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[ NNSquad ] Re: Do the Happy Dance people...

> Faster than realtive vs streaming, it doesn't matter for the data
> volume analysis and gross volume caps: it how much video do you watch
> and whats the encoding rate.  Show me anyone doing video services over
> IP with data rates over 2.5 Mbps/minute, who is not charging at least
> $.5/hr for the content?

Internet-delivered films are in the infancy stage as a business and
technical model.  It's not today that's the the concern, it's
tomorrow.  History teaches us that when an industry -- in this case
ISPs -- have a conflict between their own profit centers and the
provision of services to outside competitors, the temptation to
manipulate the marketplace against the latter is very high.  This is
particularly true when availability to the public of information
about associated operational and decision-making processes is limited
(by branding it proprietary, etc.)

> And if your model is "faster than realtime but in off-hours", thats
> Netflix through the US mail!  Once you can tolerate a day's latency,
> you can't beat the bandwidth of USPS in terms of cheap, efficient
> delivery of lots and lots and lots of bits.

I have an idea Nick, why don't you and Brett pitch an exhibit to the
Smithsonian demonstrating 20th century content delivery techniques?
Might be quite a draw!

> And you are attributing an evil motive/evil intent on comcast: that
> they are making such limits deliberately anticompetitive.

I have never said that Comcast is evil.  I have simply suggested,
and this should be obvious to any unbiased observer, that the
existing unregulated ISP marketplace, combined with the lack of a
practical, affordable, competitive market for ISP services in most
U.S. areas, and the lack of public information about ISP traffic
management procedures, etc., creates an environment that runs a high
risk of being intrinsically anti-competitive.

> Yet this doesn't pass the laugh test, because they could EASILY make
> the limits anticompetitive towards the services today (Hulu, Netflix's
> online service, Amazon Unbox, youtube, iTunes video) which ARE
> competitors to Comcast's (mostly NOT-HD) pay per view offerings, but
> they did not!

Again, today isn't the issue.  Steps taken today are creating the framework
for or against tomorrow's services.  The deployment of arbitrary bandwidth
caps could cause any number of Internet service businesses that compete
with ISP content to fold before they're even announced.

> Your charge of anticompetitive is based on nonexistent businesses
> using an untested mechanism that don't have a good business model (its
> $.10/GB CHEAPEST, to deliver bits to the net today, and there is
> serious questions whether much lower bandwidth services like Hulu et
> al are economically viable).  Yet Comcast can easily point to a ton of
> competitors which are NOT affected by Comcast's policy, yet are on the
> market today.

Today, Nick.  That's today.  Get your eyes off the sidewalk and look
up at the sky from time to time.  And as I said above, we don't know
how many possible businesses have already been discouraged into
limbo by the current state of affairs.

> If the goal is to be an anticompetitive measure, they grossly failed,
> and lumping Comcast's policy together with the proposals of
> Time/Warner (~50GB IIRC, which IS kill-the-net anticompetitive) does
> you a huge disservice.

I would submit that apparently arbitrary, publicly unjustified
bandwidth limits don't make logical sense (except from a
profit-center perspective) in any case.  Where did that 250GB figure
come from?  Or 50GB?  Or 5GB for that matter?  These numbers seem to
be coming out of a hat, but we know damn well that there are likely
spreadsheets somewhere that spell it all out in cold hard cash, if
not aimed at today, then at tomorrow.

> As for your definition of true HD, then you obviously can't consider
> anything delivered over cable/sattelite "True HD" either, because both
> of those have a tendency to transcode the HD channels to save
> bandwidth.

Satellite HD is heavily compressed, as is all consumer satellite
video.  Until fairly recently, cable HD was typically moving full
bandwidth, but various cable companies are now moving toward rate
transcoding, and in fact there are Web sites devoted to showing the
negative impact that this has had on image quality.  No wonder
Internet users will want to choose among high-quality content from
the Internet at large, not subject to compression ratios set by
dominant carrier bean counters.  Interestingly, there often seems to
be a direct correspondence between a cable channel's profitability to
the cable company and its allocated bandwidth.  

Would Google be successfully funded if it were trying to get off the
ground in today's Internet environment?  A question to ponder.

NNSquad Moderator