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a man slumped on his desk, from 'The Sleep of Reason Produces




So I remember when my friend and deputy-nemesis Ian Betteridge and I were arguing about the difference between “proper” journalism and blogging. In the end, I rather liked one of his definitions: “Journalism is when you pick up the phone”. That’s to say, journalism requires some actual original research, rather than just randomly googling or getting emailed something and writing it up as news.

I like it, because it’s not platform-specific. There’s a great deal of blogging with original research, and very large quadrant of mainstream media “journalism” that really doesn’t fall under that banner: at it’s best it’s analysis, at its worse it’s anti-journalism: taking readily available facts or rumour and divesting them of the context that would allow you to accurately judge their accuracy or provenance.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of doing some non-journalism of my own. If you’re interested in what UK ISPs are telling analysts about the future, Carphone Warehouse’s company presentations page, and in particular this Analyst’s Day from April 15 of this year is worth a look. Skip the stuff about phones and go to their discussions of broadband and their plans for their network. It’s full of interesting statistics about P2P usage (before and after they introduced traffic shaping), the effect of iPlayer, and the costs of network and customer retention.

My broad summary would be: yeah, bandwidth usage is an issue, but it’s not like we expected it to go down, and the sensible thing to do is to upgrade our network so our costs per bit drop 80%, something we can do with an investment of tens of millions of pounds, not hundreds.

Stuff that’s interestingly unspoken: upstream rates and their growth, a characteristic obsession with “streaming” (see last post), and which ass they pulled out the estimate the consumer IP traffic will quadruple in 4 years (see the graph with “Web 3.0 in 2011” on it).

But it’s late on a Friday, and I suspect some of you are better at pulling out interesting facts from this than I am, so go right ahead…

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petit disclaimer:
My employer has enough opinions of its own, without having to have mine too.