We heard a great phrase this week: ‘Abuse the pipe’. Nothing to do with crack, we promise – it’s the phrase used by mobile operators and broadband ISPs to describe services like YouTube, Netflix and the BBC’s iPlayer, which account for an increasing amount of the telcos’ bandwidth. Anyway, expect to hear much more about data caps in the coming months, as the ISPs and operators seek to rein in their heaviest users. Netflix has just taken pre-emptive action, launching a choice of video streaming qualities on its web service. Users can now choose to watch films at a quality that consumes 0.3GB an hour, 0.7GB an hour or 2.3GB an hour – the latter is HD-quality. “We know that some of you have Internet data caps and we want to make it easier for you to manage how much data you use,” explains the company. Could streaming music services follow suit? There’s a big difference between the bandwidth requirements of HD video and music, but it’s certainly something to be aware of. Source: Social Times

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