Google Uses 21 Times the Bandwidth That it Pays For?

by Sachin Balagopalan on December 7, 2008 · 1 comment

Say whaaaat! A totally confusing and senseless study by a Washington D.C. based consulting firm called Precursor suggesting that Google essentially consumes bandwidth and doesn’t pay for it .

The study estimated Google used 16.5% of all U.S. consumer Internet traffic in 2008, and that share is estimated to grow to 25% in 2009 and 37% in 2010. What drives this conspicuous bandwidth consumption is Google’s search bots regularly copy every page on the Internet, some as frequently as every few seconds, and Google’s YouTube streams almost half of all video streamed on the Internet.

… copy every page on the Internet ” - you’ve got to be kidding me? Mind boggling to say the least and it shows a lack of understanding by the author of this study. Hello! anyone heard of indexing? And why does Google have to pay when you and I and a million others request YouTube videos? I don’t get it!

The study seems to suggest that there is a correlation between Google’s bandwidth and the number of requests by users using the search engine - i.e. searching for websites, images, videos etc. Just because there is more content available and the number of users requesting the content increases does not mean Google is “using” more bandwidth. Google has a connection to the internet with a specified bandwidth that is shared among all incoming requests. As the number of requests increases the pipeline gets tighter which may impact download times for the users. Google could then choose to increase it’s bandwidth (by paying more) and loosen the pipeline. However as the number of users requesting content increases it does NOT mean Google’s bandwidth consumption has increased at the expense of the users.

Mathew Ingram said it best …

Asking Google to pay for what I do with my Web connection would be (as Cord Blomquist at TLF says) like asking Best Buy to pay for all the gas I use driving to buy products at its stores. It’s nonsensical.

Google responded to the study in it’s Public Policy blog by stating that the author of the study has a “fundamental misunderstanding of how the Internet actually works”. No kidding!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Verified Craigslist Accounts 11.07.09 at 8:30 pm

Interesting post. I have stumbled this for my friends. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.

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