fast pipes to the house Re: [Beowulf] HDTV video file sizes

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Tue May 29 14:50:30 PDT 2007

At 02:07 PM 5/29/2007, laytonjb at wrote:
>I really, really wish they would actually do GigE to each house instead of the
>infernal DSL or Cable modem.

GigE has some distance issues too.

I have Verizon FiOS - fiber to the house, and it carries all the 
phone, potentially the TV, AND (potentially) 50-100 Mbps data. I 
actually have about 15 Mbps data service.

This is the big "triple play" thing. Phone, TV, data all from one 
provider. As it happens, I get my TV over coax from another provider, 
but my neighbors have the triple play.

It costs about $900 per house to provision in my area, which is 
pretty new, dense, has decent underground conduits, etc.

>  I met a youg man who used to be a VP at
>AT&T and he did a study about bringing GigE to each house. It turned out to
>be cheap to do and AT&T had a good start at the infrastructure to handle
>that kind of bandwidth.

>At this rate we'll never see full streaming to the desktop. My only hope at
>this point is either Google will figure it out or perhaps Steve Jobs 
>will force the
>communications knuckleheads to actually do the right thing (not that I'm
>a Jobs fan by any means). Or perhaps Jim Lux will develop a new high-speed
>downlink from satellites to get streaming video (maybe some kind of P2P
>cluster in space set up where you get feeds from multiple satellites). What
>the hell, I can dot my roof with small dishes if it means I can watch Grey's
>Anatomy when I want to.

There's an interesting aspect to this stuff.. do you provide a big 
pipe to the house that carries all channels and do the selection in a 
distributed fashion
do you provide a skinny pipe to the house, carrying only the content 
they've selected at a given time.

Very different network traffic models, particularly at higher levels 
of aggregation.

Sure, it's no problem for them to put a fiber with >10 Gbps bandwidth 
from my house to somewhere down the street, but if they have to 
aggregate 1000 houses, that's 10 Tbps, which is moderately 
impressive, and if they aggregate all the 50,000 houses fed by the 
current central office, that's 500 Tb/s....

Just the packet memory alone if you do store and forward routing 
would be crippling...

Clearly, something other than "give everyone a DS3 to the backbone" 
is appropriate.

And that's where the thinking (and market forces<grin>) come to bear. 
After all, these days, if you're forking out the bucks for building 
the infrastructure, one wants to figure out how to "monetize" that 
transaction (e.g. watching Grays when you want to).  And once the 
transaction is monetized, there's a whole raft of folks who ask 
"where's my share?" rapidly devolving to "how come his share is 
bigger than mine?" followed by "I'm taking my ball and going home".

Viz, the interaction between MS and Disney:
MS: We have this fabulous distribution platform, you should be happy 
to pay us to distribute your content.
Disney: We have this fabulous content, you should be happy to pay us 
for it so you can distribute it.

So how's Verizon going to amortize the $900 installation cost of my FiOS?

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875 

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