ISTP over High Speed Broadband

Something interesting is happening with broadband offerings and pricing lately -- at least here in the U.S. Verizon and Time Warner have annouced and delivered support for much higher speed connections to some select households. In effect, the speeds they're offfering will allow consumers to get broadband TV service over their higher speed in the broadcasters simply make their content available on the web. The downside from a consumer standpoint is quite simple. They have to pay about (US) $100 more for their broadband service. This extra charge is roughly about what it would cost for cable TV into their home. Is this the web's cable and satellite TV substitute? Maybe.

Will these new high speed broadband connections support InterStream's ISTP? We'll see. The true quality of those connections are a question mark until we get into our pilot. We don't know how much upstream bandwidth is being shared by the subscribers. In addition, we need to fully understand what their backbone connectivity, and traffic patterns are like. What's been announced and offered so far does not actually guarantee the customer a specific service quality. An empirically derived form of a service quality guarantee is required to deliver true television over the Internet.

A good guide for the empirical measurement requirements comes to us from Asia. There are several broadband service providers who already offer speeds of between 20 and 30Mbps in that region of the world. Due to some of the above mentioned issues, empirical measurements of "TV quality bandwidth" over these connections indicate no more than 800 Kbps sustained has been available. Therefore, we'll need to see how the build-outs evolve of these new high speed networks and how well they can suppot ISTP.

Another way of looking at it, would be to determine if Verizon and Comcast would automatically get the InterStream service mark for the high speed broadband subscribers' network. We're moving into our pilot implementation over the next couple of months so we'll be able to tell you at the completion of Phase I.

Jeff Turner

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