As you’re no doubt aware, YouTube is immensely popular, with viewers around the world lapping up content from the online video service. Which is fine, except if you’re expected to pay the bandwidth bill.
You Watch YouTube
We all watch YouTube. Whether actually via the site or via one of the videos embedded around the Web, from our own WebTVHub, to Facebook, to blogs galore which use the service as the simplest way to show videos to their readers.
YouTube is by far the biggest online video service, delivering in excess of one billion views a day. And it’s used for both UGC and full-length premium content. All of which is available to watch at the press of a button.
Google, which owns YouTube, spends a colossal amount of money in carrying that data across its networks around the world. However, at some stage, it’s picked up and carried via the networks of the telecoms companies who provide Internet access.
And it’s this final leg of the journey that is causing anguish and anger at some of the biggest telecoms giants in Europe.
Paying The Bill
According to the FT, three of Europe’s biggest telecommunications companies are now lining up against Google. Telefónica, France Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom all want Google to start paying to deliver bandwidth hungry content such as YouTube videos over their networks.
They suggest some kind of revenue-sharing arrangement which will see Google giving up some of the money it makes from advertising to cover the costs of using these companies’ infrastructures. Something it currently does for free.
I can certainly see where these telecoms companies are coming from. Consumers are increasingly demanding faster Broadband speeds and higher bandwidth limits, but the company actually responsible for the content is getting away with paying little towards the increased cost to the company providing the service to the end user.
However, the onus surely remains on the telecoms companies making back the money they are investing in their networks from the consumers themselves. Us, in other words. It may not be ideal but as the use of YouTube and the like increases, maybe Broadband bills will have to also increase.
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