The Great Exchange

Perry E. Metzger perry at
Wed May 27 21:01:32 UTC 1998

"Tom Walton" writes:
> You're assuming that the internet will persist in its current form,
> and just "scale up". I'd argue that, as network technology becomes
> useful for non-nerds, consumers will pay for packaged data services
> and not just for "access" to an expanded version of today's
> web-morass. These information services, e.g., entertainment, news,
> etc., will be big bandwidth burners.  Simple economics will drive
> the providers of these high-bandwidth services to the edges of the
> network, and hence to a regional model for content distribution.

Simple economics would drive content providers NOT to get into the
distribution business.

> Thus, the majority of bits, if not the majority of net "accesses"
> (one ten minute video stream will likely dominate a residential
> consumer's daily consumption) reaching consumers will be delivered
> regionally.

Lets say we have a residential bandwidth on the order of several
megabits -- not unreasonable in another five or ten years, especially
given that current technology could provide it. Why would a short
video dominate consumption, especially given that people watch a whole
lot more than small amounts of video, and the net is likely to replace
all other distribution media in the long run?

I find your arguments fairly unpersuasive.


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