reasons. Not only does more bandwidth make it easier to watch video online, it helps keep the U.S. economy competitive with many other nations where faster Internet speeds are more common. (Given the Internet's wide-ranging impact on almost every industry these days, many economists and businesspeople worry that if other countries are more wired than the U.S., our ability to innovate will be hampered.) As bandwidth grows, there will be more and more content online from both conventional and unconventional “broadcasters.”

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