As Judie shared last week in a post, she has been having a terrible time getting and staying connected thanks to the WildBlue, a company that makes AT&T Wireless look good! Well over a week after being throttled, Judie still has a connection speed that is at or below dial-up.
Because she is in a rural area that is not covered by 3G, and because she doesn’t have a phone line (and even if she did, DSL is not available), and because “beamed” broadband internet will not work due to her home’s location (she is not in a clear path of the wireless tower), her broadband choices are limited to… well actually she found out that for now at least, she has no choice. Yes, for Judie and Kevin it is basically WildBlue or nothing. Nice anniversary present for the happy couple don’t you think? =P
It got me thinking about the ramifications of our Internet companies beginning to flex their muscle, and the picture it paints isn’t pretty. After all, my Apple TV no longer stores content. It streams it with just a bit of any given episode being cached for smoother playback. A couple of movies a month, and Judie will be dead in the water again. We both listen to tons of music. Can Judie even consider using Amazon, Google’s or Apple’s streaming music service? No way!! And I have yet to watch an episode of Game of Thrones on anything but my iPad. There is no way that would be an option for Judie while using WildBlue, which meters and chokes when a threshold is reached.
But it gets worse!
All this comes at a time when Apple has made a huge move to software distribution from the cloud. It works great for me, but for Judie and anyone else who is on metered data plans??
The Xcode download is 4.25 GB in size. If OS X Lion is distributed through the App Store, Judie and anyone else who has to watch their download amounts is going to have an issue. And the list goes on and on.
It is more than a bit clear that the big technology and media companies have finally gotten their act together, and they are providing some great solutions for streaming all kinds of content. Unfortunately they seem to be increasingly out of step with what some of the Internet companies we have grown to rely upon will allow.