Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

1. Peering is based on equal traffic both ways. At the moment we tend to download gigabytes with a few bytes of request. As video-communications really takes off (yes chicken and egg - see below) this will get lost in the noise

2. rise of ad-hoc local networks This might come out of mobiles, this might be me dreaming, and it might come with sensible home router designs, but ultimately most of the traffic I care about probably originates within 2 miles of my house - my kids school, traffic news, friends etc

A local network based on video comms - that will never happen. just like mobile phones.

3. electricity and investment In the end this is down to government investment. Let's not kid ourselves, gas, water, electricity, railroads, once they passed some threshold of nice to have into competitive disadvantage not to have, governments step in with either the cash or the big sticks.

Fibre to the home, massive investment in software engineering as a form of literacy, these are the keys to the infrastructure of the 21C and it's a must have for the big economies, and it's a force multiplier for the small.




The problem is your point #3 has never been true, though. In each case, in American history (though I don't know about water), the utility was privatized for _years_, became local monopolies, and used that monopolistic advantage to become one of the most major Washington lobbying industries of the time, often to the massive detriment to specific sections of the economy. In each case it was only _after_ an alternative industry rose in lobbying prominence in washington (often, the next one on your list) that the previous utility lost their position as #1 lobbying firm in Washington, that their competitors were able to then force anti-trust lawsuits, and or get fair government regulation.

The railroads were monopolized until the late 1800s, the original American idea of a fat cat comes from railroad owners who made profits at the expense of midwestern farmers. That was eventually regulated when oil became a major lobbying industry, whereupon oil and gas subsidies became the new norm and we regulated the railroads. Electricity is a general complex area, but outside of domestic coal-based electricity production, my understanding is that the majority(?) of American electricity comes from nuclear power, which in turn is a regulated monopoly. That industry is so locked that Northern America imports much of its electricity from nuclear plants in Canada, and Texas is actually on Mexico's electricity grid.

I was somewhat hopeful that as Wallstreet rose to replace other industries as one of the top lobbying firms in America that they would end up pushing for net neutrality so as to commoditize their network costs, but instead they simply pushed for B2B fiber to be regulated completely differently (and more sanely) than consumer networks.

I don't want to wait for something better than the internet to come around, before we get net neutrality back.


interesting. Is there a constant contraction in the time between monopoly and regulation (ie decades for rail, years for electricity?)


> As video-communications really takes off (yes chicken and egg - see below) this will get lost in the noise

Aside from the chicken and egg problem, I don't think you ever get to a point where that really is the case. Not because video comms never take off, but because even when it does its a small share of content delivery and the net is still wildly asymmetrical.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: