Re: cr> re4: QUESTION of open net survival


Arun Mehta

>         More appropriate as a model, I submit, would be the movie
> distribution business.  A producer might have a wonderful movie ready for
> release, but if no major distributor picks it up, he's left to peddle it
> for peanuts to low-budget arts-movie houses.

A movie house is *expensive*. It sits on prime real-estate, for starters. 
There isn't room for that many in an area, because we do not see that 
many movies. So, there is scope for the control over distribution.

The Internet works with relatively low-cost technologies (computers and 
communications) that are getting cheaper and more plentiful. 

> pricing, the definition of services, volume discounts, and bundling.  The
> telco/media lobbyists have worked hard to achieve for themselves total
> freedom to decide such issues, as expressed in the Telecom Bill, and they
> will most assuredly use that power to set up a regime that will maximize
> their profitability.
>         o  Set $1.00 as the minimum charge to send a message to one
>            recipient.  

Microsoft has complete freedom to charge what it likes for DOS and 
Windows. Yet, the price of the software is hardly more than what it would 
cost to pirate the manuals and disks. Why? Because there are others 
willing to sell the software to you at a reasonable price. Likewise, if 
e-mail charges are so unrealistic, competitors will step in. They do not 
need to use your phone line, they will have alternatives in the form of 
satellites, cable and packet radio.

> Arun, given that you only responded to a single point -- the possibility of
> monopolies -- does that mean we're achieving agreement on any of the other
> points?

What we are discussing here are opinions, predictions. Only time will tell
who is right. I may not agree with your response, and not react when I
have nothing new to say. Apart from which, I have had to severly ration my
on-line time lately (my ISP has only one line with a modem that mine
connects reliably to, and that line has been down or rather busy, apart
from which I was teaching an intensive C++ course). Yet, as I recall, the
possibility of monopolies was the main point? 

> Sender: •••@••.•••
> Whoa! Hold on there! Who can afford their own satellite? Can YOU?
> Think realistically!

I read somewhere that satellites can now be built entirely from
off-the-shelf parts for as little as $80,000 (as I recall), which can be
expected to further fall. (Shall I try to find the source?). The cost of
launching is falling as well. The whole premise of LEO systems is cheap,
expendable satellites (at the lower height, friction from the atmosphere
severely limits their life). Maybe I will never be able to afford $80,000,
but Green Peace or the PLO easily could. 

Apart from which, when hundreds of LEO satellites are in the sky, they 
will have bandwidth galore, which will find few customers over rural 
areas and developing countries. If they do not sell the bandwidth, it 
goes waste: it cannot be stored. So, bandwidth should be available at 
lower rates than today, not higher.

> Sender: Jonathan Prince <•••@••.•••>
> I live in a rural area of Ohio and we have a 'scarcity' - if you want to
> call it that - for quality and quantity of telecommunications.

I sympathize -- know exactly how awful that is. That, fortunately, will
not last -- Iridium satellites are due to start launching this year, and
the competition is likely to be even cheaper. 

Arun Mehta, B-69 Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24, India. Phone 6841172,6849103
•••@••.••• •••@••.••• •••@••.•••
"There is enough in the world for man's need, but not for his greed"--Gandhi