Next-Gen Services: The Internet or Around It?
Tom Nolle, Founder and President, CIMI Corporation
A Webtorials Brief
Published July 2008, Posted July 2008
Formal packet networking has its conceptual roots in work by the Rand Corporation forty years ago. This was a time when data was exchanged in hundreds of bits per second and when a T1 line with 1.544 Mbps of capacity was considered enormously capable. Today, the average broadband consumer has more capacity than corporate sites had then, and the nature of the network has changed forever.
The technology implications of this change have been discussed here through much of this evolution. The business implications have also been discussed. What we propose to discuss here is something that’s perhaps a mixture of the two.
The statement by Google that video threatened the Internet was a bit of a seismic shock, and despite the statement was challenged by those who were said to have made it (as shocking statements usually are these days), the fact remains that the shift in the nature of what gets exchanged across the network is rather likely to impact the network’s nature.
A network’s goal is to support its applications, and here we would note that “its applications” would consist of the stuff that’s economically feasible and/or legally mandated. When the mission of the public network was to support pairwise communications, we developed a technology, topology, and business model that offered that. As the mission changed to provide access to millions of websites by a billion or more consumers, the network changed again, to the Internet model we see.
The mission of the future is content, video content in particular. The question is how that mission might change the network. Here, we’ll look not so much at technology or business issues (though we’ll dabble in both areas) as at the topology of the provider relationships.
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