Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Nathan Eisenberg nathan at atlasnetworks.us
Tue Sep 14 20:02:18 UTC 2010

> 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."

Find me an ISP that is asking why they should upgrade their network if no one is going to pay them to do so.  From a business perspective, this is a ludicrous claim.  The answer is simple: because your competitors are upgrading their networks RIGHT NOW, and your customers will use them instead if you make them wait too long.

There's no deadlock.  Content providers that truly have a next generation product that modern broadband isn't good enough for are stuck, like anyone else who invents something that existing infrastructure can't support.  Inventing a bizarre service prioritization model doesn't solve the infrastructure problem.

> 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.

Bingo.  Keep it simple, and you win.  Make it complex, and you create vulnerabilities through which your marketshare will be removed.  

If capacity is an issue, then as they say in Starcraft - you must construct additional pylons.


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