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Broadband for 1.4 Cents Per Megabyte? 9 January 2002 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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A week or so ago I was talking with someone who said they wanted to set up a streaming media venture to deliver broadband-quality video across the Net.

They had been horrified by some rough costings for connectivity, hosting and bandwidth, and could see no way to recover the cost of such an operation from those who might wish to use it.

Indeed, given the relatively small number of NZers with broadband Net access and the actual delivery costs, the business case didn't stack up at all.

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During the discussion it became very much apparent that NZ just isn't yet ready for such a service -- but there was a solution to this guy's dilemma. A solution so strikingly simple that I suspect it's been overlooked by may "technogeeks" and consultants who might have faced similar problems.

Just how can you deliver 100MB or more of broadband video data to users at reasonable speed and at reasonable cost?

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From Yesterday...
  • DVD Recording... - Paul
  • ever heard of XVCD?... - Joe
  • Have Your Say

    Well what if I told you that there was a technology already widely available that could deliver around 700MB of data per day of video content at VHS quality and was available in most towns and cities throughout the country?

    What's more, what if the delivery cost of this data was a mere 1.4 cents per megabyte and required no additional hardware or software on your PC?

    What am I talking about?

    Well it's not a new technology or some great discount deal for satellite Net access or shonky scam.

    I'm talking about a version of the good old "sneaker net."

    How many people have actually realised the practicality of burning their broadband video material to CDR and having it delivered to the user by overnight courier or post?

    If you use a sub-60 courier to deliver such a CDR, that represents the equivalent of nearly 2Mb/S in bandwidth!

    Even 24-hour delivery produces an effective bandwidth in excess of 80Kb/S without tying up a single phone line for a whole day and night.

    What's more -- if you're actually delivering something tangible rather than simply delivering a stream of bits over the Net, there's a much greater chance that people will be prepared to part with cold, hard cash -- it's an old psychology thing. After all -- people are still happy to pay for PC/Net-related magazines even though virtually all their content is already available online.

    If you're thinking of starting a weekly or monthly broadband streaming media programme -- also think long and hard about delivering it on CD using old-fashioned mail technology before you invest a fortune in hardware, licenses and bandwidth to do it entirely over the Net.

    My motto? Low tech solutions to hi tech problems.

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