[LINK] Question: volume charges
Thu Nov 21 06:45:35 EST 2002
At 11:50 AM +1000 21/11/02, Chirgwin, Richard wrote:
>Skip all that: leave aside the community model for a moment, and address
>instead the commercial wireless model. There isn't much of a business model
>at the moment; because you have to reach back into the wired network at some
>point. Work it out: an access point at (say) 25% loading costs how much to
>backhaul into the wired network?
Probably lot$ if the current charging regime continues. My point was
that the telcos want everyone to think bandwidth is scarce but it's
not. Not in wireline, not in wireless. Telcos will continue to extend
volume charging to commercial wireless infrastructures as they roll
out. [You can see this failing now with GPRS]. The grass-roots
roll-out of community networks that can be used to their capacity is
one light at the end of the volume-billing tunnel, as I see it. It's
a long tunnel though.
Commercial wireless and wireline operators will be competing with
free/open/insecure wireless networks. If they're providing value in
the form of reliability, roaming, security then the market will
decide if these features are worth the price difference.
As you say, both wired and wireless networks have a certain capacity
- one that increases every time some new acronym is invented. But
can't we do a better job making use of the capacity we've already
> > current glass/wire networks (unused decades worth of high bandwidth
>> infrastructure) could be "lit" as far as it reaches.
>This is partly urban myth, George. A lot of people like to say "this fibre
>has this capacity", but what does that mean? "Whatever I want it to" is the
I really don't agree Richard. I wonder if you have any industry
figures on what the utilisation of installed fibre is? You can't tell
me T$ are using nearly all of their glass to capacity for the benefit
of bringing about equitable broadband access. Similarly, utilisation
of existing broadband capacity on copper networks is low due to
"marketing" restrictions. They won't sell a 300k/64k ADSL service to
Joe Rural, even though the exchange and the line quality permit it.
They won't enable the full line speed available to the customer
In a political environment where there is pressure to increase
broadband access, you'd think the big brains would enable some of
this spare capacity to serve this end.
Telco's run aggressive businesses and, as we see too often, have
disdain for their customers and their obligation to the community.
Only disruptive technologies like WLAN have the potential to show
that bandwidth, whether wired or wireless, is NOT scarce and should
not be metered out like food stamps in a world war.
Stepping back, looking forward. Can you see the current charging and
delivery models continuing in higher-bandwidth environments? How much
to download a DVD, or watch some pay TV in a browser? In broadband's
migration across the chasm between first adopters and widespread use,
somewhere along the line media owners and telcos need to ditch bit
charging to encourage greater participation.
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