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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

9 responses to “On Broadband – Caps, Coverage and Speed”

  1. Krishnan Subramanian

    Ben, your argument is like going back in progress. There are many people who don’t want to use iPods and want to listen through their Laptop and other streaming devices. If storing locally is the idea, why do we need cloud computing. People were happy using desktop and desktop apps without even having internet connection. The argument is like saying that I am living under communism with limited freedom and I am fine. When one can have freedom why live under a limited freedom regime. If the technology is not there, I will agree with your arguments. When there is infrastructure in place and when the issue is regressive attitude of the companies involved, then it is just not fine. It is like going back in progress. What we need is an approach by these companies to move forward.

  2. Zoli Erdos

    It’s all so relative. The US may appear broadband-rich compared to NZ. But look at South Korea or Japan (which offers gigabit broadband), and we feel like pariahs here in the US.

    I am at the level where you are: productivity apps mostly. Krish is ahead of us. A few years from now we’ll all be wondering how we ever lived without hi-res Internet video:-)

    New technologies always generate new demands.

  3. Krishnan Subramanian

    Very true Zoli. We all lived happily under dial-up with intermittent connection drops. Now I can’t even imagine how I lived under dial-up. I take my photographs in RAW mode (~ 10+ MB per photo) and I literally take hundreds of it every month (well, with digital SLRs who cares :-)). I subscribe to netflix and stream movies from there and watch my TV shows on Hulu. There is no way I (or for that matter many others especially in the west coast) can live with a 10GB or 40 GB cap. 250 GB is ok for today but not enough for tomorrow. Thatz why I mentioned in my article that Time Warner cripples me and Comcast suffocates me. I now have to think twice before I stream a movie from Netflix. Plus, Comcast doesn’t give an option to see usage as calculated from their side. If I overshoot twice, I will be banned for 1 year. This is definitely not the way for technology to progress.

  4. Ben Kepes

    Guys – I guess we need to step back from this and look at data as a scarce resource (which in a lot of ways it is). Comcast’s move is intended to stop outlier use of that resource.

    I guess the point is that Krish’s use – while perhaps a natural use-case in years to come – is currently out of the norm. I think it’s fair to allow the ISPs some leniency until the infrastructure catches up.

    I also think we’re trying to do stuff down the pipes that is still an inefficient use – given a couple of years I believe that 260Gb of data will fit within a much smaller amount – vive la compression!

  5. The unreasonablemen

    Guys, this just looks to me the same type of consumerism that grows in every market.

    Do you need 6 liter V8 cars? Do you need a 52″ TV? Do you need to stream content? The answer is no (and yes). Need, no you don’t, do you choose and feel like its a ‘need’, for Krish apparently yes.

    I also think you are blending consumer behavior with business behavior. If you are a business using SF.com, no way in hell do you go close to 250GB.

  6. Zoli Erdos

    “blending consumer behavior with business behavior” -yes, absolutely… we even have a trendy label for it: the consumerization of the enterprise. :-)

    Btw, a long time ago I heard a lecture from SAP’s Hasso Plattner – Mr. Enterprise himself – and he was all over the importance of video as part of the next generation iof enterprise software.

  7. Krishnan Subramanian

    @TheUnreasonableMen,

    Even though Cloud Avenue’s main focus is on business, we do write about topics related to consumers too. My post was aimed at the consumers. Also, FYI, the comcast cap is only on consumer plans and not business plans. Sorry, if I was not clear on that.

  8. The unreasonablemen

    Granted, video is nice, and with the advent of Teleprence, enterprise media, sightspeed etc it should grow and hence datacaps will go up

    I still think you guys live at the edge ..of the bell curve. 250gb is a lot, it really really is. think about notebooks 5 years ago coming out with 1gb HDD.

  9. Krishnan Subramanian

    @The unreasonablemen

    I don’t know where you live but all these cable companies in US were offering unlimited broadband for all these years. They are going back in time now and it is regressive. There is a difference between not having the necessary infrastructure and, hence, asking people to wait for it & having the infrastructure and taking a step in the reverse direction. I would sympathize with the former but not the latter.

    Also, the argument that many parts of the world are alive even with a cap of 10 GB and hence we should not whine about 250 GB is like arguing that we cannot demand super fast train to travel from two nearby cities just because many people still travel similar distances by bullock carts in other parts of the world. This is not an argument at all for me.

    Hope I drove home my argument with the above example.