Friday, February 03, 2006

The End of the Internet?


USA big telcos are planning to change the public Internet into their private Gold mine. [via]

Once upon a time, on a sunny evening with a distant rainbow in the east, sitting on the wet green lawn near the roses, Albert and Trebla went into an argument AGAIN...

Trebla: In my fictionalised view when the USA network value falls (such as through restrictive copyright laws, see Burnoff: Part 1 - The Bad Guys Win), I predicted two technology changes: 1. an alternet Internet and 2. distributed encrypted storage for personal data. I think their telcos are helping to make this happens.

Albert: OK, I can agree that adding restrictive copyright laws will decrease the usefulness of the Internet. The current size of the Net will mean building a new network very difficult in order to compete with the value already stored in the current Internet.

Trebla: No. Do you remember how fast the Internet was growing just 10 years ago? We are currently at the beginning of the Information Era. You have not seen the real network yet. The tipping point needs two things to occur: 1. dirt cheap network infrastructure, such as those dark fibre after a techs bubble burst; 2. a common perceived loss in faith in the current network.

Albert: How do you suggest the lock-in effect can be overcome?

Trebla: What lock-in? Never really work! You think VHS has a lock-in to the video recording media, right? Look, we are using DVD-R for the media! VHS is a lock-in when you compare two products in the same category. As new features are added, the network needs to reconfigure itself. The current IP address is already running out of stream. IPv6 has not been picked up significantly in USA. But look outside, Europe and Japan are the big players. I can see the possibility of an alternate network with bridges to the old Internet. In fact, like the IP-network replacing the voice telephone network, the new alternate network can happen without the current ISP noticing.

Albert: OK, why you say USA Telcos' plan helps make your fiction true?

Trebla: Look, while the rest of the world, e.g. Korean is lowering the cost of telecommunication, USA will result in higher fees if their Telcos get their way. This effectively will create incompatible business models between the USA connections to the rest of the world. So, the natural outcome is the split of the network especially when the rest of the world recognise that they already have sufficient value in their separated value.

Albert: I don't think the Telcos' plan will succeed. The current generation of communication technology is based on the "last mile" connection to the telephone exchange. So, just like Australia, the monopoly which controls the last mile has the best run at the moment. But, there is not the only way people can connect. The other wire which connects all homes is the power. Technology is already developing to allow communication connection via power line. Other obvious connection is the cable. More importantly, wireless connection is getting faster and faster. See Lamp-posts that let you surf net. Such a stupid plan to protect their old business model and greediness is not likely to succeed.

Trebla: You bet. US government spent $450 Billion dollars in war of terror to satisfy the greedy military industries. Their citizens have to constantly fight against law proposals sponsored by the content industries for all sort of restriction to enjoy their rightfully purchased goods, both content and the players.

Albert: That would be the beginning of the collapse of this great country.

Trebla: Unfortunately, Australia's current government follows without giving a second thought!

Albert: OK, I will leave your second technology change for the next occasion.

Trebla: Fine with me.