[e2e] Re: crippled Internet

Vernon Schryver vjs at calcite.rhyolite.com
Wed Apr 18 09:07:00 PDT 2001

> From: Tristan Henderson <T.Henderson at cs.ucl.ac.uk>

> In message <8396.987605039 at cs.ucl.ac.uk>, Jon Crowcroft said:
> >
> >(would someone like to start a phone company that allows outgoing
> >calls only  -? not much of a business case:-)
> Perhaps not if that was their only product, but there's nothing
> wrong with it as a cheaper tariff for those who don't need or are
> willing to pay for two-way connectivity. BT offer an incoming-calls-only
> package (or at least they used to - I can't find anything on their
> mess of a website).

A more relevant examples are the non-Bell pay-phone outfits in the
U.S.  For perhaps 10 years, going into the business of placing
outgoing-only telephones in businesses was touted as a certain road
to riches.  Before the industry was destroyed by wireless phones, it
was hated.  Users complained of bad connections and astronomical and
even fraudulent charges when they paid with anything except coins,
and many of the phonse did not accept coins.  People buying into the
business complained of being mislead and cheated.  Business owners
who were supposed to get a portion of the money collected by phones
on their premises also complained of being cheated.

My wildly optimistic, probably grossly unrealistic hope is that the
AOL-TimeWarners, MCI/UUNets, MSN, and others that are trying to convert
the Internet into 3 or perhaps 4 classic-AOL/Prodigy/CompuServe-style
nominally competitive services will be similarly clobbered by the
development of an IPv6 Internet that will make their dumb-client/less-
dumb-server IPv4 network look as interesting as third party payphones look
to anyone who can buy a $49.95 semi-disposable wireless phone today.

(Yesterday I saw a display carton of such phones in a "big box" hardware
store.  They weren't radical, printed-on-paper disposable phones, but
ordinary, cheap phones pre-authorized with some number of minutes.)

Vernon Schryver    vjs at rhyolite.com

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