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Re: [sharechat] Interesting telco article

From: "Nigel Bree" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 21:28:06 +1200

Jeremy Ardley wrote:
> Another probable outcome is a fixed monthly fee for unlimited local and
> long distance voice calls / access charges and a per gigabyte data charge
> for your data usage for other services.

i.e., exactly as things are now for broadband, always have been for ISDN,
and used to be for end-user internet use via Waikato in the days when they
were NZ's only link to the U.S. via Hawaii - traffic within NZ was unmetered
but external traffic was measured and billed.

> All these new technologies cost money to implement so don't expect any
> radical end user phone cost changes other than distance convergence for
> the next 10 years at least.

Voice is just another form of data; it's merely one with an incredibly low
bitrate once compressed, and which requires much lower latency than modems
deliver. Aside from the fact it really does warrant a circuit-oriented
routing infrastructure rather than a connectionless one, the actual cost of
the data transport *is* effectively nil even compared to modem-based WWW
traffic and provided you do actually compress it (which the PSTN doesn't);
GSM-coded speech is down around a mere 8kbits/second, after all.

A *single* modern optical fibre can carry over a *million* simultaneous
voice calls at that kind of rate, with research prototypes going much
higher still.

> pszzt click......  hello........... he<click>lolololoo  can you hear me???
> <network congestion>  I'm fine - hows the........ weather.......
> sunn<brrb>

Latency kills - personally I think IP telephony bites, from here at the arse
end of the world even on a good day it's like the old days of international
satellite phone connections (remember those half-second delays combined with
bad echo cancellation so you'd be chopping each other off all the time).

Mind you, IP packets in NZ take bizarre routes due to the lack of
connectivity between the big rival ISPs.

Richard Hadfield wrote:
> Well for what it's worth I think using the internet for buying stuff has
> very overhyped. I am 60years old and got my first modem to attach to my
> SE in 1987.....

I may be only 33 but I've been using things a bit longer. I started
seriously using the WWW around late 1995-early 96 from one of the early
run by Silicon Valley's leading bookstore, Computer Literacy, who I'd been
mail-ordering from since '92. Since then I've been buying around 50% of my
annual book purchases via the Internet - I may only spend about a grand with
FlyingPig this year, but then I'm *not* a big book-buyer compared to some of
my friends (who take annual overseas book-shopping trips).

E-commerce was somewhat overhyped over the past two years, and lord knows
never buy related stocks in US or NZ, including in the so-called
players discussed on this list - who have not a single piece of "technology"
worth the name that has not been commoditized in the U.S.

But still, the revenue numbers *are* impressive - Amazon, Schwab, Dell,
are success stories in many areas. In fact, if the growth of the field were
not so stellar, Amazon would be profitable now - remember that when they
started, their overheads were close to nil because they carried no inventory
whatsoever because they could use the wholesale infrastructure to do that
for them. They're way beyond that now, and even as a long-time customer I
wouldn't have dared to imagine how quickly they have come.

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