Is this true picture of Bharti’s performance? They have reported a profit of few hundred crores; at the back of what seems to be perhaps one of the lousiest private companies to be in the market. Their broadband is set to see some major expansion; though I don’t foresee any deviation from their wireless cash cow in the near future. Still, it must be good news for the “honchos”- if you could call these bunch of idiots with their heads tucked away in their puckered asses.
Google is planning to set up a huge server farm in North Carolina. This follows a realisation that once the networks are used to download a huge amount of data, it would be impossible by the present set of ISP’s to manage their traffic. This is perhaps one of the major reasons why ISP’s in India are reluctant to offer any higher speeds to it’s users.
The whole premise of “broadband” in India (and elsewhere) is that not ALL the users would be logged in the network at the same time. This model has served the users and the ISP’s well. Most of the users are happy to surf blogs/ chat up or perhaps Skype for a good measure. The online games would be restricted to a “lucky set of few” who have the hardware to go along with it. Out of 10 lakh plus customers (if we can take the numbers on the face value), how many would be cribbing about the latency hassles? Not many. Give or take, you could find some of them bitching on the forums about the same. They are a woeful minorty and can be easily ignored.
Not unless the ISP’s get serious about augmenting their incomes from the same services they spite on. It is difficult to get the users try out something new; you could see some pilot based trials being offered and perhaps becoming a premium based service in the near future. However, imagine increased number of users signing up for the video services/IPTV et al. Can their networks handle the increased traffic?
Here in comes Google styled data centre. It is owning up a huge amount of fibre that’s available and setting up the data centres so that ISP’s could route traffic through it. We would become dependent on Google for everything. Our identities would be “googlelised” and we would be individual entities serving a corporations interest. Owning the Internet is a scary thought indeed.
Hence we need to decentralise the networks. However, strangely the lexicon of public ownership of the utilities is a misnomer. We dont have a say in the way we would want the services to run. We would want to have several backbones with zero latencies and make it affordable and cheaper to switch a broadband service provider. At the same time, explore real alternatives like broadband over power lines (a proof of concept that actually seems to work). Your electricity utility could offer you broadband connections; it should be easy to plug the gadgets in and surf Internet without any restrictions.
How this all shapes up is difficult to decide. I had earlier assayed my fears about the monopoly of BSNL and failure of the others to catch up with the “sinister” games of the monopoly player. It does sound alarmist in my opinion, but there are not enough players to invest in a national backbone and exploring the alternatives to digging the roadsides. Wireless is crowed about but there seems to be no proof of concept that wireless might be able to upstage the wireline networks.
BSNL might as well be tempted to stem the flow of information. The recent ban on the blogspot domain (where are multutude of idiots- so called Indie bloggers have their blogs scribbling down the colour of their underwears) is fresh in the memory. BSNL would then serve the ruling Government’s interest in playing the censor. So far, it has been successful in imposing their own code of morals.
Internet as we know needs to get away from the shackles of a few handful access providers and truly have an independent perspective.
(I thank the webmaster personally for keeping this website free. We did decide to have an adsense programme running but I was not keen on generating content to keep the adsense ticking or having bogus click throughs. We fiercely defend our point of view and intend to keep it this way for all practical purposes).
Robert Cringely has another take on the issue and of course, the tone and the write up is majorly “inspired” by his own insights.
So well this is the new coinage of the “twisted” pathetic Internet access that we call as broadband. People need to be educated about the word “broadband”. It is the speed with which you can access applications online. Not the restricted pathetic “always- on” connection and neither the narrow band that we are used to. No wonder, guys call it as the “fraudband”.
Airtel is screwing up majorly. They have failed to lauch their promised services and are no where closer to the “revolution”. They do have some plans tailored for the masses; in my opinion, they donot believe in one size fits all approach. These permutations and combinations including the jugglery of the plans only serves to confuse the public; majority of them who would not be able to tell as to why the lights blink on the modem. Internet connectivity is “fast” only if the pages load up “fast”.
Airtel has it’s intentions right when it wants to gear up to “serve it’s esteemed” customers. They screw up on the same because there seems to be no accountability. They have a lousy web site which seems to be “confused” and groping for direction and searching for information means a lot of click throughs.
Why on earth they spend money only to make it useless. A heavy use of flash or corporate goodiness serves no purpose except to irritate the visitiors. Though, I wonder, as to how many realise the fundamental value of clear lines of communication to advertise?
Speaking of “fraudband”, I believe that we are getting sick and tired of the ham handed approach towards access. The snail pace would leave us far behind in the knowledge industry. There are no alarm bells ringing though.
We can just sit back and hope.