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YouTube’s Bandwidth Bill Is NOT Zero, I Expect More From A Wired.com Story

This afternoon, Wired.com published a story with the headline of "YouTube’s Bandwidth Bill Is Zero. Welcome to the New Net." I don't know how they think can publish a headline like that when, as the article explains, a new report by Arbor Networks, not Wired, estimates that Google "is simply trading traffic, with no payment involved, with the net’s largest ISPs." So why is Wired.com using a headline that is telling us, as a fact, that "YouTube’s Bandwidth Bill Is Zero," when they aren't even the one's saying it? Not to mention, no where in Arbor's actual report, from what I have been told, do they imply that YouTube's bandwidth bill is zero, and in fact, in the Wired article they are quoted as saying they think Google's "transit costs" are close to zero".

Transit costs are not the same as bandwidth costs and Wired should know that. They then go on to say that, "the lack of a monthly bill in the mailbox doesn’t mean Google’s internet connection is free — it’s just that it has purchased unused fiber optic cable known as “dark fiber” — and uses it to carry its traffic to other networks where it “peers” or trades traffic with other ISPs. Its costs for bandwidth are then amortized across the life of its fiber and routers." Well make up your mind. Is it free or not free? You're saying the "bandwidth" is free, but the transit has a cost?

Even if Arbor's argument is accurate in regards to Google's transit costs, that does not mean YouTube has no cost involved in delivering video. Not to mention, the Arbor report, which is not even being released until October 19th, is only referencing how large ISP's trade traffic with Google but makes no mention of smaller ISPs. The Wired article also implies that the YouTube website uses "streaming" to deliver their videos, which we all know is not accurate. And while distinguishing between protocols may seem like splitting hairs, it's not when you're talking about delivery costs since we know that it costs more to do true streaming as opposed to HTTP progressive download.

The Wired article goes on to say that, "…the real money is in the ads and services in the packets, not in moving the bits from computer to computer. The cost of bandwidth has fallen and so too have the profit margins for moving bits, even as traffic grows at an estimated 40 percent a year." Can Wired explain what they mean by "services in the packets", what is that? They say the cost of bandwidth has fallen, but don't say by how much and they say the profit margins have fallen as well, but don't say for whom. Not to mention, they say that traffic is growing "at an estimated 40 percent a year," but don't say who's traffic they are talking about.

I'm not a brilliant writer, my grammar can use a LOT of work, but I have no editor and am a one person blog. This article by Wired not only contains bad info, but has terrible grammar mistakes in it like "dump pipe", when I think they mean "dumb pipe", and has phrases like "you might even asking". I expect a lot more from a story by Wired when they are talking about technology, yet can't even get the basic terminology or facts accurate.