NBC is streaming the Olympics over the Internet, in multiple resolutions, in what amounts to a massive test of the ability of the Internet fabric to handle load. Nothing on this scale has been done before, although BCC did stream the last Olympics inside the UK using Multicast. So we’re going to learn just how realistic net neutrality really is:
This will be the biggest test today of Internet viewersâ€™ appetite for streaming video of live sporting events â€“ and of the Internetâ€™s ability to handle that.
If the Internet service providers networks start getting maxed out, you can probably expect some â€œrate shapingâ€ or other bandwidth management techniques to come into play, Eksten notes. After all, you still have to get the e-mail through for non-sports fans.
Which means not just technologists like Eksten but network neutrality proponents should spend a lot of time looking at logs and statistical reports from the service providers, after this is all over to see how the streaming affected the Internetâ€™s fabric of networks.
Stay tuned, if you can.