The amazing, imploding ISP business
Not much sympathy for the tubes operators...
I can’t agree with you. We have successfully implemented IP-TV schemes for telco operators and it really works. The thing is, the telco operator gets the money for tv. As for watching tv using licit content downloaded through the internet, it isn’t good for the operator but still not so bad, as the user would buy the most expensive package.
A 3Mbit tv stream can be considered “acceptable”. This is roughly 1,3 GB per hour. For 3 hours a day, it would mean 117 GB a month per user. This is something like 48 KB/s, or something like 330 Kbit/s SUSTAINED (remember: you can always throttle) If you sell ADSL2+ 20 Mbits at 25:1 contention rate, you should be Ok. If not, then you just lie when you sell those ADSL lines. And remember: this is 3 hours a day of mostly payperview content. This is the maximum target!!
Overall, there's precious little sympathy for the ISP industry, from wholesale to retail.
P2P has been with us for years. The fact that the ISPs failed to change with the times only illustrates poor management - they had plenty of opportunity to cap/charge upstream traffic just like downstream, or, like telephone companies charge a profitable rate for downstream. In the race to hit rock bottom prices though they threw survivability out of the window. Frankly I think we'll see what we see during every market crunch - consolidation of the bigger players. Reselling was never a long term business model, as the guy whose goods or services you are selling on will always have a cost advantage. When the crunch comes as it is now, you can bet your supplier looks after himself before he worries about you. The medium sized players like Sky, Tiscali, Carphone Warehouse etc have seen it coming and are pushing LLU as hard as they can to avoid BTs price increases. Everyone else is cannon fodder.
Funny how ISPs complain it will all go up in flames.
However, I would like to point out, this is mostly the fault of the very ISP who complain they will soon go burning down. Failure to invest in fatter pipes and severe over-saling have put the ISPs where they are now. Promising to deliver 20MB/sec when you cannot provide it to everyone may gain custumors in the short term, but those users will want to, you know, USE the service you sold them.
Let's use the legendary pipe analogy. If the water compagny says it will deliver 400 litres of water an hour but fail to account for the fact that you may actually use it, then who is to blame when you decide it's time to fill your pool and the water runs out?
If ISPs had concentrated more on delivering on promises made instead of false advertising of "unlimited Ultra Fast" internet, that they then need to cap with "fair usage" policies that, honestly, none of the users who will have been interested in the "unlimited" and "ultra fast" portions of the offer will fall into, then I think it's time regulators took a hard look and said "Alright, start being honest with people and then you can complain".
Paying 60$ a month for internet I can't use as I like doesn't sound like such a good deal to me.
I deliberately shied away from discussing the non-appearance of multicast, as a couple of you pointed out. I'll have a look at that next time. ®