Thursday, February 20, 2014


There have been reports of speed issues with the Netflix streaming service (a service which consumes more bandwidth than even the hog-rific bittorrent).  Supposedly some ISPs are throttling the service and of course Netflix has the opinion that this is out of spite.

However, professional ass Karl Denninger has what is probably the best take on the situation.  Mulling it over I figured that his point could be simplified even more.

One can imagine their local city streets and what would happen if, say, their neighbors got addicted to furniture.  Every day big box trucks are clogging the streets to deliver another furniture fix.  Of course it wouldn't be long before the city would slap down time and/or axle restrictions; throttling the deliveries if you would.  This isn't out of spite, but a self defense mechanism since streets are expensive and not everyone wants to pay outrageous sums so that their neighbors can get a weekly batch of sofas.

Some have come back at Denninger with the, not outrageous come-back, of "well myself and my neighbors all love furniture and we pay a proper amount for streets sufficient for the trucks so they shouldn't throttle deliveries".  In his point though, Denniger carries this analogy out to the Netflix business model: what about the next town over, do they want to pay for roads so that neighboring towns can feed their furniture addiction?  What about the state?  Do they want to extract extreme taxes from the populace in order to supersize the highways to accommodate an ocean of box trucks?  Highways all the way back to whatever far-off warehouse that the furniture originates from?  Or perhaps, should the furniture factory shoulder some of that cost?

In the real world trucks pay a ton of taxes to cover their size and weight so that (hopefully) the roads that they're on can be properly maintained.  Netflix, though, wants to play the crooked property developer where they build a giant mall and pawn all the infrastructure costs off onto others.

*Full disclosure: The Sandmich household subscribes to Netflix and other video streaming services; give me truckload of furniture dammit!

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