Internet Backbone Maxing out?

As part of my usual Sunday routine, I took some time to catch-up with news over a freshly brewed coffee at home. Today the usual news came up, some articles over Amos Yee (whom I think has had too much media exposure lately), news regarding a Singapore-flagged oil tanker getting shot at by Iranian military vessels and also Forbes 2015 listing of the world’s most valuable brands (yay Apple!)

One thing disturbed me a little – it was this Gizmodo article about the fibre optic cables that transmit everything from our Facebook photos to Skpe video maxing out capacity. Link to Gizmodo article here

What happened to all those dark fibre lying around!?

This is not good… With all the commotion about net neutrality this would mean that’s it’s just another piece of ammunition that could be used by ISPs and carriers to justify for differentiated pricing based on the type of service and/or content provider. Having been an employee of a telco and having also previous run my own cloud hosting business, this makes sense. You should charge for consumption and the higher the usage, the pricing should change. Hence you see why taxes are increasing changed from direct taxes to consumption based taxes (eg. Malaysia recently introduced GST)

However as a consumer, I dislike it. I cannot imagine a world where viewing my emails are blazingly fast but YouTube and Deezer crawls and stutters because Google doesn’t want to pay my ISP extra money…

A funny incident happened the last time the CEO of Singtel brought this topic up. During then I was still with Singtel and was undergoing an in-camp training (read – conscription, military training) and we were going around introducing ourselves as there were new soldiers being added to our unit. At the earlier lunch break, this potential charging was the hottest lunch topic and everyone was cursing and swearing at Singtel. So much so that when it was time for me to introduce myself, I just mumbled that I worked in IT and was in-between jobs. Self-preservation was paramount and I have no wish to get the evil-eye from everyone and be assigned extra guard-duties for something like this…

I sure hope those scientists figure a way to push more data through those fibre optic cables soon…


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