Yesterday YouTube doubled the upload limit available to users in response the increasing number of high definition videos that are being sent to the site. Now you can upload a 2G file, instead of a 1G file. YouTube has made it easier to upload a high definition file as well. According to Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee.com, YouTube has done this because “HD videos are now becoming a significant part of the YouTube library”.
They look gorgeous, no doubt. Check out this trailer from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Click the full screen button to see the full impact. It’s really darned impressive.
Don’t expect to see a lot of Canadian high definition content, however. Not that there aren’t people in this country shooting high definition video, who might have a strong desire to share that video. It’s simply a matter of bandwidth and usage caps. All broadband providers in Canada, excepting a few small outfits in Vancouver, cap usage at between 50 and 150G of transfer per month, and restrict upload speeds to under 1 megabit per second, except Shaw who have raised their upload limit to a meagre 2 megabits. We’d be in our graves before YouTube received our videos at these speeds.
|Uplink Speed||Downlink Speed||Monthly Allowance||Price|
|Rogers “Extreme Plus”||1Mbps||16Mbs||95G||$99.99|
|Bell Internet “Max 16”||1Mbs||16Mbs||100G||$72.95|
|Telus “High Speed Turbo”||1Mbs||10 – 15Mbs||100G||$43|
|Shaw “High Speed Warp”||2Mbs||25Mbs||150G||$94|
|Videotron “Ultimate Speed Internet 50”||1Mbs||50Mbs||100G||$89.95|
Pathetic, no? Even worse, most of the small business offerings from these providers consist of repackaged residential service, with a better service agreement and a higher price.
Does it matter if a few people can’t upload video? Perhaps not, unless you’re a Canadian culture supporter or Heritage Minister James Moore. But what about the other impacts of capped usage and restricted upload bandwidth – the economic and environmental impacts? Applications like VPN, remote desktop, and VoIP are the cornerstones of telecommuting strategies. Those applications are dependent on high speed upload as well as download. When telecommuting is impaired, it has an economic impact to business, and an environmental impact on society. We should all care about that!
So how about it Rogers, Bell, Telus, Shaw and Videotron? Download speeds have increased steadily over the last decade, but we’ve had upload speeds of under 1Mbs since the dawn of broadband. Shouldn’t we have better?