Re: EUnet GB policy on Cu-SeeMe and similar applications

Simon Biggs (simonb@easynet.co.uk)
Wed, 7 Jun 95 01:42:08 GMT


Just like to say that in my experience EUNet are a problem.

I'm based in London and have three providers (one a University, the other
two private suppliers) and here (as in the States, Australia, etc) there
are no volume restrictions (or charges) on use. And no EUNet!

The bandwidth of the Net is huge. What counts is the gateways. The sort of
bandwidth CU-SeeMe sucks up is not so great. Just think of all the phone
calls made each day. The think of a few hundred (or thousand) people using
CU. It's almost nothing in comparison. If you can't get a line for a phone
call it's not because the "wires are full", but because the switching
systems of the providers (the national telephone companies - where they
still exist) are clogged. In a fragmented market this is less of a problem.
There may be hundreds of companies offering international gateways for
telecommunications.

However, in Germany and much of Europe the situation is different.

The reality is that EUNet has had a German monopoly on the international
gateway in and out of Germany. It has also controlled comms in and out of
several other European states. I now this because I've worked in Germany
and Holland and had to negotiate international access with EUNet via
Deutsche Telecom for some high-bandwidth events. Not pleasant. In one case
they closed all international traffic to a Berlin event. They said too much
traffic. Perhaps for them, but not for the Net. Their computers in Dortmund
may have been swamped, but everyone else was fine. It really has nothing to
do with the ultimate bandwidth of the Net. It is the bandwidth of the
provider where the problem lies. If you have diverse providers (as do exist
in the diversified telecommunications economies outside Europe) then there
is no problem.

The good news is that this is going to change in Germany. Deutsche Telecom
is in the process of being privatised and broken up, and guess who owns
EUNet? With this break up one of the implications is competition in the
gateway business. This will fragment, and all sorts of deals will be
available. Also, more gateway bandwidth.

Of course we all recognise that current cable/satelite systems have their
limits. We also know that there is a lot of excess bandwidth in that
system. With compression advances, and the gradual introduction of new
infrastructure, I'm sure that whilst the problem will always be there it
will never be as critical as EUNet would like you to think.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the matter.

Simon Biggs

simonb@babar.easynet.co.uk
simon@babar.demon.co.uk