Toward a better all-fiber diet

In Linux Journal: What would you do with fat fiber? An excerpt:

  …it’s clear that there’s room for real differentiation here. I would think there’s a huge opportunity for one of them to break loose and offer exactly what Bob, a helluva good customer (he co-invented the spreadsheet and helped home networking happen), is asking for. They could offer simple IP connectivity. I’d understand something less than all-you-can-eat (there can still be tragedies of the commons, even with fiber); but hell, let us eat something more than telephone, television and third-banana Internet service crippled to make room for the other two.
  I have no beef with all of them offering television. That’s low-hanging fruit, and bread and butter for as long as customers remain addicted to tubes (and now, flat panels with digital pictures compressed to the point where every solid color looks plaid). But why exclude better Internet service? That’s not just the freaking future, guys. It’s the freaking present, and has so much possibility it’s hard to imagine it all. Why not partner with Google or Amazon for offsite backup services? Why not offer business services in the form of data warehousing, server farming and mirroring, and who knows what else?

So I’m asking for Linux Journal readers to volunteer some ideas. If you have some too, put them there.

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5 Responses to Toward a better all-fiber diet

  1. Mike Warot says:

    #1. File sharing… I’ve got 160 GIGABYTES of photos, and a rapidly growing set of AVI files thanks to my Nikon Coolpix L12, that I’d like share with my friends and family. I’d like to do it without having to depend of flickr, zoomer, or any other hosting service.
    #2. Backup – of the other stuff, I’d like to back up my servers off site, on a continuous basis. Doing this with throttled/metered traffic doesn’t work. If BroadBand (100Mbps or faster) were available in the US, this would be commonplace.
    #3. Cool Web 2.0 stuff – I’d actually be able to host a n annotation server, and get the low level inverse of VRM online and running, from a bottom up approach.

    Our current lack of real internet is crippling the yankee inventor spirit inherent in all of us. I hope that someone, somehow gets around the mentally handycapped one-way dribble that passes for internet in this god-forsaken country of ours.


  2. Doc Searls says:

    Thanks, Mike.

    It’s amazing to me that the lameness of the carriers on this issue is matched by the lack of imagination (or effort, even) by almost everybody else. Thanks for coming through on this one.


  3. Petar Vasić says:

    I think Zonbu ( would pair well with fat fiber…

  4. I think we have to get out of the ‘oven’ mindset with the PC as the core connecting vehicle to the Internet. I say ‘oven’ because I’m often asked (in my job) “why would someone want an internet radio device when they can listen to it on their pc?” My reply has been “you can make toast in an oven, or you can make toast in a toaster.”

    With massive fiber, we can get to the toaster stage of the Internet. There are dozens of items that can be connected to the net that are not currently. Take whatever you think of the ‘connected home’ with security, cameras, power outlets, lighting, etc attached to the net and take that to the next level. Imagine a fridge that automatically orders new groceries, or a washing machine that can assess when a pair of pants needs to be replaced by how many times it has been washed. Weather stations, Internet radios, IPTV, ‘Ambients Orbs’–these are just the start of the ‘toasters’. With more and more fiber, we can have more and more of these devices.

    Not really Web2.0, or Web3.0, but ‘Monster Pipe Mega Device Connect v.1’ or something (we need to work on a name).

  5. Mike Warot says:

    Andrew, good point!

    Imagine being able to take photos and video, and just having them show up in the appropriate places online, with no PC in the middle. If you wanted prints, you’d then be able to get them online, or pick them at any major photo kiosk with an appropriate password.

    Content that just shows up… when and where it’s supposed to… without hassle. No worries about backups, bandwidth, etc.


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