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RE: The Many Paradoxes of Broadband | Andrew Odlyzko [PDF]


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RE: The Many Paradoxes of Broadband | Andrew Odlyzko [PDF]
Topic: Business 4:46 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2003

flynn23 wrote:
] o broadband line capping

Do you understand the rational with this? I don't get it...

] o high cost with costs rising ($50/mo for avg 384k line)

Well, yes, rising in general, but there is another way to put this. Asymetric access is cheap. Symetric access is not. Most broadband cannot be used for servers. Symetric access is priced to suck money out of businesses. I can think of a wide range of potential applications for home servers, but I think there are niches where those applications can exist today, and until they become popular enough to create competitive pressures this is not going to change.

] o bandwidth intensive applications destroyed (ie Napster)
] o bandwidth intensive sectors under assault (ie RIAA, MPAA,
] etc)

Look for PVR based VoD in 2004, probably not over the Internet though. Their strategy with this will be to create proprietary devices that are computers but aren't open, upon which they can provide access to content in a controlled way. (This is, in general, an extremely dangerous development worth serious consideration. On the one side we have computers, which are a totally open platform upon which to build these services, and on the other side we have these closed systems, like X-boxes and PVRs, which are essentially the same things, and competing for the same space, but are totally closed and not adaptable. Currently the Tivos and x-boxes of the world are blowing the pants off the snapstreams and pc gamers...)

The reason I'm putting so much effort into getting a stable mythtv running is that it is a frontier that needs to be settled. There are lots of opportunities for interesting, legitimate applications here that won't be developed in the cable world because its so closed. At the same time, about 50% of what presently makes mythtv interesting is currently illegal. The copyright problem continues to be something that holds us back.

] o legislation preventing use of NAT, firewalls, multiple
] machines on home networks (TN HB457, S-DMCA laws, etc)

I don't think its fair to call this a block, but it could be a block if it is passed and enforced. A pre-emptive strike to (essentially) outlaw computers as a platform for certain kinds of broadband services...

] ] What is the application for all this bandwidth?
] it's already here. Imagine having a device in your home which
] allows you to check email, video and audio conference with
] anyone anywhere, visit any website, play any song ever
] recorded, watch any television or movie ever made, play any
] video game ever made, store your pictures and home movies, and
] turn your lights on and off for you automatically.

Yeah, sounds like mythtv to me... The thing is that this isn't all that interesting to me. VoD, MoD, and GoD are interesting because I don't have to go out to the store, but thats really it. Netflix is almost as good. Is it really worth all of this effort in order to make this stuff more immediately available? No. I don't think it is.

The internet is not a particularily good broadcast medium. The thing that makes the internet different from previous technologies, and the reason that so many people have latched on to it, is the many to many aspects. Its not about having video on demand. Its about being able to recommend a video segment on MemeStreams, and then spawning a discussion off of that segment, which maybe links to other segments. Remixding segments. Producing your own segments.

The systems that enable that sort of participation are the ones that will succeed, regardless of how they work, technically...

] It's not really a question of mobility versus bandwidth. We're
] talking fixed bandwidth. Today's mobile tech doesn't allow for
] significant bandwidth.

I disagree on this point. A properly considered wireless system would allow for mobility, either because I can "roam" from my "base station" in my house to mobile cells that use the same protocols/hardware, or because the base stations in peoples homes are the mobile cells, or a combination of the two. This is what makes Wifi interesting, despite it's shortcomings. There will be future generations of this technology.

RE: The Many Paradoxes of Broadband | Andrew Odlyzko [PDF]

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