Sunday, August 07, 2005
Fat Wasteband, Broadband's Evil Twin
Fred Goldstein has written a most amusing piece. Among other things, it deconstructs arguments that Roderick Randall (my evil twin) has been making for several years. Re-mix Randall repeatedly calls for "The Fall of the Stupid Network." Goldstein writes:
What we now think of as broadband Internet service might not be widely available much longer in the United States! A combination of greed and politics is leading to a situation where the Internet is being replaced by a different vision of "broadband", one in which a service provider -- the owner of the physical wire -- makes the decisions about what kind of content one can see, and what applications one is allowed to run. It's a bit more like cable TV, but on your computer. There are channels to choose from, but users are merely consumers of content, which is metered out for a price. And what should we call it? It's a fat pipe but the bandwidth is wasted, so "fat wasteband" seems perhaps more appropriate than just plain "broadband".snip
In March, 2005, a venture capitalist, Roderick Randall of Vesbridge Partners, gave a conference keynote speech called Don't Get Skyped. The conference described itself after the fact like this: "The 21st Century Communications World Forum delivered on its name by offering attendees a bold vision of the technologies and customer needs driving change in telecom carrier networks." What a bold vision he offered! He laid out this fat wasteband message as only a true believer can.Worth reading!
Skype, in his world -- and Randall was addressing an audience of telephone carriers and their supporters -- is seen as the archetypal enemy. It is a free Internet application that competes with paid telephone services. Such chutzpah! How dare they! . . .
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