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Re: bellheads vs. netheads

Anssi Porttikivi wrote:
> I can't
> really see why the router/microcomputer/Windows market would need more
> than a financially negligible amount of technology from the old
> telecomms world to fullfill all global communications needs. The
> datacomms companies are busy re-einventing and surpassing everything the
> phone system has ever had, only much, much cheaper this time.

Yes and no.
The perception of infinitely cheap internet service has
been encouraged by people getting free connect time
to an ISP in their local calling area.   That's a
regulatory subsidy, where voice customers are forced
to pay for the phone calls of internet users.
This subsidy will probably end eventually.
It's also been encouraged by the fact that most Internet
users (especially at home) really don't use it much;
that's a hidden subsidy from light users to heavy users,
since they usually pay the same monthly fee.

If you were to imagine putting the existing voice network
on top of an internet-like network, one would need
to spend a lot of money to shuffle all those bits,
and produce a reliable network that runs all the time.
Also, you shouldn't forget that essentially
all the internet (except the LAN in your office) actually
runs over those 'old' switches and fibers.

So, if you take out the superlatives, I might agree with
you.  So do quite a few people in Lucent, which is
why there is quite a bit of interest in data networking
and Inferno, in particular.