AP Article: How Internet Video Is Clogging the Pipes

I can’t figure out why we still have to read an article every few months talking about how online video is clogging the Internet. Last week the AP published an article titled "How Internet Video Is Clogging the Pipes". It’s basis for the argument is that ISPs like Comcast and Time Warner Cable are shaping traffic due to file sharing. Ok, but what does that have to do with online video? Sharing files that may or may not contain video content is not "online video". Sharing a file via a download from one user to another does not involve the playback of any video online, it’s played back locally from the users computer.

Yet, after saying that file sharing is the problem, the article then says that "Internet use keeps climbing, with video being the big driver in recent years. Google Inc.’s YouTube, which started up in 2005, already accounts for about 10 percent of Internet traffic." First, is there anyone out there besides the company who produced that report that believes that YouTube accounts for 10% of all traffic passed on the Internet? And second, how can you compare file sharing to YouTube? They are two different types of traffic. File sharing is usually very large files and most times at very high quality. YouTube is short form content at very low quality.

My point is that we keep having to read articles every few months about how online video is supposedly breaking, clogging, or filling the pipes to the point that the Internet is going to come to a halt. There is no data anywhere to back this up. Yes, video traffic has grown and continues to each year, but it has been doing that for the past 10+ years. Online video is not clogging the Internet and I have yet to see anyone with any real data to back up the theory that online video is going to fill up all of the capacity the Internet has to offer.