Michael Geist sums of last week’s developments in the ongoing UBB saga, from the Toronto Star:
The CRTC commissioners appear to have recognized that proposals based on limiting the volume of Internet use are not only bad policy — discouraging Internet use benefits no one — but are ineffective in dealing with network congestion. The reason is that the amount of data consumed has very little to do with whether the network is congested.
He goes on to explain network congestion in with the most straightforward analogy I’ve read:
Consider a four-lane highway that can comfortably accommodate 24,000 vehicles per day. If the vehicles are spread evenly at 1,000 per hour throughout the day, there is no traffic congestion. But if 20,000 of the vehicles attempt to use the highway over a four-hour period, the highway becomes very congested during that time frame. The aggregate volume of traffic may be the same, yet the congestion implications are very different.
The same is true of networks, which can be used to capacity without congestion concerns.