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Will high definition video break (and kill) the internet?

The internet has been buzzing lately about talks of Net neutrality, the Internet being unprepared to accommodate high definition video. There's a war being waged out there between carriers and content providers to determine whether a tiered internet is the best thing for the consumer.

Read those blogs here and here for more details.

The issue is coming back on the table with this article from Associated Press which traced back the average current use of a US household to around $1 a month.

That's a lot less than they are charging. Different countries have different rates though and one must not forget that both the sender and the receiver pay for the data being transmitted.

TheInquirer's Nick Farell debates whether Internet providers are not just crying wolf, looking to frighten customers to get the concept of tiered internet. The truth lies somewhere in between. The problem lies deeper though.

The internet was never intended to support such gigantic demands and the strategy that carriers used long ago (having high contention ratios) might prove to be fatal to themselves and to their customers.

What Internet Service Providers have been reluctant to make public is the fact that Contention Ratios will play a crucial role when always-used broadband comes into play. Erol Ziya from Liquidzope (opens in new tab) used the analogy of a public toilet to illustrate the contention ratio problem.

High definition movie downloads and television shows will increase the amount of time people spend actively transferring data online, as compared to just downloading and reading a page for example, and therefore put a constant strain on networks which can only be damaging to users.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.