Network end users to pull down 2 gigabytes a day, continuously?

Bora Akyol bora at
Tue Jan 9 00:51:18 UTC 2007

Please see my comments inline:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gian Constantine [mailto:constantinegi at] 
> Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 4:27 PM
> To: Bora Akyol
> Cc: nanog at
> Subject: Re: Network end users to pull down 2 gigabytes a 
> day, continuously?
> I would also argue storage and distribution costs are not 
> asymptotically zero with scale. Well designed SANs are not 
> cheap. Well designed distribution systems are not cheap. 
> While price does decrease when scaled upwards, the cost of 
> such an operation remains hefty, and increases with additions 
> to the offered content library and a swelling of demand for 
> this content. I believe the graph becomes neither asymptotic, 
> nor anywhere near zero.

To the end user, there is no cost to downloading videos when they are
I would argue that other than sports (and some news) events, there is
pretty much no content that
needs to be real time. What the downloading (possibly 24x7) does is to 
stress the ISP network to its max since the assumptions of statistical
goes out the window. Think of a Tivo that downloads content off the

The user is still paying for only what they pay each month, and this is
"network neutrality 2.0" all over again.

> You are correct on the long tail nature of music. But music 
> is not consumed in a similar manner as TV and movies. 
> Television and movies involve a little more commitment and 
> attention. Music is more for the moment and the mood. There 
> is an immediacy with music consumption. Movies and television 
> require a slight degree more patience from the consumer. The 
> freshness (debatable :-) ) of new release movies and TV can 
> often command the required patience from the consumer. Older 
> content rarely has the same pull.

I would argue against your distinction between visual and auditory
There is a lot of content out there that a lot of people watch and the
is 20-40+ years old. Think Brady Bunch, Bonanza, or archived games from
MLB etc. What about Smurfs (for those of us with kids)?

This is only the beginning.

If I can get a 500GB box and download MP4 content, that's a lot of
essentially free storage.

Coming back to NANOG content, I think video (not streamed but multi-path
distributed video) is going to bring the networks down not by sheer
bandwidth alone but by challenging the assumptions behind the
engineering of the network. I don't think you need huge SANs per se to
store the content either, since it is multi-source/multi-sink, the
reliability is built-in.

The SPs like Verizon & ATT moving fiber to the home hoping to get in on
the "value add" action are in for an awakening IMHO.


ps. I apologize for the tone of my previous email. That sounded grumpier
than I usually am.

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