The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 October 2005

Broader broadband

A wish list from Doc Searls:

I would gladly pay $100 per month for a block of six IP addresses, no port blockages, and 1Mb of symmetrical service to my home. I would also gladly pay more on a tiered basis for higher levels of traffic and higher grades of provisioned service. Also perhaps for hosting. Offsite data backup (a potentially huge business for which high upstream speeds are required). And perhaps much more. And I'm sure there are millions of small businesses out there that would be glad to do the same. But most of us are stuck with a choice between 1) a shitty asymmetrical service from a phone company that wishes it could still charge for time and distance; and 2) and a shitty asymmetrical service from a cable company that wishes it were still just in the TV channel delivery business. Worse, when these two kinds of utilities each think of expanding beyond their shrinking legacy business, they look to compete with the other utility's shrinking legacy business: TV over phone lines vs. VoIP over cable.

Subtracting the price of the television-delivery service I hardly ever use, I'm already spending $94 a month on these dinosaurs. (Symmetry have I none; I can download at close to 2 Mb on a good day, but upward traffic is capped at 600 kb, and I mean 599.5.)

The answer won't come from fixing the phone and cable companies. There is no hope for them; and they will suck to death. Eventually. (Yes, the ice caps may melt faster, but the trend is still clear.)

And why is that? He explained it the day before:

In the course of talking, way too much, to Verizon and Cox representatives the last few days, it's clear these kinds of companies simply cannot imagine a world where consumers also produce, where demand also supplies, where the Net is anything other than a new way to deliver the same old crap.

Oh, you mean the old same crap. It's out back. Here's the key.

Posted at 8:37 AM to PEBKAC

Companies are extremely reluctant to change their business models. Why don't auto manufacturers eliminate dealers and sell directly to customers? Because they define their business as selling to dealers. Why have recording companies resisted downloading music so strenuously? It's how they define their business.

Posted by: Dave Schuler at 10:03 AM on 16 October 2005

I'll be with you as soon as I shake the cornstarch out of my muckluks. (That's so obscure I barely understand it myself.)

Posted by: Mr. Snitch! at 11:05 AM on 16 October 2005