Tuesday, July 01, 2003

>Andrew's History of Communications is one of the most enlightening pieces
>of work I've ever seen..
>>Title: The many paradoxes of broadband
>>URL: <http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/broadband.paradox.pdf>
>> Abstract: There is much dismay and even despair over the slow pace
>> at which broadband is advancing in the United States. This slow pace
>> is often claimed to be fatally retarding the recovery of the entire IT
>> industry. As a result there are increasing calls for government action,
>> through regulation or even through outright subsidies.
>> A careful examination shows that broadband is full of puzzles and
>> paradoxes, which suggests caution before taking any drastic action.
>> As one simple example, the basic meaning of broadband is almost
>> universally misunderstood, since by the official definition, we all have
>> broadband courtesy of the postal system. Also, broadband penetration,
>> while generally regarded as disappointingly slow, is actually extremely
>> fast by most standards, faster than cell phone diffusion at a comparable
>> state. Furthermore, many of the policies proposed for advancing broadband
>> are likely to have perverse effects. There are many opportunities for
>> narrowband services that are not being exploited, some of which might
>> speed up broadband adoption.
>> There are interesting dynamics to the financial and technological scenes
>> that suggest broadband access may arrive sooner than generally expected.
>> It may also arrive through unexpected channels. On the other hand,
>> fiber-to-the-home, widely regarded as the Holy Grail of residential
>> broadband, might never become widespread. In any case, there is likely to
>> be considerable turmoil in the telecom industry over the next few years.
>> Robust growth in demand is likely to be combined with a restructuring
>> of the industry.
>>Title: Internet traffic growth: Sources and implications
>>URL: <http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/itcom.internet.growth.pdf>
>> Abstract: The high tech bubble was inflated by myths of astronomical
>> Internet traffic growth rates. Yet although these myths were false,
>> Internet traffic was increasing very rapidly, close to doubling each
>> year since 1997. Moreover, it continues growing close to this rate.
>> This rapid growth reflects a poorly understood combination of many
>> feedback loops operating on different time scales. Evidence about past
>> and current growth rates and their sources is presented, together with
>> speculations about the future. The expected rapid but not astronomical
>> growth of Internet traffic is likely to have important implications for
>> networking technologies that are deployed and for industry structure.
>> Backbone transport is likely to remain a commodity and be provided as a
>> single high quality service. It is probable that backbone revenues will
>> stay low, as the complexity, cost, and revenue and profit opportunities
>> continue to migrate towards the edges of the network.

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