CATV -vs- ISDN bandwidth (Was: Re: Melting the Internet?)

John D. Balogh, +1 814 863 1252 (
Mon, 08 May 1995 08:54:09 -0400

>You ain't seen nothing yet! The US cable television consortium are now
>discussing dropping megabit fiber all across the USA for about US$20/month
>in the next couple of years. That's right - I said megabit. To every
>household. It makes ISDN nothing more than a footnote (and given the
>success telcos are having with deploying ISDN perhaps not even a footnote).

Yes, that is a lot of bandwidth, however the present "set top box" and direct
coax/fiber approaches leave a lot to be desired as far as network security
is concerned. The CATV people only tend to look at things from a Video
perspective (not surprising), and not too much concern is given to following
the EPCA for reverse signals.
Ie: I'm not sure I would want to connect my home (or work) computing devices
to a network where my neighbor could see everything that I transmit and
receive. You are free to decide to connect (I might also if I only was
communicating with netnews groups or listservs) if you wish, but please
be sure of what you are actually signing up for. Ask me about our
fiber-to-the-curb pilot project via private email.

I won't say that ISDN is much more secure (the appropriate legalwork can get
you a tap at the Central Office) but the casual home user can't eavesdrop
on (or forge) your conversations (digital or video) if you use ISDN.

Hopefully the CATV industry will do something right here, but I doubt it.
They have the ultimate "cash cow" and anything that requires more humans
and/or electronics at the head-end and home sites will probably not happen.


Name/Rank/Serial#: John Balogh, Systems Engineer, JohnBalogh@PSU.EDU
Employer: Penn State University, Office of Telecommunications
Phone: +1 814 863 1252 Fax: +1 814 863 4092
SNAILmail: 101 TELECOM, UNIV. PARK, PA 16802-5800, USA