[opendtv] Re: ISPs denied entry into apartment buildings could get help from FCC
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2017 10:44:17 -0400
On Jun 9, 2017, at 8:26 PM, Manfredi, Albert E <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
True enough. The critical point here being, though, that with that guaranteed
neutral dialup link, every single household had access to any number of
Yup. Just as every single household had the ability to connect to any number of
telephones around the world. The dial-up lines enabled connection to an ISP
long before ISPs created the broadband infrastructure that replaced dial up
modems. This was nothing more than a band-aid, allowing early access to e-mail
and a few walled in services...
Then Netscape Navigator happened...
Now, let's imagine a different universe. Let's imagine that your telco, the
service which provided your landline, was not held to any neutrality mandate.
Under such circumstances, it would not be required to offer any sort of
unwalled Internet service from any outside provider. In fact, back in the
1980s and early 1990s, the general public did not even expect unwalled
Internet service, in spite of what Craig thinks.
Let's imagine the real universe with a slightly different decision by the FCC.
What would have happened if the FCC had granted the telcos request to block the
use of the regulated POTS lines for modems, agreeing with the telcos that such
use was causing severe congestion in a network that was bot designed for large
numbers of users to stay connected for hours at a time.
Would the Internet have been stillborn?
It was already growing rapidly using high tariff data lines for applications
that could afford these lines. Most PCS were being networked by the early '90s
and it was obvious that there was vast potential to interconnect these networks.
What is far more important is the evolution of computer networks, extending the
range over which a network could operate. Here is an excerpt about the
evolution of cable modems on Wiki - this is highly relevant, as many of the
networks in the ARPANET used some of these early cable modem technologies:
IEEE 802.3b (10BROAD36) Edit
The IEEE 802 Committee defined 10BROAD36 in 802.3b-1985 as a 10 Mbit/s IEEE
802.3/Ethernet broadband system to run up to 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) over CATV
coax network cabling. The word broadband as used in the original IEEE 802.3
specifications implied operation in frequency-division multiplexed (FDM)
channel bands as opposed to digital basebandsquare-waveform modulations (also
known as line coding), which begin near zero Hz and theoretically consume
infinitefrequency bandwidth. (In real-world systems, higher-order signal
components become indistinguishable from background noise.) In the market
10BROAD36 equipment was not developed by many vendors nor deployed in many user
networks as compared to equipment for IEEE 802.3/Ethernet baseband standards
such as 10BASE5 (1983), 10BASE2 (1985), 10BASE-T(1990), etc.
By the early '90s some cable systems were beginning to deploy early data
networks using proprietary cable modem technologies. The Time Warner Full
Service Network trials started in Orlando in 1994, offering the kind of walled
garden two-way interactive services that Bert describes in his telco "what If"
At the time the the cable industry believed that they had the upper hand in
developing interactive services, planning to become gatekeepers for these
services. Ironically the Time Warner FSN trial used Silicon Graphics
workstations as the STBs. In 1993 Mark Andreessen and the former CEO of Silicon
Graphics, Jim Clark formed Mosaic Communications. Netscape Navigator enabled an
open architecture approach to the development of interactive services, using
the Internet to connect "clients" to "servers."
The world quickly realized the superiority of this approach - a company could
use one set of tools to create a website that anyone could access via the open
and neutral Internet. The cable industry had to come up with "Plan B." They
were preparing to deploy digital cable, and fully understood that it could
provide broadband Internet access. By the late '90s the DOCSIS standards were
being developed and deployed.
Bottom line, POTS modems DID provide the first consumer connections to the
Internet, but it was widely understood that this was a temporary band-aid until
appropriate technologies - e.g. cable modems and DSL could be deployed.
So, nothing would have precluded your telco to adopt its own AOL model, offer
its own version of a partially walled off, proprietary "internet-like"
service, and many consumers would have been just fine with that. They knew no
Until Netscape Navigator killed AOL.
Craig thinks that this neutral Internet, which we have come to demand, was
somehow ordained. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It was not ordained; even politicians do not have have such Devine powers...
But it was one of the FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS behind the Internet - any node could
connect to any other node. Whether the data that moved between these nodes
lived in walled gardens - most did, requiring secure log-ins to the servers -
or in public servers that anyone could connect to, the culture of the Internet
was already in place by the time consumers began to use it. And that culture
lies at the core of more than two decades of light touch regualtion...
Until Obama saw the opportunity to start regulating the Internet.
How the Internet service provider handled the data once you hit their
network was not regulated by Title II. As I recall, in the dial-up days
some larger internet content providers paid for dedicated T1tie lines
to the larger ISPs, resulting in those ISPs boasting a faster internet
experience than their competitors, even at the same 56K dial-up rate.
Their core networks were indeed their own.
Sorry Bert, but they had no choice in that era but to use expensive telco data
lines, just as the TV networks used a video network, built and operated by the
telcos, to link studios, until satellites provide an alternative. After the
breakup of Ma Bell, several of the Baby Bells began to deploy wide area fiber
optic networks, which eventually became a core part of the Internet backbones.
The KEY POINT was that every Tom, Dick, and Harry could switch ISPs at the
drop of a hat. No appointments, no long delays, nothing like that. It was
just as easy as it is now to use a new web site.
An interesting anomaly based on the technologies needed to offer a dial up ISP
service. I wonder if Bert noticed that virtually all of these services
disappeared when broadband became available? Many of these early ISPs just shut
down; the better one evolved into web hosting and development services.
We are now living with another set of anomalies rooted in technology. The
telcos are still able to sell DSL in many markets, but the hybrid fiber/coax
systems have a huge performance advantage. FTTH systems offer even better
performance, but proved too costly to deploy in all but high density markets or
new residential developments.
The reality is that one can switch VOIP providers today as easily as modem
based ISP services two decades ago. And one can easily switch between at least
four cellular/wireless data services as well. In a few years there will be a
similar number of wireless fixed broadband options as well.
Bottom line, the rapid evolution of the Internet had NOTHING to do with heavy
handed regulation. Just the opposite is true.
ONLY because the dialup line you used had been mandated to be neutral, from
back ca. 1906. So, companies like AOL, which tried to use more of a cable TV
like closed in model, even used their own browser for some time, had to
compete openly with companies that created no such restrictions. Guess who
Not so much...
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