OFC: BellSouth Chief Architect warns of HD VOD costs
ANAHEIM—The optical networking industry needs to solve the economic crunch which carriers are anticipating with the arrival of video-on-demand, BellSouth’s Chief Architect Henry Kafka implored his cohorts this morning at the Optical Fiber Communication/National Fiber Optics Engineers Conference.
“Over time, the migration from multicasting to video-on-demand and unicasting has a huge impact on what happens in the core of the network,” Kafka said. “That changes the way we need to look at broadband.”
Today’s average residential broadband user consumes about 2 gigbytes of data per month, Kafka estimated, which costs the service provider about $1. As downloading feature films becomes more popular, they might consume an average of 9 gigabytes per month, costing carriers $4.50.
The average IPTV user will likely consume about 224 gigabytes per month, he added, at a monthly cost to carriers of $112, a giant leap from the less than $5 attributed to Internet use. If that content were high-definition video, the average user would be consuming more than 1 terabyte per month at a cost to carriers of $560 per month.
“Clearly that’s not what the average user is going to pay per month for their video service,” Kafka said. “That’s why we need help.”
Among the potential solutions to this dilemma, he conjectured, are new approaches to content caching, new network management controls and new business models for Internet services themselves. But the most important to Kafka would be any solution that dramatically reduces carriers’ cost per byte—or what he called “massive amounts of cheaper bandwidth.”
“It’s going to take us a while to get the massive amounts of cheaper bandwidth that we need,” he said. “The performance of the Internet is basically going to be a mess.”
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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