Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?
jcdill.lists at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 19:27:21 UTC 2010
Dave Sparro wrote:
> I just don't see a way to get passed the current impasse.
> The consumers are saying "I want faster, as long as I don't have to
> pay more."
> Content providers are saying, "If consumers had faster, I'd be able to
> invent 'Killer App'. I sure wish the ISPs would upgrade their networks."
> ISPs are saying, "Why should we upgrade our networks, nobody is
> willing to pay us to do so."
I predict a future where major content providers (MCPs) (such as Google,
or Yahoo or MSN) offer customers access for free. When you enroll in
free MCP internet access, MCP content and apps will stream to you as
fast as their network can possibly get them to you. What MCPs will do
with content that comes from other networks is another question.
One reason traffic shaping hasn't caught on yet is that it hasn't been
beneficial to the people selling access to slow down traffic (which is
the only way to shape traffic). Their bean counters keep thinking
there's a market behind this service, but each time they try to create a
market, someone else simply says "here, I'll get *everything* to you as
fast as possible, why get your access from that other guy?". This
was the Above.net model. So, when one of the MCPs (e.g. Google) comes
out with their own access product (which will happen sooner or later),
will they find that there's a market to give consumers faster access to
Google's content? Or, will Yahoo or MSN or Facebook decide to give
customers a product where they get everyone's content as fast as
possible, thus negating the value of the free service from Google (or
whoever) that is only as fast as possible for that company's content?
My bet is on the above.net model - as soon as someone puts up a service
with different speeds depending on where the content comes from, someone
else will come out with a service that is everything, as fast as
possible, and that second offering will win. The technology to stream
everything as fast as possible will not be that much more expensive than
the technology to provide different speeds for different sources, and
the customer will flock to the "everything as fast as possible" offerings.
 And then once everyone is getting their consumer access for free,
will they start paying consumers to sign up with their service? We are
getting quite close to this in other areas, such as "fill out this form
get a free coupon"....
 Sonic.net is offering "as fast as we can get it to you" now (for
one price, no more tiered service for tiered pricing) to home customers
in the SF Bay Area.
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