Monthly Archives: February 2012

Data Throttling vs. Mobile music streaming

A story on Mashable titled “Your Bandwidth Will Be Throttled: Here’s Why” caught my attention this week. It appears that Verizon and AT&T are to throttle the top five percent of data user’s bandwidth from 3G+ to 2G speeds.

Taking a step back, I have an iPhone with service through AT&T. Thus far, I have been pretty satisfied with it. When I signed up, I felt 2GB of data would be sufficient and that $10 extra to an additional gig of data was reasonable. I have been averaging about 1.5 to 1.8GB of data usage per month.

I was shocked to read that the top five percent of data users are generally those using 2GB or more of mobile data. I don’t consider myself a heavy data user, really. Work email, personal email, Facebook, Foursquare, news apps. Some video and music streaming here and there, but not too often.

Well, I recently began using Spotify, of which I am growing more fond. I cannot, however, see why I would pay $10 per month to allow Spotify streaming on my phone. If I am already reaching my data limits from my every day use, how much overage would I have streaming Spotify? So, $10 per month, plus $10 for an extra 1GB of data? I don’t find that worth it.

Plus, if AT&T and Verizon are throttling users using more than 2GB of data, it seems pointless and would make the apps useless. Obviously, being on wifi doesn’t count toward your monthly data limits, but that’s besides the point. When I am streaming music, it is usually not at home or somewhere with available wifi.

This brings me to my real question: will bandwidth throttling hurt the mobile music and video streaming subscriptions?

I can see it happening. I was considering paying for Spotify simply to have it on my phone. Then I could stream music at work (where there is no wifi yet). But, I am rethinking that now if my data speeds would be throttled.

As the article states, “the days of all-you-can-eat mobile broadband are already ending, and landline broadband could soon follow suit.” This terrifies me.

Our “landline” broadband at home is, first of all, less than landline. We use Clear for internet (I didn’t want to pay for installation of Comcast of Century Link, or outrageous prices for cable). Clear uses Sprint’s mobile broadband 4G networks as another option to in-home high-speed internet.

Frankly, I am not very enthusiastic about them. We stream a lot of Netflix, since we are without cable. We are more often than not throttled to dial-up speeds (less than 500 kbps). This makes experiencing the internet less than desirable.

That’s why I opt to use my phone’s 3G data rather than my MacBook and wifi. It’s faster and more convenient.

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Nearly One Year

So, I have become pretty neglectful of my website/blog /social media presence ever since I was landed my full-time gig. But, that’s OK with me. I’d rather be employed than obsessively blogging every day. Long story short, sorry internet. I hope to be back soon.

I am quickly coming up on one full year of being full-time with the City. I couldn’t be more grateful and happy about it, too.

I have done more at my job that I though there was to do. But, don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of work to be done. While I came into this position with good knowledge of how to do things, there was definitely room to grow and learn, and that I did.

One thing I regret doing in college, not doing in college, is taking as many elective courses as I could. For example, I never though I would need to take “Reading & Writing for Broadcast,” because I didn’t want to be a new anchor. Well, here I am interviewing, transcribing, scripting and recording VO for news packages on our government access channel. Some skills I lacked, but am working on. I swear I’m getting better.

“Magazine Article Writing” was another class I regret not taking. Going into PR, I thought it would be more media pitches and press releases. How wrong could I have been. I am writing long-form articles every quarter for our magazine.

While it’s not a class that was offered, I do wish I would have taken more initiative learning about being a public information officer (PIO). I quickly came to learn that being a PIO means more than just writing a press release when the fire department responds to a major fire/emergency event. Media relations is another skill I am working on. So far, all of my media contacts have been pleasant.

Over the past several months, I have been working on reading my mountain of books (I might be losing). The first few I read were on crisis communications. Working as a public safety PIO, seems like it might be a good idea to brush up on my crisis communications skills. Luckily, I haven’t had to employ many of them, but when I do need to, I think I’ll be ready.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I had a great education by excellent professional teachers. They and my internships have all been great mentors. Starting school, I was set on working in a PR agency, not government communications. That all changed after my internship with the City.

In government communications, you really do have to be the jack of all trades. I suppose that could be true with most in-house communications departments, but I feel that even more so in government as we work with a wider audience with a much more limited budget and resources.

So far, I am elated with where I am in my career and look forward to continuing my work in the public sector.