Re: Melting the Internet?

Andrew Lih (
Wed, 03 May 1995 08:43:23 -0400

In message <v03001e05abccd5513436@[]>, Michael Sattler writes:
> At 16:10 5/2/95, Per Gregers Bilse wrote:
> >On May 2, 15:00, Michael Sattler <> wrote:
> >> I'm very sympathetic about the congestion of the lines between Europe and
> >> the USA; our Australian collegues have been saying the same thing for a
> >> while (and getting their usage metered).
> >>
> >> The bandwidth problem is being addressed at all levels. The following is
> >
> >I don't understand what you mean by this. It's completely irrelevant
> >what Rutkowski said -- there is not an army of friendly Telcos lined
> >up with cheap bandwidth, just because a number of people think that
> >would be nice.
> Hmmm, there sure is in my neck of the woods. Access keeps on getting
> cheaper and cheaper, restrictions keep on getting lifted. If businesses
> plan on making a buck by putting billboards on the information superhighway
> they'll have to make room for them. That's what Rutkowski was saying, I
> think.

You're both right in a sense, but (as always) the bandwidth paradigm
is shifting. The claim that "I _paid_ for that _continuous_ 28.8 kbps
connection" probably isn't what your Internet provider (ISP) had in

Typical, everyday apps are bursty, low bandwidth or asymmetric: Email,
terminal emulation, ftp, WWW, etc. You wind up using very little of a
dialup 28.8 kbps at any given long stretch of time. ISPs could
typically gamble with over-selling their net connection bandwidth by
50 to 100 fold.

Now that CUSeeMe or RealAudio streams are going to be so demanding,
the same economic and bandwidth-overselling model doesn't hold. ISPs
never had these two-way streaming applications in mind, so inevitably
you're going to see some type of packet screening or price increases
for the privilege of hosing that line.

Once ISDN and ATM become ubiquitous, we won't have to worry about
these things.. :)


`''' Andrew "Fuz" Lih Columbia University
c @@ Mobile Computing Laboratory
- (PCMCIA: People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms)