Calculating your bandwidth costs can be frustrating because many providers are not upfront or clear about these impending costs. It seems to be an area where ample mark-ups are charged. We investigated how bandwidth costs were charged by various providers and summarize what we found right here for you.

The bandwidth costs can be significant depending on your provider, the number of viewers, and the type of stream. But good deals can be found.

WPRNY does not charge our customers for bandwidth because the cost of bandwidth is included in our fixed bid fee for full service broadcasting of live events in the New York area. But we do buy bandwidth from Content Delivery Netorks (CDN) and we are happy to share our thoughts on the matter.

In January 2010, I approached six CDNs that specialized in streaming services who had networks & datacenters in place. I requested a quote for only bandwidth for a 2 hour program where we were giving 1.5 Mb/sec up and streaming down about 500 kb/second to 500 viewers.

Quotes for bandwidth varied greatly — one quote from LimeLight was for $4500. A couple other quotes were in the $1500 range. A couple of hosts had prices in the hundreds of dollars. I think the $4500 quote was a qualifier number…it was from a big corporate provider who didn’t want to be bothered with customers who balk at that sort of number. In other words, the quote had nothing to do with the cost of the bandwidth. The $1500 range providers seemed to have other services that they wanted to sell us, like their flash player or their media management systems, etc.

The CDN service providers with costs in the hundreds of dollars range seemed to require more technical knowledge, ie, they were selling pure bandwidth while the more expensive options seemed to be selling “solutions” or something that spoke more to the need of communicating rather than the need for bandwidth and data centers.

We went with a streaming video CDN who seemed to have the most open and simple pricing system and which had the most information and support documents published. I also met with their CEO and Founder and got to hear all about their backend. Many of these providers have bandwidth calculators on their site to help people estimate their cost. Their costs were good.

Interesting though, the free solutions (with adverts) ustream and livestream, actually cost about $1 per viewer per hour if you go with their non-adverts “pro” service — which is way more than some of the other CDN were charging for bandwidth.

If you’re looking for a firm in the NYC area with the experience to help you stream your event or meeting on the internet at a fixed clear upfront pricing, call us at 646-519-2451