Broadband Myths Debunked

Two conferences feature keynoter Andrew Odlyzko, who says carriers aren't the source of next-gen services

September 8, 2004

2 Min Read
Broadband Myths Debunked

Andrew Odlyzko, the researcher famous for debunking some popular claims of exploding Internet traffic growth, plans to stir up more controversy next week at two U.S. conferences.

The outspoken researcher will deliver keynote speeches at Light Reading’s two NGS 2004 conferences next week – one on each coast. The NGS 2004 conferences are being held in New York City next Monday, Sept 13, and in Burlingame, Calif. on Wednesday, Sept 15. Entry is free for service providers and enterprise users.

Odlyzko, director of the Digital Technology Center at the University of Minnesota, will pinpoint a number of “misleading myths” about broadband services, which he says are impeding reform and restructuring. These myths include:

  • Carriers can develop innovative new services. Odlyzko contends that users have created all of telecom’s killer apps, such as email, the World Wide Web, browsers, search engines, and peer-to-peer file sharing. The role of carriers should be to provide platforms for users to develop their own apps.

  • Streaming, real-time, multimedia traffic will dominate. Odlyzko backs the argument made by Morgenthaler’s Drew Lanza in a recent Light Reading column: File transer for local storage is going to rule (see Fiber's Sticky Wicket).

  • Content is king. Odlyzko contends that the dominant types of communications pertain to business and social activities – as they have for thousands of years.

  • Voice is passé. Nextel Communications Inc.'s (Nasdaq: NXTL) push-to-talk success points to unexploited opportunities in voice, especially in 3G, with differentiated voice quality levels.

  • QOS (quality of service) and measured rates are moneymakers. Odlyzko says encouraging users – and network usage – is the secret to a successful service. Charging flat or simple rates does this, while trying to charge extra for QOS guarantees does the opposite. It adds complexity to the network and confuses users.

Odlyzko also names and shames “a long litany of duds” among recent networking research initiatives. These include: ATM, RSVP, smart networks, active networks, multicasting, streaming real-time multimedia, and 3G. He points out that his pet hate – QOS – is included in all of them.

His keynotes promise an alternative take on a conference agenda focused on helping carriers tackle the challenges they face in moving towards offering a multiplicity of services over a converged, packet-based backbone. The agenda includes sessions on packet voice infrastructure, session border controllers, OAM&P issues, and how carriers can exercise greater control over their converged infrastructures.

To register for one of the NGS 2004 conferences, or to get more information, please click on one of these links:

  • Monday, Sept 13, 2004 – W Hotel, Union Square, New York

  • Wednesday, Sept 15, 2004 – Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, Burlingame

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading

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