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.
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 (An update to the 1997 paper).
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.
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
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.
One question that we have never heard asked in the Federal Parliament.
How much did Telstra’s artificial bottleneck cost Australia in :
- International trade opportunities ?
- E-Commerce Trade Opportunities ?
- Foreign Investment in Australia ?
… and because Director’s, shareholders and our legislators are only interested in short term results (i.e.: this years bonus cheque) we never will hear the question asked in Parliament.
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.
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 (on Googles new service) 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.
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.