The Honest Thief

James Rogers
11 Mar 2003 18:20:09 -0800

On Tue, 2003-03-11 at 17:25, Luis Villa wrote:
> On Tue, 2003-03-11 at 20:24, James Rogers wrote:
> > What will *really* drive the RIAA mad is when every residential
> > end-point is directly connected to a multi-gigabit switch fabric with
> > symmetric routable bandwidth.  Peer-to-peer file sharing will take on a
> > new reality when the connection between Jane User and Joe User is
> > topologically identical to a connection between Jane User and
> >  Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
> That'll be totally terrifying to the RIAA, except... it's not going to
> happen. What's the profit motive for anyone to lay down that kind of
> bandwidth out to the edges? BigCos are struggling to find the motivation
> to lay down the moderately shitty bandwidth we've already got. /if/ they
> ever find motivation, it'll be because someone with 'content' has bribed
> them into setting down a strictly controlled pipe they figure they can
> charge by the film/tune/whatever for. And a network like that isn't
> going to scare the RIAA much.

I never said you were going to get it from the telcos or quasi-telcos. 
But at the same time, there is no reason NOT to do it; it is actually a
very cost effective solution for cluefully engineered networks and
competitive pricewise with DSL/cable.  The telcos really can't do this
for regulatory reasons, and the big quasi-telcos can't do it without
throwing out everything they think they know about networking and
starting over (haha).  There are fair-sized network companies with real
customer bases doing this though.

More to the point, this type of residential network is being deployed
*now*, exactly as described, with very happy customers.  Routable
multi-mbit symmetric bandwidth plugged straight into the same fabric as
a Fortune 500.

You are right about one thing, and that is content (films/TV/etc) will
be made availabe on the network.  But the reasoning is more economic
than devious: it is cheaper and more peformant to have these things
available at strategic points in the fabric than to have individuals
exercising their new bandwidth by pulling high-bandwidth content off
some remote server whose network/server performance is under the control
of someone else.  So instead you do things like provide a vast library
of DVD quality movies and so forth on the network to give people
something to do with all the bandwidth while saving money and
guaranteeing the quality of the experience.

This helps solve the bootstrap problem of there being no high-bandwidth
content because nobody has high-bandwidth.  Putting content on the
network is a double-bonus.  It adds tangible value to the customer and
creates a compelling reason to have that much bandwidth in the first
place.  I've had a ridiculously fast Internet connection for some time,
but the experience isn't substantially different than the DSL at home. 
The whole Internet is designed for DSL speeds these days, and there is
little compelling content that takes advantage of really fat pipes.


-James Rogers