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Ariella
Ariella
5/20/2015 | 9:32:20 AM
caffeine
<"Entrepreneurs today need a highly caffeinated, dense city to live in,"> That conjures up images of caffeine in the air (maybe like it's in the water in Seattle?). Probably he just thinks of all the hipster types who are clutching Starbucks in one hand and a phone in the other.

I had to Google it, though, and found that, YES!, inhalable caffeine is a thing and made by http://aerolife.com/
mendyk
mendyk
5/20/2015 | 9:52:13 AM
And not a penny more
Does it really cost exactly $26.99 a month to deliver 100Mbit service?
msilbey
msilbey
5/20/2015 | 9:56:26 AM
Re: And not a penny more
That's what EPB calculated. Apparently there's a rule that it can charge less than the cost of delivery.
mendyk
mendyk
5/20/2015 | 9:59:28 AM
Re: And not a penny more
I wonder how that measures up against delivery costs of other broadband providers. It sounds a little on the high side.
seffros
seffros
5/20/2015 | 2:00:09 PM
You don't need 1Gig for that....
Neither example given in the article (uploading video, streaming microsopic images) requires 1Gig or anything close to it. There is no technical logic to saying one company can upload "higher quality" video than another because it has a 1 Gig connection available.  It may be able to upload "more" in a "shorter period of time" but data is data, and the quality of the resulting video does not change. It's not clear that, once the material is in the "cloud" the time issue is relevant either. As to pricing, one might want to ask how much debt is not being calculated into that "not one penny more" pricing.

1 Gig is wonderful, but we have yet to figure out what it is really useful for other than a "family" that wants to stream dozens of movies to separate devices in the home all at the same time.  It would have to be a very big family.  InternetII has been around for years, and it's very useful for connecting supercomputer venues together. Whether that translates into a need to promote 1Gig in the home is still a very significant question that may verge on taking advantage of most consumers for the benefit of a few. 

 
msilbey
msilbey
5/20/2015 | 2:29:36 PM
Re: You don't need 1Gig for that....
4K video streaming with simultaneously teleconferencing gets pretty bandwidth intensive. On the higher-quality uploads, you're right, the issue is really about practicality. The capacity the company has to upload high-resolution media presumably makes the process feasible in a way it wouldn't otherwise be. 
seffros
seffros
5/20/2015 | 3:32:35 PM
Re: You don't need 1Gig for that....
Of course you are right, Mari.  4K plus simultaneous videoconferencing is intensive. But since LR, among many others, has already run articles questioning the true visual value of 4K in the average home, with the average-sized screen, and since high-quality simultaneous videoconferencing, while it surely is of value in a corporate or classroom setting is not something likely to be done a lot at home (Skype quality seems to be doing just fine) aren't we in danger of hyping this stuff so much that we will eventually be called out by the likes of Consumer Reports for hawking stuff to customers they just don't need and are ulikely to use?  Verizon is already trying to get me to pay $10 more per month for 75/75 rather than 50/50 service and tech bloggers have already pointed out that there is no practical difference between the two for almost any user except the extra $120 per year FiOS ads have convinced us to spend. I think we are in danger of being accused of excessive consumer hype not because the technology isn't "neat"... but because we are enticing the average customer to pay for something they don't really use.  4K is a great example.  When HDR sets come along (which don't have to use any significant additional bandwidth) then folks will see a difference, but suggesting they get or need to build 1Gig systems in their community today in order to watch streaming 4K video, well....
Duh!
Duh!
5/21/2015 | 12:05:26 PM
Re: You don't need 1Gig for that....
Well said.  I've been trying to make the same point for a long time.  To add:

4k with HEVC requires 15-20 Mb/s, according to credible sources.  There was a press release from a UK company that claimed they could compress 4k to 5 Mb/s.  That's an order of magnitude less than 1Gb/s.  I haven't seen credible estimates of the data rate for a high quality video conference.  Would it really be greater than a few tens of Mbit/s?

None of the applications cited are useful for residential and small business broadband customers. 
  • A data center business like Southtree surely could get dedicated fiber to a nearby IXP without EPB (begging the question of why they aren't renting space in a colo facility). 
  • The microscopy application is very nice, but it's about the municipal fiber network, not EPB's consumer offering. 
  • Smart Grid applications are important to EPB's electric power system, but all of them produce infrequent short messages, not high rate streams.
  • It's good that EPB is attempting to close the digital divide, but they're offering 100 Mb/s, not 1G.  And even that is well in excess of what is needed for homework, and basic transactions. 

Truth is, there really aren't a lot of consumer and small business applications that can generate data at  greater rates than an order of magnitude less than 1G.  There are few niche scenarios, like the on-call radiologist who reviews large images from home, rather than having to be in the hospital for an otherwise quiet shift.  But these don't justify a gigabit build-out.

The case for a Gig is really about latency. At rates around a Gig, serialization delay (the time it takes to squeeze all of the bytes of a packet into the wire, a bit at a time) becomes small as compared to the end-to-end propagation delay (distance divided by the speed of light in fiber) at typical distances. For file transfers and ABR video, that means that the user will see about the maximum possible throughput.  For real-time streaming and games, it means that the user will see the minimum possible delay almost all the time, and little delay jitter.

The other case for a Gig is that FTTH infrastructure runs at a Gig.  You can't buy fiber endpoints at lower speeds (except for end-of-life BPON gear).  There'd be insignificant cost savings from building lower speed equipment.  And for non-incumbents who don't have any existing copper or HFC, there is no sense in building new networks with anything but fiber (or wireless).  So once a EPB made the commitment to building a residential/small business service, Gig became a no-brainer.

Of course, this is really, really hard to explain to a non-technical audience.  And if it takes a little BS boosterism to get investment in FTTx, then I suppose it's best for us techies to cringe a bit and keep our mouths shut.
mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
5/26/2015 | 9:56:22 PM
glad to see they're looking beyond premium TV channels...
I, for one, am optimistic that when 1G service is ubiquitous, that a Twitter-like version of 4K video will be everywhere... And it will be like "Napster for video" on steriods. 

I'd also think that a lot of home/business security services will have to up their game quite a bit if Dropcams streaming 4K videos are widely available....
mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
5/26/2015 | 10:02:36 PM
Quantified Self tools...
There are already a bunch of "quantified self" tools like Fitbits and health trackers that are available -- and I imagine that 1G service will make these devices much more useful as they can record all kinds of data, all the time. Google Glass might not be a successful project now, but when smart watches and robotic personal assistants are everywhere... having a constant video recording going all the time won't feel so creepy.

Just watch:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Entire_History_of_You
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