Imagine downloading 85 movies a minute.

image

Can’t be done say the experts.

 

Well what if a company was going to build out a 1 GB  per second internet backbone that would allow
you to do so?

 

Google yesterday announced their intention to do just that.
On their Blog at Think
big with a gig: Our experimental fiber network
they have extolled the
virtues of fast network capabilities as assisting radiographers and home users
to receive high resolution 3D images via fibre to the premises.

 

Initially the network is slated to only be provided to
50,000 to 500,000 Americans but Google are asking for communities of interested
persons to contact them for consideration to being included in the first
initial “test” rollouts.

 

There the fantasy ends for me, I live in Australia,
the land of slow Internet.

Slow ?

 

Well, yes, for years Telstra have created an artificial
bottleneck with their FDDI rings surrounding each DSLAM at the telephone
exchanges.

 

This bottleneck was initially designed to add lag into the
VOIP network so that they wouldn’t loose too much money from their voice
operations.

 

Thankfully, Telstra have now learnt that there is more money
in Data than there is in telephones.

However they have learnt it fifteen years too late.

 

In a paper I wrote in 1996, I stated that Telstra Data
income from international destinations was already exceeding their facsimile
revenues and that VOIP would overtake traditional voice by 2000.

 

I was wrong about VOIP. Because Telstra built a special
feature into their networks.

 

I call it the FUVNF, (sorry, you will have to decipher the
acronym without my assistance – this is a family orientated publication).

 

Essentially, every time a packet is switched somewhere it
requires an extra  34 milliseconds for
the switching to occur.

 

VOIP becomes unusable at greater than 350-500 msec delay.
Therefore to create a network on which VOIP cant be used, one just circulates
the packets amongst a few switches before allowing it to go on it’s merry way.

 

Historical Flashback – 1997.

Here’s an explanation of Telstra’s actions and pricing model
I wrote in June 1997.

 

In July 1996, Telstra increased the cost of Wholesale
Internet from $0.02 cents per megabyte to $0.195 cents per megabyte. This
increase was claimed by Telstra to be necessary to cover the cost of the trans
Pacific data link.

At the same time, Telstra announced that it was upgrading
the Internet Network to “streamline” data flow. This streamlining was the
construction of several core networks with a triumvirate egress network.  Each switch (router) adds several
milliseconds (approx 34 ms) to the length of time required for a packet to
transit from A to E. In the diagram below, a packet traveling from A to E takes
a minimum of 68 milliseconds whereas a packet traveling from A via B, C, D to
get to E takes a minimum of 170 milliseconds.

 

 

 image

 

 

 

 

 

For Example; a three
minute call to the
USA

Telstra prime rate IDD
(International Direct Dial) charges are $1.28 per minute to the
USA

The Telstra
network is provisioned at 64 Kb bandwidth Therefore a 3 minute call to the
USA would utilise 11.5 Megabits. The
actual calculation of the cost of each kilobyte would be calculated in the
following manner:      

60 seconds x
64 Kb x 3 / 1.28 = Data charges

11,520 Kb
divided into $3.84  =  $ 0.00033 per kilobyte.

(At off
peak, this would cost $2.73 or $0.00023 per kilobyte.)

 

Telstra Internet
Charging Model
$0.195
per Megabyte.

Therefore, a
64 Kb conversation conducted via Internet Phone (Iphone) used to cost at
anytime, 11,520 Kilobits (11.5 Megabits) @ $19.5 per Mb = $ 2.24 or $0.003 per
packet.




image 


Back to the current Future……

 

So what will a world where a Gigabyte a second is normal,
look like?

 

I can’t even hazard a guess.  However the old Telstra model of building
additional switching into a network to slow down the traffic will no longer
work.

 

 

The Conclusion

Man lives for an average of seventy-five years (or
thereabouts).

 

Most of us don’t actually start watching the tube until we
are two or three years old.

 

So if we say that we spend three hours per day, every day of
our lives watching ninety minute feature films, then we will be able to watch
54,750 movies and it will only take 21.72619
hours to download the whole lot.

 

If the content industry think they have a problem now with
content, what will there future look like when citizens can download their
entire lifetimes entertainment requirements in less than a day.

 

Let’s hope they find a solution to their P2P problems soon,
just to ensure that they keep on making movies.

Postcript:

At OGN we fixed the “Telstra” problem by tunnelling direct links to ISP's (to carry VOIP traffic) via the AUIX a nationawide NAP. But that's a story for another day.

 

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