Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

P2P going mainstream

Monday's announcement that Israeli-based Oversi received investment from companies including Cisco Systems gives us more pause as we consider the future of facilities-based media services delivery. Oversi develops P2P caching and content delivery systems, and the investment heralds - according to Oversi - the ability by service providers to increase their bandwidth capacities by 20x without relying on expensive network upgrades.

It makes me wonder where all of this new investment in FTTx and new interest from cable operators in digital simulcast, switched digital, and other bandwidth enhancements are really going. And, although Oversi is deploying a managed P2P specifically aimed at enhancing the capabilities of facilities-based providers to deliver more and enhanced content, wouldn't this type of solution (or other CDN, IP multicast, statistical multiplex, etc.) work for a company delivering media over the public Internet?

There are some wild theorists out there who speculate that the facilities-based media delivery model is simply going to disappear once the wide open Internet can support high-quality streaming with both guranteed quality-of-service and the appropriate security enhancements. All it takes, I've been told, is for Yahoo and Google to start lining up programming deals and they'll make all of the investment in IPTV and digital cable irrelevant.

Well, you know the old adage - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is (Father's Day is coming up - time to give props to Dad for those words of wisdom). What do you all think? Are we a mere few years away from simply throwing the incumbent service providers out the door? Some would argue that what Apple is doing with the Apple TV is simply the first step toward buying a simple "black box" from retail, linking it to your home network, and then having all of the programming you want on the TV - all without paying the onerous monthly subscription.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Feel free to e-mail me at scherf@parksassociates.com. Are we all about to get a free lunch?

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