A Keynesian FIX to the current Telcom Crisis
by Henry O'Tani www.wlan.org.uk
Talking of "the current telecom crisis", if information bandwidth is seen like "capital", the normal market described by "Moore's Law" exists with a permanent "hyper-deflationary" characteristic... (50% falling price every 1-2 years).
The FACT that today 98% of available bandwidth in the U.K. stands idle, unused, switched off.. (in order to maintain prices of those low bandwidth services such as ISDN which ARE widely used...) reminds me of the kind of macro economic depression in the 1930's where world-wide factories are idle, mines closed, ships tied up, workers laid off, shops empty....
For those who care, my latest "free at the point of delivery" model may be advocated as a "New Deal".... "depression busting" - "Keynesian" solution!
National Broadband "free at the Point of delivery"
- MAKING IT WORK & PAY -
I have found this "absolutely fabulous social & business engineering model" to be generally rather difficult for many people to grasp..... So give it more than "a second take"....
The normal "Producer led" approach sees bandwidth from a "Top Down" aspect. By alternatively creating "vast pools of free public bandwidth at the last mile" the demand for commercial internet connectivity and other paid for products through that bandwidth will escalate by the same factor..... e.g. one radical way of inflating a stagnant economy is to increase consumers' spending power......
This solution is SO ingenious...using "Free Public WLANS" to increase demand for national consumer services and e-products, pulls together all the threads... Everyone benefits (except for the old style phone companies).... Even realistically promises to make loads of money for (struggling?) free-standing IAP/ISP's currently almost driven under by rip-off phone line charges....
Like a four part fugue, you need to understand the needs and functions of each of the five or six necessary participants separately and then understand their dynamic co-operative and mutually rewarding interaction as a dynamic whole.. (yes ...I can see why its not so easy to grasp this!)
The model is easily described to the "spatio-visual preferring" as per the attach drawing:- Graphic6.jpg
Major Solutions & Advantages:
1. This model solves the problem of IEEE 802.11 licence exempt equipment not being permitted for commercial IAP/ISP service provision... (though this has been recently relaxed in the U.K.)
2. This model solves the problem of profitable revenue extraction despite a "totally free at the point of delivery" concept. (revenues being based on private monthly internet, mail and connection contract accounts with national dial-up IAP/ISPs).
3. The "Free at the point of delivery" or "Radio & TV broadcasting model" and "Community Owned & Managed" concept is nonetheless retained which are truly fantastic "Selling Points" to any user (talk to ordinary people about this and everyone likes it!.... the air is and should be free!)
4. This model when implemented however, unavoidably earns real minute by minute revenues for existing dial-up IAP/ISPs from day one... (on the basis of "a dollar saved is a dollar earned") whenever a customer elects to connect to their monthly paid IAP/ISP account via a WLAN instead of dial-up.
5. It pays currently operating IAP/ISP therefore to propotionally invest as grant subsidy and sponsorship in any community WLAN which provides any degree of internet connectivity for a large number of actual and potential IAP/ISP clients. Whereas "Internet Connectivity" is the most difficult thing for "free community" Public WLAN projects to offer...
6. Users benefit from a "free local network". "free p2p & p2mp" "free local netphone" "free local videophone" "free local games zone" "any free ISPs"... all at broadband connection rates.
7. Existing dial-up ISP/IAPs benefit, because every internet session made through the Public WLAN, obviates a subsidised revenue loosing phone call... The Public WLAN instantly earns ISPs money!
8. So great are the benefits to existing ISPs that they can justify investing £millions in grants and subsidies to user groups wanting to set up community WLANs and able to meet simple eligibility criteria (typical of say local authority funding of clubs and voluntary groups in the U.K.).
9. Society benefits from minuscule low radio emissions, minuscule overall base station electricity consumption, (e.g. 3 watts per node!) free broadband connections around council buildings, churches, libraries, schools, colleges and hospitals etc..
10. IPR holder Ambinet Limited benefits from a burgeoning market for its exclusive patented long range Public WLAN equipment and operators licences etc.
11. National Fibre Carriers and Satellite Service benefit from new opportunities to open up direct public access to their bandwidth and new broadband services.
12. Industry as a whole benefits from opening up of the existing but massively underused available national bandwidth currently in "economic deadlock" for want of a "Keynesian" solution like this......
"Free At the point of delivery"
* NO CHARGE is made to access the Community Wireless Network per se. This conveniently takes it outside the various legislative & regulatory mechanisms and ensures easy and low cost mast (base station) installing in public, municipal, business and residential domains.
* INTERNET ACCESS CHARGES come through a user's existing dial-up and ASDL account e.g. Virgin Net, Tiscali... shown on the left-hand side of the drawing.... These are typically now "anytime accounts".
* IAP/ISPs who thus presently subsidise users dial-up accounts using either "free" or "local call rate numbers" therefore stand to tacitly gain substantially in £1,000,000's per year from users electing to connect via. the "alternative community Public WLANs."
* IAP/ISP may therefore profitably "sponsor" eligible local Community Trusts, Clubs and Mutual Societies (Not-for-Profit Community Trusts - NFPCTs).
* There can be healthy competition in IAP/ISP's seeking to deploy more community WLANs than their competitors...
* Given straightforward and nationally advertised "sponsoring deal", eligible local Public WLAN Trusts, Clubs and Mutual Societies can mushroom exponentially.
* The Public WLAN Trusts obtain site permissions. Install Community Masts and charge a small annual membership subscription and regulate the traffic sharing.
* 802.11b can offer over 33Mb/sec connectivity from each Community WLAN Site.
* 802.11a can offer over 400Mb/sec connectivity from each Community WLAN Site.
I attach a link to my essay "Wireless Technologies for Small Communities/Cities"