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

Dave Israel davei at
Mon Jan 15 21:56:04 UTC 2007

Hash: SHA1
Bora Akyol wrote:
> The question I asked earlier was, whether the last-mile SP networks
> can handle 24x7 100% link utilization for all of their customers. I
> don't think they can. And frankly, I don't know how they are going
> to get revenue from the content distributors to upgrade the
> networks. Does Apple reimburse Comcast (my SP) when I download a
> song? I don't think so? What about a movie? Again, I don't think
> so.
> You see where I am going with this.

The past solution to repetitive requests for the same content has been
caching, either reactive (webcaching) or proactive (Akamaizing.)  I
think it is the latter we will see; service providers will push
reasonably cheap servers close to the edge where they aren't too
oversubscribed, and stuff their content there.  A cluster of servers
with terabytes of disk at a regional POP will cost a lot less than
upgrading the upstream links.  And even if the SPs do not want to
invest in developing this product platform for themselves, the price
will likely be paid by the content providers who need performance to
keep subscribers.

I think the biggest stumbling block isn't technical.  It is a question
of getting enough content to attract viewers, or alternately, getting
enough viewers to attract content.  Plus, you're going to a format
where the ability to fast-forward commercials is a fact, not a risk,
and you'll have to find a way to get advertisers' products in front of
the viewer to move past pay-per-view.  It's all economics and politics

- -Dave

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