Netflix To Cogent To World

Mark Tinka mark.tinka at
Wed Jul 30 12:34:09 UTC 2014

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:50:17 PM Brandon Butterworth 

> Internet should be utility, many providing it don't wnat
> to be a utility and so try doing other services usually
> best left to specialists

When we did FTTH at $previous_employer, it really was the 
first time an operator (albeit a competitive) was bundling 
voice, video and data on an end-to-end fibre connection to 
the home (even the incumbent's solution was FTTB, and then 
copper (Ethernet or VDSL) to the home.

To make the service more utilitarian, we didn't do the 
selling or marketing. We left it to our partner (the Tv 
network, primarily a satellite Tv provider) to sell it, 
brand it their own, e.t.c. We were happy with just a 
"Powered By" at the bottom of their web site or sales 

Made sense, since they had the customer base, market 
visibility, back-end after-sales support and cash in the 
bank to do so.

Their bundling made sense to customers:

	- Tv channels were packaged based on customer

	- Voice plans were simple.

	- Internet access was either 6Mbps, 12Mbps or
	  24Mbps, with an option to "boost" ("boost" is
	  easier for Joe Blog to understand than "burst") to
	  50Mbps via a web tool the customer can use at
	  their discretion.

	- Multi-screen view options inside the home.

	- How many simultaneous live streams can you view
	  while you record others.

And that was it.

As a provider, we ensured that there was sufficient capacity 
delivered to each home to make the above possible. In this 
case, it was 100Mbps (GPON), but could have also been 1Gbps 

We realized that customers didn't care how much bandwidth 
was required to watch their favorite channel in HD. They 
just wanted to watch their favorite channel in HD. How it 
all works is not their problem, and they don't want to know 
or care to be impressed by the details.

What would drive network expansion would be what services 
customers wanted. If customers suddenly wanted 100% of their 
channels in HD, at 1080p, they would ask for and pay for 
that. If it means delivering 1Gbps to every home to do that, 
so be it; it was never going to become the customer's 

They just want what they want, and more often than not, they 
don't want bandwidth (which is what ISP's typically know how 
to sell) - they just don't want video/audio buffering. 
Sounds like the same thing, but from a customer's point of 
view, it's not the same thing.

If, as service providers, we can get ourselves to that point 
(either at a corporate level or with external help from 
policy and legislation), Internet will, thus, have become a 

Your guess is as good as mine if that will ever happen. And 
given that content owners are the ones "who appear" most 
interested in the customer experience, 21st century 
traditional ISP's need to watch their backs.

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