Re: Flat Rate Pricing

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 12:13:42 MST

Chris Russo wrote:
> At 07:07 -0800 1/18/01, Brian D Williams wrote:
> >I also stated that these networks will
> >need to be built to accomodate QOS which they do not now.
> I don't think that people are quite understanding what you mean by
> QOS - because it's a huge problem that needs to be solved on data
> networks before they could be used to carry voice traffic.
> On the data networks, IP is the protocol that's used for data
> transmission. IP is a great protocol in many ways, but it simply
> wasn't designed to provide highly reliable dedicated connections.
> It's one thing for your connection to flake out while you're browsing
> your friend's home pages. You just wait for the retries to
> eventually get past the problem, you hit reload, or you just try
> again later. Due to the dogged nature of retries going on in the
> background, you often don't even notice the discontinuities in your
> Internet connections.
> However, if you're talking to your friend and the signal keeps
> cutting out and you keep having to call him up, you'd become quite
> unhappy. If you're trying to call 911 but you can't get through
> because everyone is using all of the available bandwidth in your
> neighborhood to get to CNN's Elian Gonzales web page, you're in big
> trouble.
> Although consumers have become used to intermittent service
> difficulties on cell phone networks and on the Internet, they just
> won't tolerate the same kinds of problems on dedicated land lines.

Riiight, so that's why anyone who can afford it seems to be replacing
their landlines with cell phones? The only two things I generally use my
landlines for nowadays are receiving faxes and calling internationally (I
get a slightly better rate). There are companies out there like LEAP
Wireless that are selling cell service as landline replacement. I think
it is a MYTH that consumers actually care that phone service is "5 nines".
The reason it is held to that standard is not because of market demand, but
rather because of government regulations.

Brian Atkins
Director, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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