Thursday, June 15, 2006

Blast to the Past: Internet regression

Internet headed back to Dark Ages:
Once upon a time in the (very) early days of online computing, there were three little services that couldn't talk to each other - Prodigy, AOL and Compuserve - and that's the model we may well have in the future. So much for "connectedness". Via Sascha Meinrath:

"At one time firms like America Online, GEnie, Delphi, Prodigy, and Compuserve offered consumers proprietary data processing and data communication services over incompatible and noninterconnected networks. This approach to selling data services ultimately faded as the public Internet became available. Most of the firms that pursued the network differentiation business model no longer exist, and those that do survive have combined Internet access with their proprietary offerings.

Consumers have already voted with their feet away from the proprietary data network model, once given the opportunity to consume electronic data and communication services in an open-access environment. The reason for this exhibited consumer sentiment is the same in the broadband world as it was in the dial-up world consumers place a high value on services based on policies which encourage protocol standardization, interoperability, and network effects. "

And what gives with the restrivtive business model being used by Verizon Wireless' broadband service ? It bars the user from uploading or they think they can get away with this? How will it benefit them or the industry in the long run?

"The fact that Verizon’s 3G wireless broadband service has usage restrictions associated with uploading, streaming, VoIP, or peer-to-peer will hinder innovation in these areas. If these types of restrictions were placed more broadly on network users, due to the rise of "differentiated" last-mile networks, the impact on innovation would be pronounced. If, for example, end-users have limited upload capabilities or cannot use a service for streaming, then the incentive and ability to innovate in these areas is greatly reduced. Similar restrictions have been introduced on an intermittent basis whenever the principle of network neutrality has been relaxed. The threat that network operators may introduce such restrictions on an intermittent basis also pollutes the open environment for innovation on the Internet."

Welcome to the door closing on innovation, and the stifling of progress. Restrictions are in, openness is out.

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