may2005cr copy.indd - the COOK Report on Internet Protocol by pengxuebo

VIEWS: 75 PAGES: 184

									Accelerating Growth of Skype Marks New
Approach to Voice Communication
Meanwhile Enterprise VoIP Grows but Requirements Very Different
from Single User, Small Business World of Skype Adoption
Is Skype Still VoIP?                           In the late summer of 2003 a very differ-
                                                                                             Volume XIV, No. 2-3 May - June 2005
                                               ent approach to VoIP arrived as Niklas
                                               Zennstrom, the young geek who in the           ISSN 1071 - 6327
The first generation VoIP that has gen-
erated so much buzz in the last several        preceding few years had built Kazaa into
                                                                                             for the first time two million simultane-
years has been based on wrapping voice         an extremely successful peer-to-peer
                                                                                             ous users. As this is written on March 1,
in IP packets and sending it through IP        file sharing program launched Skype.
                                                                                             Skype shows 78,750,000 down loads.
networks. Its advocates claimed that as        Skype was a free peer-to-peer, voice
                                                                                             Skype Voice mail exists in Beta test.
it’s just a bucket of bits it had the poten-   over Internet protocol, soft phone with
                                                                                             Skype video cannot be far behind. Sky-
tial to hollow out the PSTN and pull the       the Global IP Sound codec that offered
                                                                                             pe’s architecture, interesting as it is, is
phone companies over the edge of sol-          users voice quality far superior to POTS
                                                                                             not the last word. Still, I maintain that
vency. The early movers generated lots         and would work effectively over band-
                                                                                             you cannot easily see what is signifi-
of buzz and spawned a sizable industry         width that was significantly lower than
                                                                                             cantly different about Skype unless you
including companies that exist to enable       other VoIP devices demanded. Skype
                                                                                             use it. I have been using it and talking
their customers to use their present day       gave its product away - seeking to es-
                                                                                             to others who do the same. Skype is
phones to convert to VoIP in order to          tablish value in other ways. It worked
                                                                                             changing the nature of what it means
connect to the PSTN almost anywhere            computer-to-computer utilizing the re-
                                                                                             to be online. In doing so, it is changing
in North America and even in Europe            sources of always-on broadband Inter-
                                                                                             my assessment of the importance of
for one low monthly rate. The process,         net to take some of the resources of its
                                                                                             broadband and what it makes possible.
although it uses protocols like H.323,         user’s machines and turn the borrowed
                                                                                             Broadband now is not just faster email
Megaco and SIP (Session Initiation Pro-        resources into the end-to-end internet
                                                                                             and Web, it can also be used as an en-
tocol) to establish and route calls and        equivalent of telco central offices. This
                                                                                             abler of new ways of real-time remote
to connect myriads of different devices        enabled free voice communication from
                                                                                             collaboration.
within enterprise and carrier networks         any Internet-connected machine of even
is still tied more closely than some           Wi-Fi or cell phone to any other Skype
                                                                                             In early December on the COOK Re-
would like to people’s expectations of         running platform elsewhere in the globe.
                                                                                             port Symposium on Network Econom-
the behavior of century old POTS ser-          Voice here was not only a bucket of bits,
                                                                                             ics mail list, in the midst of a casual
vice. The vision, enabled mainly by            it also never touched the PSTN - unless
                                                                                             discussion of Skype, David Reed put
SIP, was to allow users to do many new         a user bought the SkypeOut service.
                                                                                             his finger on some of the differences
and interesting things including to show                                                     between the two different approaches
presence but for reasons debated in our        Starting not surprisingly on Windows,
Symposium discussions, this vision has         Skype moved over the next year to re-
not yet been well realized. In any case,       leases on Linux, Mac OS X and Pocket                      On the Inside
                                               PC. It is also looking at possible releases
despite all the “buzz” related to VoIP,
                                               for Windows SmartPhone, Symbian and
                                                                                                       Skype and VoIP
so large are phone company revenues                                                                      Contents     p. 2
and so small has been the potential            Palm. In early November 2004 it was
                                               seeing 80,000 new downloads a day                Please READ Explanatory Note
uptake on these services that the phone
companies’ bottom lines are still largely      and hit its first million simultaneous                      page 6
unaffected.                                    users on line. By February 2005 it had
                                               reached 150,000 downloads per day and          With Arcobat reader click on blue text
Contents
Accelerating Growth of Skype Marks New Approach to Voice
Communication - Meanwhile Enterprise VoIP Grows but
Requirements Very Different from Single User, Small Business
World of Skype Adoption                                                p. 1
Is VoIP No Longer an Appropriate Term for Thinking About the Kind of
Communication Represented by Skype? Some Further Points of View
on the Meaning and Role of Skype                                       p. 9

Interview
An Introduction to the World of Skype
Skype Specialist Stuart Henshall Evaluates Skype’s Strategy
of Moving Voice and Real Time Collaboration to Wherever
Broadband is Present                                                   p. 13
Symposium Discussion December 1 - January 4, 2005
Sype versus SIP: a Debate Between the “It Just Works”
Point of View and the Standards Based, Interoperability World View     p. 23
Dave Hughes Discovers Skype                                            p. 23

Why SIP Has Failed                                                     p. 24

Is Skype a Proprietary System Creating a Wintel-like Platform?         p. 27

Some SIP Issues                                                        p. 29

Platforms: Skype and SIP - Islands versus Standards-Based              p. 30

SIP Must Interoperate While Skype Need not Do So                       p. 32

What to Do About NATs and Protocol Problems?                           p. 33

The Value of Interconnected Networks                                   p. 34

What the Technology Must Do in Order to Please the User                p. 35

Changing Expectations of What People Want from Telephony               p. 37

A Changing Role for Operators                                          p. 39

Symposium Discussion January 4 -15, 2005
Some Broader Issues Involving the Bluring of Boundaries of
VoIP in the Telephony Wireless and Enterprise Worlds
A Balkanization of Personal and Enterprise Communication Trends        p. 40

Multiple VoIP Markets                                                  p. 41

Skype Interconnectivity                                                p. 42

Meshed Up Neighborhoods                                                p. 43

Skype Marches On                                                       p. 45


                                                          2
                                The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005

Access to Broadband                                                                                       p. 45

Viral Communications                                                                                      p. 46

“Harmonizing” Discordant Systems                                                                          p. 47

Intel Backs Municipal Broadband                                                                           p. 48

The Window of Opportunity for ENUM is Closing Fast                                                        p. 49

Two Parts of VoIP                                                                                         p. 51

Competition and Wireless Paths - WiMAX Troubles                                                           p. 51

Impact of Smart Design on Wireless Cost                                                                   p. 53

How to Think about the Strategy of Power in Terms of Part 15                                              p. 53

An Almost Hopeless Complexity of Variables Involved in Service Pricing                                    p. 55

Interview
Skype Seen as “Instant Voice-Integration” of Multiple Forms of
Communication into Broadband Based Collaboration -- Improved Audio Codecs,
P2P Architecture, & Other Features May Push Skype like “Instant Voice”
Softphones into New Areas --James Enck Explores Possible Impact on Wireline
and Mobile Carriers
                                                                                                          p. 57
Symposium Discussion Jan 15 to Feb 6
How VoIP Mixes with Wireless, the
Enterprise and other Markets

VoIP Peering Architectures - Hard Installations or More Flexible Software Glue?                           p. 66

Strange Concepts of Free Markets in the Muni Network World                                                p. 69

Google Wants Dark Fiber                                                                                   p. 71

Google as an Example of When to Route Versus When to Switch                                               p. 73

Google VoIP                                                                                               p. 74

AT&T Looks Beyond “Number, Please”                                                                        p. 77

Issues of Security                                                                                        p. 79

Commercial VoIP Pricing Power                                                                             p. 79

Wireless Business Models                                                                                  p. 80

VoIP Pricing Power Encore                                                                                 p. 82

VoIP and Security in Government and the
Enterprise                                      p. 84          Skype is Like Apple II in the Enterprise      p. 88

Symposium Discussion Feb 6 - 22                                Is the Enterprise is in Gridlock?             p. 89
Skype, SIP, the Enterprise and
Security                                                       Stuart Henshall and Skype Voice Mail          p. 91

                                                        3
                  COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA

                                                            Successful Video Accommodation by Microsoft’s
Cisco’s CMX Platform Promotes Mobility                      IPT Platform                                  p. 126
Across Wireless Access Networks                p. 93
                                                            Voice, Caspian, Broadband and Korea,            p. 127
But What is the VoIP Market?,                  p. 94
                                                            IMS in the Mobile World                         p. 128
The Importance of Directory Services,          p. 96
                                                            Symposium Discussion March 3 - 7
Skype and Motorola Marketing Partnership,      p. 97        Some VoIP Regulatory Issues
Goroshevsky, Popular Telephony and Peerio      p. 98        Vonage Whining its Way to Open Access,          p. 129

                                                            How to Explain Why Skype Works Better?          p. 133
Enterprise Voice Issues Yield Many UnKnowns p. 99
                                                            Cringly Asks Have Best Days of VoIP Come
Skype Not Tied to Specific Hardware Can Act                 and Gone?                                       p. 133
as a Virally Infectious Communications Agent   p. 101
                                                            But Are P2P Voice Applications Blockable in the
Skype from an Enterprise Point of View         p. 102       Same Way as Vonage or Lingo?                    p. 136
Skype and Enterprise Security Issues           p. 103       What the Regulator Will and Will Not Do,        p. 137
Skype, Firewalls and Security                  p. 105       Vonage Suffers Widespread Outage on March 4, p. 139
Skype in the “Civilian World”                  p. 107       Skype in Hotspots,                              p. 142
But Skype May Show up in Some
Enterprises Sooner Rather Than Later           p. 108       Symposium Conclusion March 11-17
                                                            Instant Voice, Chat and Messaging
Skype, Web Services and Mission Criticality,   p. 109       Motivate Early Adaptors to Rethink
Sip Based Enum Wi-fi Phones                    p. 110
                                                            What it Means to Be Connected p. 143
                                                            Rethinking Skype Mega Chats,                    p. 144
On Walled Gardens and Getting to the Other
Side of Geoffrey Moore’s Chasm                 p. 111       Choosing How to Connect with Each
                                                            Other Becomes Critical,                         p. 146
Skype and Grid Computing                       p. 112
                                                            Skype In Looks to Be an Important
The Google Telephone Network and a World                    Intersection Between Skype and SIP,             p. 147
of Abundance in Communication,                 p. 113

Skype’s Impact on Voice Traffic and Open
                                                            Highlights                                      p. 151
Source VoIP PBXs,                              p. 114       Executive Summary                               p. 180

Symposium Discussion Feb 25 - March 3                       Side Bars
VoIP Economic, Quality and Network
Traffic Issues                                              New York's Broadband Gap                        p. 68

VoIP Adoption Curves,                          p. 117       Millimeter wireless Links                       p. 75

With Regard to Architecture and Economics all               Peer to Peer SIP                                p. 75
VoIP is not Alike,                            p. 118
                                                            New Push for Wireless                           p. 76
More on Muni Networks (Texas and Colorado)     p. 119
                                                            CODECs and Perceptions of Voice Quality         p. 131
QoS OpEx Economics - Flows or UCLP?            p. 122
                                                            A refutation of Metcalfe’s Law and a better
Technical Aspects of VoIP Traffic Shaping on                estimate for the value of networks and network
Wi-fi Network                                  p. 124       interconnections, by Andrew Odlyzko            p. 141



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                                The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005


Symposium & Interview Contributors to this Issue
   Affilation given for purposes of identification - views expressed are those of the contributors alone
Nigel Ballard, Wireless Director, Matrix
Networks, proprietor of joejava.com                         Malcolm Matson,British entrepreneur and
                                                            Director of OPLAN Foundation
Jim Baller, Partner in Baller Herbst law firm &
Expert on Municiple Networks                                Franscois Menard, Canadian policy
                                                            expert and municipal fiber network architect
Sebastian Buettrich is a technology
strategist who founded wire.less.dk in 2002                 Andrew Odlyzko, Director Digital
                                                            Technology Center, University of Minnesota
Mike Cheponis, wireless consultant, antenna
design specialist                                           Dave OʼLeary, Juniper Networks

Frank Coluccio, President DTI Consulting,                   David Reed, Internet pioneer, spectrum
NYC, high-capacity optical netwʼk consultant                policy expert, currently with Media Lab & HP

Peter Cohen, consultant and peering                         Jere Retzer, Sr Mgr, Next Generation
specialist for Telia                                        Networks, Oregon Health & Science University

Melissa Davis, optical network architect                    Larry Roberts, Arpanet Pioneer, CEO Anagran
with RS Information Systems
                                                            Bill St Arnaud,Director Ca*Net4 , Canarie,
Peter Ecclesine, Market Analyst for Wireless,               Canada
Cisco
                                                            David Sandel, CTO, NetLabs LLC, St Louis
James Enck, Securities Analyst &
proprietor of Eurotelcoblog                                 Chris Savage, elecom attorney and partner
                                                            at Cole, Raywid & Braverman in Wash. DC
Jim Forster, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco
                                                            Henning Schulzrinne, Professor and Chair in
Martin Geddes, consultant and author                        the Dept. of Computer Science, Columbia
Telepocalypse                                               University

Vijay Gill, Director Peering, America on Line               Ron Sege, CEO Tropos

Alex Goldman, Editor ISP Planet Jupiter Media               Raj Sharma, President of Nextone a VoIP
                                                            systems integrator
Steve Heap, CTO of Arbinet a bandwidth
broker and VoIP Traffic terminator                          Richard Stastny, Austrian Telecom author
                                                            VOIP and ENUM Blog
Sebastian Hassenger WebSphere Market
Strategy and Planning IBM Software Group                    Richard Shockey, Senior Manager,
                                                            Strategic Technology Initiatives, NeuStar Inc.
Stuart Henshall, consultant and author of
Unbound Spiral and Skype Journal                            Jim Southworh, former chair DSL forum,
                                                            VP Concentric. Now Secure Pathways CEO
Tom Hertz, CTO, Opportunity Iowa
                                                            Jeff Sterling, Interconnected Associates,
Dave Hughes, owner Old Colorado City                        Bellevue, Washington
Communications and wireless advocate
                                                            Matt Wenger, Product Manager North
                                                            America, PacketFront
Cullen Jennings, SIP & VoIP Security Expert
Cisco                                                       Damien Wetzel, Network Consultant Paris,
                                                            Formerly with Akamai and Internap
Patrick Leary, Wireless Evangelist, Alvarion
                                                            Ron Yokubaitis, CEO Giganews
Tony Li, Router Architect at Cisco, Juniper
and Procket, recently returned to Cisco

                                                      5
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
to VoIP when he stated: “The way to                                                        ing task as well.
succeed in business is to pick the best       Getting VoIP Adoption
customers, and delight them. And the                                                       Meanwhile Adobe, in the mid 1990s,
crucial caveat - the best customers are not   that Scales                                  wanted to create a standard document
the ones who always buy anything you                                                       format exchange program. The goal was
                                              In mid-December on our Symposium list
sell - those are your best customers, not                                                  to dump a document in and have it come
the best customers. The best customers        Reed exclaimed: “Sending voice over IP       out in a universally readable format. It
are the ones who will teach you what you      is trivial. That’s not the technical prob-   created Acrobat and then gave away the
should be selling.”                           lem. Getting scaled adoption is hard, and    program necessary to read Acrobat docu-
                                              a common standard that works simply          ments. It succeeded and today the page
“The following is how it applies here:        was required. SIP could have been a con-     definition or PDF file has become the
                                              tender. It isn’t going be. And I think its   nearly universally accepted standard.
“SIP’s vendors have defined their cus-        own ‘proponents’ killed it.
tomers to be phone companies.                                                              Riding on its early success, will Skype do
                                              “SIP should have won, because it is an       the same? With nearly 80 million down-
“Skype has defined its customers to be        open standard, but the desire to create a    loads in its first 18 months, the question
people who live a communications-cen-         business model that captures the old un-     is whether Skype has so well-seeded its
tered life.                                   sustainable voice revenues of the RBOCs      user base that a better program cannot
                                              has seduced Cisco and its customers          overcome it? Perhaps. Perhaps not. How-
“It’s impossible to delight a phone com-      into waiting and making the standard         ever, there is one thing that it is likely to
pany with voice over the Internet. The        more complex. Unlike the old days of         prove: telephony now really has become
people who live a communications-cen-         the Internet, where interoperability was     software. And in becoming software it
tered life will teach you what really         the centerpiece, the likelihood that a SIP   can be separated from the physical in-
matters. Those people are *not* happy         phone will work with one from another        frastructure of the old phone system far
customers of the phone company.”              vendor is near zero. There was a reason      more easily as it rides in its new form on
                                              that the major IP trade show in the early    broadband IP inter-networks. Of course
David’s statement is a rather sweeping        days was called ‘Interop’!”                  there are still many hundreds of million
generalization and one that is not entirely                                                phones in use connected by twisted pair
fair to players involved who were con-        David’s assertions here are certainly in-    and other means and making up what
strained in what they could do by virtue      flammatory to some. Can one know for
                                                                                           we call the global switched telephone
of the fact that any approach to complex      certain that Cisco allegedly ruined SIP by
                                                                                           network, or locally the PSTN. As broad-
enterprise phone systems would face           selling out to the RBOCs desire for self-    band IP networks grow they represent a
restrictions that an unconstrained green-     preservation? Very unlikely. I claim no      fertile field onto which the traffic from
field approach like Skype would not. Still    inside information, but these companies      the PSTN will switch. Of course, how
a sweeping generalization may be useful       have been huge customers of Cisco, Lu-       rapidly this will happen is still a matter
if it captures the stark contrast between     cent, Nortel, and a whole range of other     of conjecture. Many, many problems
the two worlds where user expectations        equipment suppliers. That they would         remain to be solved.
are very different.                           listen to their RBOC customers would
                                              not be surprising. Nevertheless, there is
                                              also evidence that they are improving        Viral Communications
Something very interesting is going on
here. This two month issue of the COOK        and that lack of interoperability is no      and Skype
Report explores that by looking at the        longer nearly as bad as David states. The
early success of Skype in the larger con-     point is that we are in the midst of major   The communications industry is facing
text of more traditional VoIP services.       disruptive change to the voice service       disruption. The technology giants - in
While Skype is not the be-all and end-        that has sustained the phone company’s       this case the local phone companies- a
all of approaches to VoIP, it does open       bottom lines. While struggles should not     decade after the internet went commer-
many new possibilities, even though, for      be surprising, we should also recall that    cial, are running outmoded centralized
reasons that we will explore later, it will   the process of making a kaleidoscopic        infrastructures with revenues of hundred
not easily find its way into large-scale      array of enterprise telephony equipment      of billions of dollars per-year . While
corporate use.                                interoperate with new protocols designed     they are changing their infrastructure,
                                              to get them to do new things is a demand-    whether they are doing it rapidly enough


An Important Note to Our Subscribers - Blue URLs are hotlinked with Acrobat -click them
This is a two part May - June 2005 issue. Please start with the Exec Summary on page 180. Then read the two introduc-
tory articles beginning one page one and nine. Next please read the two interviews (pp. 13 and 55). After that either plunge
into the Symposium Dissussion or go to the highlights section beginning page 150 and use the blue page links to dip into the
Symposium on an as needed basis. The next issue WILL be shorter. The first 54 pages were originally published on March 6.

                                                                 6
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
is often debated. I will posit here that       laid down by the companies that it po-          requirements.
continuing advances in hardware and            tentially obsoletes. This will create ten-
software design are creating for the first     sion but, as that infrastructure is used by     “In the end, viral communications trans-
decade of the 21st century what Reed           virtually the entire spectrum of so-called      forms communication from something
and Lippman call “A Viral Communi-             normal communications and since its             you buy to something you do. Indepen-
cations Architecture.” [See the May 19         peer-to-peer architecture makes it very         dence of operation allows communica-
2003 paper at http://dl.media.mit.edu/         difficult to discriminate against. It is hard   tions services to be separated from tra-
viral/viral.pdf.] While this paper focuses     to see a scenario in which this viral VoIP      ditional service providers. At one [very
on wireless and software defined radio,        could be denied its carrier.                    fundamental] level, this is a pure threat
I contend that its most central premises                                                       to the extent that the economics of the
also fit Skype. The Reed -Lippman argu-        I further contend that with Skype we have       telecommunications industry business
ment defines a viral communications ar-        a phenomenon that matches the require-          model depends on exclusivity of service
chitecture as follows. A viral architecture    ments laid out by Reed and Lippman              provisioning.” (p. 10)
“is one where elements are independent,        when they state that:
scalable and where each new element                                                            These paragraphs I believe are a good
adds capacity to the system, so that it        “Each new element of a viral architec-          illustration of what Skype represents. It
can be adopted incrementally from a            ture must not deplete the capabilities of       is a form of VoIP vastly different from
small base and gains accelerating value        those that were there before -- to gain         what has come before. It is not the be-all
with scale.” (p. 2) “The key idea is [the      momentum, each new element must cre-            and end-all of this form of development
emergence of] communications devices           ate more value from connecting into the         and indeed, as our discussion will show,
that work with no central backbone and         system than from operating alone. That          its nature as a viral carrier will leave it
scale almost without bound.” (p. 2)            is, each adoption is a “win-win” decision       profoundly unwelcome in many areas
                                               - the existing elements gain a little more      where security and control of communi-
Looking a recent technology history, the       benefit from the new element, and each          cations is paramount. In the pages of this
authors point out that in this environ-        new element has a stronger value propo-         issue we will also explore in depth what
ment change is enabled by “the vastly          sition for joining the system. Momen-           is being done with the more standard
reduced cost (or risk) of innovation. Bar-     tum results from this process, because          VoIP applications that come in forms
riers such as high integration costs, cen-     a reluctant adopter will eventually be          that the phone companies and the large
tralized support and a brittle architecture    attracted to adopt when the scale reaches       enterprises are more used to and can
don’t exist in the PC. The cost of change      his cost/benefit tradeoff even when the         much more easily control since they are
is borne incrementally, as each user           architecture still has small reach. In the      mapped much more closely to the stan-
purchases a new package. Software can          case of fax machines, this happened             dard telephone networks.
become a garage industry and a growth          when enough of your contacts had or
potential can be detected earlier.” (p. 3)     used fax machines that the case for own-        Even with Skype, the PSTN won’t van-
The user can purchase the assets and           ing one became compelling. A virtuous           ish over night. There are hundreds of
tools needed for his own production and        cycle results from a growing market cut-        millions of people without the neces-
put them to work in a business venture         ting manufacturing costs, and increasing        sary computers and hundreds of millions
that he initiates and in which he invests.     benefits to each new purchaser.” (p.5)          more without access to the necessary
                                               And since Skype is free, the only invest-       broadband. The change of mindset re-
I contend that as went the PC, so goes         ment needed to begin use it is some time        quired to look at your computer as also
the new tools of viral voice communi-          to install and someone with whom we             a telephone will take some time. But I
cation. However, in fitting viral voice        wish to communicate where the resulting         now believe that the flow of change is
communications into the Reed-Lippman           change in communication modality will           faster than I assumed only four months
viral wireless bed, there is one critical      become cost effective.                          ago when I first used Skype. Before the
change and that is that the Skype voice                                                        first generation of VoIP had fully settled
software is dependent on the broadband         “There are two primary design principles        in we are being swept by a second gen-
infrastructure laid down by the telcos         that lead to a viral architecture: scalabili-   eration. A lot of people, including quite
and cable cos in the first decade of the       ty and independence. The first states that      a few on our symposium list, are raising
commercial Internet. While depending           a viral system ought to be able to grow         doubts about Skype. Many are justified.
on this physical infrastructure that the       almost without bound, and the second            As eloquent as the Reed-Lippman viral
old industry laid down, the new voice          requires that its elements operate autono-      point of view of the universe is, the busi-
software is spreading parasitically and        mously, without connection to a central         ness model still isn’t clear. For, if com-
virally. Although Reed and Lippman             authority. In essence, one should be able       munication becomes what you do rather
focus primarily on viral software-de-          to freely add elements and they should          than a service you buy, we must still buy
fined radio that is largely free of the need   work without connection to a backbone.”         the needed hardware and find a way to
to use physical infrastructure, the viral      (p. 5) The peer-to-peer nature of Skype,        enable maintenance of the basic infra-
VoIP software that we explore absolutely       as software that is largely platform inde-      structure on which the Internet depends.
depends on the broadband infrastructure        pendent, enables it to nicely meet these
                                                                 7
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
Still in the Early                             VoIP in carrier and enterprise networks.     rate DMZ boundaries further complicate
                                               It will show that what most enterprises      matters.
Stages?                                        want may well not be Skype. But while
On March 1, Reed wrote: “I’m . . . opti-       doing that it will explore the potential     The result is spaghetti mess that one
mistic that dominoes are falling. Cellular     for the viral growth of Skype. In some       need not blame on SIP or really on
is destroying wireline, LD ‘carriers’ are      cases Skype may become an infectious         anyone thing besides corporate need for
pretty much dead on their feet and sur-        carrier that enables PSTN or cellular        security and the fact that enterprises
viving by providing commodity pipes for        usage or even dial-out to PSTN usage to      are bound to operate in the real world
data and voice-over-data. IP is already in     be avoided. GSN and 3G smartphones           of equipment much of which was put
use in the telephony infrastructure (PTT       are predicated on getting users to pay       in place in a time of rapid technologi-
except on Nextel’s legacy network is           for convenient access to Internet, email     cal change and therefore can hardly be
IP-based). Presence and IM are growing         and SMS messages. A major question is        expected to inter-operate smoothly or be
markets. File sharing is being monetized       whether Skype will free its users as Wi-     replaced over night.
by Apple and its friends, and being ex-        Fi spreads from needing to pay the cell
perimented with by BBC and others.”            phone companies?                             We find that Skype’s proprietary archi-
Frank Coluccio added: “Also Ethernet                                                        tecture could be dangerous if it were
in the metro and WAN, particularly when        Skype changes fundamentally what it          hacked to enable worms and other kinds
the Enterprise owns its own fiber, is neu-     means to use a phone by becoming the         of malware. One should remember that
tralizing, where it is not also a tenant of,   central voice application around which       security with Skype goes well beyond
the SONET that came before it, allowing        a layer of written search and information    encryption of the conversation to the
enterprises to self-provision their own        exchange tools are built. It enables real-   Enterprise IT systems level where se-
network topologies and configurations          time remote collaboration better than        curity means something more than just
in situations where previously they were       anything else so far developed. With         encrypted conversation. Cautionary
fully dependent on carriers.”                  voice mail, it greatly facilitates the ex-   flags are called for. However one should
                                               change of audio messages. With FTP file      also remember that enterprises are also
Reed continued: “I love what Skype is          exchange services, it enables groups of      infiltrated top to bottom with other pro-
doing, but it’s currently the Apple ][ of      conference callers to share and comment      prietary software (especially that from
the new end-to-end personal commu-             on documents charts and pictures. Talk-      Microsoft) that enables serious harm
nications experience. With luck they’ll        ing faces is the only thing missing from     when security is breached.
make it to the Macintosh level. No one         real time video conferencing benefits.
has legitimized personal communica-                                                         Some of our experts express profound
tions as IBM legitimized the PC, yet ...       I must point out that dividing what is       misgivings about Skype. We give them
But Motorola’s deal with Skype indicates       happening into two generations of VoIP       ample opportunity to express their doubts
what I see in my conversations with the        may not be entirely fair. The enterprise     in the long discussion that, apart from the
*non*-marketing people at many com-            user base and requirements for the first     interviews, makes up the body of this
munications companies - they see the           generation of VoIP are so vastly different   issue. Nevertheless, as we watch what
future and are willing to take risks, albeit   from the base being served by Skype as       Google is doing in its local service and
tiny ones, that may not be enough to be-       to make it difficult to talk about both in   other new features at the same time as
come players in the next wave. . .”            the same breath.                             Skype spreads, we wonder if we are not
                                                                                            looking at a wave of approaching change
“[Meanwhile] the marketroids are play-         VoIP in the enterprise faces vast levels     as important as that of the maturation of
ing their usual anti-novelty role, spin-       of complexity that Skype riding peer-to-     the World Wide Web a decade ago.
ning fear, uncertainty and doubt at their      peer on the public IP internet does not.
consumer and enterprise customers. (No         In the enterprise, VoIP must deal with       A final note - this issue is focused much
one really wants a GUI. It’s inefficient.      the need to do many things that Skype’s      more on Skype and its disruptive impact
Why would anyone who does word pro-            architecture enables it to avoid. Enter-     on voice communications outside the
cessing want a PC with a color screen?)        prise VoIP must cross system boundaries      large enterprise where it is migrating
But in the home offices, away from the         at levels that include many different pro-   from fixed to wireless and portable con-
Wall St. analysts, they know that isn’t        tocols, addressing mechanisms, require-      nections. For reasons that we will make
going to fly for long. That said, it’s not     ments of travel off and on the PSTN          clear, the innovation and opportunities
time to fall in love with Skype, or the        - transition through public IP networks      look to be here rather than in standard
iPod, or any short-term vestige of a pos-      and private VPNs - travel through fire-      enterprise-based VoIP, about which we,
sible future. They are merely indicators,      walls with a myriad of attendant security    nevertheless, will have a lot to say
and, if they are to benefit from what they     issues and the need for inter-operability
started, it will take hard work,” Reed         of equipment - some of which may be          Editor's Note: We offer our thanks to Ed Ciesla
concludes.                                     made more for carriers than enterprises.     - eciesla@sprynet.com - who in addition to an
                                                                                            outstanding knowledge of telecom is a very
This is a two month issue that looks at        H.323 to SIP conversions and different       very good editor and has again worked long
both Skype and at more traditional use of      implementations of SIP proxies in corpo-     hours on this issue.
                                                                  8
Is VoIP No Longer an Appropriate Term for Thinking About
the Kind of Communication Represented by Skype?
Some Further Points of View on the Meaning and Role of Skype
Editor’s Note: The article that begins         cool things that never would have oc-         success of a project at a developmental
this issue went though some consider-          curred to a telco? You bet.                   stage changes the requirements as adop-
able revision as the result of comments                                                      tion takes place and novelty follows, re-
on the Symposium mail list. Feedback           Could it be that David’s point is that what   quiring redesign. SIP was an engineering
was that I had too uncritcally adopted         we have here is a collision between a         project, not different from most of the
David Reed’s skewering of SIP. Conse-          huge group of very talented people whose      IETF projects in this way.
quently I tried putting the general drift of   early customers were phone companies.
Davids critique into my own words.             [Frank Coluccio points out below that         I can validate what Frank is reporting,
                                               the early customer were reallt would be       not because I was a SIP developer, but
COOK Report: David pointed out that            competitors to phonecompanies.] While         as a reviewer and tester and quality
his critique was business and not techni-      their customers now are new companies         reference, having built packet voice as
cal - but still he is using technical terms    that they helped to design and build so       VoATM and H.323 (software). The tar-
like SIP as a protocol to make his point.      that as the market evolved they could         get, at least at Cisco, was not the telcos,
– As a result some you all are still dis-      continue to sell VoIP boxes and services      but the Enterprises, toll-bypass, and sell-
pleased.                                       to enterprises and phone companies?           ing where Cisco had the branding and
                                                                                             adoption advantage (Lucent and Nortel
It seems to me the key difference that we      I think those are reasonable assump-          had a lock on the telco voice switches,
are talking about is that you “engineers,”     tions.                                        and Lucent’s demise was its “buying-
nearly a decade ago (I have been hearing                                                     time” continued investment and revenue
this since I interviewed Rich Shockey on       Frank Coluccio: Well Gordon - Not             projections on its Class 5 switches and its
his fax protocol I think in 1996), began       quite. As someone who was eyeball-deep        “Broadband Manager”).
developing IP technology to replace vari-      in the creation of an Internet Telephony
ous parts of the traditional telephone         Service Provider venture during the late      COOK Report (continuing last night's
networks. Lord knows I am not a histo-         Nineties, I’d say that, with a few rare       summation): So what happened? Some
rian of SIP but I think I was interview-       exceptions, VoIP developers of all types,     uppity young geeks who built a very
ing on it back in 1999 - maybe even 98         including SIP developers at that time,        successful file sharing network for pop
with Henry Sinnreich explaining why it         were not targeting Telcos, per se. That’s     music (Kazaa ) said Hey let's do a peer to
would knock brain-dead H323 out of the         where they wound up, but that was not         peer program to share voice. The result
water, I know in the 1998-99 time frame        paramount in the original game plan.          was Skype. It was a greenfield approach
I interviewed the developers of Megaco,                                                      that was unencumbered by anything and
and Henning in September of 2000. So           Instead, they were targeting ITSPs, ISPs,     everything having to do with 100 years
these various protocols have been around       international settlement houses and op-       of telco history and infrastructure. Being
a good long while and I would submit           erators like iBasis and ITXC, greefield       unencumbered allowed them to put all
that when they first came to pass, they        DLECs/CLECs, and of course, enter-            manner of stuff into their voice shar-
were folks working on ways to replace          prises, for use over intranets in order to    ing that those of us who had not tried it
the more traditional telco networks, or        replace first and second generation IP to     would never have associated with mak-
shall we say bring them into the IP age?       TDM and PSTN TDM to IP gateways,              ing telephone calls.
The battle cry I heard from the beginning      all of whom were targeting early-stage
was that this would hollow out and suck        arbitrage opportunities.                      Now to be fair, the SIP community saw
dry the PSTN.                                                                                that they could design voice communi-
                                               The telcos came along begrudgingly,           cation systems that would use presence
Now had anyone done a peer-to-peer             later on by a couple of years, but not        and instant messenging and those kinds
application before 2001? Let alone a           before SS7 interworking was finally           of tools in very innovative ways. They
voice peer-to-peer application? I don’t        worked into the framework, first.             were well aware, I suspect, of the pos-
think so.                                                                                    sibility for delivering all the other kinds
                                               Melissa Davis: Engineers build to re-         of benefits brought by Skype. Freed from
Could it be said that when Henning and         quirements, build for function, rarely as-    all outside constrains, they could have
colleagues began their work the custom-        sume that there is only one way to solve a    delivered better than Skype.
ers were mainly telcos? I think that it’s      problem, and work assuming “successive
reasonable. But could it also be said that     approximations” with the expectation of       If they had been able to behave in the
they had ideas about how to do really          surprise. Smart Engineers know that the       really greenfield way as could and did
                                                               9
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
the developers of Skype, then we would        suck the lifeblood out of them. It stimu-     proach to get adoption in enterprises.
be seeing more Skype like products out        lated a cost battle amongst the traditional   You start with a project team. You don’t
there.                                        incumbents. It destroyed international        need approval for that. You just do it.
                                              call rates, and is making the investment      Groups with a high element of travel will
Instead they got tied up, tied down,          community “scared” of these same in-          drive this faster and faster. I know For-
emeshed - or whatever you wish to call        cumbents. Perhaps it forced the begin-        tune 500’s that are already in this situa-
it. David’s characterization is quite blunt   nings of a massive consolidation. All in      tion and similarly groups within “major”
but I think in a broadbrush way its ac-       all that helps Skype. For the new PoIP        players in China.
curate. He who has the gold makes the         players they think they are still in the
rules -- and the folks with the gold had      game. They are not, they are just cutting     3. The argument here is premised on
tons of teleco networks and equipment         costs. The real caution is in the idea that   the American/European/Japan? world of
that they simply could not throw out over     “You can’t play a CD on a record player.      business. I’d look a lot deeper at China,
night. The result was an accomodation of      Skype has been trying to - perhaps even       India and ask yourself if you were or-
that situation.                               encouraged to do this by investors. It’s      ganizing, creating a new mesh: what
                                              short-term.                                   would be adopted and where and what
It's no one's fault - but given the players                                                 infrastructure would you use? I have a
and conditions, it was also not surprising.   But the direction for the product is well     suspicion that Wi-Fi handset could be
Skype was unencumbered and therefor           away from the PSTN. Look at the adop-         very big. I’m afraid that the security
advantaged. Skype has have taken ad-          tion of DVD’s. Look at global uptake of       issues above are predicated on a pro-
vantage of its lack of encumbrance. The       mobile phones. Skype is going fast after      file and understanding of desktops and
H.323, SIP, Megaco folk have performed        cheaper Wi-Fi enabled handset devices.        laptops not cheap micro mobile devices.
magnificently given what they had to          By Xmas the Broadreach type exercise          The global telecom replacement is likely
contend with, and the reason we are talk-     will only involve a $100 - $150 hand-         to come out of China. We may be the
ing all these protocols rather than just      set and it will be small! The biggest         late adopters. Users will also determine
simple VoIP is that - given the complex       flaw may actually be Skype is based on        this standard.
network contexts in which they had to         GIPS. Unless GIPS provides a dynamic
work - it was only be means of these pro-     3D audio codec Skype is vulnerable on         4. I mentioned audio quality in passing
tocols that they could make voice packet      sound quality. I hope for their sake they     above. This discussion should not be had
instead of circuit switched.                  keep it in mind. Every Skyper who tries       without thinking about “presence” and
                                              a 3D conference call will switch if it is     “intimacy”. When you have listened to
That is how I see in my own words the         offered for free. Similarly there are some    a Skyper (like I did this afternoon) tell
points that David was making.                 “always” on features that will make a         me about how he was in his hotel room
                                              difference. Conclusion, connecting to the     laptop on his bed talking to his partner
Meanwhile, Stuart Henshall chimed in          PSTN is temporary.                            (same setup) and telling me he could
on March 4: Gordon, It may be late to try                                                   have left it on all night just so they could
and be provocative and take a contrarians     2. I’m concerned when I see the “en-          share breathing you are beginning to get
view. Still I’ll try here. I’m obviously a    terprise” discussion. I realize there is      to the reality. The phone can’t deliver
Skype proponent, I’ve used it longer than     a whole industry that is set up to deal       this.
most of the employees in Skype, and it        with the Fortune 500 or 1000. You list is
matters little to me whether it is SIP or     supported by them. But the fact remains       An Economic Power
not. Oh I’ve keep digging to learn what       that the majority of business is not actu-
SIP will do for me, and yet it still isn’t    ally done that way. The complexity that       Shift?
explained in terms that create desire and     ties the mega’s up and the “security”
                                                                                            5. The real end game is in economics.
add new meaning to my life (see my inti-      approaches implied and referenced is
macy example below). Still I wish Skype                                                     When consumers have always-on con-
                                              not relevant to the way SME’s operate.
were open source etc etc. But that is just                                                  nections and unlimited personal storage,
                                              Skype is already capturing independent
not the case.                                                                               then economic power shifts into their
                                              global workgroups. I’m one, running
                                                                                            hands. Visa and eBay both model ele-
                                              elements of my business that would have
A few items, a contrarian’s points that                                                     ments of what could emerge. Identity is
                                              broken my bank account two years ago.
may be worth exploring.                                                                     moving to the fringe. It’s a powerful
                                              For the same reason that blogs and wikis
                                                                                            aspect. Skype’s long term role may be
                                              are beating mega buck content manage-
1. Skype spent the last year moving           ment systems, Skype, and potentially          that of info market facilitator. Telecoms
closer to the PSTN. With SkypeOut etc         other alternates are going to smash the       weren’t designed with user reputations
they created an interconnect that is sat-     traditional barriers.                         systems in mind, swarms, smart mobs or
isfactory at best. Be careful not to accept                                                 cooperative behavior. Are we moving a
too easily that Skype’s opportunity is to     I’d really spend more time thinking about     step closer?
act like a revolutionary phone company.       it in the perspective of SME’s. You can
Rather it may be using this strategy to       bet that Skype will use a blog like ap-       I did say I needed a rant tonight. Thank

                                                                 10
                                        The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
you for allowing me the opportunity. I’ll       up earlier, Henning’s statement below         Wang word processors and IBM 3270’s
continue to the merry end. The discus-          that enterprises will be late adopters        accessing COBOL apps, no problem
sion is framed as VoIP. In fact it should       is in all probability true. The cost of       with the “application backlog” because
be framed on the quality of how we              change is huge with any large footprint.      an app wasn’t real unless written to
converse, how well we are enabled to            The MBA’s require justifications and          specs by a systems analyst, no reason to
talk and listen. Think next “gen” / net         reviews. The Security organization re-        switch from plastic slides on overhead
“work”.                                         quires risk assessment and mitigation. IT     projectors to PCs and projectors, and no
                                                simply lacks the senior staff depth to do     reason to pay for employees to connect
It’s also late at night, I think VoIP sucks     the lab tests. Vendor’s put off by our cus-   in from home. These are the people who
as a term. It’s no wonder Skype is be-          tomers for this reason have come to us:       say that we must keep our secrets locked
coming a verb.                                  “we will bring the hardware, and set up       in central repositories, and require man-
                                                the systems.” I don’t have time either to     ager’s signatures for every nickel spent,
On Skype numbers there a couple that            write test plans, methodologies, etc. for     because empowering employees to make
are a little off, not materially. I think the   all the applications of promised utility.     decisions is too risky. They are the legal
downloads number is not helpful. Cur-                                                         dept., the CIO (if the company is un-
rent Skype accounts number some 24              What would be the reason to change for        lucky) and the HR dept. - the people who
million and they currently claim 785000         the enterprise? Certainly not expense.        think they make the business run, but
SkypeOut users. It still peaks at about         Voice is already close to free for these      really mostly contribute at the level of
two million concurrent users online per         large purchasers.                             corporate hygeine at best.
day.(Is that 3x Vonage? On what invest-
ment?). Skype also claims the marginal          The worldviews of the enterprises are         In fact, they make a fetish of saying no to
cost of obtaining a new user is 1 cent.         unlikely to be persuaded by your cheer-       change, and in the security area a fetish
There’s some fiction there but the point        leading for Skype, nor threatened by it.      of confusing top-down control and the
is effective. Vonage's new user cost is in      They build private nets for internal com-     prerogatives of management with pro-
the hundreds of dollars.                        munications, and do customer contact in       tecting the interests of the company.
                                                DMZ like safe zones. They don’t care
SkypeMe, Stuart                                 about “meaning of your life”, or about        So this won’t happen. And it’s not just
                                                “intimacy”. The Skype model is always         Skype, but ALL technology change that
Melissa Davis: Stuart is correct above to       on interconnectedness to everyone else,       they resist. SIP, too.
reference that the enterprise arguments I       total interdependency. Such requires
have advanced are based on the Japan/           an enormous amount of trust, which is         So it must feel really good to make small
North American/European models. India           anathema to the competitive and regulat-      inroads into the “enterprise”, rather than
and China do not have SEC, banking,             ed capitalistic economic system in which      selling to all the businesses on the plan-
privacy laws and compliance regula-             these large enterprises play.                 et.
tions. Labor rates are far lower and the
proportion of manual labor much higher,         This isn’t to say that things won’t change,   Doesn’t it seem like a paradox that
thus the cost of outages due to cyber-ver-      just that cultures change far more slow-      Skype is more secure than ANY phone
min at least less of a risk.                    ly than individuals, and individuals far      system out there, because it is end-to-
                                                more slowly than technologies.                end encrypted, but that security is being
At this moment, among my customers,                                                           turned against it by the very guardians of
Skype is unacceptable, not because it is        David Reed: Melissa’s quite right. For        security who have deployed completely
“Skype”, not for political reasons, not         those in the Enterprise who buy the           hackable systems in their companies? (I
because some group wants to “carve              “enterprise religion” (the way of the         do fault Skype on not making their se-
out the guts of the telcos” (political          technocrat) change will be slow, and if       curity architecture more transparent, but
speech inciting to pejorative emotional         Gordon wants the “enterprise” people to       compared to SIP’s bolt-on-hodgepodge
elicitation), but because of the way it         pay for his newsletter, he might want to      theory of security, I’ll take Skype’s until
works to the extent we can tell, and the        tell them what they want to hear. In my       someone builds a the next great voice
interactions it must have to known other        experience in business (nearly 20 years       product by assembling a plug-and-play-
exploits (i.e., some applications on the        of my professional life, the rest being       secure-SIP-based product).
host machine have to play the sounds).          in research), every company contains
If David Reed and Gordon Cook wish to           an “enterprise” and a “business” side by      That people who probably know that
tear down the protective walls of the en-       side, and those people in the “enterprise”    viruses spread like wildfire once they
terprises, and the enterprises do not want      have a bad habit of never understanding       get inside their enterprise firewalls - due
those walls torn down, then that is a war       that they are nearly invisible ghosts in a    to basing their corporate architecture on
path. A Skype proxy may well solve that         living business.                              boundary-based security - still object
problem with no loss of life.                                                                 to deploying a new product that is in-
                                                These are the people who could see no         herently more protected from hacking,
For reasons Jim Forster and I brought           value in the personal computer over           because it has to live in the dangerous
                                                                 11
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
world outside the firewall?                                                             nential growth starts insignificantly and
                                           I’ve watched in my career how disrup-        away from the center. But they transform
That p2p techniques that reduce the need   tive technologies (email, spreadsheets,      the enterprise anyway.
for centrally managed servers are re-      PCs, LANs, the Internet itself ..) invade
sisted by the group in enterprises whose   the enterprise. They never come through      So Melissa’s right. “The enterprise” will
budget directly depends on the number of   the enterprise sales force, and they never   never adopt this technology. But the real,
servers they manage?                       come in the IT doorway. Their expo-          pragmatic businesses will.




                                                             12
An Introduction to the World of Skype
Skype Specialist Stuart Henshall Evaluates Skype's Strategy
of Moving Voice and Real Time Collaboration to Wherever
Broadband is Present
Highlights                                   Multi Platform and                           There are several things in the Symbian
                                                                                          operating system at the moment that
                                             Peer to Peer - A Force                       seem to leave it pretty well prepared for
Editor’s Introduction: Stuart Henshall
has been a management and marketing          to Change the Basic                          the future. One of the areas is audio and
consultant and was affiliated with the       Essence of Telephony                         sound. It already has all the necessary
Global Business Forum in the 1990s.                                                       capabilities in it for playing MP-3s, ste-
He downloaded Skype on Day 3 of its          COOK Report: Would you give me some          reo music, or streaming music through it
release in the summer of 2003.               context for Symbian?                         while the comparable Windows platform
                                                                                          still has problems with that. I just saw
His blog, Unbound Sprial, http://www.        Henshall: Symbian came out of Psion.         an announcement from Japan for stereo
henshall.com/blog/ is devoted primar-        Psion was the operating system for one       audio and 3-D audio headsets for cell
ily to Skype. A November 8, 2004             off the earliest PDAs that came out of       phones. The result is a dynamic sound-
interview with Niklas Zennström is           Britain. But I guess originally it might     stage much like you have in gaming
found at http://www.engadget.com/            even trace its life back to Sinclair. Sym-   environments or in your home theater.
entry/2635319328796286/                      bian has managed to become an open
                                             source developer platform that supports      There is a lot of work being done in
I interviewed Stuart on February 18,         3GSM mobile phones. It is owned I            the sound and audio area, because quite
2005.                                        think about 51% by Nokia and 49% by          clearly the iPods of the world are get-
                                             Motorola and some other parties.             ting very close to converging with these
COOK Report: What do you see then                                                         things. When you have a PDA or one of
as the context and big picture of what is    [Editor’s Note: http://www.symbian.          these I-mates that is really just a Win-
going on with Skype?                         com/ notes that shipments of Symbian         dows PDA, you insert a memory stick
                                             OS phones doubled in 2004 to 14.4            and all of a sudden you have a megabyte
Henshall: Let's start by considering the     million phones - the third consecutive       of music in your smartphone for an extra
OS. When Skype originally launched it        year in which Symbian OS phone ship-         $50.
was as a Windows platform and there          ments grew more than 100%. Forty-one
was a lot of discussion that said: “Oh       Symbian OS phones are currently ship-        COOK Report: It sounds to me that you
Skype is just another windows applica-       ping from eight Symbian OS licensees         are saying if they are going to be multi-
tion”. Folk concluded that they would        to more than 200 network operators           platform, it is only logical for them to
never develop for other platforms be-        worldwide.]                                  move onto to cell phone platforms in-
cause with Windows they had the whole                                                     cluding what they announced a day ago
world and therefore they didn’t have to.     The major cell phone manufacturers out-      with Motorola?
                                             side of China and Korean are now part
Consequently their first interesting stra-   of this little group devoted to Symbian      Henshall: Yes. I think what Skype an-
tegic move was in going multiplatform        as their OS. Smartphones are referred to     nounced with Motorola is representative
- something that for a small software        as the category of cell phones that handle   of the fact that Motorola has Symbian
company was enormous an cost. But            all the PDA kinds of things (email, web      interests as well as Windows interests.
they went on to support Mac OSX and          browsing and so on) as well as deliver-
Linux. Concurrently with this they built     ing voice. There are really only two OS      If the smartphone world is predomi-
a PDA version for Windows compatible         platforms for smartphones like the Nokia     nantly Symbian-based at the moment,
PDAs. Consequently we are sitting here       9500 Communicator which is currently         one of the advantage of these things is
today with Skype being available on all      the premier example of this technol-         that if you want to infect the system, you
major platforms with the exception of        ogy. The other OS smartphone platform        either have to get the mobile operator to
Palm - if you consider Palm to be major.     is what Treo and Windows compatible          say: “Oh - OK we will put that in.” Or
You also have some evidence that says        smartphones run on. Nokia still has at       you actually have to have an operating
they are either looking at or doing work     the moment the largest market share for      system where the user can decide to add
in the Symbian area.                         smartphones at about 75%.                    Skype to the device.



                                                                    13
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
COOK Report: So if Skype runs on Sym-        nications System”, UMTS represents           an application off to one side. At the
bian, then I as an owner of a Symbian        an evolution in terms of capacity, data      moment I have Agile Messenger on my
OS smartphone, can put Skype on my           speeds and new service capabilities from     work screen. On my left I have my Skype
smartphone regardless of when the cell       second generation mobile networks.           and email applications. This is basically
phone manufacturer does or not?                                                           a communications screen. This modifies
                                             Today, more than 60 3G/UMTS net-             the way one begins to work and helped
Henshall: That’s correct. I have software    works using WCDMA technology are             me to see Skype early on as something
on Symbian-based Nokia smartphone            operating commercially in 25 countries,      that was creating a new communications
that didn’t come with the product to         supported by a choice of over 100 ter-       platform in a way similar to that in which
begin with and just the other day down-      minal designs from Asian, European and       Windows created a work platform.
loaded the Opera web browser. I also         US manufacturers. [snip] 3G/UMTS [is
downloaded a program called Agile Mes-       seen] as a key enabler for true “mobile      But the things that Skype is doing all
senger. You are an Apple user so you         broadband.”]                                 have the potential to pull users away
won’t use this but there are some Apple                                                   from the old world of text and email to a
equivalents for the use of multiple IM       Henshall: What Skype has done here is        newer world or real time chat, IM, voice
systems within one application. Trillium     to open the door for the PDA to become       calls - in other words integrated applica-
allows me to combine my AIM buddies,         a cellular replacement at very very low      tions that are ultimately tied around your
Yahoo buddies and MSN buddies on my          cost. Anyone who can offer you a Wi-Fi       phone and hand set.
PC. Agile Messenger on my cell phone,        enabled smartphone can offer you very
because I have an Internet connection        cheap VoIP dial out rates as part of a       COOK Report: Indeed, and tossing
on it, allows me to run ICQ, AIM, MSN        mobile device. Such a device is certainly    around URLs in the midst of an interview
and so on and to run them all at the same    a cellular replacement potentially for       is an interesting experience. I note the
time. I keep wondering when they will        use in the home and certainly for use in     other one you sent where Peter Cochrane
add Skype to this mix. Here is their URL     hotels and airports. Now aside from such     the former CTO of British Telecom say
- delivered to you as we speak via Skype     hotspot-enabled action, the place where      that full adoption of Skype on a mobile
IM. http://www.agilemobile.com/agile_        mobile has the biggest benefit is when I     smartphone sent his mobile bill down
messenger.html                               jump in a car. Mobile works when I am        from $500 in one month to $10! http://
                                             driving around while I have to be station-   comment.silicon.com/0,39024711,39127
COOK Report: What I think I hear you         ary for Wi-Fi.                               916,00.htm Now that as a signpost for
saying is that with Skype being poten-                                                    the future would seem ominous for the
tially Symbian compatible is that no         Consequently there is a sort of tension      phone company.
matter whether Nokia or Motorola or          that is emerging and symbolized by the
Samsung, or any of a bunch of others,        Motorola deal announced this week and        Henshall: It will certainly change the
preloads Skype or not, the end user with     the I-mate deal of the week before. Mo-      phone company’s future. Ultimately it
a Symbian OS using smartphone just           torola is going to provide a variety of      may change the way that things are
grabs Skype and sticks it on his device.     hardware to a variety of companies but       charged. What Peter Cochrane’s report
By making Skype Symbian compatible,          the consumer is going to sit there and       says to me is that he actually uses the
any user with a Sympbian OS smart-           say what do I really want in my handset?     phone more than ever. His call costs went
phone who wants to do so can add Skype       Really what they want is just one handset    hugely down but I bet you he is talking
to his cell phone or PDA?                    and one number. They want one place of       twice as much. What I want to ask is how
                                             focus or identifier. They may want to use    do the hours in his day change? I play
Henshall: Yes, but I see two issues here.    it in multiple places as in I’ll take this   around with numbers a lot and remem-
Anyone with a Windows compatible PDA         call on my lap top now. But later on I       ber watching last week as Skype went
can put Skype on that with the result that   might want to shift it to my mobile. I may   through 2,000,000 active users on line at
if you have a Wi-Fi-enabled PDA then         even want my camera to ring.                 one time for the first time and cranked
for certain areas and certain sorts of                                                    out 3.5 million minutes an hour of talk
events your PDA has become a potential       Changing the Way                             time. We are looking at calling patterns
mobile phone replacement. It depends on                                                   here that are radically different from the
whether I have access to Wi-Fi enabled
                                             People Work                                  traditional phone call.
hotspot or not. The I-Mates that Skype is
                                             Henshall: Skype, as you are beginning to
now coming preloaded on are PDAs that                                                     COOK Report: From my own experience
                                             see, changes the way people work. Way
also have a GSM card in them as well as                                                   part of the difference is that you are in
                                             back in 2003, I was beginning to compare
being able to have 3G/UMTS.                                                               front of your machine with all its tools
                                             Skype to Microsoft Office where the of-
                                                                                          and data and using a softphone program
[Editor’s Note: According to http://www.     fice platform was all about text and email
                                                                                          that is keyed to sending text and files to
umts-forum.org/servlet/dycon/ztumts/         and things like that. Now I have begun
                                                                                          the person you are talking with during
umts/Live/en/umts/What+is+UMTS_              to run off of two screens. A work screen
                                                                                          your conversation. It encourages you to
index “Universal Mobile Telecommu-           directly in front and one with Skype as
                                                                                          browse the web as you speak and grab
                                                               14
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005

data, URLs or whatever and send it to         or not in terms of presence. Therefore I      you that cell phone for $150.” And I say:
the person on the other end whereas the       really don’t care whether there is a num-     “OK, fine,” and take a contract. But now
Skype software captures the traffic for       ber behind that or not. Perhaps Skype         we are two years down the road and I go
his review at the end of the conversation.    should know that, if you are not on line,     out on the same mission. Only now I see
It begins to take on aspects of a face-to-    it should dial your mobile number. What       all these fancy new Wi-Fi combo dual
face meeting especially since the sound       does matter to me is that, when I want to     phones - wha ever you want to call them
is so good that nuances of voice traverse     use a VoIP line that costs less than cellu-   - out there. But they are all rather expen-
the connection very well.                     lar, some entity must provide number or       sive. Like $500. That’s really expensive.
                                              name for the connection device.               I’d like the new features but I go back to
Henshall: Quite true.                                                                       T-mobile where I find out that I can get
                                              Whether it’s in the SIP world, like Telio     a contract for another two years and that
COOK Report: I note also you’re send-         or Lingo, or whether it is in the Skype-      the equivalent of the $250 phone only
ing me http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/         bound world, an important question is         costs me $50. But if I get that new phone
wlg/6491 where the author is comparing        what number is it going to be? Skype can      I can drop my land lane and that land
Skype to a baby Microsoft; something          give me inbound numbers that are just         line is costing me $300 a year.
that David Reed was hypothesizing             like Liebertell. Or SkypeIn could actual-
about in early December.                      ly be my mobile number. If I could have       So I say: “OK, I’ll drop the land line
                                              a working SkypeIn number that was my          and buy the more expensive phone.” But
Henshall: Consider baby Microsoft as          mobile number, I would pay my mobile          then I notice that I can get the same nice
a hypothesis to weigh against what we         operator an extra ten dollars a month for     expensive phone from Amazon for $30 a
are now observing. And then consider          that privilege.                               month but more than that they will give
that in five years time this discussion                                                     you your old mobile number on the new
about mobile may be completely dif-           It is a done deal because that is a VoIP      phone and help you get everything trans-
ferent because the mobile may be able         access line charge. What happens is           ferred to a phone that can also do VoIP
to project a keyboard on to your desk         the same thing that happens when I            under the right conditions.
when you need it and it may be able to        put Skype on multiple machines at that
shine a 12 inch screen onto your wall in      point. My computer rings if it is on and      With Phones Turning
a projection TV mode of operation when        if my cell phone is on, that also rings. If
that is convenient. Furthermore you may       I have a choice, I answer the computer
                                                                                            into Software User
almost never put it to your ear because a     and take the call on VoIP. If I am actu-      Convenience May Have
tiny Bluetooth headset in your ear will       ally home in my house and I have one          Far Reaching Impact
handle the audio. Things keep on getting      of these combined I-mate GSM cell
smaller - that much seems predictable         phones, my cell phone will know to take       COOK Report: So some of the new
even if form factors are not.                 that call on the Wi-Fi connection and         business models out there are for those
                                              treat it as a VoIP call.                      people who understand the complexity
COOK Report: If a Motorola wants to                                                         and can engineer flexible programs that
sell its cell phones, it seems that having    COOK Report: Therefore the flexibility,       will deliver value out of that complexity
Skype aboard them might be an induce-         independence and power of the plat-           for the poor befuddled consumer?
ment for the consumer to look for and         forms that are in the consumer’s hands
choose a Motorola phone - although the        are setting up a series of relationships      Henshall: I could say that I think there
mobile service providers can’t be too         where the patterns of connectivity are        are two sorts of issues. One is the need
happy about that. True?                       going to happen in ways that work eco-        for people to move to multiple phone
                                              nomically and physically for the conve-       numbers that was the by product of
Henshall: Yes. I think so. But the prob-      nience of the consumer and not the cell       the creation of mobile phone networks
lem that I see as the greatest challenge at   phone company?                                reached by their own separate phone
the moment is the issue surrounding my                                                      numbers. We now have Skype doing the
phone number. Ultimately I think phone        Henshall: Let’s take the following as         same kind of thing. But we are now at
numbers will be irrelevant. When I want       a thought experiment. Let’s say I need        the point with the technology where we
to talk to you, I want to be able to click    a new cell phone right now. I go down         could say - could we wrap this all into
on your name. This actually already re-       to Verizon or T-Mobile to have a look         one again?
flects what I do with my cell phone. I hit    around and they say to me: “Stuart you
my contact list and scroll for the person     can have this cell phone. If you want         If we wrap it all into one, we may get
I want and key in the first digit of their    to buy it outright it will cost you $200      to the point where what is spent on the
name and push call.                           or $250. But it’s a nice top of the line      one roughly matches the sum total of
                                              version. But it doesn’t have all the bells    what we spent on the parts before. For
Skype makes this even easier because          and whistles - yet. But if you sign a one     example I am happy to pay my mobile
it tells me whether you are even online       or two year contract with us we will sell     operator a little bit more if I can get rid

                                                              15
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
of my land line, fine.                         Henshall: Yes. There is not much dif-
                                               ference. Certainly we have seen that          Henshall: I think the traditional answer
One of the things that Zennstrom said          minutes have been migrating to mobile         is yes. But I think that logic needs to
early on was that we used to think that        for quite a long while. As rates come         be overturned along with the belief that
the ability to have a conversation was         down, people are using their mobile           products like Skype are bad for the mo-
tied to a piece of hardware involving          phones more and more to talk. Of course,      bile operator. The mobile operator after
wires. This is no longer true. Phones are      use varies by area and calling scheme.        all is about mobility. The question here
turning into software.                         In America I think we are relatively          is always-on. Always ready to talk. 3G
                                               unusual in that that when someone calls       is about always-on and so is Skype . You
COOK Report: As Rich Shockey said:             our mobile phone that in-bound call costs     could say that Skype is just accelerating
“Voice is just a bucket of bits.”              nothing extra. In Europe however ring-        that style of working. I can sit here in
                                               ing someone on their mobile is a very         my office and connect with five other
Henshall: Right. And the question be-          expensive long distance call. The same        people in a conference call. We can all
comes where does the bit bucket or soft-       thing in New Zealand. You can get an          put ourselves on mute and leave that
ware reside? In what type of device? This      800 number on your mobile and make it         call running the whole day if we want.
type of software is just going to infect       cheap and easy for someone to call you,       Anytime we want someone’s attention
every device in some way. The key gift         but doing so is a big barrier for moving      we can just un-mute our headset and call
this next Christmas potentially is a Wi-Fi     from one system to the other. Typically       out to them.
capable phone handset that looks juts          within those markets your monthly plan
like your normal phone handset except          gives you ‘x’ minutes of calling time         They call it “push-to-talk.” I can have
that it is Wi-Fi capable and you have a        within the network. They operate under        that up right now on my computer -
VoIP client on the other end of it and         a very different charging structure and       namely a “push-to-talk” network for up
when you want down to a local hotspot          this is why SMS and text messaging are        to five people and continue to run an-
or go next door to the neighbor’s, you         so big in Europe. There it costs only a       other iteration of Skype, side-by-side
just take your phone with you.                 few cents to send a text message as op-       with it, and continue to take and make
                                               posed to a considerably more expensive        calls there whenever I want.
This is really just a low cost version of      voice call.
the HP PDA. It says how do I take an                                                         Skype as a Digital
HP Wi-Fi enabled PDA and engineer the          COOK Report: This reminds me of the
cost down so that it costs me $120 and         note on your blog of about ten days ago       Convergence Tool
how do I connect that to some VoIP pro-        wondering if Skype would enable free          Box Dependent on
vider? Do that and you have a very low         SMS messaging? Anything new going             Broadband
cost handset that you can take anywhere        on there?
there is Wi-Fi.                                                                              COOK Report: Skype, in the sense you
                                               Henshall: Let’s just say that I think that    describe it, is beginning to look like a
COOK Report: Well in this context,             the interesting thing is that, once you can   Garden of Eden for someone who likes
can we review the basic mobile phone           go SMS to mobile or from Skype to SMS         to play with a kaleidoscopic range of pos-
protocols?                                     and go from Skype to mobile with a text       sibilities of the technology tools enabled
                                               message to find out if someone is avail-      by so called digital convergence. I think
Henshall: ATT, Cingular and T-Mobile           able to talk and can receive a response,      what you are saying is that for a seriously
are all GSM. Sprint is PCS, and Verizon        it means that you can call that mobile        new piece of software like Skype, once
is CDMA. Verizon has also introduced           effectively at Skype-Out rates which in       you follow its emergence and apparent
into certain high density markets EVDO         some cases may be very cheap.                 strategy, assuming you know business
which is their version of 3G. They are                                                       use of communications very well, the
charging $80 a month for EVDO - a rate         COOK Report: Because Skype is so good         number of possible ways that these tools
that I certainly don’t find attractive. If I   as a bridging technology, do we have          can be combined with other tools to open
have to make a choice that when I need         something going on here where Skype           up new ways of doing business becomes
a bit of bandwidth, I can get Wi-Fi for        can go up to a manufacturer and say let’s     really impressive. True?
nothing or do I want to pay $80 a month        do a deal where we preload Skype on to
for always-on connectivity? For certain        your mobile phone, as long as doing so        Henshall: Yes. Definitely. I am looking
people that may be a good deal, but for        costs the device maker virtually nothing.     for two other links as we are talking. One
the majority, I find it hard to justify.       The device maker is motivated to comply       explains a Nokia launch of a voice mes-
                                               because having Skype there will make          saging type product. The article explains
COOK Report: But all these protocols           the device more desirable to its custom-      how Nokia is enabling the capturing of a
are good enough to get the basic tasks for     ers. But, on the other the mobile phone       voice message that could be edited and
which people use smart phones, voice,          company that has to offer the Skype           sent to a podcast or an audio blog. http://
email, web and so on done?                     loaded handset to its customer must be        digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp?s
                                               not nearly so happy? Yes?
                                                                  16
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005

ection=platforms&search=1&id=1916             a platform that can serve as a foundation     ones, and think OK how many of your
                                              and a communications hub for many             employees are already allowed to bring
[Editor’s Note: The article at the above      new applications that enable collabora-       a mobile phone to work? How many are
URL explains: “When we initially learnt       tion of one sort or another. If I were        using AIM on the corporate network?
about this, there was a degree of ‘Oh,        selling broadband, I would look at this       How many are allowed to carry a USB
fancy voice mail, OK,’ but looking a bit      information and find that it would warm       stick into and out of the business?
deeper, we see this could be a significant    my heart because it certainly broadens
development for podcasters and audio          the market for my product. If you have        I think that for enterprises there are two
bloggers. Rather than just phoning in         a decent phone line, you can do a lot of      separate questions. One is how do they
your comments directly on a phone line,       things including most of the web with         establish operational procedures govern-
the ability to trim and edit the pieces       dial-up. But for these sorts of things you    ing trust of their employees in general?
before postings them means they can be        need broadband. Yes?                          The other is that we know that the ma-
polished before sending.                                                                    jority of companies are tracking emails
                                              Henshall: Broadband is the foundation         and who sent what to whom and are able
“It’s well known that Nokia is to in-         technology for all this and you are right     to look in on almost everything the em-
clude their LifeBlog software with their      in that it certainly is the underpinning      ployees do while Skype at the moment
new 7710 handset. Xpress audio mes-           that makes all this possible.                 makes it more difficult for a company to
saging could become another tool in the                                                     see who is on an employee’s buddy list.
podcaster’s arsenal, enabling podcasting      Proprietary Skype, Open                       The information is available.
on the move, without a PC. It will all be
down to the power of the audio editing        SIP and the Enterprise                        COOK Report: This is because the Skype
software. We’re keen to get our hands on                                                    API is now available?
                                              COOK Report: We have done a pretty
it to see if our hunch is confirmed.
                                              good tour of the consumer small business      Henshall; Yes. You can use the API to
“For the straight messaging, Nokia clear-     world for these tools, but it seems to me     generate a list of calls made, the time of
ly hopes that this will give them some        that there is likely another huge world       the call, the person who was called - all
leverage in the highly competitive - and      inside the enterprise. However this is        that. You could use the API to add a plug-
lucrative - youth mobile phone market:        one where security concerns will indeed       in to Skype that said as long as these two
                                              run paramount. The question in my mind        things are registered on our corporate
‘Nokia Xpress audio messaging enables         is whether this enterprise universe has       network and working together, the Skype
operators to differentiate their service      to be thought of in a very different way.     client will be reporting to us at all times
offering from competitors, by utilizing       Is what we have occurring two separate        what this person does with it. Whether or
existing infrastructure,’ explains Juha Pi-   streams of development? One stream            not they are sharing files, or whom they
nomaa, Vice President, Mobile Phones,         inside the enterprise and one for the rest    are chatting with. That is one way to get a
Nokia.                                        of the world - until Skype begins to infil-   view and I think that Skype will probably
                                              trate the enterprise?
                                                                                            generate some enterprise systems that are
‘For consumers, Nokia Xpress audio                                                          capable of doing that. If not, it is now a
messaging combines ease of use, af-           Another interesting aspect is that with
                                                                                            simple programming exercise.
fordability, and adds a personal touch        Layer One and Two user-controlled op-
to greetings, congratulations, or allows      tical networks, you need a fair sized
                                                                                            There are some things in Skype that have
to share a special moment like a grand-       corporation to implement this technology
                                                                                            never been done before. I registered my
child’s first words.’                         with this. It’s you and I, on the outside
                                                                                            name as Stuart_Henshall but if I had
                                              edges who are way ahead of many of the        wanted to register stuart@henshall.com,
“Recorded audio messages can be sent          enterprises.                                  I could not do that. At the moment, the
to all MMS-enabled GSM handsets and                                                         @ is a disallowed character. So are some
                                              It seems that Skype could be quite advan-
stored and replayed as easily as any other                                                  others. Now as far as I know with every
multimedia file, and Nokia will be intro-     tageous inside the enterprise, but there
                                                                                            one using SIP, they capture your name
ducing support for legacy phones within       are some security issues that will make
                                                                                            but also your email address. Presumably
its MMS solution.”]                           Skype’s entrance there into a difficult
                                                                                            a premium Skype product in the future
                                              proposition. What can we look forward
                                                                                            could allow you to use your email ad-
COOK Report: I am seeing that this            to here?                                      dress as your Skype name.
really is something that you have to do
before you can appreciate it fully. When      Henshall: There are some security angles      COOK Report: Let me go back to what
I went to broadband two years ago, it         from the enterprise point of view that I      David Reed said early in December and
was to get Vonage and save money on           am sure I don’t adequately understand.        that was that Skype was doing all the
my phone bill. But I am now beginning         Skype is obviously creating a debate on       right moves in comparison to SIP which
to see that a new application like Skype      those issues. I also look at enterprises,     just wasn’t getting much of anything
is making broadband into something of         especially the untold number of smaller       done. Nevertheless Skype being propri-
                                                              17
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
etary made him a bit nervous. At the           smarter with their API. In a world where     Henshall: Right. I don’t know whether
same time he said that he felt their busi-     telecom more and more is just software       it is smoke and mirrors to try to enable
ness strategy moves were impeccable.           and where you are an older telecom           them to make money or if it is the real
He predicted that this combination could       company trying to compete, all I can say     deal and they actually have the chip.
turn Skype into the WinTel monopoly            is where are your APIs? And seeing that      When I was at VON in November 2004,
platform of voice communications. I am         you can’t think through the solutions        they claimed they had the chip and were
wondering two and a half months later          yourself, why don’t you turn them over       taking it into production and their device
as things continue to unfold in a quick-       to the open market?                          would be available by now. But they
ening pace how you view that tentative                                                      have said this too many times and then
surmise?                                       COOK Report: As we think every now           failed to deliver to have much credibility
                                               and then about where all the jobs are        left.
Henshall: I think all of us, if we had a       going, I am beginning to form an opinion
choice, would like to see a completely         that the place where a good deal of busi-    However let me also say that I think that
open source Skype competitor. But let’s        ness opportunities are to be found is in     it is quite plausible that the structure for
just flip the question around and say that     putting the pieces of this kaleidoscopic     IP telephony that Gorsohevsky is talking
they have indeed made the right moves.         puzzle together in new and unexpected        about could become the real future for
They have launched an open API that            ways. Right?                                 communications.
relates to text and all other sort of mes-
saging capabilities. Why don’t we ask          Henshall: Well, if your were SBC and         COOK Report: So one might well say
and request from the phone companies           you had just bought AT&T and you             that the message here is that while Skype
that they share their APIs and open up         were sitting there saying now we have        so far is very successful, it certainly has
their networks in the same way so that         acquired all these engineers and we will     some weaknesses. That from the work
what we see is an innovation market - an       now have to get rid of them. Why not         of Henning Schulzrinne’s students and
ideas pool that is created at the juxtaposi-   give them something useful to do and         others we certainly have a good idea
tion between the convergence of mobile,        turn them loose on the APIs?                 of how it operates. [See http://www.
landline and Skype and let the real inno-                                                   cs.columbia.edu/~library/TR-repository/
vators get in that field and really create     Skype versus Peerio                          reports/reports-2004/cucs-039-04.pdf for
the products that we actually want?                                                         an early attempt at a Skype protocol
                                               - Architecture                               analysis.] Therefore, folk should not sit
COOK Report: That is a very provoca-           Implications                                 back and assume that Skype in its current
tive chain of reasoning and I think the                                                     instantiation is the be-all and end-all for
netheads would hear it and snort “im-          COOK Report: Thinking about P2P IP           peer-to-peer IP telephony? Right?
possible because after all they are phone      telephony and its possible evolution, let
companies and phone companies will             me ask about Dmitri Goroshevsky, Pee-        Henshall: Let me answer by asking
never do that.” But on the other hand you      rio, and a possible federated architecture   a question about what Goroshevsky is
have to wonder whether Siedenberg, if          for Skype or a Skype clone.                  talking about. It seems that he is saying
he has any sense, may realize 6 months                                                      that he will give anyone who wants one
from now or a year from now that if his        What Goroshevsky was telling Martin          an exchange and that with an exchange
ILEC is going to survive, he will have         Geddes in his recent Telepocalypse blog      those people are free to go and connect
to start thinking like this. Is that part of   was pretty fascinating, but, on the other    up to an emerging mesh.
what I am hearing?                             hand, if Richard Stastney’s violent reac-
                                               tion to it on my mail list is accurate,      Now here’s my question: What happens
Henshall: Yes. I think so. I don’t know        Goroshevsky is full of hot air. What do      if Skype says that the only way to solve
all the depths of the technology that ex-      you think is going on?                       the enterprise’s problem is to give the
ists within a mobile operator. But let’s                                                    enterprise that same capability and that
use one example. The mobile opera-             Henshall: It’s a good story. I have heard    you as an individual can also buy the
tor has great location information. Fine.      it, just like Richard Stastney, making       same capability - so that rather than hav-
Give me that information on the API            the rounds for months. So far they have      ing one log on (authentication) server
and let me now dock that with Skype            shown NOTHING. (Note they did an-            in Denmark, anyone can have a log on
profiles. Let me work with advertisers         nounce at Internet Telephony. However,       server. In this arrangement the authenti-
or other things and people that start to       I still can’t download their app. Never-     cation servers mesh with each other and
make sense.                                    theless, these comments could become         then you make your decision as an indi-
                                               very old very fast.)                         vidual as to whether you want to join all
COOK Report: It sounds like Google has                                                      servers or whether you want to join just
been doing some of this?                       COOK Report: The architecture that he        a few subnets.
                                               describes could be done but until some-
Henshall: Google has been very smart.          one does it, forget about it?                COOK Report: What you are also saying
But in fact I think Amazon has been even                                                    is that if the Skype people are as intel-
                                                                  18
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
ligent as we would assume them to be,          least ones that operate at multiple global   absolutely sure there isn’t a Trojan buried
they have to have resources and brain          locations, effectively looks a bit like a    somewhere inside the code?” Now is this
power devoted to work on these kinds of        SIP server for a SIP system - if I have a    something that a nuclear laboratory has
enhancements.                                  laptop and want to log on to my home         to do? Is it something that Morgan Stan-
                                               office. Here are my buddies I can see on     ley has to do? Does Dunkin Donuts have
Henshall: Sure. Every enterprise has to        line - all of which is fine, but I am con-   to do it? Probably not?
want to be able to share their presence        nected through to them not via a log on
information internally. They don’t want        to the global Skype, but rather via a log    Henshall: They never did it for their Mi-
to expose everyone in the company to           on to my company’s Skype.                    crosoft software.
the world-wide network. They do want
to expose people to their value network        COOK Report: So are you saying that if       COOK Report: Right! <laughs> But
and sharing presence within that value         I am Ford Motor Company and I want to        maybe they have learned their lesson?
network makes a lot of sense.                  set a Ford Enterprise Skype System that      You see in a general sense what I am
                                               is absolutely independent of the public      saying. But you don’t seem to see it as a
They must confront an assumption that          global Skype system, this is possible?       showstopper.
says: “Hey Skype’s got this wonderful          That you could set it up on the enterprise
peer-to-peer network, and everyone has         net so that it ran its own authentication    Henshall: There are an awful lot of orga-
to go through this authentication server       server and its own supernodes which          nizations yet to be VoIP-enabled in any
in Denmark when they first log in just         were absolutely independent of the glob-     way. They are smaller businesses with
to make sure they get hooked up to a           al Skype server and its nodes?               all these PCs that they constantly have to
supernode.”                                                                                 upgrade. In such a business Cisco comes
                                               Henshall: Well, why not? Really? You         along and tells it that it needs to spend
One might well ask: “Who says that             could also tune it to select whatever out-   $100,000 on an IP PBX and related Cisco
this has to be the long-term strategy?”        sider parties you want to share presence     VoIP phones. It is going to be met with
Who says that the enterprise or even you       with. Or you could say: “Stuart, we trust    incredulity. The voices will say, like for
and me cannot actually run one of those        these particular sets of people with every   what?
things (a Skype system) and do we really       thing, and so we want them to be able to
understand what happens when we do             log onto us but also be able to log on to    For example, are you telling me that
that? Because all Skype has been doing         the public Skype because they needs to       my small import business that com-
is to sit there in this new, so far imagi-     share their presence globally.”              municates with Asia all the time or my
nary situation, saying to an enterprise:                                                    small travel business that needs to book
OK you can now run your own Skype              COOK Report: And in a situation like         bed and breakfasts around the world, are
system and select the network of people        this gateways, become really important.      you telling me that with the PC’s I have
who will be permitted to attach to it. We                                                   and a high speed Internet link I can do
will also give you the ability to select       Henshall: Yes. Although potentially I as-    all that voice communication cost for
from your network the people whom you          sume that because I am in the enterprise I   zero? Thank you very much. You’ve got
want to expose to our network or to any        automatically assume that my call would      a deal.
other network. At the same time you can        be routed out through the authentication
make your own decision about how your          server.                                      Skype Marketing and
network will handle inbound calls from
our other Skype networks and all those         COOK Report: But someone in the en-          Performance Research
sorts of things.                               terprise will decide what the policy will
                                               be for that server and how it will be        COOK Report: Focused on the issue of
                                                                                            business opportunities created by Skype
COOK Report: While Skype’s peer-to-            implemented?
                                                                                            what are you able to share with me about
peer architecture gives network security
                                                                                            your interest in creating a Skype user’s
engineers fits, it is this same architecture   Henshall: Why not? And for large-scale
                                                                                            community - an interest that you men-
that would for the most part make it im-       enterprises you could set up an enterprise
mune to network failures and would also        SkypeIn such a way that the administra-      tioned in our first conversation a while
make it difficult if not impossible for any    tor may turn certain features on and off.    back?
centralized telco to shut it down. While       You don’t want file sharing to run on
                                                                                            Henshall: I am close to starting an online
the authentication server is a single point    your Skype? OK, we will turn it off.
                                                                                            blog designed to focus the interest of the
of failure, what these technologies have
                                                                                            Skype user’ community but also to try
done nevertheless is close to the state-of-    COOK Report: But probably somewhere
                                                                                            to retain the independence and input of
the-art in being reasonably failure proof.     some person in the enterprise is going
                                                                                            developers, counterpoints and things like
Would you agree?                               to say: “Doing this looks attractive but
                                               until we see the source code for all of      that. At the moment I am still experi-
Henshall: Yes. And the other component                                                      menting with it behind the scenes trying
                                               this software we can’t afford to take the
that follows for the enterprise then, at                                                    to understand what sources for different
                                               chance of using it because how can we be
                                                               19
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
sorts of information are out there. I think Skype really understands is one of the Skype strategy. That could introduce
there are potentially many spin-offs that most valuable: It is all about presence. strategic foresight with stretch views of
could be gained from bringing that com- While Skype offers free person-to-person where it may go and where you might
munity of people together.                   calling, the larger question is what can go. Ultimately the value is in creating
                                             you do when you have presence? For new options.
COOK Report: It sounded to me like example, the match making, the dating
you were saying that if you could bring industry at the moment is worth well COOK Report: So the dialogue would go
enough people together you could cre- over a half billion dollars a year.             something like: if this is your business,
ate an effective counterweight against                                                and this is what you are doing, then these
anyone who wanted to take Skype in a COOK Report: I remember doing an are the tools that we have now that can be
direction that would be bad for its users interview with Henning Schulzrinne in worked with. Right? Do you agree? Yes
as a whole?                                  September 2000 about SIP and presence or no? And if this is tool set, then what
                                             and Instant Messaging and their impor- are the variables in the things that you
Henshall: It’s a nice idea! What I have tance and here we are almost 4 and a half need to be thinking about so that you can
in mind is a bit like Consumer Reports years later and we still don’t have those get underway?
or JD Powers.                                problems solved - or so it would seem.
                                                                                      Henshall: As a part of this, I have been
Unfortunately Skype is really not a mar- Henshall: On the issue of SIP, while I working in the background trying to fig-
keting organization at all. I encouraged am not a SIP expert, my understanding ure out how to set up research programs.
them to start their forums early on. Be- is that if you want to use SIP and add an I certainly believe that whether you are
cause of those forums they have a strong Instant Messaging chat system to SIP- Motorola or Nokia or whomever they
core group of beta testers out there. These based VoIP software you have to use all need to buy more research on Skype
people have become absolute maniacs in something called Simple. Simple is the users. They all need to know more about
helping Skype develop its product. Some standard for building chat into SIP. I am Skype and the cheapest way to do this is
of them are retired, some are young kids. not certain how well this works. Howev- to buy part of a global research package.
The testers are a crosssection of people er I had a very interesting experience the Questions like how many Skype users
who have a passionate interest in what it other day with this new company Teleo. last month dropped landlines are of obvi-
is enabling.                                 com that just launched.                  ous interest. However it is deeper prefer-
                                                                                      ence information that really matters.
COOK Report: Do they have a commu- It looks like a Skype clone, but it is built
nity of 3rd party developers like the iPod on SIP. The first interesting thing that COOK Report: Do you envision using
has acquired? Would part of your idea be I observed is that when you search for your blog to generate tools that could
to identify, coordinate and interconnect someone on the network and add him as help collect data and that you would
some of these entities where your role a buddy, it doesn’t ask you for authoriza- tabulate and report on, in the manner
becomes one of helping the developers tion. Therefore on this system, if you are of a Gartner group, for Skype reporting
create viable business models for use of on the Telio network and I search for agency?
the Skype technology? You are the guru you, find you and add you to my call list,
who knows how to build what will work I automatically now know at any time Henshall: The blog won’t generate the
in that world? Or I would come to some- whether you are online or offline.            tools. This is a discussion that needs to
one like yourself if I am trying to figure                                            be had with potential customers.
out how to best apply this technology in Imagine if this system became popular
a way that supports my on-going current and you were a telemarketer, you would COOK Report: But, until they fully un-
business?                                    just add the whole system to your direc- derstand what is going on, they may not
                                             tory and boom you have all the users at even realize that such research is impor-
Henshall: Yep. All this would be key your mercy.                                      tant to them?
elements of what can be done. I believe
that we are still in the very early days of COOK Report: Is part of what you have Henshall: Even formulating the ques-
what the Skype API is and where people in mind a role where in the future a com- tions to ask may be useful. For example
actually are. But I think things could ac- pany like this might pay you to advise once someone becomes a Skype user
celerate very quickly - especially once them why making their software respond (colloquially we call them “Skypers”)
the first real application that solves pres- in this way is not a good idea?          how long before that person begins to
ence comes out. This will provide a wake                                              think about dropping a landline? But
up call to more than a few people.           Henshall: I am committed to being more there are other issues as well, clustered
                                             targeted in providing seminars or events around the question of what sort of prod-
COOK Report: How do we know what in this area. I’ve run both Scenario and uct would you like? Is a landline USB
to look for?                                 Innovation programs for the largest com- handset that is semi Skype-enabled but
                                             panies. One way would be for a company otherwise looks like an old phone what
Henshall: The part that I don’t think to test their strategy against my perceived you really want? Such a product certainly

                                                             20
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
lacks imagination.                                                                          of SIP clients like X-Ten; I think they are
                                              Imagine if this system became popular         also clumsy and failing to step forward.
COOK Report: With Apple’s interest in         and you were a telemarketer, you would        I’m happy to put the best SIP client to
good design I have to wonder where the        just add the whole system to your direc-      the test in a consumer environment. We
Apple I-Phone is?                             tory and boom you have all the users at       should also look 24-36 months out.
                                              your mercy.
Henshall: Indeed, and if Apple doesn’t                                                      The Teleo information quoted below was
do it, you would think that someone           Schulzrinne: If true, this seems like a       correct when I blogged it. Since then I’ve
would make a little GSM phone-type            really bad implementation, which other        removed Teleo and have ended up with a
gizmo to plug into the top of your iPod       implementations have fortunately not          couple system restores in the last week.
and lo, it’s a phone. It has the power pack   followed.                                     Today I embraced and tested another
in there. It has the data. Why not?                                                         SIP client. Just launched. http://www.
                                              Henshall: Thanks for you comments.            damaka.com/ Damaka.

                                              I’m aware that MSN is “close” to using        Schulzrinne: It claims to be a SIP client,
Symposium List                                the SIP SIMPLE standard. In the MSN           but our protocol analysis makes that ap-
                                              environment which looks as closed to me       pear dubious.
Exchange Between                              as a consumer as Skype it sort of works.
Stuart Henshall and                           Sort of because it fails to connect as well   Henshall: This ostensibly is another
Henning Schulzrinne                           as Skype in my experience.                    SkypeClone. At the moment in my view
                                                                                            it is another failure. Currently it doesn’t
Editor's Note: On March 1, 2005 Hen-          Schulzrinne: There is a common confu-         offer any inbound or outbound number
ning Sculzinne commented of the inter-        sion between MSN and Microsoft Mes-           options it is merely a SIP client that uses
view with Stuart Hensall. The exchange        senger. The latter works in any SIMPLE        GIPS voice engine again.
follows.                                      (and SIP) environment, not just MSN.
                                              (MSN had a proprietary protocol, with a       Schulzrinne: It is interesting that all
Henshall: On the issue of SIP, while I        transition to SIP/SIMPLE scheduled.)          your preferences are for a vertically in-
am not a SIP expert, my understanding is                                                    tegrated service provider, i.e., somebody
that if you want to use SIP and add an In-    Henshall: From a user perspective it’s        that provides software (and maybe hard-
stant messaging chat system to SIP based      IM and voice and video etc. For the           ware) and termination srvices. Have we
VoIP software you have to use something       most part IM works, voice even if it          come full circle, back to the AT&T days
called Simple. Simple is the standard for     connects remains “poor” quality. I can’t      where you could choose any provider as
building chat into SIP. I am not certain      rave about it as a product, and I don’t       long as it had a blue globe logo?
how well this works.                          have any buddies left that want to use it
                                              in preference to Skype.                       Henshall: Unlike Teleo it does require
Schulzrinne: Well, he could start by                                                        authorization however that activity re-
downloading Microsoft Messenger,              Schulzrinne: We find it quite useful for      quired rebooting after adding my buddy
which has supported (pre-standard) ver-       application sharing and for integration       (his system crashed twice before we
sions of SIMPLE for about two years and       into a bigger environment that we can         connected). Then the voice quality was
is pretty reasonably standards-compliant      control (in terms of reachability and fea-    Skype quality. It failed to offer more than
now. There are open-source clients as         tures). That may not matter to you.           a two line option, the interface is clumsy
well (GAIM), not to mention that HotSIP                                                     (compared to Skype).
had a client at least three years ago.        Henshall: I’ve tried to use Gaim on three
                                              different occasions with each upgrade         Both the last two items look to be at
Henshall: However I had a very inter-         and it has failed in each case. I’d add       least a year behind Skype in develop-
esting experience the other day with          the user interface and ease to sign up /      ment, no matter how much money is
this new company Teleo.com that just          on are additional failings. Frankly it’s      thrown at them. How can Damaka hope
launched. It looks like a Skype clone,        just clumsy and ugly. Is this a result of     to even compete, Skype is gaining 150K
but it is built on SIP. The first interest-   SIP needs?                                    downloads per day. I may be fusing the
ing thing that I observed is that when                                                      elements of design and user experience
you search for someone on the network         Schulzrinne: No, this is a result of an       with SIP in my comments. However
and add him as a buddy, it doesn’t ask        open source project done by volunteers        these recent releases suggest to me:
you for authorization. Therefore on this      that tries to integrate multiple presence
system, if you are on the Telio network       systems into one client.                      That GIPS and SIP solutions must be
and I search for you, find you and add                                                      closing on commodity ease to bolt them
you to my call list, I automatically now      Henshall: This again is not necessarily       together for PoIP like solutions. That
know at any time whether you are on line      a reflection on SIP. However it never         anyone not designing for best in class is
or offline.                                   worked for me. We also have executions        simply kidding themselves and best in
                                                               21
                     COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
class for the next round is not what we    thinking on Presence. We need more that      tions are focused on “software”. IS there
have today. It has to include 3D audio     online, away etc. Many neat experiments      a development cycles gap?
solutions. Want a neat sound experience?   have been done.
Try SmartMeeting out of Sweden. Next                                                    Schulzrinne: Since SIP hardware and
is Video, which I’m sure Skype is close    Schulzrinne: Indeed; and standards-          software vendors are not vertically in-
to rolling out.                            driven rich presence is likely to roll       tegrated, they go for the money - this is
                                           out shortly; see http://www.cs.columbia.     currently mostly enterprise systems, as
Schulzrinne: Microsoft Messenger           edu/sip/draft/rpid/draft-ietf-simple-rpid-   adjuncts to IP phone systems. For rea-
(among others, such as our own SIP cli-    05.html for one part of this.                sons that I don’t understand, the guiding
ent or eyebeam or the SIPquest client or                                                design principle seems to be skinning to
Hotsip) already has video.                 Henshall: SIP’s innovation time line ap-     make it look like a 1950s space-age-im-
                                           pears to be tied to “hardware” platform      pression phone.
Henshall: Then it also requires new        thinking while the new / emerging solu-




                                                             22
Symposium Discussion December 1, 2004 to January 4 2005


Sype versus SIP: a Debate Between the "It Just
Works" Point of View and the Standards Based,
Interoperability World View Highlights
Editor’s Introduction: I knew that I          I am here to report Skype, with its rated    charged per call. Gordon reports excel-
should get back into VoIP sooner or later     33kbps (which they also brag will work       lent quality at that charge rate to a call he
but for quite a while I didn’t see anything   over a PPP dial up connection at least       made to Europe last week.
to peg the story on. However, thanks          with 36kbps speed) worked very, very
to the Skype thread that Dave Hughes          well. Much better than I expected. Very      I gave Tsering Sherpa who is hardly
started on December 1, 2004 and to            good voice quality and volume, (at least     a high techie on the slopes of Everest
David Reed’s comparative analysis of          as good as a PSTN US call!) maybe two        simple email instruction to download and
Skype and SIP, I think we have the ele-       transient 2-3 second burps in over a one     install the Skype. Says he got it done in
ments that will help to bring some clarity    hour talk. He was on a laptop with plug-     one hour - most of that being download
to a wider audience.                          in mike and speaker - me with mine.          time.
                                              Full hour plus talk, PLUS a concurrent
Dave Hughes Discovers                         Instant Message exchange while we were       I am as impressed with the easy to un-
                                              talking (no effect on the voice). I didn’t   derstand software interfaces as with the
Skype                                         even really notice the second and a half     voice capability. My Skype icon (on right
                                              latency though it was there. Super!          now) reports 1,317,028 users online right
On December 1 Dave Hughes: I don’t
                                                                                           now (meaning the program on their com-
whether anyone is interested on this high
                                              And NOW we will extend the link 5 more       puter is awake, ready for a call) Reaches
tech COOK Report mail list in a humble
                                              miles through the Linux server at the base   over 2 million during the day, drops to
VoIP test that works better than it should
                                              of the Satellite Namche Cybercafe) loca-     800,000 or so at night. About 40 million
be expected to, given its zero cost.          tion (11,500 feet), with three outdoor Wi-   free downloads have been made of the
                                              Fi relays hops (one via a 13,000 foot high   software. [Editor: on February 11, 2005
Two days ago I shook down my (10Mb)           Buddhist Monastery) to Thame, Nepal, a       Skype reports 1,782,617 users on line at
Skype software on a Windows 2000              D’Link switch, feeding two PCs where         2pm Eastern Standard Time. It is claim-
laptop with a very good quality voice         9 Sherpa kids are trying to learn English    ing 140,000 downloads per day.]
conversation with Gordon Cook and his         from Mingma Sherpa in Pittsburgh via
Mac based Skype. Tweaking my sound,           his DSL connection, BOTH email and           So when he said: “”I knew it was over
with and without built in microphone and      Voice (he of course handles Sherpa, Nep-     when I downloaded Skype,” Michael
speaker to get the right combination for      alese, and English well, being 9 years a     Powell, chairman, Federal Communica-
me. I knew the sound with broadband at        programmer in the US and grew up there       tions Commission, explained. “When the
both ends here in the US should be good,      in Namche). Because the bandwidth was        inventors of KaZaA are distributing for
as advertised. It was. But so is Vonage       constrained off-season, a standard VoIP      free a little program that you can use
(Lingo less so), and other IP point-to-       IP Phone instrument connection broke         to talk to anybody else, and the quality
point VoIP phones.                            down. Just takes too many bits with          is fantastic, and it’s free - it’s over. The
                                              G7291, or G711ulaw or G711alaw co-           world will change now inevitably.”
But I wanted to give it a real test from      decs - purportedly from 30kbps to about
here in Colorado to far off Namche,           60 for higher quality voice. (Only Lingo     This confirms my view that probably the
Nepal where it would have to transit,         will, under special circumstances install    greatest Internet Killer App for the other
not only US broadband, but one satellite      a G723 type codec that is supposed to go     5.9 billion people on this planet, ALL
IP hop from Hawaii to Kathmandu, and          down to 20kbps - but given the question-     of whom can talk voice over a phone,
then a second satellite hop from World-       able quality of voice even across the US     even if they are illiterate for email or
link, Kathmandu, to Tsering Sherpa’s          with broadband, I’ll pass, thank you).       otherwise, is going to be free, cheap,
Namche, Nepal “Cybercafe” - with a                                                         very simple $5 SIP voice devices (not a
minimum latency of 1,200ms. With the          I think Skype beats them all in voice        complete computer required), connected
added problem that during the off-climb-      quality/low bandwidth. And also with         unlicensed wirelessly. Eat your heart
ing (Mt. Everest) season, he can only         its ability for you to make a Euro credit    out Verizon/Cingular. And even Vonage
afford 64kbps (about $800 a month) feed       card deposit from 10 ($12) for 10 hours      or Lingo, much less Qwest offerings of
to Kathmandu. So typical VoIP breaks          of Skype to PSTN calls anywhere in the       VoIP - a billion dollars short and a de-
down with any load at all, all the way to     US, Canada, Western Europe or Austra-        cade late.
Namche.                                       lia for 1.7 euro or $.02 flat rate - only


                                                            23
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
Ron Yokubaitis: One of my sons is an        email, as well as use the link to instruct   were afraid that their budgets and power
Exchange Student finishing his last year    them in spoken Nepalese, how to better       were at risk. Also reminds me the suicid-
in Electrical Engineering in Belo Hori-     operate their classroom computer which       al behavior of the Bluetooth consortium
zonte, Brazil.                              Jim Forster of Cisco donated last year!      - (in contrast with the 802.11 vendors).
                                            Hey those kids are gonna get educated in
We talk weekly via Skype with very          spite of their remoteness!                   Sending voice over IP is trivial. That’s
good quality. At least equals my AT&T                                                    not the technical problem. Getting scaled
cell phone for quality. Same $.02/min-      Because Tsering was using the built in       adoption is hard, and a common stan-
ute.                                        microphone in Thame, I could just hear       dard that works simply was required.
                                            feedback from what I was saying. It          SIP could have been a contender. It isn’t
Jack has a low speed ( > 384 Kbps) DSL      seemed a long delay from the time I said     going be. And I think its own “propo-
circuit in Belo Horizonte. Jack will text   something until I heard it back. You bet.    nents” killed it.
message me via cell to see if I am online   It takes SEVEN seconds from the time
or to schedule a chat. Text message is      I speak until it goes there, comes back      This is completely analogous to what
$.10/ message                               (over 88,000 sat miles) and I hear my        happened with Unix vs. Windows. (It is
                                            own voice back here!                         balkanization vs. a common platform).
How can I get my T-Mobile “SideKick”                                                     Open platforms can win, but a group’s
(HipHop) to do VoIP? It does mail and       Why SIP Has Failed                           self-interest in cooperation and coor-
web well. Instant messenger feature has                                                  dination is often poorly understood by
be scripted by our software development     David Reed: Well, I have gone on re-         the members of the group itself. Linux,
group to run on IRC chat networks.          cord (at the MIT CFP working group)          on the other hand, seems to be growing
Also our guys have a secure shell up so     as saying that SIP may have missed its       (Linux is now much larger than Macin-
I can login to our Unix servers. Skype’s    window, because of Skype. (And I was a       tosh, in terms of desktop market share.
$.02/min. would sure beat T-Mobile’s        big fan of SIP’s potential).                 In server market share it’s been dominant
$.30/min. voice rates.                                                                   for longer). What makes Linux win is
                                            SIP could have been what Skype is be-        that the group’s interest in interoper-
December 2 Damien Wetzel: Hi, Dave,         coming, but the SIP community has been       ability is identified and managed, as
I totally agree with you. I remember        trying to replicate the walled garden be-    opposed to ignored and frustrated by its
having downloaded Skype first, just one     fore deploying. They are destroying the      own members.
year ago, they were at 1 million down-      value of open interoperability that was in
loads then. I thought what is Cisco-like    SIP, just as Skype is opening its APIs to    Steve Heap: Aren’t we comparing two
VoIP worth, when you have this kind         get the boost of third party developers.     different beasts here? Skype is an excel-
of software? Now if Wi-Fi networks                                                       lent system for making voice calls and
develop quickly in a near future + Wi-Fi    SIP should have won, because it is an        IM relationships from one computer to
enabled smartphone. I think that mobile     open standard, but the desire to create a    another. Nothing wrong with that. The
operators should be very worried.           business model that captures the old un-     rest of telephony is about making voice
                                            sustainable voice revenues of the RBOCs      calls from telephones to telephones/com-
December 12 Dave Hughes: Hurrah! I          has seduced Cisco and its customers into     puters, and has a massive numbering
just KNEW that Skype would work if          waiting and making the standard more         structure in place to allow that to work
nothing else would!                         complex. Unlike the old days of the          domestically and globally. Skype have
                                            Internet, where interoperability was the     nicely bypassed all those issues of num-
I just got a Skype call, from Tsering       centerpiece, the likelihood that a SIP       bering by making up a scheme of their
who was all the way over at 13,000 foot     phone will work with one from another        own, but that pretty much means that
in Thame, Nepal, (12 hours difference       vendor is near zero. There was a reason      you cannot call a Skype customer from
- Sunday night here, Monday morning         that the major IP trade show in the early    your home phone, payphone, cell phone,
there) in the classroom with 9 Sherpa       days was called “Interop”!                   etc. It is hard to see how you will ever be
kids. Five miles and three Smartbridge                                                   able to do that unless they can persuade
Wi-Fi radio relay hops from his Cyber       So now instead of innovating to make         the world to introduce a new Skype in-
Café base in Namche (on the Everest         SIP work as simply as Skype does out         ternational code.
trekking trail) then over TWO satellite     of the box, the business strategy of the
jumps to the US, (one with only 64kbps      access providers is: attack their best       SIP is a solid protocol addressing the
bandwidth) then over the net in the US to   customers by finding reasons to block        telephony (and other media things) is-
me! VERY clear!                             Skype traffic.                               sues. It is being introduced in large-scale
                                                                                         installations. It carries VoIP calls within
Then he called Mingma Sherpa in Pitts-      This reminds me of the IT departments        carrier networks, and increasingly be-
burgh from Thame, had a good clear talk.    who tried to keep department managers        tween carrier/service provider networks.
Mingma will now be able to teach those      from buying Apple II’s because they          I don’t understand how you then can say
kids English, ORALLY, and not just by                                                    that it has missed the boat as a protocol?
                                                               24
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                              people to that on the other end.                system that seems the dinosaur. I always
Reed: SIP is “Session Initiation Proto-                                                       contended that ”identity” - of persons
col” - it’s not the protocol that carries     What also comes to mind is the call             being connected, not just devices like
the voice. It’s the call setup protocol,      center business. I remember a company           phones - could (and should) be based
focused on user-user negotiation. And         that hired people that were agorapho-           simply on using virtually unique DNA of
that’s what Skype does, at its core. As       bic, handicapped, etc. for Avis/United          every persons as the numeric identity!
far as SIP dealing with legacy numbering      Airlines call center work. If there were
plans, etc. since when does telephony         a gateway to Skype to reach voice end           3. I can’t believe gate-waying Skype into
correspond to 10-digit numbers assigned       lines, it could save those call center com-     SIP for interoperability is all that chal-
to instruments with microphones and           pany people a lot of money. It is a real        lenging. Why would it be?
speakers? That’s like saying driving a car    solution if available for an industry that
is fundamentally dependent on driver’s        could use that.                                 4. What would/will be so hard to design
license numbers.                                                                              and manufacture devices, which have
                                              Heap (to David Reed): I agree with ev-          hand held microphone and speaker or ear
Numbering is an epiphenomenon to tele-        erything you say below - but then I don’t       piece, which integrates Skype technol-
phony, and in any case, SIP itself doesn’t    understand what you mean when you               ogy into it, connected either by IP line,
define numbering plans at all. There’s        said that Skype has pretty much killed          or wireless to the line. Why need the PC
confusion of SIP with the business model      SIP? Do you mean in an end-to-end SIP           or handheld? Siemens already has a USB
of (say) Vonage, which focuses on selling     model – i. e. my SIP-enabled “telephone”        port Skype device.
numbers and directories and gateways,         being able to directly address your SIP-
since they don’t sell bit transport (you      enabled “telephone”? I do agree that            Heap: I understand. I’m not trying to
buy that from Comcast or RCN or Ve-           there is not a lot of that going on. The        come across as an apologist for the
rizon DSL), and they don’t sell codec         key question is whether most consumers          telephone companies, but to a very large
capacity (that comes with your PC or          will go for a bundled telephone service         extent, you have the ability to talk to any-
the ATA-186). 99.9% of Vonage calls do        that covers VoIP termination as well as         one in the world now - via a telephone.
not involve two SIP endpoints. Vonage         TDM termination for some monthly fee,
doesn’t even optimize for SIP-SIP calls,      or try to “go-it alone” with either SIP or      Matson: That’s not true and I keep hav-
nor does it offer SIPs capability for ad-     Skype-based direct arrangements.                ing to remind people of this. With current
ditional services (like IM, presence, etc.)                                                   day telephony, the ONLY person in the
Will it ever?                                 Maybe I misunderstood the point you             world you can talk to today is the phone
                                              were trying to make?                            company at their local central office. And
So it may well be that SIP is used internal                                                   only on their terms, will they then let you
to traditional phone networks in a trans-     My basic point is that Skype is great           talk to anyone else.
parent, trivial, or degenerate way. But       for point-to-point communication with
that’s like saying ISDN was deployed in       people you know, but SIP-based VoIP             The power of VoIP (“my content” over
the US, when the only use it was put to       will “probably” be the winner because           dumb pipes) is that for the first time in
was 128 kb/sec. raw bit pipes for Inter-      most people will just go for a bundled          the history of the universe, I CAN talk to
net access. None of the AIN (intelligent      service that does everything and uses SIP       anyone in the world!
network services) were ever successful        internally within the Service Provider
in the US. Yeah, ISDN got used. But it        and between the SPs.                            We ought to make sure we don’t perpetu-
failed.                                                                                       ate myths!
                                              Hughes (to Steve Heap): Steve,
Peter Cohen: I’m no SIP wiz. Having                                                           Heap: Malcolm, that is a bit of a stretch
used Skype, I can report that it worked       1. I am not interested in voice commu-          - a customer has a contract with their
like a charm across good networks. I          nications to/from ONLY PSTN-provided            telephone company - either a traditional
didn’t know anyone connected in any           voice telephones in the world. I AM in-         wire company or a VoIP service provider
other way. Given that a certain percent-      terested in anything that provides voice        - that describes the service being offered.
age of the population on the Internet         communications to anyone on the face of         The service being offered is an ability to
is well connected (I’ve no clue what          the globe. Which, with wireless, linked         make and receive telephone calls.
amount), I could certainly see offices        into satellite, or terrestrial fiber, whether
switching to Skype type numbers and           or not provided by telcos, and the In-          Your argument is a bit like saying that
services immediately to solve their office    ternet, bypassing totally all telephone         I have a cable TV to my home but the
needs and cut voice costs. What comes         companies. Skype seems to offer that            cable TV provider doesn’t have to pro-
to mind is a country like the Netherlands     possibility.                                    vide me with any channels - they simply
that has high density of 10 million people                                                    are leasing a bit of wire to me.
and fiber all over the place. Offices and     2. Integrating Skype into the PSTN hard-
IP reaches ubiquity there and they could      ly seems a big problem to me. In fact,          Matson: Steve ... You are absolutely
easily switch to Skype, gradually moving      it is the telephone numbering and code          right my argument is just like that!! I
                                                               25
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
know plenty of homes which have cable          the 1934 Telecommunications Act and           that cover US/Europe and some with
installed (at the homeowners expense)          its 1996 follow on, which declare voice       Asian countries is making the cost issue
and it lies idle because it can ONLY be        telephony is required as a ”universal ser-    a little less of a major problem. Quality
used to get stuff from the cable company       vice’ and in spite of the Universal Service   is probably a bit of a wash between the
and on their terms. Imagine if we had let      Fund which you pay into to ”subsidize”        two systems.
General Motors build the roads!                the phone company’s extension into rural
                                               areas - a regulatory requirement in return    Interconnecting Skype to the PSTN is
Sure when you say “...a customer has a         for their guarantee of rate of return on      actually a bigger issue than it may seem
contract with their telephone company          their investment - the cold hard fact is      - introducing a new international country
- either a traditional wire company or a       that ALL the RBOCs have found ways to         code and getting every PTT in the world
VoIP service provider” ...but he had no        avoid, limit, drag their feet in extending    to program that country code into their
choice. We HAD to suffer that exclusive        even voice telephone service across this      switches and work out a way to get those
relationship with the phone company            country.                                      calls to Skype is not a trivial problem,
if we wanted to communicate beyond                                                           and if you do that for Skype, then why
shouting distance.                             Because I have worked with rural folk         not Free World dial-up and anyone else
                                               from the scattered towns of huge Mon-         who wants a private network connected?
We have now discovered that in a digital       tana (114 one-room school houses) to the      Skype could organize a big bank of US
world, making “phone calls” is NOT a           poorest Hispanic counties of southern         numbers and then have a second stage
service at all and relies on nothing more      Colorado, I am fully aware of the US          of dialing for the actual Skype customer,
than the two parties having access to          West saying “Sure we will extend voice        but that is pretty expensive and who pays
the necessary hardware components!!            service to you - the up front cost for ex-    for that?
All the content is mine (and always has        tending the line to your premises will be
been) and today all I need is a piece of       $10,000 thanks...” Not data, just circuit     So - apart from being really neat tech-
free software to enable me to speak with       switched and crappy voice.                    nology that will have a big following
whomever I want without let or hin-                                                          within closed groups of people - how
drance or more to the point - additional       I wouldn’t mind if the largest telephone      does it fit into the big picture of global
cost! The phone company grew up with           companies were, in fact, private busi-        connectivity?
a technology that dictated their presence      nesses competing in the marketplace.
as being essential (to allocate the scarce     But in the US they are not, and never         Coluccio: Steve, you may have touched
resource of network infrastructure) and        have been. At least in some countries,        on something more profound in one of
being a state-maintained monopoly,             including Nepal, they don’t hide the fact     your statements than you intended to, by
charged the earth for doing so. At the         - the phone company IS government - a         prefacing with:
moment, this new peer-to-peer com-             PTT. And which objects to VoIP in all its
munication (with NO phone company              forms, for it cuts into their money stream    “... although if Internet is present you
present) may only be possible with my          destined for government coffers. And          can usually be assured that there is some
neighbors across my little Wi-Fi network       that government uses its police powers to     telephony somewhere ..”
- but the model is scaleable to the world      prevent the competition. The only reason
and as more and more user-controlled in-       the Sherpas of Nepal can use VoIP is be-      Whereas, it wasn’t very long ago when
frastructure (OPLANs) gets built, more         cause the lowland Nepalese government         that statement would have found itself
and more people will wake up to the            gumshoes aren’t conditioned enough to         standing on its own head, as in:
fact that the notion of a middle-man           climb the Himalayas and chase wire-
“operator” or “voice service provider” as      lessly connected computers any more           “... although telephony is present you
we know it, is utterly obsolete .. an inter-   than they can catch the Maoists.              can usually be assured that there is some
mediary necessary in one technology but                                                      Internet somewhere.”
made extinct by the next.                      We ”pretend” Verizon is a private com-
                                               pany, when in fact it is subsidized mo-       Hughes (to Heap): I think the number
So I maintain as a “useful truth” the fact     nopoly, where the iron fist of govern-        of people - in the billions - who cannot
that in the analogue world of telephony,       ment is inside the velvet ”marketplace”       be reached by affordable voice phone, is
the ONLY person you can communicate            contractual glove.                            larger than you think. I deal with them,
with is the phone company. And the                                                           and care little for those in the urban
phone company’s only way of knowing            Heap: All you can’t do is to reach some       areas of the world - for they have scads
that we have found a way of communi-           very remote places - although if Internet     of choices.
cating directly with each other, bypass-       is present you can usually be assured that
ing them, will be the diminishing number       there is some telephony somewhere. So         Twenty-five per-cent of the US popula-
of $$s on their P&L.                           the issue perhaps isn’t connectivity, it is   tion lives on 97% of the land area. The
                                               cost or quality? Costs are definitely on      other 75% lives on only 3%. It took
Hughes: I don’t think it’s a ”stretch” by      the way down - VoIP is seeing to that.        scores of years before the most basic
Malcolm, for another reason. In spite of       And the prevalence of “unlimited” plans       AND expensive AND subsidized (by
                                                                  26
                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
your phone bill, the Universal Service       moving all their (internal) voice to Skype     forming options that grow faster than the
Charge) service arrived in all the small     or some other system are asking us             user base grows).
towns. You don’t have to apologize for       today:
the telcos. They were fine in their day.                                                    Well, Skype is doing what Microsoft and
Lets honor them as we lower them into        What about its security? (And you may          Intel did in the early days of personal
their graves - via free wireless, and a      read security here in all possible ways,       computers. It has created a platform that
Skype sermon. <grin>                         probably mostly as ”privacy’”).                is *very* attractive to third-party devel-
                                                                                            opers, because of its size and ubiquity.
Hughes: David, I am not sure what            The parallel to Unix vs. Windows has           It has invested in market share, and it is
the implications are of Skype, with its      been drawn - now we know that security         now opening interfaces and architectures
proprietary protocol, ”opening up its        at least has become an issue in the next       that allow for others to help build value
APIs’“to 3rd party developers, as distinct   round of that fight - not that it s exactly    around Skype, while maintaining control
from the open source code of SIP. Who        been decisive, but ... how far can that        of a core, and acting benevolently to
owns what with Skype? And just how           parallel be drawn?                             those who choose to enhance the Skype
open will be the API access. Will Skype                                                     platform.
have “control” (royalties or restrictions)   I guess my question is two-fold:
of any devices or applications using its                                                    This is not at all like true “open source”
code?                                        1. about the actual security status of         behavior. But it is *very* attractive to
                                             Skype (Yes, it looks interesting if you        both customers and partners.
Is Skype a Proprietary                       capture it ...);
                                                                                            Remember, in the early days, it was
System Creating a                            and                                            Apple who made the mistake of not
Wintel-like Platform?                                                                       supporting its developers. They screwed
                                             2. about the value of that issue in the        their own partners, by competing with
Reed: Skype is a completely proprietary      global marketplace.                            them, or making sudden changes that
system. I have studied the behavior of                                                      disrupted its partners. They deliberately
Skype as I use it, so I think I know more    What are people’s predictions?                 harmed both peripheral developers and
or less how it works in gross detail. Per-                                                  software developers who got too close to
haps I can even find out more. But they      Reed: They just recently defined and           Apple’s customers.
don’t follow any published standards         published some APIs by which third par-
above the TCP/IP layer. Their protocol       ties can use their protocols. These APIs       On the other hand, the Unix companies
for “just working” when behind a NAT         let you do some rather nice things, and        (Sun, DEC, HP, IBM, ...) deliberately
box or firewall is elegant and simple,       build things that go well beyond telepho-      developed incompatible “features” that
but it isn’t based on standards-based        ny. They are a lot easier to use than de-      made it impossible as a third party hard-
NAT traversal (such as STUN or UPnP).        veloping a whole SIP client, even if you       ware or software developer to be a Unix
They don’t support SIP interoperabil-        have the open source code. Library APIs        vendor. One had to choose which com-
ity, though there should be no problem       are much more productive than source           pany one supported. They acted as if
interconnecting to SIP if they feel they     code, even though not transparent. And         Microsoft was insignificant, and as if the
need to at a gateway. They use non-          remember, if you build on the APIs, you        other Unix suppliers were total enemies.
standard presence protocols. And they        get a huge and growing installed base,         I.e. they destroyed their own advantage
exploit end-user machines, even when         for free. The base will support those          of maturity and compatibility among
you aren’t making phone calls. How do        APIs. This is pretty nice for someone          themselves in the areas where compat-
you know if they are doing bad things        who likes to build stuff for a market.         ibility and capability were advantages
to your machine behind your back? Just                                                      they “owned.”
look at the active connections on your       Skype can control what it chooses to
machine using netstat or whatever your       control. Of course they own their code         As a result, Microsoft/Intel was the truly
OS provides. What are those connec-          - that’s how copyright works. They can         open, binary compatible platform, and
tions to Japan or India doing? Are there     license it on ANY terms they choose, and       until about 1988-89, they focused on
security risks? You don’t know. Do you       charge what the market will bear. They         building shared value with their 3rd party
care? Maybe not. I tend to trust them, but   choose to let users use the binary for free,   hardware and software partners. IBM
all of their programmers are in Estonia,     and sell Skype-Out accounts. Will they         was the first casualty, followed by Lotus,
so what do you really know about what        sell the later versions, or merely charge      Wordperfect, Novell,...
the code you downloaded does? They           companies for the right to interconnect?
encrypt all the traffic, but what kind of    They can do what they want, and will           Skype can (and probably will) play this
key management is involved?                  probably choose to grow their user base        game. They need not be truly open - they
                                             to create value (by Metcalfe’s Law and         are open enough, and compatible enough.
Buettrich: Exactly. This is the kind of      Reed’s Law valuations arising from the         And from the user’s point of view, they
question that organizations considering      value of connectivity options and group-       are easy to use (remember the Unix guys
                                                              27
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
who used to say that the Unix shell script   in practice it was useless, because the        point is a “service” from a service pro-
language was what users really needed?       licensing model for all of those software      vider better than doing it yourself - $15
In a world of the blind, even one-eyed       packages were tied to the idea of a com-       per month, $5 per month?
men seem visionary... it wasn’t hard to      puter that cost 100 times as much and
see that the Unix guys were clueless).       was a corporate asset, not a personal or       Matson: David - Thanks for that very
                                             managerial asset. (Not to mention that         insightful piece ... it put into place lots
And meanwhile, the SIP guys are playing      all of those programs were hardly inter-       of my own disjointed thoughts ... I am
the game played by the Unix players. You     active.)                                       so impressed with the “user experience”
could never convince Sun or DEC or HP                                                       of Skype compared with any of the three
that they were in a losing game by miss-     So why take on the burden of being just        SIP (virtual phone) services I have tried.
ing the value of what Ray Noorda called      a cheaper phone? Cell phones are captur-       However, it offended my natural predi-
“coopetition” (competition by making         ing that niche more and more, as young         lection for “openness”.
sure that you give enough away to part-      people realize they don’t really need a
ners to build the larger coalition). But     home phone, and even as they become            Dave Hughes and I had a near fault-
they were losing, and they have lost.        families they realize that their identity is   less 30 min Skype natter yesterday be-
                                             their cell phone, not the “home phone”         tween Colorado and London and we both
Now if the SIP guys realized that tim-       they don’t have.                               agreed there was little to fault. But we
ing is everything, and banded together                                                      both remarked on a slight background
to capture users with ease-of-use and        If you think about it, you can interop         “swishing” noise. I have since ascer-
adoption, rather than trying to screw the    with cell phones more flexibly, because        tained that this was due entirely to the
other SIP guys in the theory that SIP is     cell phones can call numbers that start        sound of the cash hitting the flood-gates
the only game, perhaps they still have       with “*” or “#,” and if they do, they don’t    as it was diverted away from the telcos-
a chance. This is what the Linux open        have to pay access charges or use inter-       coffers back into Dave and my own bank
source guys have figured out, as they try    connect or pay all those pesky universal       accounts. We can live with that!
to re-take share back from Microsoft. If     service obligations.
they don’t all hang together they will all                                                  So I guess it all hangs on the integrity,
hang separately.                             Anyway, that’s enough of my free strat-        goals and degree of greed of Niklas Ze-
                                             egy consulting services for the day.           nnström?
I am a total fan of open source, open
standards. In a fair and clear-thinking      The problem with phone companies is            Editor’s Note: This URL posted by
world, open source telephony should          that they think that telephones are essen-     Matson, is an interview with Zennström
dominate because it maximizes interop-       tial to people, when actually they really      on the history and current state of Skype
erability. But I have huge respect for       like to connect to other people in lots of     as of early November 2004 http://www.
smart business strategy, too. And Skype      ways, and the wireline phone is merely         engadget.com/entry/2635319328796286/
is playing its cards right, and the logi-    the way that *used* to be the most con-
cal “open source” world (around SIP) of      venient. For kids up to 25 or 30, IM and       COOK Report: I have added Richard
telephony is being sucked into playing       email now supplant almost all uses of          Shockey of Neustar to the list. Richard
its cards all wrong. Disastrously. This      phones, and they have never known a            was co-chair of ENUM and is very SIP,
won’t kill Cisco, because they will get      world without voice messaging (answer-         Skype, VoIP knowledgeable. I had a
the large share of a small SIP market, and   ing machines and voice mail exist on           voice conversation with Richard where I
be happy. But Skype might be the Micro-      every phone they call).                        learned a couple of important things.
soft/Intel of VoIP. Join them or compete
with them by changing the game. As a         There will still be phones 25 years from       The reason that Skype sound is so great
business decision, which would you do?       now, but then again, there are still West-     is that Zennstrom paid for a license to
I’d figure out how to buy Skype, myself.     ern Union offices. Received a telegram         the ILDC codec. This is a Swedish
You may never be able to buy it for less     or Telex lately?                               codec (Zennstrom is Swedish) known
than you can buy it now.                                                                    also as Global IP Sound (GIPS). It alleg-
                                             Heap to Reed: Don’t get me wrong - I           edly cost a bundle of money. And all the
Reed to Heap: I know some people at          have used Skype and like the quality.          other dorky VoIP services said nah. We
Skype, and at the moment they have no        We used to use it to chat with friends in      are going to use free codecs. This is a
plan to allow Skype users to have phone      the UK, but once I moved to Lingo (and         commodity business after all. According
numbers that can be reached from legacy      dropped my Verizon service) we find that       to Richard, the ILDC codec can suffer
phones.                                      it is so much easier picking up a wire-        25% packet loss and still sound like FM
                                             less phone in the house and calling them       radio.
To me, that’s a plausible strategy. Re-      under the “unlimited usage” plan than
member IBM’s XT/370, which was an            setting up a Skype connection. Maybe           Richard mentioned a "simple SIP" as
OS/370-compatible PC? It really did run      I am looking at this too much from a           having profiles - first a basic functional-
VM/370, and VM binaries! However,            US perspective, but at what commercial         ity profile, then several more advanced
                                                                28
                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
profiles, products could be compatible       one of the best European Blogs on VoIP        works.” Ignored open standards!
or interoperable according to profiles.      http://eurotelcoblog.blogspot.com
SIP apparently is now embedded in a                                                        Why didn’t SIP do these things? Al-
jillion IP PBXs in the enterprise and all    By the way, my own Blog is http://VoI-        most all were already in specs, except
over in carriers. But not surprisingly       Pandenum.blogspot.com                         P2P. People were slow to deploy, and
there are issues of control all over the                                                   may never deploy. Skype claims 600,000
place. SIP session border controllers in     COOK Report: Here from Richard Stast-         online. How many people can you call
telco networks driving SIP folk crazy for    ny is the just mentioned and very good        directly with SIP? 5000 on FWD, some
example.                                     PowerPoint deck from Brad Templeton.          companies. 150K on Vonage, Packet8
                                                                                           almost. [Editor: these figures are six-
I will send two more posts on all this.      Will SIP Win? Brad Templeton, Chair-          months old and already quite dated.]
                                             man of the Board Electronic Frontier
Some SIP Issues                              Foundation http://www.templetons.             Henning Schulzrinne: Please see
                                             com/brad/                                     http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~hgs/pa-
Richard Stastny: Hi Gordon, good                                                           pers/2004/NGN.ppt for some thoughts
morning. Herny Sinnreich, Jon Peterson,      Why the PSTN over IP (PoIP?) Toll             on related topics.
Richard Shockey and I already had a dis-     bypass was never the answer. PoIP pleas-
cussion at the last IETF in Washington,      es grandpa, but is grandpa looking for        Interoperability is always easier if you
DC about these issues and agreed that        a cheaper version of his phone service        only have to interoperate with yourself
some action has to be taken immediately      with quality problems? Or is it just a        and only have a single provider, as
to create something like "simple SIP".       temporary plan for Vonage and the rest?       Skype does, rather than interoperate with
Basically the current SIP standards are      Emulating Class 5 “IN” services not           dozens of other companies (You typi-
way too complicated for the normal user,     enough                                        cally find 60+ companies at SIPit) and
They also they suffer from Dilbert’s                                                       work with dozens of service providers.
ISDN syndrome.                               Think beyond the phone call Teens using
                                             phone call, even E-mail less and less.        That said, there is no excuse for how
Another mayor drawback is the NAT            Busy signals, voice mail? “I’m going          long it is taking the IETF community
problem, and finally the mentioned           to transfer you, give me your number in       to come to some agreement on a simple
“walled garden” approach used by most        case I lose you.” - Arno Penzias. Pres-       configuration mechanism (the “Petri
carriers (fixed, mobile, cable and even      ence should stop a call from happening        drafts”) that makes devices and software
Vonage-type providers) implementing          before it can fail                            work out of the box. It is not hard, tech-
SIP. As Henry always says, if you do not                                                   nically, to build a system where you only
get a (public) URI, you do not have true     What matters is the user interface, not       have to know your email address to get a
VoIP. And I have to add: if you do not get   the infrastructure. Billions spent on         working SIP connection. Unfortunately,
a URI, you cannot use ENUM in e164.          infrastructure, billions lost. Users don’t    most systems (that are not pre-packaged
arpa. The success of ENUM is linked,         care how voice gets from A to B Users         for one provider) require the user to deal
one on one with open, public, standards-     care about the experience. Users hate         with outbound proxies, several differ-
based VoIP solutions. You cannot use         the telephone. It’s a leash. It interrupts    ent passwords, NAT configurations and
Skype in ENUM. Since Austria is going        you. They don’t know how to use fancy         other low-level details.
commercial with ENUM on December             features. They don’t want to be more
9, 2004, this is an issue for us.            reachable                                     Doing peer-to-peer in SIP isn’t all that
                                                                                           hard: see http://www.cs.columbia.edu/
I agree with most statements made below      PoIP is vulnerable to spam. A program         ~library/TR-repository/reports/reports-
and I may comment later on specific          can ring a million SIP phones. No way         2004/cucs-044-04.pdf
items. I finally want to add a presenta-     to screen based on content. Will we give
tion given by Brad Templeton from the        up the open phone network? Will we            There’s apparently another project (SOS-
EFF given at the Fall VON in the IAX2        have to screen all our calls. Not if voice    IMPLE) that has been pursuing similar
breakout session about SIP and Skype         is part of other applications that don’t      ideas.
and summarizing the rant below quite         even understand the concept of the robot
nicely.                                      caller. The robot caller is part of the old   Also, life is a lot easier if you can simply
                                             metaphor.                                     do things that would get you thrown you
May I add another entry and name to the                                                    out of the room at the IETF - for good
list: http://broadbanddaily.gigaom.com/      Can Skype kill SIP? A PC application          reasons. Skype does:
archives/2004/12/03/Skype-fasttrack-to-      from the get-go. Did all the major things
where/                                       right. Easy install. NAT penetration. High     - rely on a single, global authorization
                                             bandwidth codecs. Encryption, Confer-         service
This entry is from James Enck, featuring     encing, P2P, scalable architecture. “Just


                                                              29
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
 - transmits media and signaling on a          a video call so I can look at the back of        - They both do IM and presence related
single connection under some conditions        some IP phone he has and tell him if the        things.
                                               poorly labeled Ethernet jack on the right
 - puts audio on port 80 (HTTP) if all         or left is the one that goes to the network      - They both do audio and xten does
else fails, thus bypassing local security      side.                                           video but I cannot imagine any reason
policies                                                                                       that I will not end up with video in both
                                               I may want to use very different devices        of them in a fairly short time.
See      http://www.cs.columbia.edu/           for these communications - but I want
~library/TR-repository/reports/reports-        one system. And I want one address              When I ask others, I often get told some
2004/cucs-039-04.pdf for an early at-          where I can reach Dave and get to the           of the things above - I also get told about
tempt at a Skype protocol analysis. [Edi-      device he wants to use. I want to know          one is a P2P system and other is not - I’ll
tor: an important paper that is really         what types off communication he is will-        save this for a different thread but I’ll
worth reading.]                                ing to receive at this point of time. I don’t   give you a hint that I believe that both of
                                               know if he is sleeping in Nepal or wide         them are P2P systems - in all meanings
As identified in the VON slides Richard        awake in Colorado. Should I ring his            of the term P2P. So, I’m left with what is
sent around, not being encumbered with         cell phone and wake him up? Or should           the difference - one of the differences is
replacing PSTN features helps. As does         I check his presence, IM him, then esca-        that one of them has a name that rhymes
having a marketing mechanism (Kazaa)           late to a voice or video call. Now Dave         with hype.
and not having been burnt by the first,        might have a bunch of different devices
pre-residential-broadband round of PC-         that get connectivity in a wide variety         So let me go back to the scenario of talk-
to-PC phones and their lack of business        of ways. And when we are talking about          ing to Dave. It was about multiple de-
success.                                       Dave I should probably expand that to           vices that acted like one system. I want to
                                               a *very wide* variety of ways. Dave is          send him a message at one address - and
Platforms: SKYPE and                           going to get those devices from a wide          he wants to have many devices that act
                                               variety of vendors, he is going to get          like one system. Now one easy way to do
SIP - Islands versus                           the connectivity from more sources, and         this would be to have many devices, that
Standards-Based                                then he is going to expect services like        all came from one manufacture, and were
                                               messages storage for IM, voice, video,          all part of one system and I could only
Cullen Jennings (Dec 27): The recent           and conferencing and collaboration tools        talk to people in that one system.
list discussion highlights why sometimes       from another set of providers.
you just need to pick a phone to sort                                                          A long time ago, I used to have an email
something out. I find it interesting that      So, I’m sitting here on my Mac staring at       system that worked this way - I think it
some times, email, particularly lists,         two applications that are basically soft-       was called CompuServe. It was a major
tends to escalate in the most antagonistic     phones. One is called xten and the other        player - which was just proved by the
of ways, phones calls are somewhat less        Skype. What’s the difference between            fact that my spell checker has the word
so, and face-to-face meetings are much         them? Also note I have advanced Beta of         CompuServe in it’s dictionary. Now, this
better. I work with development teams          both of these so the features I am seeing       was no doubt good for CompuServe, but
in many different time zones and have          might be slightly ahead. Let me list some       it was not good for Dave. (I don’t know
to deal with all the pros and cons of          things that I think are critical to both of     but I’d bet a beer that Dave once had
these various communication mediums            their successes:                                a CompuServe account and no longer
- I think a lot about which one is not just                                                    does). Why was it not good - well basi-
convenient for me, but is going to result      - They are free to end-users.                   cally new players could not connect and
in me getting my point across to the other                                                     provide new services - particularly ones
person in a way that I believe will be in       - They work on a wide variety of plat-         that competed with the heart of how
the minimal time.                              forms and computers with a high install         CompuServe made money. Which of
                                               success rate.                                   course leads to the interesting questions
I think that one of the things about SIP, is                                                   of how Skype makes money because
that it helps brings a bunch of disparate      They sound good - the audio quality, par-       this will determine what can and cannot
devices that I might use for communicat-       ticularly with packet loss, is good. This       be done with it by third parties. People
ing into one system. Or at least it might      is not surprising - they both basically use     asked for a standards-based way to do
if we get it right. For example, I might       audio technology from GIPS.                     email.
know that I want to IM Dave Hughes
because I need to send him an exact con-        - They work behind a wide variety of           Now when I send this email, I have no
figuration string that he needs to enter in    NAT and Firewall scenarios. They both           idea how it will goes from Gordon’s
some phone in Nepal and I don’t want it        basically use a NAT detection technology        email server to his email reader. It might
messed up. On the other hand we might          that follows a model called STUN plus           be IMAP, It might be POP. It might be
need a voice call so we can explain some       fallback to TCP tunneling.                      some proprietary protocol from an ex-
complex issue or I might want to have                                                          change server. I don’t know and I don’t
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                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
care. But I do care that my system is          share as a tactic to stop certain sort of       the best customers, and delight them.
going to send his system an email and we       court orders - well rock on, I get it. If       And the crucial caveat - the best custom-
are going to agree on one address to use       it is they are going to make money sell-        ers are not the ones who always buy
and one protocol called SMTP.                  ing PSTN termination, well I note there         anything you sell - those are *your* best
                                               are a lot of people doing this and I’m          customers, not *the* best customers. The
So what will the Skype island use to           unclear what Skype’s sustainable com-           best customers are the ones who will
connect off the island? Or will it? I no-      petitive advantage is. A few years back         teach you what you should be selling.
tice that the PSTN connectivity seems to       Microsoft released a voice.net system
come from translating Skype to SIP and         that allowed MSN messenger to PSTN              The following is how it applies here:
terminating on a SIP gateway. I find the       calls. Most the TSP that provided that
islands game silly. Right now we have a        used Cisco equipment but there is not           SIP’s vendors have defined their cus-
few major islands of IM Presence - AOL,        exactly a horde braking down the gates          tomers to be phone companies.
MSN, Yahoo. But I predict these will           to get more people on this voice.net sys-
move to standards-based interoperabil-         tem. There are a ton of people breaking         Skype has defined its customers to be
ity or slowly slide into oblivion. Think       down the gates to provide VoIP services         people who live a communications-cen-
about the PSTN and the common car-             but they mostly seem to involve many            tered life.
rier concept - can you imagine having a        services and systems that interconnect in
MCI, ATT and SBC phone on your desk            complex ways.                                   It’s impossible to delight a phone com-
and you need to use the right one to call                                                      pany with voice over the Internet. The
someone else because you can only call         Some things I would like to understand:         people who live a communications-cen-
on the same network. People will do this                                                       tered life will teach you what really
if there is no alternative - but there is an   1) What are the differences between             matters. Those people are *not* happy
alternative.                                   Skype and SIP Softphones?                       customers of the phone company.

So let’s drop down a level of things that      2) What is Skype’s business model?              It’s still possible to beat Skype with SIP,
concern me and things that I don’t know                                                        but the current SIP vendors (such as
what Skype does.                               3) Will Skype work with many devices            XTen) have no clue whatsoever! To win,
                                               over many access mediums and get the            you have to delight some customers, not
Security: SIP has potential for encrypted      right device, at the right time, with the       participate in an illusory “market” for
communications between people who              right media?                                    “technology”.
have never spoken before with a deploy-
ment model that does not require any           So where do I stand on all this? Skype          Here’s why Dave Hughes matters. He’s
extra effort or cost on the end-user’s part.   has got my attention - it’s a nice applica-     delighted! I’m sure he’d be even more
We have an Identity scheme that can be         tion of VoIP with a good adoption curve.        delighted with a truly open system. But
deployed and is a major part of dealing        I want to understand why - is it a fad and      he can’t get an open system, with full
with SPAM. Ask me some other time if           hype, or are there some key differentia-        interoperability, today. And he can’t be-
I think that stored IM could someday           tors here that really make it different? As     cause the SIP people think the game is
replace email. Skype has security but          people who know me will note I often            about making the incumbent phone com-
won’t tell me how it works so I can’t          do, I’m going to show up and watch              panies happy. So openness (as defined by
really comment on it other than the com-       Skype and SIP, pay attention, tell the          market-enhancing and market-delighting
ment I just made which is about the most       truth, and not be married to the results.       interoperability and ease of use in many
damning statement I could make about           This is some pretty unstructured ram-           conditions) plays second to controlling
any security system.                           bling to send to a group of people like         the users.
                                               this list. Part of why I joined this group
Multi-device, multimedia support. If I         was to help listen to what others are say-      That’s what happens when you have
have several Skype devices all with dif-       ing and refine my views on Skype.               MBAs run your company instead of true
ferent capabilities and some on and some                                                       entrepreneurs.
off, what happens when Dave calls me.          Reed: I have spent my career arguing for
Does one device ring, all of them, just        open systems like SIP was supposed to           Open standards need both entrepreneurs
the right ones? What happens if I answer       be, not open systems like “Unix” turned         and innovative technology. I’m not sure
two of them? Some of the key capabili-         out to be.                                      which is more important. Microsoft got
ties of SIP are wrapped up in this area.                                                       where it is by entrepreneurship, and a
                                               I was going to write a long comment, but        slight bit of open APIs (partly contrib-
What is Skype’s business model? Not            instead let me use a comment that I think       uted by IBM’s PC architecture choice).
surprisingly, they don’t seem real keen        is due to Peter Drucker (at least it reflects
to tell me about this. If the business         his way of thinking).                           X.500 was “open” but controlled by
model is to have traffic on their network                                                      phone companies (well the OSI, which is
that provably has nothing to do with file      The way to succeed in business is to pick       a consortium of phone-thinking people).

                                                                31
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
Internet mail headers were “open” and        problems that are much harder to solve         Reed: Sinister is your word not mine.
entrepreneur-led.                            if there are multiple service providers. I
                                             readily admit that the IETF community          I don’t think it is sinister. It’s just sad
It all starts with the endpoints, and de-    has not nearly paid enough attention to        to waste time pursuing those custom-
lighted users trump slow-moving phone        configuration and diagnostics issues.          ers. I can tell you that many of the SIP
companies.                                                                                  vendors are spending lots of time with
                                             - You can do things that would get you in      those customers. And they build their
When Pulver started FWD, I thought           trouble with corporate security folks or       business plans based on numbers from
there was a chance for SIP. But when the     any network engineering group, such as         those customers.
SIP vendors didn’t embrace it enthusias-     running voice and call control over port
tically, that revealed FAR MORE about        80 (HTTP) to evade firewall restrictions       One piece of evidence is the battle over
how the vendors think.                       or running both call control and voice on      ENUM, as if it matters.
                                             a single transport association.
I remember sitting in a room in the early                                                   Another piece of evidence is the lack of
1980’s with very senior IBM executives       - You don’t have to worry about interop-       urgency in finding a way to tunnel SIP
explaining to me patiently how “real per-    erability as you control all the software.     over NATs. (I’ve watched the STUN
sonal computing” was what you did on a                                                      process and I can tell you it’s been a
VM/370 machine with a 3278 terminal,         - You can do security by obscurity.            travesty - why does Skype work over
and that once we ported 1-2-3 to run                                                        NATs today? Why does STUN screw
on VM over 3270 terminals, we would          The success of non-open applications in        up?). Of course you could blame it on
see enormous revenue growth. They            general, probably has little to do with        stupid engineers compared to those at
believed this so much that they were         technical superiority, but it does point       Skype. But I think the bias has been that
willing to, and did, fund the complete       out the real costs of open systems in          no one feels that working over NATs is
development of 1-2-3 for Mainframes.         terms of testing, brittleness in the field,    important to SIP’s success *in the near
I cannot tell you what the sales of that     customer configuration and the like. The       term.* Where’s the urgency? This stan-
product were. But I never met an actual      Web had it a bit easier, with essentially      dards committee views itself as having
customer - much less a delighted one.        one or two dominant pieces of software,        years, because they can’t imagine any
We at Lotus made a reasonable return on      on both the browser side (Netscape and         users other than phone companies, and
our development $. But it would be hard      IE) and the server side (Apache and IIS),      they know the phone companies feel no
today for me to argue that it wasn’t a       but even there, the experience has often       urgency.
complete strategic waste of time for both    been frustrating.
companies.                                                                                  Jennings: Hmm, Cisco has been ship-
                                             Continued dominance of proprietary ap-         ping SIP VoIP stuff that works over
If SIP is a good technology, then I would    plications, as shown by IE (ActiveX),          NATs for several years now. AT&T,
ask why Skype found it necessary to use      also often has little to do with technical     Vonage, and others have a fair number
something else? And if I were a SIP ven-     superiority but rather, with bundling ad-      of customers with Cisco/Linksys VoIP
dor, I’d be going hell-bent-for-leather to   vantages. Skype and Microsoft certainly        devices behind NATs. SBC companies
sell my solutions to Skype. And if I were    enjoyed that advantage. Neither FWD            such as Jasomi make it easy to use stuff
a SIP standards person, I would get off      nor iptel.org nor all the other providers of   not designed to work behind a NAT work
my fat a**, stop enjoying the free travel    similar PC-to-PC services had anywhere         behind a NAT and they do not deploy
that seems to be the perk of going to all    near the name recognition and the ability      any equipment on the customer premise
those IETF meetings, and start figuring      to cross-market. (I also suspect that VCs,     but only a central relay server in the
out why my standard sucks.                   having “learned” the lesson of earlier         network. Is there a lack of urgency or is
                                             PC-to-PC VoIP failures, ignored the fact       it a solved problem? I’d actually say that
SIP Must Interoperate                        that the deployment of broadband made          there is a fair amount of urgency and it is
                                             this much more viable than attempting to       a partially solved problem.
While Skype Need not                         do voice-over-modem.)
Do So                                                                                       Reed: I’ve used ATA-186’s. When they
                                             I’d be curious what you would cite as          work out of the box, they’re fine. But
Schulzrinne: Not being an open stan-         evidence in SIP of the sinister influence      when they don’t “just work” (which is
dard has a few advantages:                   of PSTN types. Yes, there are things           much of the time), the user either returns
                                             like “early media” that are influenced         them to Vonage, or spends Vonage’s cus-
- You can limit yourself to working          by the need to interoperate with legacy        tomer support time beyond any reason-
with only one Internet-to-PSTN “carrier”     systems, but they are very much at the         able profit for the next 5 years.
(Skype) and one, global authentication       margins and don’t really shape the over-
server; many of the problems experi-         all system.                                    My point is that the service needs to “just
enced by SIP users are configuration                                                        work.” I commend the Cisco product


                                                                 32
                                         The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
designer to look at this UI for setting up       a nice to have. Remember call-waiting           for POTS bits. Of course the firewall
and diagnosing your typical SIP interface        required ISDN... until it didn’t).              guys basically are sticking a major bar-
hardware: [Editor: David Reed includes                                                           rier into the pipes, and you can’t do any-
a screenshot of a complex, cluttered and         *HP Labs employs people like me (for-           thing about a constriction in the pipe that
arcane looking table.]                           mer CTO’s who still spend 50% of their          makes it so the load exceeds the capacity.
                                                 time writing code and operating spec-           That’s why I describe the people who
Jennings: Completely agreement that              trum analyzers rather than turning into         build firewalls as people who believe
we need to get to where things just work         pundits, which is much more lucrative           you can improve highways by standing
out of the box with no messing around            but less fun) to remind them that tech-         police in the middle of the highway to
with configuration. The ATA was pretty           nology reality is not discoverable at In-       direct traffic.
much our first generation attempt device         dustry schmoozefests full of powerpoint,
and is around 4 years old now. I was             market strategists, and “glad to be here”       Jennings: I think a better path is to take a
referring more to the Linksys stuff that         commentators. Needless to say, I do not         balanced approach of fixing the network
came out almost a year ago now - like the        speak *for* HP in any way here, though          such that real time P2P applications can
Linksys PAP5. TSP can order this pre-            I sometimes speak *in* HP in exactly            work well on it while at the same time
configured to their servers and I believe        this way.                                       being realistic about the deployment of
the just-work-out-the-box success rate                                                           IPv6 and NATs. Some guy called D.P.
has been very high. No doubt additional          What to Do About NATs                           Reed has this great paper about the “End
improvements are possible.                                                                       to End” principle that I strongly believe
                                                 and Protocol Problems?                          in :-) To do this, I have been working
Reed: Cullen, thanks for the info - I’ll                                                         with the NAT and Firewall vendors. For
look at the PAP5, but I suspect it’s very        Earlier Jennings: Lots of people have           all intensive purposes there are 3 vendors
likely that it won’t work out of the box         played with tunneling audio and video           of home NATs and threee vendors of
(for any TSP) at my MIT or HP offices,           over TCP. At first they are thrilled that       non-home NATs so it’s not that hard to
to pick two very different but highly            it worked though a firewall that blocked        reach them all. The goal is to make end-
structured environments with very dif-           UDP. But somewhat later, they start             to end-possible but still allow adminis-
ferent firewall policies. Whether it would       complaining about voice quality prob-           trators of firewalls to impose the policy
work at a Hotel or my home behind a              lem - The complaint sounds like” ”It’s          they wish. If they want to stop a certain
Netgear RP614 NAT box, that’s more               fine most of the time but sometimes it          type of traffic, they always can do it so
likely, but still not a lock. If it just works   just drops out for a few seconds.” The          the goal is to make it easy for them to do
in all places, that’s very cool - which          issue is TCP slow start can cause a 50          and make it so that they don’t acciden-
VoIP provider ships it?                          packet per second stream to back up             tally kill other things in the process.
                                                 significantly when two packets are lost.
Skype, of course, works without my               Then people move to a stage of thinking:        Reed: Most of the network works fine
needing to think or intervene in all the         “Ah, let’s replace the TCP stack so that        already, on a performance basis. It’s
above, including over my HP laptop               the stack ACKs stuff if never received.”        not clear we need to add stuff to create
when it is connected to the HP VPN,              Ignoring what this bad idea would do to         QoS. Perhaps we should delete some
which bars split tunneling, so Skype is          the Internet in the large, my experience        stuff (like firewalls). I run real-time col-
going through the VPN.                           in trying to deploy software to replace         laborative p2p applications (Croquet)
                                                 the windows TCP stack is that it would          between my home in Boston and Cary,
And this comment only refers to the tun-         not be fun. It’s very difficult to diagnose,    NC; Magdeburg, Germany (former east
neling/STUN aspect.                              replicate, or fix, the voice quality issues     germany); and Palo Alto. Often I use
                                                 that happen over TCP tunnels.                   hotel networks, too. The latency and jit-
A number of the SIP vendors seem to                                                              ter is quite acceptable.
be waiting for, and expecting to require,        Reed: I think you are confused if you
QoS solutions in the network before              think this is the problem with sending          But getting the firewall and NAT vendors
entering the market and learning what re-        voice through firewalls when the capaci-        to realize that the *illusion* of safety and
ally delights customers. Perhaps they be-        ty of the firewall is sufficient for voice in   control they produce for their customers
lieve that QoS is required to get accept-        the first place. In such a case, you merely     is killing the value, and creating none in
able performance. (After all, if you don’t       need to keep the flow of bits going at a        return.
actually use the network, but instead            moderate rate, and slow start never kicks
spend your time on airplanes and in ex-          in. But that’s being a pragmatic engineer,      Spend half the energy and investment
ecutive suites like many of the decision         and looking at the problem as a simple          on deploying security at the endpoints,
makers in major networking companies,            one, rather than trying to optimize an          and enabling rapid fault and intrusion
including my own part-time employer              objective function (a few wasted bits)          isolation at the network layer, rather than
HP*, you might believe your own gas              that means nothing in practice in a world       trying to prevent faults and attacks.
that QoS is needed, as opposed to being          of fiber, coax, and capacity that is much
                                                 cheaper than Verizon attempts to extort

                                                                  33
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
The Value of                                 cess over my Verizon EVDO connection,                            stickiness to existing AOL users to stay
                                             allowing me essentially unlimited call-                          with AOL because they could switch to
Interconnected                               ing for a flat rate, that is also mobile.                        jabber and bridge to their previous AOL
Networks                                     I use SkypeOut to call the PSTN for                              buddies. A model like this has no revenue
                                             rates cheaper than my average anytime                            in it for AOL and lets AOL loose all their
COOK Report: Here is what I have heard       cellphone minutes, and obviously other                           customers - phone any of the public IM
so far from Skype.                           people on Skype work just fine.                                  vendors and say you want to deploy a
                                                                                                              bridge that lets any user talk to any user
Kelley Larabee: Hello, Gordon --             SkypeOut rates to India for example, are                         and see how they react.
                                             0.15EUR/min, which is more expensive
Thanks for contacting us.                    than the rates from Gorillamobile at                             Reed: Not that it matters, but both Hal
                                             0.14USD/min.                                                     Varian and I have pointed out that the
Skype already interoperates with PSTN,                                                                        economic option value created by inter-
and we have announced that we’ll offer       The Skype codecs and user experience                             connecting separate networks far out-
SkypeIN as a premium services in 2005,       are very good for a person who just                              weighs the value retained by balkanizing
so that Skype users can be contacted         wants stuff to work. Hell, Skype even                            communications against the user’s inter-
from the PSTN network.                       manages to work decently over a GPRS                             ests. The only case where this doesn’t
                                             connection via Bluetooth to my GSM                               work that way is if one of the parties
We expect that as Internet Telephony         phone, and GPRS latency is about three                           believes they can capture a monopoly
grows, so will cross platform communi-       to four times that of EVDO.                                      position, and then use that monopoly
cation demand and potential. Our con-                                                                         position’s uniqueness to extract “monop-
siderations for evaluating other systems     Jennings: If anyone is going to be at                            oly premiums”. Once upon a time, AOL
will include:                                CES next week, might want to check out                           might have had a shot at monopoly con-
                                             what Jeff Pulver is up to with his FWD                           struction in the IM space. Now that we
Quality of service (call set up, audio)      stuff and Skype.                                                 have P2P-implemented IM (e.g. Skype,
                                                                                                              among many others) the rationale for an
Privacy (encryption or not)                  h t t p : / / p u l v e r b l o g . p u l v e r. c o m / a r -   IM operator to exist declines rapidly.
                                             chives/001484.html
Ease of use                                                                                                   The same transition from conceiving a
                                             In my conversations with AOL, MSN,                               service as centrally provided to decen-
Cost (server based or P2P)                   Yahoo about services that allow mes-                             tralized, user-constructed, is why email
                                             sages on one system to reach users in                            (and before it telephony) saw no eco-
Enhanced services (IM, presence, video,      another system - they have all been fairly                       nomic benefit to retaining balkanization.
file transfer, etc)                          clear that, other than very special condi-                       Or for that matter, why zero-cost peering
                                             tions, this violates the End User Licens-                        grew. The mutual gains to both sides of
Coluccio: I found Skype’s comments           ing Agreement.                                                   a gateway are greater than the losses due
about their already being interoperable                                                                       to loss of control.
with the PSTN interesting on several lev-    Reed: This ranks up there with suing
els. Some of the VoIP box vendors I’ve       your best customers.                                             There’s a lot more theory and subtlety
spoken with, whose primary businesses                                                                         here, but IMHO, AOL’s knee-jerk policy
are in session border control and gate-      Shockey: Where did you hear this Cul-                            has outlived its usefulness to AOL. If it
waying functions, appear to be almost        len? MS is bridging all three now using                          wants to survive, it should figure out how
entirely oblivious of those powers (some     Microsoft’s LCS 2005                                             to ride the commoditization curve of IM
are entirely), almost straining themselves                                                                    while maximizing its profits, rather than
to recognize the name Skype, itself.         http://www.internetweek.com/allStories/                          sticking to a strategy that will kill its own
Much less see the need to regard them as     showArticle.jhtml?articleID=23901035                             golden goose.
a real threat, or the need to interoperate
with them among the various flavors of       Jennings: Microsoft’s bridge allows a                            Jennings: I would like to build a confer-
H.323 and SIP that prevail, which they       Microsoft endpoint that is paying money                          ence bridge that allows Alice to connect
now support. Then again, I really need to    to Yahoo and AOL talk to a user in AOL                           to it with MSN and Bob to connect to it
get my head out of the trappings of car-     *or* talk to a user in Yahoo. This makes                         with Yahoo. This violates both of their
rier-enterprise quarters more often.         sense. AOL can generate revenue off                              EULA.
                                             this.
Vijay Gill: Skype has SkypeOut, which                                                                         Reed: The idea that a EULA can prevent
works somewhat and unfortunately, isn’t      Microsoft’s bridge does not allow a Yahoo                        all functional substitutes from competing
the cheapest thing around.                   user to send a message to the bridge that                        is silly. If you don’t realize that IM is
                                             gets translated and delivered to an AOL                          a trivial app, and AOL users do have a
I have been using Skype with great suc-      user. If this happened, there would be no                        choice to switch, you deserve to lose.
                                                                         34
                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                                                                           ing. And every SIP install is a nightmare
Jennings: One of the best people to         Shockey: Nothing like the ILBC codec           of “settings” and failures to operate over
explain the complex legalities of this is   that is the best in the business. Now          various firewalls, tunnels, etc.
Jonathan Christensen who was at Mi-         Skype did have to license that code for
crosoft but is now is CTO at Facetime       real money and you can’t get it in other       Admittedly, you could do everything
that specializes in conversion from one     products like XTEN unless you pay for          that Skype does based on SIP. But to do
IM protocol to another.                     the licensed version of the product.           so, you’d have to admit that telephony
                                                                                           as we know it sucks and is worth redo-
Reed: Complex “legalities” are why          http://www.globalipsound.com/                  ing all over again to make it fun and
lawyers shouldn’t pretend to under-                                                        productive. Heck, maybe the generality
stand business. The more complex the        Reed: 3. Conferencing is trivial to do,        of SIP might even be exploited so that
deal, the more likely it’s just “security   and free.                                      you can get a voice bandwidth of 16-
by obscurity,” making the parties to it                                                    16KHz, and a dynamic range of 96 dB,
incredibly vulnerable. The best deals       Shockey: Yes, but Skype had the luxury         rather than the typical 3 kHz/8 bit audio
codify the interests of ALL parties in      of vertically integrating all the various      that is the best one can get from “toll
a joint win. Writing a EULA to screw        elements of a coherent VoIP system with-       quality” sound. I could play my flute for
your customers is VERY bad business,        out having to interoperate with other          my daughter when I’m on the road.
and only works if you have a monopoly       implementations as SIP must.
position.                                                                                  My point is that the *potential* for
                                            Reed: 4. No phone numbers just names,          delight *is* hiding there in SIP. But
Jennings: You - David P. Reed wrote         you start with “presence”, and typically       the folks who do SIP have invested no
“And if I were a SIP standards person, I    use the IM feature to ask politely, with a     time thinking about it, much less time
would get off my fat a**, stop enjoying     topic in mind, if the other person wants to    making it happen. Stop hiring engineers
the free travel that seems to be the perk   talk now or later.                             and people who think writing standards
of going to all those IETF meetings,                                                       is their idea of a great way to spend a
and start figuring out why my standard      Shockey: Ditto but that is a User Inter-       weekend, and start hiring creative types
sucks.”                                     face issue that now everyone is going to       who have strong views of how cool
                                            mimic.                                         things could be. XTen, for example,
What the Technology                                                                        isn’t cool - it’s just a picture of a phone
Must Do in Order to                         Reed: 5. No “call waiting” - you can           on my screen.
                                            blend multiple IMs, voice calls, confer-
Please the User                             ences, ... with a nice User Interface that     Menard: To be fair here, you have to
                                            exploits it.                                   bring in Robert Sparks, CTO of Xten
Jennings: I’m all ears on this - I’m very
                                                                                           into the picture. http://sipthat.com/ar-
interested in what to improve. If stan-     6. You don’t have to hold a telephone in       chives/000143.html
dards don’t matter, then we need to get     your hand when you want to use a mouse
the meetings moved from Minneapolis         and keyboard to do other stuff.                I think that their Eyebeam product with
to somewhere nice and warm :-) You
                                                                                           support for H.264 video and Speex
mention that people really like Skype       Shockey: But you can do that with any          (Editor: a free voice codec used in
and that it delights real users. Can        decent softphone such as XTEN                  Windows)Wideband audio (http://www.
you dig into that a bit and get specific
                                                                                           speex.org/comparison.html) is setting
- What is it about Skype that people        Reed: 7. And of course, it’s free (or          the standard for the implementation of
really like?                                rather, since you are already paying the       such functionality in IP Phones:
                                            cost for Internet access, and Skype uses
Reed: I’l let other users like Dave         such a trivial amount of extra resources       http://www.xten.com/index.php?menu=
Hughes chime in. No particular order,       after that, it’s a rounding error).            products&smenu=eyebeam&ssmenu=e
except #1 is by far the first among
                                                                                           yebeam-sdk
equals.                                     8. Finally (this was a bit late), Skype just
                                            works across OS X and Windows, and a           If I want to call a PSTN number, I like
1. It just works out of the box in min-     few less popular platforms.                    to have a keypad there, but with ENUM
utes, no matter where you are (zero
                                                                                           support, I can easily as well punch in an
configuration setup).                       In contrast, every SIP user experience         email address-SIP URI. I hope that IP
                                            design I have seen (such as XTen) is           phone vendors will agree to standardize
Shockey: Yep. It just works. Even a         modeled after the POTS User Iinterface         on a PS2 connector for hooking up a full
certifiable SIP bigot such as myself uses   that evolved based on the restrictions of a    QWERTY keyboard to the telephone.
it all the time.                            central, legacy switch, with dedicated cir-    I’ve been trying to convince Mediatrix
                                            cuits, 10 key pad, special case conferenc-     to implement Speex WB into their 2102
Reed: 2. The voice quality is excellent.

                                                             35
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
without success to date.                       And I have been using and trying a range       fice user routers without configuration.
                                               of other solutions, over broadband cable,      Only time I had a problem from a 2000
http://www.mediatrix.com/products_de-          DSL, dedicated T-1, wireless, satellite.       laptop was after I ran a multi-media CD
vices.php?prodid=14                            Domestic and foreign. From high quality        on the system and it “reset” the default
                                               Cisco 7960 phones with tweaked codecs,         voice/mic setting in the Windows Sound
Which I am told has a wideband capable         Vonage with AT186, both here in Colora-        utility - so the mike outgoing didn’t work
SLIC and a 12-bit A/D-D/A therefore            do, in hotels with IP room service, and by     after it had worked. Until I reset the card
capable of sampling much wider band-           carrying the SIP AT to Europe and con-         to default.
width than 3.2 kHz at a much better sam-       necting it to a local broadband DSL then
pling rate than 8kHz. What we need are         making calls to PSTN phones in 13 Third        3. Works at the amazing low bandwidth
new wideband analog phones. Curiously          World countries from Senegal to Bhutan,        - where even the lower speed codecs
enough, the cheaper the phone, the more        MSN, Pulvers FWD, on Win2000, XP,              for SIP fail. I have had successful calls
wideband it is.                                variation of FWD ported by a couple of         from Ghana, Africa over a pisspoor PPP
                                               Russians to an HP Ipaq, itself connected       dialup connection at the other end call-
So David’s quest for a better audio qual-      to Wi-Fi (would have exercised Lingo           ing me, across the capital city into a
ity than POTS is echoed by mine and            on a trip to Denmark but their manage-         local ISP service with hardly a high
is quickly going to face the ugly battle       ment sucks - even though their engineers       bandwidth transatlantic connection. And
of inter-carrier interconnection using         are ok).                                       even though, in Thame, Nepal at the end
something better than G.711, which I                                                          of four relay Wi-Fi radio hops 5 miles,
have raised on the record of CRTC              So I have some basis for my comments.          from/to a geo satellite link between
Public Notice 2004-2 and is the subject                                                       Namche and Kathmandu, operated by
of the CRTC CISC NTWG TIF 14 on                1. Far and away the biggest appeal to          marginally tech Sherpas, and a SECOND
VoIP (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/cisc/COM-          Skype is its incredible voice quality.         geo satellite hop from KM to Hawaii and
MITTE/N-docs/NTTF014.doc) which                Commented on by everyone when they             THEN to the continental US into the
was just reborn, but is not drawing con-       first hear it. Under a range of conditions     network where the Namche sat hop is
tributions until the CRTC sets policy          of bandwidth. In fact it is much better        only 64kbps and the total latency is 1,200
directives as a result of PN 2004-2 on         than PSTN phone calls, local or long dis-      ms (about 88,000 miles up/down) - or 7
VoIP.                                          tance. The only time I have heard PSTN         full seconds turnaround Skype STILL
                                               calls as good is in corporate board rooms      worked well enough to catch voice in-
Boy would I like to dump better than           with the highest quality equipment, room       flections and quality. Telling me I can
POTS audio on Bell Canada’s network,           speaker or handsets over excellent cir-        reach ANY spot on the globe, voice.
but I am certain that unless I battle it out   cuits.
in front of the CRTC, Bell will insist on                                                     4. The easy “name handle’” + full name
transcoding this audio to G.711.               In fact at its best - between two PCs con-     in the scan/search is simple and better
                                               nected to cable/DSL level bandwidth, its       than numbers, though because geeks like
Now, to assume that there can be a public      almost eerie. As if you are in the same        to use cute names which are not memo-
Internet that replaces the PSTN using          room talking across a table - without          rable, that’s a downside too.
Skype as a the user interface, doesn’t         background noise. In fact I would say it’s
imply interoperability with the PSTN,          better than a face-to-face conversation        Now whether Skype works better than
which we can toss away; but is still           with its sound distractions!                   SIP ought to work is, as Dave Reed says,
where 80% of the calls will be originat-                                                      it got waylaid by the bell heads trying
ing from and being placed to for a long        And I’m half deaf at 76 years old from         to turn it into the old PSTN model, and
time to come.                                  war battering of my eardrums. I would          thus got so encrusted with features and
                                               use a set of ordinary earphones into the       barnacles of code, or some other reason,
Dave Hughes: Well I have only intermit-        audio port on my computers talking over        such as just one hell of a superior codec
tently been able to follow this thread and     Skype before using my $4000 (each)             in Skype, it sure is giving SIP a run for
haven’t commented, Xmas, kids, grand-          digital, tunable hearing aids.                 its money.
kids, and great-grandkids ya know.
                                               International calls on SKYPE (Japan,           I’ll stop there. But I want to repeat what
But I will answer this question by Cullen      Europe) are just as good quality as PSTN       I said to a large (200) 32 nation confer-
“What is it about Skype that people re-        and better than Vonage.                        ence in Denmark of wireless ISPs or
ally like?” And David Reed suggested I                                                        wanna bees half from very Third World
comment. Ok, I will.                           That’s 75% of it. All the rest are of lesser   countries - even before I had Skype run-
                                               import. And there are some downsides.          ning - that I think the #1 killer AP for
I have been using/evaluating Skype for                                                        the REST of the world can be VoIP over
a while, getting other BUSY people to          2. Yes, trivially easy to download and         Wireless the last 100 miles. BECAUSE
use it, pushing it to and getting calls back   set up and make the first call. Smart          in nations like Senegal with only 7%
from the most arcane and difficult places.     enough to get through most home/of-            literacy, the ONE thing EVERYONE can
                                                                   36
                                        The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
do is speak and listen over a “telephone.”      Preferred Devices then see such terms         time. That’s not the way the market is
THAT should come BEFORE comput-                 as “Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth”          going if you look at the big picture demo-
ers to the jungle. Because if you have          or “ESS Maestro” to change settings that      graphics beyond just the IP world.
a small, cheap, Skype phone set with a          their music software reset when they in-
wireless link you can TALK THROUGH              stalled it? And then know how to test it?     80% of voice will originate and ter-
anyone staring at a computer screen how         Five of the 10 or so tech hot shots I first   minate, not on POTS, but on portable
to operate it. While you can’t use email        communicated with with Skype, had to          phones that people carry with them and
to teach them if they are illiterate in the     fiddle before their microphones, or mine      connect wirelessly. Don’t confuse them
first place.                                    worked right. Monitor screen interface        with POTS - they are a different archi-
                                                easy, installation and getting through        tecture altogether. (Consider the push-to-
That makes a market of about 6 billion          Cable or DSL modems easy. If mic and          talk feature as a bellwether of how non-
by my reckoning.                                speaker settings are not default right -      POTS services drive new markets).
                                                hard, or frustrating.
Jennings: Thanks to Dave and David for                                                        Menard: In Canada, the market is now
the delightful lists - I heartily agree those   If Skype is to take over the world, its got   controlled by three players, Bell Canada,
are very key features for a good system.        to be embedded in hand held telephone         TELUS and Rogers, all incumbents, all
                                                type devices, where even setting time/        of which have no short term commercial
Hughes: Yeah, Cullen, I felt bad crow-          date, voice answering, call lists from an     interest in simplifying the terms and
ing about how Skype worked, while the           instrument’s LCD and punch buttons is a       conditions of interconnection unless they
Cisco SIP 7960 phones stopped working           turnoff to many who just want to pick up      are forced to.
when the satcom bandwidth to which              a familiar instrument - called a telephone
they were connected dropped to 64kbps,          – “dial” a number (name?) and say: “Can       I fully draw a parallel between POTS
to the most nether places on Mt Everest         you hear me now?”                             and PCS.
(Thame, Nepal) where voice - to teach
English to young Sherpas whose Nepal-           Not sure PC screen based VoIP will            Reed: This is a documented market phe-
ese teachers can’t even speak/write it - is     subsume all SIP ”telephones” and/or AT        nomenon that is growing along with the
critical. After Cisco via Jim Forster and       devices.                                      age cohort who is comfortable living
you were so generous with your devices                                                        with cell phones as their primary phone
and time setting them up, And trouble-          Forster: Yeah, I agree. This is one place     gets older - at least one year per year,
shooting a DSL firewall problem Min-            where the Skype experience is sometimes       probably 5 years per elapsed year. Prob-
gma Sherpa in Pittsburgh was having.            not great -- the microphone/speaker end       ably even a higher percent share of calls
                                                of audio, where many phone appliances         if you are referring to phone calls that
Had another Skype “voice quality” demo          do “just work”, and the complexity of in-     connect person to person (as opposed
when Frank Coluccio called his first            teraction with other apps. We could pick      to terminating in a recording device
time. His deep booming voice came               nits and say that’s not Skype’s issue, it’s   to leave or retrieve a message), since
through splendidly.                             a PC platform issue, but that’s similar to    reaching a person is far more likely on a
                                                saying that the firewall/NAT issues aren’t    phone that is with you rather than where
He had a small hardware problem at the          SIP issues.                                   you live or sit at a desk. (I’ve been try-
end, which illustrates one of the prob-                                                       ing to get someone to measure recorder
lems any PC-mic-speaker VoIP runs into          So far we have VoIP phone appliances          termination for about 15 years now, be-
sooner or later. Others including me,           with ”just works’”audio, and Skype with       cause it fits Nicholas’s model that async
have encountered it. Whether its Skype          “just works” setup. One of these days         communications is one of the preferred
or Pulvers FWD or whatever, the arcane          we’ll get both in the same device. I think    modes for users, but we don’t design our
and very seldom accessed - by the aver-         I’d bet on “just works” ease of setup in      telephony systems around async record-
age PC owner – “Sound and Multimedia”           a phone appliance before “just works”         ing transport).
Control Panel settings for microphone           audio in a PC.
or speaker/earphones have to be fiddled                                                       Breaking the culture limitation on VoIP
with if a user - or software - has altered      Changing Expectations                         growth now becomes just a software
the default settings that Skype expects.                                                      problem: because these telephone end-
Most often it is the microphone - at one        of What People Want                           points are smart, the network can be
end or the other which has to be fiddled        from Telephony                                application-ignorant, as it should be to
with and reset before things work as                                                          foment innovation. It would be easy for
advertised.                                     The question is why not do better than        Qualcomm and Nokia, for example, to
                                                PSTN from the get go.                         add Skype (or for that matter SIP) to their
The issue here is - how many “aver-                                                           phones - they already have IP in them,
age PC owners” know or care how to              Reed: Francois - I want to correct your       and much better User Interface capabili-
go down five levels to Start - Control          comment that 80% of all phone calls with      ties than do the stupid wired phones.
Panel- Sound & Multimedia -Audio -              be originated on POTS for a very long

                                                                37
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
Menard: I do not agree. Breaking the                                                       I’m making an effort to make sure this
culture limitation on VoIP growth re-         Menard: ENUM will not be a cash reg-         doesn’t happen. Anyone care to bet?
quires the telecommunications regulators      ister. It will be a means of forcing SS7
to do their job and implement unbundled       operators to DIP into the Internet rather    Coluccio: I’d like to clarify a point that I
access to ILEC DSL and MSO Packet-            than the converse which is currently the     made earlier when I agreed with David’s
cable loops at competitors rates that are     case. I alluded to ENUM as a mean of         assertion that the PSTN POTS services
cost-based and limited to a reasonable        hiding the complexity of PSTN call rout-     and wireless/cellular network services
mark-up and which do not systematically       ing from a user interface that is backward   should not be lumped together. I initially
price squeeze competitors.                    compatible with the POTS and PCS user        agreed, but for reasons that are probably
                                              interfaces that are deployed today.          no longer valid, and very likely looking
Once this is in place, people will imple-                                                  at the problem from a different perspec-
ment VoIP using alway-on, IP-to-IP user       Reed: When I can beam my Skype ID            tive.
interfaces, which will inteed, relegate       from my phone to yours when we meet
E.164 phone numbers to their grave. I         (instead of giving you a piece of card-      Today cellular carriers, like their landline
foresee the buddy list interface and use      stock with tiny printing, or in a bar hav-   telco cousins, share the SS7 architecture.
of e-mail addresses as proxy to SIP URIs      ing you write it on a napkin), when we       This is unlike the way in which they once
for example.                                  have online directory services with voice    communicated their signaling require-
                                              recognition interfaces, why will we ever     ments between resources in the past,
However, fact remains that people on          need numbers again?                          through IS-41 X.25 approaches, which
PCS phones and on POTS phones will                                                         were not compatible with SS7.
have a limited user agent and user inter-     Many people are switching away from
faces for a long time (3 years replace-       the location-based notion of telephony       The larger wireless operators, in fact, are,
ment cycle for PCS phones that are cross-     to the person-based notion of telephony.     and have been, deploying their own SS7
subsidized by long term contracts is not      Just like “answering machines” went          nets in order to remove their dependence
uncommon) and will be constrained to a        from being viewed as annoying to have,       on traditional Bell Company signaling,
12 digit keypad focused on E.164 entry        to being annoying when someone didn’t        although today most of the dominant
and audio that is too thin for effective      have one, not having a Skype name (or        wireless carriers are actually owned by
voice recognition.                            something better) will soon become a so-     the larger Bells, anyway.
                                              cial problem. “Oh, HE still uses a phone
By contrast, VoIP users may take advan-       number” will be the ultimate put down.       Reed: SS7 may be used by cellular carri-
tage of better user agent hardware with                                                    ers. But I was talking about handset ser-
wideband audio capable handset and a          Menard: The opportunity that I see for       vices. Another example of confusing the
QWERTY keyboard, which are problems           ISPs is to become CLECs so that they         carriers with the end-user functionality.
that can be cured, not by software, but by    can elevate themselves to a regulatory
open standards and terminals that are not     stature that is that of a PEER OF EQUAL      COOK Report: Francois in a voice con-
cross-subsidized by a network operator        standing with the ILECs in the eyes of       versation at least three weeks ago men-
oligopoly. For instance, VoIP providers       the regulator, despite being recognized      tioned to me his belief that ENUM imple-
are not advertising BYO SIP UA (Bring         as financially incapable of reaching the     mentation would somehow replace SS7.
your own SIP UA). This is a sharp con-        scale of the ILEC in any short amount        (Doubtless I did not adequately under-
trast with the PCS operator oligopoly.        of time. Today, ISPs cannot peer with        stand what he was trying to convey.)
                                              ILECs at terms and conditions that are
The point here is that with VoIP, those       non-discriminatory. Say I’m a small ISP      Shockey: This is the public ENUM
things that cannot be cured by software,      in Trois-Rivieres, I do not want to go       (AKA RFC3761 in the DNS) vs. private
can be cured by improving the computer        peer with Teleglobe at the NYC NAP to        infrastructure Telephone Number to URI
that talks IP. With VoIP, there are no pre-   send traffic back to Bell Canada. If I’m a   translations (the so called Carrier ENUM
conceived ideas of locking the user out       CLEC, I can interconnect locally at the      using SIP or whatever).
of its own user agent (such as disabling      LIR Central Office (LIR = Larger Inter-
third party call control on all Windows       connection Region as defined in CRTC         All PSTN calls require some form of
CE-enabled CDMA phones), to the point         Decision 2004-46).                           number translation to route. The issue is
where you cannot even build yourself an                                                    what is the database mechanism to per-
applet that tracks the time you spend on      I’m afraid ILECs will soon argue: Oh,        form those translations and what is the
the phone.                                    but wait, this is not a VoIP packet, its     query method if you need it in an IP end-
                                              an IP packet that doesn’t contain voice,     to-end world? Of course that assumes (a)
Reed: The idea of phone numbers is only       I cannot route this packet locally on my     you believe phone numbers are useful
going to be relevant for a short time into    network, you have to go to the NYC NAP       and (b) some form of interoperability
the future. So don’t bet on ENUM being        to terminate BGP peering ... this just       with the PSTN is necessary for some
a “cash register” for very long at all.       isn’t the way we route our IP network ...    indefinable amount of time.


                                                                38
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                                                                              services” or “content delivery” where we
Reed: To the extent that your blinders        They do “route around” attempts to tie          both know that those services, as Anrew
only lets you see the world from the          services to particular sets of pipes.           Odlyzko has proven, are not all that prof-
perspective of “carriers” (and now I’m                                                        itable and you know can be delivered at
including wireless and fiber, to include      There’s a fantasy out there that fiber is so    the edge by anyone.
Francois’ blinders, which are typical of      wonderful that the first fiber to a home
the optics-heads) you miss the essence of     will “own” that home forever, and allow         Reed: Else they are going to be the next
what is happening in the world. Despite       lock in. I don’t buy that - it’s just another   Kodak or Polaroid - companies who
the enormous “narcissism of the opera-        way of saying that no one will ever need        thought the film stock and patents they
tors” (who cannot see that the world of       more than 300 baud because a person             held were the core of what photography
communications is NOT about them),            can’t read that fast.                           was going to mean to its users forever.
the real world of communications is                                                           Now it’s about ink, image sensors, meta-
about the messages, not the bits, and the     Shockey: Well if you put 100 channels of        data, coding, and digital storage.
users, not those who would claim to own       High Definition NFL football on it you
them.                                         just might. :-)                                 Shockey: Well, I still think there is a
                                                                                              good business being a bit pusher.
COOK Report: We had a similar argu-           Reed: If the operators get over their nar-
ment about 6 weeks ago. Is there any          cissism that the world depends on them,         The ultimate economic question I have
chance that we could agree that - like it     so they should be given all kinds of rights     is since we can now conclusively prove
or not - for the foreseeable future (sev-     and privileges, they have perfectly fine        that Voice is simply a edge application on
eral years?) SOMEONE besides just the         businesses to run. I’m sick and tired of        the network (the Skype demonstration),
end users will have to operate networks       the wailing and crying and poor mouth-          which means its real marginal value is
and provide wide area service? Eventu-        ing I hear from operators. The sky isn’t        zero (like email). What will happen to
ally mesh nets and viral networks may         falling.                                        the telecom industry when you yank over
combine with dynamic optical technol-                                                         200B in revenue right out from under it?
ogy to push standard operators into the       Shockey: Well, the sky is falling if you        OK ..50 Billion. Have you looked at the
so-called dustbin of history. But for some    are a LEC and look at their gross reve-         bond ratings on Qwest recently?
number of years this is not likely. In my     nues and margins on the landline sides of
opinion at least.                             their business. Its not a pretty sight when     Coluccio: David, I’ve tried for decades
                                              you then factor into your business model        to remove what was admittedly a Bell
A Changing Role for                           that you will lose 1/3 of your residential      shaped helmet hairline from my head,
                                              business to Cable Operators within 3-4          to the point where I’ve just about gotten
Operators                                     years and perhaps 30% of your enterprise        rid of it today. Just enough of it remains
                                              business to SIP trunking at the edge and        - no matter if it’s a common carrier or a
Reed: Of course operators will exist and
                                              IP Centrex from the IXC’s -- if they can        COIN - for me to know its importance in
operate networks. That isn’t my point
                                              hold on long enough.                            tying together communities of users and
about the “narcissism of the operators.”
                                                                                              their endpoints.
The narcissism is the idea that they de-      Reed: It’s not the operators that will
serve to play the role of defining what the   define the services, or “permit” them to        I don’t think that I am blinded nearly as
services will be that are supported by the    exist. They will get paid, to the extent        much by the carrier component of the
meaning-free bits that traverse their net-    that a lack of capacity will find entrepre-     equation as you have stated.
works, among interoperable endpoints.         neurs willing to fill it. It’s just that the
                                              current operators need to realize that they     Reed: Frank - I am assured by my Mo-
Francois is committed to putting in pipes     haven’t got a lock on that new business,        torola colleague Phil Fleming that push-
to carry those bits. I suspect he would       and to get started on figuring out how to       to-talk in the cellular world doesn’t use
like his pipes to be the preferred solution   remain competitive.                             SS7 - it uses IP. And of course the 3G
for as many bits in as many circum-                                                           world is not terribly focused on SS7,
stances as possible. More power to him,       Shockey: David, it’s just that traditional      either, since it is moving to IPv6.
but my point is that other than doing a       telephony carriers do not want to be
good job on those bits, he has no lever-      turned into gas, water, or electricity utili-   Shockey: Correct. Right now the classic
age to force certain kinds of bits to tra-    ties where they have to live on reduced         push to talk application used by Mo-
verse his pipes. Bits that make up video      but highly regulated rates of return much       torola with Nextel (their principal wire-
streams may travel over his pipes or over     lower than they are accustomed to though        less customer) is somewhat proprietary
wireless connections or via satellites or     I need to research this more. The ILECS         but is essentially an IP “presence based”
over packets delivered using Bit Torrent      still think they are high tech businesses       service... most of the carriers including
asynchronously. The users now have the        when they are not... they are bit push-         Nextel/Sprint, etc., are moving to SIP-
leverage created by interoperability, and     ers. They are totally enamored of “new          based presence to enable click to talk
they are using it.

                                                               39
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
across carrier/domain boundaries.            happening is a direct reflection of the expression.
                                             desire for first of all - carriers to deploy
Reed: I wouldn’t bet that cellular end- more profitable services. (By the way I think it’s interesting to mention in pass-
point services will spend a lot of time Nextel has the highest ARPU of any ing another clashing set of principles,
trying to deal with upgrading of SS7 to wireless carrier based solely on the C2T since the FCC has identified PTT as a
encompass new services like SMS, pres- application.) There is also a carrier de- telecommunications service, and as such
ence, location-based services, etc.          sire to kill off SS7 due to its high cost subjects it to a class of scrutiny along the
                                             both the equipment side and services lines of CALEA and other government
Shockey: You are correct again. No, side. Compare the prices a Tekelec SCP monitoring and “wiretapping” consid-
they won’t. They will convert their entire vs. a SUN box and you will know ex- erations. Do you or others have any
internal 3G signaling architecture to SIP actly what I mean.                              thoughts about this?
itself. In fact most of the landline VoIP
carriers are looking at similar moves Coluccio: Granted, David, the migration Shockey: On this issue I’m pretty cer-
even for things like LNP CNAME and to IP for all forms of both wireless and tain the Government will have complete
1800 data. SIP itself is a perfectly good landline appears inevitable and on track, access to any form of communications
query response mechanism for this pur- but as long as there exists on any session steam they want from any type of service
pose and I actually believe SIP will re- a need for one handset or appliance to be provider provided they go through the
place SS7 in the core of the NGN.            connected to a public wireless realm and normal warrant process. The new trigger
                                             the other to a class five on the PSTN, date I’m told by knowledgeable observ-
Reed: Yeah, SS7 will probably be around we’ll see SS7 somewhere in the middle ers is the sunset date for the Patriot
for a long time in vestigial form, just like doing look aheads and data base dips, Act which I’m told will let the LEA’s,
human vermiform appendices. But my probably through the support of dual through the Patriot renewal legislation,
point was that rapidly moving markets mode signaling, for some time to come correct the stupid mistake they made in
and innovative, high margin applications as you note. It’s my understanding that CALEA by not including information
don’t wait for legacy technology tied to most forms of PTT also currently use services authorization.
obsolescent business models to keep up. IP in the main here in the States, while
They deal with them pragmatically.           some are still dependent on SS7 in some And frankly I don’t have a problem with
                                             international areas, but those too will this. CALEA was very very poorly writ-
Shockey: And cost-effectively. What is make the “switch,” if you’ll excuse the ten legislation.




                                                               40
Symposium Discussion January 5 to 15 2005

Some Broader Issues Involving the Blurring of
Boundaries of VoIP in the Telephony, Wireless,
and Enterprise Worlds Highlights
A Balkanization of                             There are folks of all persuasions out         be, true, where they aren’t already for
                                               there, in all walks of life and business       individuals.
Personal and Enterprise                        who will welcome Skype and its peers
Communication Trends                           with open arms, and they will do pres-         But how do those same anachronism-
                                               ence and IM until the cows come home,          working factors play to the commercial
Coluccio: The discussion that has been         but they will still have a number to call      world, I wonder, where NXX numbers
about losing the telephone number in           their own at the end of the day,.Either        are held sacred to large institutions to
favor of a Skype tag or other “person-         on a wireless unit in their pockets, or on     the point of threatening their providers
alized ID” I find to be somewhat of a          their kitchen walls. And if not at home,       to change carriers if they were to be
distraction, while also a bit amusing, be-     then in their offices or places of business.   changed? I see this as a further widening
cause it once again demonstrates how the       I’m reminded of other times of transition,     of the worlds of personal and commercial
discussion on this list has a tendency to      as when WU Teletypewriter Services             telecoms, over time, where what appear
balkanize the telecom universe, and ulti-      Called TWX were retired in the Seven-          to be generally applicable statements in
mately focusing primarily on “personal”        ties, and folks wanted to know if Fax          one sector simply don’t apply, or much
communications trends, as opposed to           messaging would ever carry the same            less so, in another sector.
how those trends will eventually meld          weight as a TWX (pronounced like the
with the communications traits exhibited       candy bar, for you youngsters out there).      Matson: David - Good comment! It has
by large commercial and government             Later, when email arrived in a commer-         always fascinated me how the world has
service characteristics. Yet, wide-sweep-      cial context, the same was asked about         managed since the beginning of time
ing projections are made that appear to        it, comparing its legitimacy to that of a      with individuals choosing their own “ID”
encompass all of the above, when they          fax, with the latter owing its credence to     - i.e. their name... and yet the telecoms
are, in fact true, but they are true most      a time stamp at the top of the page ac-        operators and the regulators still cling to
likely for only the most personal level of     companied by an originating “telephone         a command-economy attitude to allocat-
individual users’ communications needs         number.”                                       ing identity numbers. One of the coolest
and provisioning, even if they find their                                                     things about SKYPE for me is that it per-
way into enterprises. Like a PC is per-        Of course, my crystal ball only extends        mits me to chose my own name/identity
sonal to each user, e.g.                       out by about five to ten years in areas        in the virtual world just as I do in the real
                                               such as these, so don’t hold me to what        world... no SIP service does it quite like
Skype-like applications, I firmly be-          I’ve stated above when Verizon is just         that does it?
lieve, will come to permeate every as-         about finished wiring up Pennsylvania
pect of personal and office communica-         for broadband in the year 2015 ;-)             Forster: Well, you get to choose your
tions, but those applications will only                                                       own personal name, but the choices you
“displace” the traditional attributes of       Earlier Coluccio: Some great observa-          get for business, DNS, and email names
earlier services in a limited percent-         tions, David, and I obviously agree with       are significantly restricted, and these
age of total point solutions. Where the        you to a certain distance. I’ve often made     days increasingly involve trademark as-
newer Skype-likes will dominate most           comment here about how discussions             sertions and lawyers. I imagine the same
demonstrably, in my opinion, will be as        seem to unwittingly divide user popula-        thing will happen with most any widely
incremental personal applications. Just        tions with respect to the writer’s point of    used ID, including Skype names.
as email and IM have grown to be-              reference, sometimes using generalities
come, today. That is a far cry, however,       to describe what appears to be so obvi-        Matson: I was ONLY commenting with
from putting telephone numbers in their        ous, but at the same time often ignoring       respect to individuals, for when you get
graves. The world as we know it is not         other aspects of the discipline.               to corporations, there is the legal require-
made up of IP coders and IETF del-                                                            ment (at least in the UK) for a wholly
egates, despite the size of this list becom-   In your last message, to which I here          unique legal name - to prevent “passing
ing what it has, and despite our losing        reply, you referred to “personal” ap-          off”. But coming back to the individual’s
focus of the larger flows that take place      plications as opposed to large business        self-chosen identity, there are thousands
each day that have absolutely nothing to       uses of the PSTN and wireless services,        of “John Smith”s in the world or “Mary
do with the open Internet, and never get       which you so correctly differentiated          Brown” - and yet we cope very well in
counted on anyone’s stats because they         at the semantic level. As such, many of        being able to identify and communicate
take place behind closed optics.               the things you stated are, or shortly will     with the one particular one we want - de-

                                                             41
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
spite them having chosen a non-unique            to this today would have both a technical     and a password.
label. And I see the same happening              and business model component to it.
with SKYPE. Often by the addition of a                                                         Making software look like cell phones
number (e.g. “Johnsmith445”). It is this         Coluccio: I can’t speak for Skype, but I      or office phones is part of the same User
autonomy to be known as “I want” - with          can tell you that during the time frame       Interface disease that makes certain ven-
no subservience in terms of identity to          96-97 I was a founder in a startup ITSP       dors, even ones with a tradition of UI ex-
the network, which is (at least to a mere        and faced some similar considerations.        cellence, convert their media players into
mortal like me) quite appealing about            As relates to the matter of voice quality,    jukeboxes and DVD playback software
SKYPE. It’s not a big issue - but I do be-       we, too, considered taking the route of a     into silvery boxes with 7-segment green
lieve it adds just a little to the “delightful   stand-alone algorithm in order to achieve     play time counters. The whole notion
end-user experience.”                            some of the benefits of wider frequency       of “skinning” is beyond me; strangely,
                                                 response, fidelity and robustness, such as    Microsoft’s Windows Messenger SIP
Forster: Also, many times by paying              Skype has done, despite there not being       tool seems to have largely escaped it. As
extra you can choose your own phone              anything at the time that availed itself to   far as I know, it predates Skype. I guess
number? So maybe the two situations              these ends. There are obvious tradeoffs       early automobile designers couldn’t re-
aren’t completely different, after making        to be considered when deciding to use         sist making their horseless carriages look
allowances for the 50+ years difference          more of the real estate in silicon on qual-   like, well, horseless carriages.
when the systems were designed?                  ity versus legacy compliance, because
                                                 once you decide that you’re no longer         I should point out that the Pingtel phone,
Menard: For all I care, my ISP is ship-          going to meet the round peg in the round      a SIP phone device, was designed with
ping G.711 audio over my cable modem             hole requirement - which is tantamount        wideband codecs in mind, although I’m
connection on my VoIP asterisk-based             to meeting DS-0, or ADPCM-like form           not sure how widely they got out of beta
trial. I for one believe that there is much      factors and time periods - then you stand     with that feature.
better audio quality than pesky POTS to          to be viewed as an ogre and ostracized
do with 64 kbps of information.                  as such, as it were, from the rest of the     Jennings: Pingtel had all the same GIPS
                                                 connectivity- oriented universe. That is,     codec’s as Skype - and the same voice
When I am saying that the real battle            until the ‘Net catches up with you and        quality. Part of the voice quality is from
is open access, I am being serious. You          opens itself up by losing its dependency      the codec but another part is from the
will see innovation coming from those            on the PSTN’s form factors and other          packet concealment, the gain control
who are not barred from innovating,              nuances, which follows the path, appar-       around microphones and headsets, de-
and that unfortunately excludes most             ently, of what Skype has done. And more       tecting if there is a noise canceling
US ISPs under the current Powell FCC             power to them, I say.                         microphone or not, and the echo cancel-
administration.                                                                                lation.
                                                 Multiple VoIP Markets
I think that we are not putting the critics                                                    Schulzrinne: We clearly have at least
at the right place.                              On December 30 Schulzrinne: Having            two different VoIP markets: first-line
                                                 read some of the discussion, it seems         landline replacement (Vonage, AT&T
The FCC is killing innovation, not driv-         we’re simultaneously talking about three      and the like) and the talk-cheap-inter-
ing it.                                          different things:                             nationally-by-PC market. User feature
                                                                                               requirements for the former seem rath-
Earlier Reed: If SIP is a good technol-          - product design                              er different than for the latter.
ogy, then I would ask why Skype found
it necessary to use something else.              - wideband codecs                             Nigel Ballard: I’ve only been following
                                                                                               this thread with one eye so I apologize if
Jennings: I did ask. This was before             - protocol design                             this has been covered already.
Skype had PSTN connectivity stuff. The
answer I got at the time was they just           Only the last one has anything to do          A lot of SIP solutions use the STUN pro-
needed something very simple and did             with SIP. It is pretty clear that many SIP    tocol for NAT traversal. That is fine and
not need all the features of SIP. They           implementations have fallen short on the      dandy in the home and SME (Small to
perceived much of the complexity of SIP          configuration end, with lots of configura-    Medium Enterprise) environments where
to exist because of the PSTN connectiv-          tion options that shouldn’t be necessary      at best, the firewall (if there is one) is
ity. This was not under NDA and came             to be exposed at all to normal users and      inbound only. My experience is that
from an engineer there - not one of their        inconsistent labeling of the two items        STUN will not work through corporate
executives.                                      that are really necessary. A good SIP de-     firewalls that are synchronous (inbound
                                                 vice should need exactly the user’s email     and outbound).
I doubt their answer would be the same           address/phone number (for corporate) or
today. I would guess that any real answer        carrier SIP URI (for FWD and the like)        What I learn from this is that STUN isn’t


                                                                     42
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005

a solution for corporate environments,         gen supply, when we cooperate symbioti-        ships across the most widely-used Inter-
but in the home it is really clever at work-   cally with plants.                             net networks , (AOL, ICQ, MSN, Skype,
ing through NAT, double NAT and funky                                                         and Yahoo!).”
router situations on the fly.                  Regarding Henning’s comments about
                                               confusing issues: SIP doesn’t stand alone      Communicator Features
Reed: Let me throw something into the          - its success or failure depends on a tech-
mix to clarify a crucial technical distinc-    nical and business context that define its     Users of pulver.Communicator can com-
tion between STUN and what Skype               suitability to task. It’s just not sensible    municate via voice, video, or text Instant
does. STUN is an amazing kludge (read          to modularize the world by saying “my          Messaging. Specifically, the application
the spec to look at the definitions of         part works just fine - it’s the fault of the   enables users to: Make free calls to mil-
“cone” and full-cone and half-cone and         other guy that my genius doesn’t show          lions of VoIP users worldwide (not only
all kinds of ex post, ad hoc classifications   through.” Designers need to connect all        to other pulver.Communicator users, but
of NAT weirdness). It even works, much         the dots - that’s what makes someone an        also to subscribers from the more than
of the time (but when it doesn’t work,         engineer rather than a mere technician.        80 VoIP service providers with whom
try explaining why to my non-technical                                                        FWD Communications has established
friends who just want a simple service).       Skype Interconnectivity                        peering partnering agreements), as well
My Vonage phone works fine at the mo-                                                         as to a wide variety of Free-Call services
ment using STUN.                               January 5, David Reed: Well, things            in the US, UK, Holland, Japan, France
                                               are moving fast, I just got this: NEWS         and numerous other locations Initiate on-
But the real problem with STUN is that         RELEASE                                        the-fly conference calls Establish person-
it requires a server. This leads to more                                                      to-person IM sessions with other pulver.
complex configuration, and worse, the          "pulver.Communicator" now Connecting           Communicator contacts, as well as be-
concept that one needs a SIP ““opera-          to Skype                                       tween contacts on the four most popular
tor,” even if the operator only provides                                                      IM networks (AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, and
rendezvous for clients behind NATs that        pulver.Communicator combines instant           ICQ!) Establish multi-party IM sessions
use STUN.                                      messaging, VoIP, video, presence, and          that cross IM service provider boundaries
                                               social networking, and also enables            Place video calls Enjoy and expand their
What’s neat about Skype is that it is          multi-party IM chat across multiple IM         personal networking. Through the Shared
completely decentralized. It presumes          networks Consumer Electronics Show,            Buddy List feature users can view the
scale, and exploits it, rather than trying     Las Vegas, NV, January 6, 2005 FWD             buddy lists of other subscribers, and they
to solve the problem of one lonely per-        Communications announced today that            can share their own (of course, pulver.
son behind a NAT. Instead of needing a         pulver.Communicator(TM) (www.pul-              Communicator can be easily configured
dedicated server, all clients are capable      ver.com/communicator) an innovative            to limit or completely restrict contact
of acting as servers. By distributing the      new software product that combines the         information sharing at the user’s discre-
load to the clients, Skype eliminates an       best elements of Internet-based Com-           tion).
unnecessary point of control, and at the       munications (instant messaging, voice,
same time eliminates a cost of doing           video, presence, and social networking)        Personnel from pulver.com will be con-
business. They can offer a completely          in one application now interoperates           ducting demonstrations of pulver.Com-
scalable service which costs each client       with Skype(TM), the popular VoIP ser-          municator and its many features at CES,
no more than they were paying to their         vice provider. With pulver.Communica-          including the new Skype interoperability
ISP already (that’s what “free” means for      tor beta version .94.3, users can import       inside the pulver.com sponsored VoIP
Skype). This is the same thing Bit Torrent     Skype contacts into the application and        Tech Zone on the CES show floor. Since
does to eliminate the need for centralized     conduct voice calling and instant mes-         its official launch in October pulver.
server-farms that must be designed based       saging with those contacts, as well as         Communicator has been downloaded
on accurate prediction of the user load.       engage in multi-party IM chats amongst         more than 50,000 times. Getting Started
                                               friends across multiple IM networks.           pulver.Communicator is free, and it can
Now this may sound “bad” to companies                                                         be easily installed on any PC running
used to extracting rents from captive cus-     “I’ve been a big fan of Skype since its        Windows XP. To download the program,
tomers by creating central bottlenecks.        launch and decided to create a link be-        please visit www.pulver.com/communi-
Skype does make money, elsewhere. But          tween the two applications”, said Jeff         cator. pulver.Communicator is also avail-
it gives basic end-to-end telephony back       Pulver, chairman of FWD Communica-             able in Spanish.
to the users, since there is no way to pre-    tions. “pulver.Communicator is the first
serve any margin there, now that IP ad-        outside application to offer Skype func-       Coluccio: David, you brought up a few
dresses provide universal connectivity.        tionality to users of the product, which       points, probably inadvertently - but I’ll
                                               is quite significant as it opens the door to   take what I can get when an idea serves
There’s no need to sell oxygen either          a multitude of friendships and relation-       me well - in the following segments of
- the atmosphere is an “Internet” of oxy-                                                     one of your last messages:

                                                                43
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
                                                generations, through gang amplification       Hills, NJ).
"There’s a fantasy out there that fiber is      techniques), but will never see the light
so wonderful that the first fiber to a home     of day unless brought to a public forum       Coluccio: I should have prefaced my
will 'own' that home forever, and allow         for examination and trialing. While I’m       earlier “meshed up neighborhoods” mes-
lock in. I don’t buy that - it’s just another   not about to carry the torch for such an      sage, lest it otherwise appear to be a
way of saying that no one will ever need        undertaking at this time. I do spend some     harebrained notion, by stating that I am
more than 300 baud because a person             time wondering, however, how you and          fully conversant with conventional, tried
can’t read that fast. [...] "Now it’s about     other list members here would view the        and true, link level techniques used in
ink, image sensors, metadata, coding,           prospects of an architecture such as the      loop access systems in DOCSIS, FSAN,
and digital storage."                           one I’ve outlined, above. Noting that         802.3ah, and some of the free form
                                                what I’ve suggested here doesn’t fall         variants, thereof. I use this disclamier
Meshed Up                                       very far, in principle, from where the ad-    in order to discourage those unfamiliar
                                                hoc wireless topologies that have been        with me from chalking my hypopthesis
Neighborhoods                                   proposed and are now trialing at this         up as mere noise coming out of left field,
                                                time are headed, under the umbrellas of       which it is not. Whether anyone would
Several times I’ve broached this point,
                                                Wi-Fi-lookalikes and later iterations of      ever mobilize and attempt such an un-
which seems never to gain any lasting
                                                WiMAX.                                        dertaking is another question, due to the
traction here, so I’ll try it again.                                                          perceived risks involved as David noted,
                                                In considering such a radical shift in ar-    and the as yet unarticulated parameters
Imagine cell sites that don’t always talk       chitecture for the more traditional forms     required to make it work.
back to base stations, but, instead, over-      of transmissions, such as xMDS and
lap and pass traffic horizontally to one        fiber-based access nets, keep in mind         David, we’re in agreement in that any
another when the logical flow of traffic        of course, that all first- and last- mile     attempt at achieving the goals that I’ve
dictates. Now imagine an identical sce-         vendors, several of whom are even rep-        suggested should be done only after
nario, only this time it’s fiber based, de-     resented here, have based their entire        extensive modeling, and even then, only
signed to achieve the same osmotic type         design strategies to support the service      incrementally, as you’ve suggested. I’ll
of flow between neighboring meshes              providers’ current modus operandi, and        continue to give this model of inter-
made of glass, or made to hybrid with           that endeavoring in the open fields with      locking, honeycombed nets comprised
wireless, as well.                              either cell-based wireless sites or fiber     of tiled polygons some further thought,
                                                optic builds is no trivial feat to attempt    perhaps putting it into a more coherent
Through extension, such a model would
                                                without doing ample levels of due dili-       workup and revisit it here at some future
allow crawling to take place, albeit at light   gence, first, and a firm resolve to see it    time. In the meantime, if anyone has any
speeds, in a space previously thought of        completed.                                    thoughts they’d like to share on this sub-
as the edge of service providers’ access                                                      ject, please feel free to post to them here,
networks, thus creating and facilitat-          Reed: Cool - perhaps some of these            or contact me off list. TIA.
ing a new core for transport between            ideas might be worth checking out! I’d
non-adjoining communities of any given          only add that in some cases, at least, an     Ballard: I recently consulted on a proj-
type, to include industrial parks, schools      entrepreneur can do this sort of thing in-    ect that involves deploying commercial
and campuses, bedroom communities, or           crementally, not having to deploy it uni-     Mesh today as a stop gap technology for
wherever.                                       versally. And the mindset of risk capital     FTTD in two years.
                                                lets it place bets where the payoff need
Such a model could never even be con-           not have 100% certainty.                      On the surface it would seem that fiber
templated through the use of a first fiber                                                    into the premises is enough of a deterrent
to the home scenario such as you’ve men-        The Achilles Heel of a Verizon is that        and has enough available bandwidth to
tioned, because such a model dictates its       it can’t catch all of the termites tearing    ward off all other technologies. The prac-
own limited set of provider-intended            up its foundation (especially when there      tice I think is somewhat different. Said
services, as you’ve noted. Hence, never         are a wide diversity of termites, each        fiber is typically controlled by someone,
supporting the group communications             trying something different). As long as       so any services that ride on it are subject
modes you’ve articulated, either, without       its brains are concentrated in an out-of-     to fees and possibly other non-competing
first going back to head ends and central       touch management that travels in private      restrictions.
offices, or base stations, first, to “check     jets, rather than pulling cable or using a
in” and “check out.”                            spectrum analyzer, it will have the same      Other delivery methods, typically a wire-
                                                view of its demise that AT&T Bell Labs        less CPE (WiMAX or otherwise) on the
I submit that a passive form of media
                                                management had of the Internet and its        premises gives a competing path into
extension is possible allowing for a con-
                                                architects (a cute, irrelevant toy built by   the property albeit with hugely reduced
joining of meshes, within limitations im-
                                                people with bad grooming habits who           bandwidth options. But the infrastructure
posed by distances at first (and then even
                                                wouldn’t be allowed to play golf in Short     required is minimal in comparison.
where distances are excessive in future

                                                                   44
                                        The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                                given locale or region. Left to incum-         Did I hear someone say that there was
I guess it all boils down to how good the       bents, we already see what we get: Lots        no room left on poles or in conduits to
fiber company is at providing enough            of hub offices supporting star topologies      support the rights of way for independent
compelling and competitive services to          working off tree and branch topogra-           fiber optic operators?
keep everyone else out of the picture.          phies, all of which - whether through
                                                design or through happenstance - assur-        Can a new entrant do anything differ-
Coluccio: Nigel, you wrote:                     ing that the toll booths keep ca’chinging.     ently, e.g., laying down a quilt of inter-
                                                Interestingly, in large part many of the       locking meshes such as I’ve described,
“I recently consulted on a project that         dollars “earned,” not to mention the           while remaining solvent in the process
involves deploying commercial Mesh              latency that is introduced, at those toll      of advancing the state of the art in access
today as a stop gap technology for FTTD         booths go to paying for the trips that         plant technology? What would that sort
in two years.”                                  packets take to get there, and then very       of thing take, short of an I2 or NGI level
                                                often back to other users on the same          of funding from the feds and possibly a
I assume that the D in FTTD doesn’t             network or to users in adjoining com-          few large, sympathetic industry players
stand for “desk.” What does it stand for?       munities. And I’m not anti-head end or         looking to get in on such a venture at an
                                                CO when I say this, but rather treating        early stage?
It’s a bit uncanny that you should men-         the need for going to those places with
tion “in two years.” Do you mean by             a more prudent eye. COs and colos are          Ballard: FTTD = Fiber To The Door.
this that you ‘pre-wired a mesh network         indeed required for backhauling to the         I’ve noted some folk now use the acro-
today in advance for its expected use two       core, for storage and server purposes, but     nym FTTP (Fiber to the Premises).
years out? Please explain.                      not to the extent that everything that I
                                                send out to my neighbors need necessar-        Yes, their plan, not mine, is to use Wi-Fi
I say it’s uncanny that you mentioned           ily traverse them, much less be governed       Mesh as purely a stop gap solution till the
two years out for this reason:                  by what the service providers manning          fiber goes live in 24 months.
                                                them want to allow me to do.
Since the state of the art of optical com-                                                     As it stands today, Mesh falls way short
ponent technology is not yet at the stage       Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer         in its ability to provide much beyond
where it would need to be in order to           in physical layer bit pushers getting paid.    Internet access and VoIP if you are lucky.
fully support the price performance cri-        I just happen to also believe that those       But for most people, high-speed Internet
teria making my hypothesized topology           who are in the drivers’ seats today could      is what they crave and mesh can provide
feasible, I too have thought of a plan-         be doing a much better job, or should be       it. The speed of provisioning such a
ning stratagem whereby a trajectory of          planning to do one down the road, than         system, especially if the city is on board
convergence between the physical media          they appear satisfied to be doing today,       (pole access) can be startlingly quick. It
installation and networking capabilities        which, in the main, are practices and de-      gets city’s where they feel they need to
at field nodes would coalesce in about          signs that are predicated on network at-       be and fast.
two years, or thereabouts.                      tributes that inherit from copper wire net-
                                                work characteristics of a hundred years        And whilst fiber has the technical ability
You stated:                                     ago. I’m referring to the distance limita-     to pump all manner of rich audio visual
                                                tions, phase shift characteristic properties   services into every home with ease, the
“I guess it all boils down to how good          tied to delay (which necessitated loading      deployment costs and the related time-
the fiber company is at providing enough        coils and repeater assemblies every six        line to achieving anything approaching
compelling and competitive services to          thousand feet at one point), and the very      blanket coverage, is high and slow.
keep everyone else out of the picture.”         weight and girth of feeder vs. distribution
                                                cables, right down to the neighborhood         Fibers high cost and many city’s desire
Interesting point, because it brings to the     cross-connect and drop wire.                   to be placed firmly on the technology
fore one of the considerations that we’ve                                                      roadmap (look a us, we’ve got a killer
discussed here numerous times on this           To get a better handle on what I’m refer-      infrastructure) today has given the mesh
list, most recently with the help of Tom        ring to here at the bulk physical level,       vendors a most welcome boost. Make
Hertz of Fiber Utilities of Iowa (FUoI).        consider the support structures (Hi Fran-      hay boys and girls!
(I’ve copied Tom’s introductory message         cois!) or spaces and pathways required to
to this list at the very bottom of this page,   support a 3,600 copper pair cable that is      Skype Marches On
following Nigel’s script.)                      used to feed a section of a neighborhood,
                                                and all of the splice points and punch         Hughes: As if in confirmation of my
And the basic problem that raises its head      down cross-connects that they entail,          belief that VoIP can spread across the
immediately, of course, and this isn’t          which, today can be replaced by a couple       Third World faster than e-mail, and help
new news to anyone here, is: Who should         pairs of fibers and some field mounted         make the “rest of the world” computer
decide what the physical L1 through the         nodes.                                         literate I made an excellent Skype voice
routing L3 attributes should be for any

                                                                 45
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
connection with Shiva Kulung, a Rai           So every evening about 10PM his time          see anything being squashed. I should
from eastern Nepal. The Rai are mi-           (9AM MST here) he tries to chat with          also note that today’s edition of the
norities among minorities of that part of     somebody ”out there.” Now he can do it        paper reveals a contrasting view by Bell
the world. Though the famed fighting          with voice.                                   South’s William A. Oliver, president of
Ghurkas come from Rai stock. (While                                                         Louisiana operations, BellSouth Corp.,
the Sherpas appear not to be war-like. I      All of which confirms my view that, with      New Orleans.
have to find SOME warriors to do in the       sitcom, unlicensed wireless out from
Maoists)                                      the base unit, and Skype, that the Third      Mr. Oliver’s contention being? What
                                              World will be chattering by voice long        else? He says:
Shiva is a sweet young man I met in           before they learn, or get into, “email”
Sherpa country Namche, Nepal. Shiva           which requires a degree of English lit-       “Competition Should Be Fair” http://
had been hired by Sherpa Tsering as a         eracy even more than voice.                   makeashorterlink.com/?Z5F32463A
cook, handyman, and was told to look
out for old man (me) while I was there.       Shockey: I don’t disagree but lets not        Baller: Thanks, Frank. We are including
He brought me hot Milk Tea at 5AM             forget that Skype is a private verti-         Bill Oliver’s response to the USA Today
when I couldn’t sleep with the time           cally integrated application with its own     editorial in our daily email, but I wanted
change, and I would sneak into the cold       private naming and addressing scheme          the get the editorial out undiluted first.
Cybercafe computer room, off the lodge        unique to Skype. I’m sure there are more
kitchen, to check and send my email. He       Skype’s coming down the road which            Attached is Bill Oliver’s testimony to the
could not speak English well at all when      means that we will have the same kind         Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee
I was there, much less read or write it, or   of fragmentation that we saw in IM with       in support of the compromise legislation
use computers.                                four big services unable to talk to each      that we negotiated last Spring. In particu-
                                              other. SIP was designed as a global ser-      lar, contrast Oliver’s whining in today’s
Like many a Sherpa Lodge owner who            vice using global naming and addressing       piece with his testimony that the legisla-
has made a little western money and has       (the DNS) etc.                                tion “insures that appropriate competi-
to cook for and serve trekkers and climb-                                                   tive safeguards are put in place to create
ers, they hire a lower class than they are    Hughes: Next time I chat with him I will      a level playing field in these competitive
- principally Rai’s - whose homeland is       ask him WHICH sub tribe of Rai he is.         industries.”
in the northwestern corner of Nepal, are      For my research shows me no less than
largely Hindu, not Buddhist.                  Bantawa Rai; Chamlinge Rai; Danuwar           David Sandel: Thanks for the article too,
                                              Rai; Kalinge Rai; Kulunge Rai; Saam           a good and simple discussion surround-
But now a year later, and especially when     Rai; Tamachhange Rai; Thulunge Rai!           ing a complex topic.
both Tsering, who owns the place, and         Each with their own dialect of Rai, a
Santosh, his Nepalese Tech have been          little Nepalese, and very little English or   Thinking about this in other economic
gone in Kathmandu for almost a month,         other western languages.                      terms, airports had to be constructed to
the whole Cybercafe has had to be oper-                                                     support the airline industry, roads and
ated by young Shiva! Who has learned          I wouldn’t be surprised if Shiva is the       bridges had to be constructed to support
progressively, was doing MSN Instant          first Rai ever to chat VoIP over the In-      the automobile industry. Both of these
Messaging with me every so often but no       ternet.                                       forms of municipal infrastructure (and
voice because its sound would not work                                                      many others) had to be developed by
there. But he now has figured out Skype!      Access to Broadband                           local and federal government to meet the
And contacted me first by Skype’s IM                                                        economic potential of a given technol-
messaging utility then I found his Skype      Baller: USA Today Endorses Lafayette          ogy.
“‘handle” (shivakulung) in the search         FTTH Project http://www.usatoday.com/
utility, with his ”name” as shivarai and      news/opinion/2005-01-10-broadband-            With that being said, broad band infra-
called him voice.                             bellsouth-our_ x.htm                          structure will also need to be constructed
                                                                                            by muni’s to meet the potential of the
Worked perfectly, even through the two        Coluccio: Jim, USAToday is certainly          technology and support the economic de-
satellite and wireless 64kbps hops from       getting some mileage with this one. It’s      velopment and security of a community,
Namche to Kathmandu and KT to the             good to see topics like this covered in       just like roads and airports were built.
US, with 1,200 ms latency. He was             depth.
thrilled to be able to talk with me, clear,                                                 Roads provided equal access to all auto
understandable voice. Giggling all the        Thanks for posting the article. I note        manufacturers, airports to all airlines.
while we talked. (The young man may           that the title’s use of the term squashed     For municipal broad band “infrastructure
be lonely, he is a Hindu Rai in Buddhist      appeared to be a bit incongruous with         “ to succeed it must provide for equal ac-
Sherpa country, at 11,500 feet, no family,    the story. And the story even appeared        cess to all service providers.
much less friends, or girl friends, near.)    truncated, because I don’t necessarily

                                                                 46
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
Patrick Leary: This echoes what we            to articulate a winning “promote the gen-      that are intended to replace it.
(Alvarion) have been advocating corpo-        eral welfare” constitutional argument.
rately and individually for a long time                                                      Reed: You may also be interested in
now. Equitable broadband access is too        January 11 COOK Report: I have added           our group website: http://dl.media.mit.
important to wait for the private sector      Raj Sharma of NexTone to the list. Raj’s       edu/viral/ and the cross-MIT sponsored
to ride to the rescue. The analogy I like     principal interests lie in the harmoniza-      program Andy and I have launched with
to use is that access to broadband today      tion of protocols for the IXCs, ITSPs,         Dave Clark and Charlie Fine called
is much like access to clean water about      ISPs and ILECs, such as SIP and H.323          the Communications Futures Program,
a century ago.                                along with a long list of proprietary ones     which focuses on the evolution of the
                                              made by all of the VoIP field’s popular        architecture of the communications in-
Today, we are at the hand pump stage          vendors.                                       dustry (website under re-construction).
of broadband. Chronologically, it was
a long time between when folks gath-          Reed: Cool. Welcome Raj to the debat-          And the broader embedding of the viral
ered their water by pail from the near-       ing society!                                   work in human networks, our bigger
est fresh source to when folks used a                                                        vision called “Organic Networks” in
hand pump. During the extended “Pail          But to get down to brass tacks, and            that special issue: http://dl.media.mit.
Period,” people used water only when          semantics that show a broken mindset,          edu/BT-vco.pdf
necessary and the definition of what was      “harmonization” (in its typical telecom
necessary was very narrow -- drinking,        meaning) is not going to be a winning          Don’t want to be seen as hawking CFP or
a little cooking, and maybe the once a        strategy. Harmonization is what a bunch        the Media Lab here, though.
month bath (if they otherwise did not         of technocrats, relying on a government
bath directly in the rivers and streams or    enforced oligopoly (i.e. the ITU) thinks       COOK Report: David, I’d like to do that
had no access to bath houses). But once       it has the power to do. I.e. shades of the     for you. :-)
that hand pump became available outside       3GPP, or NANP.
the front door, well by goodness, water                                                      Seriously I am amazed - People on this
was so conveniently available that usage      VoIP is inherently happening at the edges      list are gradually beginning to read it
grew dramatically and what was deemed         (whether they are PBXes, SIP phones,           and uniformly say WOW. I advertised
necessary grew. And then, it was but a        etc. at the hardware level, and Skype,         and endorsed it to a private list of David
small leap from that day to the percep-       FWD, AIM, PTT, Blackberry email as             Isenberg’s that some of you are on there
tion that one had to have taps in the home    the viral integrating technologies).           again not much reaction.
in the kitchen...then indoor bathrooms...
then hot and cold taps.                       Viral Communications                           Last night I sent the PDF to Sebastian
                                                                                             Hassenger and pleaded with him to read
Today, not having clean, fresh water          Stastny: To which I fully agree. By            it. Talked with him today. He has read
available on demand anywhere people           the way, David, congratulations to the         it and remarked that he finds it really
congregate or live is, quite literally, un-   “Viral” paper. Since it is a draft and quite   wonderful and wondered how he ever
thinkable -- it has become as assumed as      old, does an updated version exist?            missed it. Sebastian is Senior strategist
flicking on a light switch.                                                                  for pervasive computing in one of IBMs
                                              Reed: Richard - the viral paper was writ-      WestchesterCcounty, NY Labs. He was
With broadband being at this pump stage,      ten for a special issue of the BT Technol-     on one of my lists in the August October
people are discovering everyday uses for      ogy Journal (October 2004). That journal       2003 time frame. To the extent that I
their high speed access and whole mar-        is now out, and I commend it to you...         understand what he does it is to survey
kets will be created leveraging its even-                                                    where all this stuff is going and make
tual ubiquity. It is only a small leap in     http://dl.media.mit.edu/viral/viral.pdf        sure his colleagues at IBM understand.
time from this point to broadband avail-      may be the same version you have - I           I told him what we are doing and he
ability being the next assumed utility.       think we should probably replace it with       agreed it was right down his alleyway
                                              the prettier published version from the        and agreed to join.
Accordingly, like provision of any utility    BT Journal, now that you point it out and
long beyond the pump and certainly the        assuming we can get a PDF of that.             David, there seems to me there is a theme
pale period, that the private sector would                                                   going here... many, many people who
assert that it has the right to control       Editor’s Note: The special issue of the        know you and your ideas have turned
availability is a dead, or at least dying,    BT Technology Journal is on the Media          up absolutely unaware of this paper. The
argument. The private sector can play a       lab Web site and is well worth read-           ideas are certainly out there. But the May
pivotal and even fundamental role, but to     ing. However I steadfastly disagree with       2003 version of the paper wonderfully
claim ownership is, well, over the ”pail.”    David in that I find the general sweep of      ties them together in a FRAMEWORK
I hope it is only a matter of time before     the May 19 2003 draft much better than         or a pair of lens through which to see the
some wise city or state’s attorney is able    the two early articles in the BT journal       world. We need frameworks I think. And


                                                               47
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
this is a REALLY REALY GOOD one.            band did on the deck of the Titanic as it      mergers they are one.
                                            sank.
Now you mentioned special issue of the                                                     They suddenly find themselves with
BT Technology Journal (October 2004).       The driver of coordination of standards        quite a few PBXs, routers, telephone
With that as a lead, I found in Google      will be voluntary cooperation among            sets, core networking philosophies and
http://www.media.mit.edu/publications/      market-leading innovators, not backroom        theological twists, not to mention proba-
bttj/                                       deals. The value added by carrier-cen-         bly every VoIP protocol and compression
                                            tered protocols is minimal, and the car-       algorithm ever written, to manage every
This URL brings up the table of contents    riers who think they have the power to         day. In a way, they resemble a paradigm
for the October issue, It looks like well   “define” and “harmonize” will go the           of yore that one can find painted in your
over 300 pages and, yep, the whole she-     way of ISDN and AIN.                           note, except that, from a networking
bang is downloadable. The first 6 of I                                                     persepective, their network is now larger
think 27 articles are listed thus           At best, “harmonizing” will involve            than many of the telcos around the planet
                                            building bridges between independently         that make up the ITU. I’ll send them a
Organic networks: A Lippman and A           developed networks. Merely middleware,         snippet of your note telling them how
Pentland                                    and as some of my smartest VC friends          arcane their network strategy is, and then
                                            have told me, middleware is not often a        I’ll pass along what they have say to me,
Viral radio: A Lippman and D P Reed         high-return business plan, because there       in return ;)
                                            are lots of middles, and “middles” rarely
Wirefree in Patmos: M Bletsas               have a sustainable technical or market         Finding myself feeling suddenly alone,
                                            advantage.                                     where before I was a tenor in a four-part
Sensate media - multimodal electronic                                                      acapella group sitting between a rock and
skins as dense sensor networks J A Para-    So in a high-growth, rapidly changing          a hard place,
diso, J Lifton and M Broxton                industry or a rapid train-wreck industry
                                            (like voice), don’t plan for any middle        Dave O’Leary: Sounds like the discord
Collaborative knowledge building by         role to send your children to college (un-     is between the optimism of where (some
smart sensors V M Bove Jr and J Mal-        less they are already there).                  of us) want to be and the pragmatism of
lett                                                                                       where (many of us) actually are. (Using
                                            Coluccio: Thelonius Monk chord com-            “us” in a broad sense, including all stake-
SimPhony V Lakshmipathy and C               ing off a Charlie Parker solo, wrote:          holders in the networking/ telecom com-
Schmandt                                                                                   munity, not just the folks on this list).
                                            But to get down to brass tacks, and
The listings don’t look like URLs but       semantics that show a broken mindset,          Reed: Frank - I think the metaphor is
they ARE. Click on organic Networks         “harmonization”                                apt, even for your example. It took a
and you get the article as a pdf. You can                                                  long time for the Titanic to sink ... long
get them all this way.                      David, there were reports of loud bursts       enough for a lot of harmonization, and
                                            of laughter in my immediate vicinity           maybe even a fair bit of comfort to those
Now David I cannot find the specific        just a few moments ago. I am guilty            who were confronted by the inevitable.
May 2003 publication in this BT Journal     as charged of sending those words in a         Of course the irony was that the wireless
issue.That looks to me because you seem     stream of (sub)consciousness to Gordon         operators were too focused on transmit-
to have rewritten it. Taken the more        when I introduced him to Raj. I request        ting the ordinary traffic to serve what
general ideas and put them in organic       that you do not… repeat, DO NOT hold           could have been a role in preventing
networks paper and taken the radio parts    this against either Gordon or Raj, for it is   the disaster. What does that mean to the
made them a lot more technical and put      I solely who should be sent to trial for my    harmonizers?
them into viral radio? I have done only     selection of words. This little exchange
a quick skim but are my conclusions         has now caused me to seriously rethink         Intel Backs Municipal
correct?In any case this October issue is   the time required to lose my bell-shaped
a gem so thanks for mentioning it. But in   hairline. I thought it was gone, but I         Broadband
my opinion the may 2003 for people who      guess not.
                                                                                           Coluccio: Intel to back broadband role
aren’t REALLY technical might be the
                                                                                           for cities . By Richard Shim http://news.
better starting point.                      Having said that, it’s difficult sometimes
                                                                                           com.com/Intel+to+back+broadband+rol
                                            to have to go to work every day and
                                                                                           e+for+cities/2100-1034_3-5532714.html
“Harmonizing”                               still agree with what you’ve had to say.
                                                                                           . Jan 11 17:47:00 PST 2005 .
                                            One of my clients, not so long ago, was
Discordant Systems                          five banks and two brokerages cover-
                                            ing 182 countries plus the Vatican, and        “Chip giant Intel on Wednesday plans
Reed (earlier): Harmonizing is what the     now today as a result of acquisitions and      to provide a high-level perspective on


                                                               48
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
the ongoing debate over the role of the       Baller Herbst Law Group and a leading        their own. This is not competition, it is
public and private sectors in providing       expert on municipally owned networks.        broad band economic development for
broadband services. In a speech at the        Intel’s position is partly in response to    all comers.
Wireless Communications Association           strong lobbying by Verizon Communica-
in San Jose, Calif., Intel Executive Vice     tions that helped lead to the passage of a   2). “Communities are not willing to
President Sean Maloney is expected to         law in Pennsylvania that prohibits cities    wait.” We are now in an IT industrial
encourage commercial service provid-          from offering Internet access to their       age, the communities that have the best
ers and public agencies such as city          residents for a fee. Verizon and other       broadband infrastructure and services
governments and municipalities to work        incumbent phone companies had urged          will be the winners when it comes to eco-
together in building out new broadband        legislators to ban municipally owned         nomic development. 150 years during
infrastructure.                               networks to prevent other cities from        the railroad age communities FOUGHT
                                              following the lead of Kutztown, a small      to have railroad access.Tthis is no differ-
Intel has a keen interest in the prolifera-   college town near Allentown [PA] that        ent. This requires municipal support and
tion of wireless broadband technology         set up its own telephone, Internet and TV    private cooperation without which the
and industries using it; by early next        system in 2002.                              railroads would never have grown to the
year it plans to produce WiMAX chips                                                       extent that they were able to.
for networking equipment that carriers        Phone companies and cable providers
can use to sell high-speed Internet access    argue that municipalities that build and     3). “…strongly support collaboration be-
to consumers. WiMAX is a promising            own their communications networks            tween the public and private sectors.”.
wireless broadband technology allowing        have an unfair advantage because they        This model has been repeated over and
data to be wirelessly transmitted across      are backed by public funds. They claim       over. Look at the electrical utility indus-
several miles at transfer rates of several    that the municipalities will drive them      try, the port authority, the international
megabits per second.                          out of business by offering services at      airport, the highway system ---did the
                                              greatly reduced prices. On the other         private sector pick this up. Did the devel-
“Sole responsibility, either from gov-        side, communities that want to build         opment of these infrastructures ultimate-
ernment or a single carrier, of a city’s      their own networks argue that they want      ly HELP or HURT private industry?
wireless network is not the best solution     broadband services now, and they are not
for growing the market,” said a source        willing to wait until it becomes economi-    I am excited about Intel announcement
familiar with the chipmaker’s position        cally feasible for commercial providers      (and others that may follow) because I
in wireless broadband policy. “A sharing      to build the infrastructure.                 think the scales are on the verge of tip-
of responsibilities is what will encourage                                                 ping in the right direction, something we
broadband adoption, and that will be a        Sandel: Thanks for passing along the         all need!
key point in Intel’s policy proposal.”        Intel announcement. This is certainly a
. Maloney will outline the company’s          strong ray of light at the end of the tun-   Ballard: We recently brought Intel Con-
high-level policy position and will speak     nel. Hopefully more vendors (and other       sulting in at some cost to assist us here
out against efforts to ban municipally        entities) will begin to jump on board        in Portland, Oregon with our municipal
owned networks. In recent years, phone        with this message as it relates to the       wireless plans. While their support isn’t
companies and cable providers have ac-        growth of broadband networks.                a surprise, it is really nice to see Intel
tively lobbied local and state govern-                                                     say it publicly. They must have thought
ments to ban public agencies and mu-          There are several items in the press re-     long and hard before making such a
nicipalities from building their own com-     lease that I would like to highlight:        statement.
munications networks. The commercial
providers have been successful in some        1). “Sole responsibility, ----- is not the   COOK Report: Indeed, Intel sells a LOT
regions of the country.                       best solution for growing the market.”       to gear to the phone companies and in-
                                              All I can say is AMEN to that! Many          formally people working there have told
In some instances, commercial providers       service providers feel that muni infra-      me privately that they have had hell to
will be able to build networks and offer      structure will cut them out of the market    pay internally from Intel divisions that
the best network choice to customers at       when actually it is the opposite. When       rely on telco sales for advocating the
affordable prices. But in other instances,    muni infrastructure (open access) is in      kinds of things that we talk about on this
such as low-income areas or rural loca-       place and local regional exchange is pos-    list. This could be therefore an interest-
tions, it might make more sense for a city    sible with other networks a QoS prob-        ing signal.
or some other municipality to build the       lem is solved that will allow for a very
infrastructure.                               significant growth in metropolitan band-     The Window of
                                              width as higher bandwidth services now
“We welcome Intel’s position and              are possible and desirable. I say open       Opportunity for ENUM
strongly support collaboration between        access muni infrastructure will help to      is Closing Fast
the public and private sectors,” said         drive bandwidth demand for all service
Jim Baller, a principal attorney for the      providers something they cannot do on        Frode Greissen to Interesting People

                                                              49
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
on January 12 : Last March we got the         may threaten their existing business, plus
idea to set up the name server for the        trade organizations who have learned          The story in Austria is not so much dif-
Danish ENUM domain, i. e. using Dan-          that the Internet got big and that there is   ferent, we only started quite early, the
ish phone numbers as domain names.            money in domain names. The small IP           main reason of this was my involvement
The phone number +45 12345678                 telephony companies did not have time         in IETF, ETSI and ITU-T SG2. So I
would be transformed into the name            to respond.                                   launched an internal ENUM Task Force
8.7.6.5.4.3.2.1.5.4.e164.arpa and then the                                                  within Telekom Austria dealing with this
user could use DNS to direct communi-         Right now, I’m trying to convince the         issue and also presented ENUM nation-
cation to his IP phone, email or PDA.         ministry that they should follow up with      ally. Therefore our regulator made the
We were not sure it would catch on since      a public verbal hearing and get a decision    first round of questionnaires in August
there are so many other domain names,         before the anniversary of the case.           2001! and a workshop in February 2002.
but I work at a government agency
whose mission includes piloting new           In the mean time Skype has been down-         There was only one major difference to
technology, and running the top level         loaded 50 million times. IP telephony         most other countries: all other approaches
would be trivial as long as the volume        companies will be routed without ENUM,        first tried to solve all technical and espe-
is small.                                     and the ITU and governments should not        cially all administrative problems before
                                              manage technology innovation.                 they started a trial - which had the result
There is an agreement between the ITU                                                       that they never finished this phase.
and the IESG that the RIPE NCC runs           COOK Report: Something though sure
the top level domain but requests to op-      seems to be holding ENUM back - opin-         In Austria we did not forget these prob-
erate county domains must go to ITU-T         ions?                                         lems, but we started the trial in parallel.
which forwards the request to the country                                                   One reason was that the investments are
telecom regulator for decision.               Shockey: Politics - pure and simple.          ridiculously low - all you basically need
                                              Once the decision was made that the           are some PCs (or some Dell servers, if
Now, Denmark is a small country with          various zones of e164.arpa were to per-       you want to be exquisite) running Linux
5 M inhabitants and a well-funded and         fectly match the administrative policies      and DNS, and a handful of good devel-
well-working public administration so         and procedures of the ITU E.164 plan the      opers. This is of course not true for the
at first I called the regulator and we met    decision to implement became a nation         commercial implementation, but it was
a few weeks later. They were interested       state issue.                                  sufficient for two years of trial.
and had questions. As talks and corre-
spondence grew and took time without          This should not surprise anyone. Phone        During the trial we found out the follow-
progress we sent the request to RIPE          numbers have always been administered         ing things: -There is no technical prob-
NCC and a bit later the regulator got         by national regulators and regulators         lem in implementing ENUM, since it
the official request from ITU-T. Their        have to do their job to make sure that        works fine, and is fast and reliable. There
response to this difficult situation was to   various national laws and interests are       is mainly a commercial problem:
hand over the case to their resort ministry   protected.
(for Science, Technology and Develop-                                                       ENUM is primarily for interconnecting
ment).                                        Decisions of this magnitude take time         companies, as Richard Shockey found
                                              and careful consideration hence the need      out already two years ago, secondly it is
Well, after an exchange of letters we         for public consultations and hearings.        for ENUM-enabled (ENUM-only) no-
had a meeting with the ministry who                                                         madic numbers (you need again the regu-
explained that they had to make a public      And of course there are some entities         lators coop here), and then eventually for
hearing. I provided paperwork for the         who are not happy about VoIP.                 mobile numbers, For all these applica-
hearing which was sent to 160 organiza-                                                     tions validation (which is used mainly
tions. The responses were mostly nega-        Richard Stastny: First, I have to apolo-      as an argument to block ENUM) is not
tive with good arguments that the Name        gize for not participating actively in        an issue: not a problem for companies,
Service should be allocated based on          the discussion here on Skype. I was on        a non-issue for ENUM-only numbers
open tender (which would take another         vacation for three weeks and back on          and easily done with SMS with mobile
year and perhaps attract no bidders) and      January 10th. So I am still catching up       numbers. Residential customers on fixed
that issues with security, competition and    the tons of e-mails. So I was only listen-    lines will come later, if ever.
rights should be thoroughly discussed         ing randomly.
and understood (which would require                                                         The basic problems with ENUM in Aus-
some careful work that nobody may be          But with this new thread I am questioned      tria are twofold:
likely to invest on such a risky project).    directly, so I have to answer ;-)
Of course, the organizations who had the                                                    One is Metcalfe’s Law, both nationally
time to respond to the hearing include the    Frode is perfectly right with his analysis.   and internationally: Austria is the only
incumbent telco and other large telcos        It takes (too much) time to get ENUM          country which has ENUM implemented,
who have to argue against all change that     implemented in e164.arpa nationally.          so whom to call? So we basically wait
                                                                 50
                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005

and wait for others (especially the US) to   SkypePlus - other VoIP providers do this       proprietary ones made by all of the VoIP
join. The second is: you need a VoIP ser-    already (and not only in the US).              field’s popular vendors. http://www.nex-
vice giving you a public SIP-URI. There                                                     tone.com/
are not many commercially available          Roberts: I doubt any country will allow
VoIP services which give you a public        this easy a revenue source to shift to other   Menard: To kick-off, perhaps Raj can
SIP-URI, Every Telco and most VoIP           out-of-country companies. And since as         enlighten us on his contentions of using
providers are implementing in a walled       Richard Shockey correctly points out,          a SIP-based border proxy server with
garden. Again the only ones which can        this is the responsibility of the ITU, and     and without an RTP proxy and what this
bypass this are again the companies.         they have passed it to the countries,          means for settlements and accountability
                                                                                            for inter-carrier IP-based peering on a
An Austrian company (Kapsch) has             Stastny: as I said above, many providers       bill-and-keep-basis on a per-exchange
implemented ENUM already. The                offer numbers for VoIP - have a number         basis.
major feature is that they connected         in Washington from Libretel. This is a
their PBX via a VoIP gateway with            national matter and most countries allow       Reed: Francois, with all due respect, this
the Internet and you may reach any           this (some with restrictions)                  is micro- (no, let’s say pico-) optimiza-
extension with sip:ext@kapsch.net eg                                                        tion of a system for which none of these
sip:3184@kapsch.net. So if you query         Roberts: Enum is doomed until the VoIP         concepts may be applicable.
ENUM for +43508113184, you get               conversion is near complete.
sip:3184@kapsch.net. You may try it out                                                     I’m sure somebody cares, but I’ll ignore
at http://193.80.173.26:8080/elookup/ If     Stastny: One does not need ENUM for            any future email that addresses any of
somebody at Kapsch dials any phone           providing these services                       the above, little-picture obsessions that
number on his office phone, first an                                                        represent the death rattle of a lot of ob-
ENUM query is done to find an ENUM           Roberts: Then it is too late, we will be       solete ideas. (And good riddance, some
entry, and only if no entry is found, the    using real names.                              might say)
call is placed to the PSTN.
                                             Stastny: You need always an URI as I           COOK Report: Hi David, Thank you
The bottom line is simple: the window of     pointed out in my other e-mail, both for       for emphasizing again that we are talk-
opportunity for ENUM is closing (fast).      ENUM and direct addressing.                    ing here about two different strains of
                                                                                            IP telephony. Like it or not there *IS* a
The other solution proposed to imple-        Reed: In my opinion, those who think           sizable market of telcos, and enterprises
ment ENUM fast without dealing with          that numbering plans are either a bar-         with IP PBXs and so on that are running
ITU, national regulators, etc. is to do      rier to innovation or an enhancement of        VoIP systems of one kind or another over
carrier ENUM in another tree. But this       social welfare are doomed to live in the       the OLD legacy telco infrastructure.
would work globally only if ALL carri-       dustbin of history.
ers and service providers would agree on                                                    At the same time you have SKYPE that
one common tree (and also connect to         Do you think any normal human being            seems to represent a new way to do
the public Internet), and this seems not     wants to continue to have to manage a          telephony or better to say voice com-
possible either.                             list of numbers for telephone instruments      munication and has the characteristics
                                             designed around the limitations of a rota-     for which you are a brilliant advocate.
The argument against ENUM: Who               ry pulse generator or a Strowger switch?       One reason that I have flogged your Viral
needs numbers at all, we use names, is ri-                                                  Communications paper so heavily is that
diculous: What names: SIP-URI, Skype         Of course the idea that interfering in         someone who reads it will understand
names, AOL names, H323-URI?                  speech communications among people is          VERY clearly why you are as outspoken
                                             a key governmental role is popular, even       on these issues as you are.
The basic problem of ENUM as stated          in strongly democratic traditions like
above is that you need to translate the      the Danish and the Americans (CALEA            However - in MY opinion - if you look
number in a public available URI. If you     comes to mind). The more bollixed up in        at the marketplace for the next couple of
do not have such an URI, you simply          politics that ENUM becomes, the better.        years, it is pretty clear that like it or not
cannot reach the other party, with or                                                       the pico optimization of these issues is
without ENUM. Period                         Two Parts of VoIP                              happening and will continue to happen.
                                                                                            Rightly or wrongly the huge enterprises
Roberts: With number portability (at         COOK Report: Please welcome Raj                will have to wrestle with the questions
least in the US) would Skype be able to      Sharma of NexTone. As Franl Coluccio           that Francois was asking. He was asking
take the numbers? This would remove all      remarked above, Raj’s principal interests      RAJ by the way and Raj is someone who
barriers to entry.                           lie in the harmonization of protocols for      by virtue of what his company is doing
                                             the IXCs, ITSPs, ISPs and ILECs, such          should be able to speak to these issues.
Stastny: This will come very soon with       as SIP and H.323 along with a long list of     So Raj please don’t be shy.

                                                              51
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
                                              suggest you spend 4 days per week NOT            where a metaphor conflates an instance
MY intent is to publish a COOK Report         thinking about the FCC, instead thinking         with one of its categories.
that tells BOTH parts of this story. I do     about what you can build and building it.
need to get paid to keep on doing what        On the 5th day, you then have the cred-          Shockey: I’m increasingly interested in
I am doing and I think it is incumbent        ibility to tell them what really works for       this. I have heard anecdotal evidence that
on me to explore the current telephony        real users.                                      WiMAX has some big problems with
morass of this so that my actual and po-                                                       fog and other extreme forms of weather
tential customers can better understand       Competition and                                  that is peculiar to the RF absorption
the choices they face **NOW** while                                                            characteristics of the spectrum WiMAX
being inspired by your message that the       Wireless Paths                                   typically uses.
next wave of change that sweeps all this      WiMAX Troubles
aside is not too far off.                                                                      Has anyone heard anything more about
                                              Only in Vonnegut’s world of “Harrison            this?
Therefore, part one of the VoIP issue for     Bergeron” does one measure or achieve
me is what Raj and Francois and Frank         sustainability by focusing on big winners        Reed: WiMAX has bigger troubles. It’s
and Henning and others are talking about      and big losers, trying to manage every-          no different than cellular from the 50,000
while part two is very definitely your in-    thing into sameness. Any sufficiently            foot perspective. It’s not opening a new
sight as to where with Skype and similar      large and *productively evolving* sys-           market, but merely using the same tech-
approaches this is inevitably heading.        tem has winners and losers at all scales         nology to try to start a service that com-
                                              (fractally scaled - lots of little losers,       petes with a universally present service.
You are of course free to focus specifi-      fewer medium sized losers, a few big             The only advantage it might have is that
cally on part two. :-)                        losers).                                         it is not being positioned as a mobile ser-
                                                                                               vice with roaming, so it can be rolled out
Menard: What I dislike about David’s          Competition at its most productive is a          incrementally. But cellular data services
view of the world is that it is incompat-     rough game, just like productive evolu-          are easy to add.
ible with regulatory objectives of jus-       tion. You can measure competition by the
tifying forbearance upon a competitive        rate of failure (which tends to equal the        Somebody should study Christensen’s
supply of alternative access facilities. I    rate of entry). When it’s competition for        book again, and notice that wireless
do not have any business case for deploy-     the attention of customers, it’s the most        broadband need not enter the market in
ing wireless if the ILEC decides, can, is     efficient filter we have of good ideas, be-      the markets that have already been cherry
allowed or is not prevented, from giving      cause it seeks the optimum satisfaction of       picked. 802.11 is a much better starting
away its lousy DSL services. I contend        the humans who are the ultimate custom-          point - every computer user already HAS
that VoIP will lead to more distributed,      ers (the telecom industry seems to think         one endpoint of that system, and will buy
faster, more reliable peering between         that ILECs are customers for technology,         whatever feeds their itch. 802.11 reaches
more carriers in a way that is not as cen-    and that devices are customers for bits).        the telephone poles in your neighborhood,
tralized as with the current NAPs. For        Ultimately what the entire information           if you put a bridge in your window. And
instance, I do not have the facilities to     economy feeds on is the attention of             if there are no telephone poles, it reaches
peer in Toronto if all I want to do is do     humans to each other and their environ-          your neighbor’s apartment or your neigh-
VoIP over local ILEC DSL loops.               ment. The rest is hot air, self-justifying       bor who has a fiber with lots of spare
                                              feedback loops that are accidents of the         capacity for now. That’s HFW (hybrid
Reed: Francois - in Canada the regula-        particular architecture we’ve evolved.           fiber(cable)wireless). A lot cheaper and
tors may feel that they know what the                                                          more upgradeable than APON, EPON
customers need and what technologies          When it’s competition to win on the “reg-        and other PONzi schemes.
should be granted forbearance.                ulatory playing field” (which is where
                                              your arguments are always based, Fran-           Cellular is already taking share from
Menard: This is certainly better than the     cois), it’s one of the least efficient filters   some wireline services at a rate that
FCC for instance, who does not appear to      of valuable ideas, because it seeks the          erodes the profit pool. There are lots of
have a clue about how to achieve sustain-     optimum satisfaction of the regulators           other wireless paths beginning to unfold.
ability in telecommunications competi-        (who aren’t the FCC, but mostly a small          Cable competition (facilities based com-
tion.                                         set of politicians, who largely groove on        petition in HFC) is finally born in some
                                              power over others).                              regions, despite the fundamental socialist
Reed: It’s not their job. Why should it                                                        intuition that no economy can sustain 2
be? Don’t obsess about the FCC. They          WiMAX’s fate (yet undecided, though I            fibers to any home (a lot of hooey based
are not God, cannot be, unless we make        think it will fall into a miniscule shadow       on the old Big Lie that demand is inelas-
them so. They are pretty pitiful, just like   of what it could have been, just like            tic for communications).
the Wizard of Oz. In a democracy we           Bluetooth has) proves nothing - that’s
construct our own bad guys and give           the mistake of synecdoche, i.e. the case         Menard: I want to comment on David’s
them power by our fear and attention. I                                                        last three paragraphs above.
                                                                  52
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                               er. Separate those functions and you have    to them. There has been no business case
First, I fully subscribe to your assess-       the preconditions for a global versus a      so far that I’ve seen. Caveat - I mean
ment that consensus (i.e. balancing the        viral service.                               wireless for data that can compete with
public interest against that of the interest                                                broadband cable/DSL plant.
of competitors and of the incumbents) is       Governments remember have always
a pretty weak filter for new ideas. Still,     controlled phone numbers though they         Reed: The ILECs may or may not still
the IETF revolves around the notion of         use licensed carriers as the distribution    have some advantages, but don’t give
rough consensus and running code.              mechanism. Why? Because control of           me any foolishness about a business case
                                               the service is directly related to control   having to have NO RISK from competi-
But what I want to point out is that there     of its naming and addressing.                tive response.
are cool new technologies like:
                                               Menard: Second, regarding your agree-        Menard: The risk has to be that ILECs
a) ENUM which is set to put a new in-          ment that WiMAX is a figure of speech,       will not have price flexibility which al-
terface to the old SS7 who will not be         I do think that until such time as it is     lows to price their services on a promo-
implemented rapidly unless it is forced        deployed, that’s pretty much all it is. I    tional basis at a level that is below their
down the throat of ILECs by the regula-        am deeply concerned with the (ahem,          incremental costs, which is the price
tors.                                          forget regulatory now) market econom-        floor used by competitors that can be
                                               ics which will lead to WiMAX being de-       used to begin achieving sustainability.
b) wideband audio, which will be trans-        ployed in a manner that is sustainable.
coded back to G.711 every time someone                                                      Reed: Only in the crony socialist world
will want to send wideband audio to the        Third, regarding cellular, fact is that      of telecom would anyone believe that
customer of an incumbent, this again           ILECs are the biggest wireless phone         margins are a multiplier on costs. Mar-
unless it is forced down the throat of the     operations and that divestiture of their     gins are the difference between value
incumbents by the regulators.                  wireline operations is certainly not far     and cost of the cleverest provider of that
                                               away. But then again, wireless, at least     value. I happen to think that wireless
Shockey: Or the ILEC’s take it over as         in Canada, is a game of 3 players - I find   solutions can cost pretty damn little, if
they have done in Poland and effectively       no comfort in a vibrantly competitive        you use smart technological designs. If
kill it.                                       oligopoly of 3 players, two of which         the frame of your dreams is that the only
                                               are ILECs (Bell, TELUS) and the third        answer is fiber through my rosebushes,
Control of a communications service is         of which is an incumbent cable carrier       well, you are going to have to beg for
directly related to the control of the un-     (Rogers).                                    protection from the government so you
derlying naming and addressing mecha-                                                       can hire the children of the politicians
nism. In the Internet people can acquire       Earlier Reed: I grew up in a world where     into cushy jobs.
their naming and addressing indepen-           a business case involves the risk that
dently of the underlying transport or          someone will compete with you, and           Menard: Another day, another round
service provider which is not the case for     even price aggressively to get share. (I     being won.Ssee for instance this morn-
either Skype or traditional PSTN service.      was responsible for several billions of      ing’s decision showing my regulatory
Which is another way of saying that ulti-      dollars of product in that environment,      prose in action:
mately SIP wins in the long run.               and there were NO guarantees that some-      http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Or-
                                               body might not price in a predatory man-     ders/2005/o2005-21.htm
Reed: You are right if you mean that           ner (well, Robinson-Patman, but that’s
the service forcibly links the two. But        pretty weak protection). The ILECs are       Reed: They call equity investment RISK
remember that SIP isn’t a service, and its     completely uncompetitive, saddled with       CAPITAL. I prefer a world that rewards
users (like Vonage) are trying to force-       ancient technology and inefficient busi-     people who figure out how to get funded
link the two as we speak. SIP doesn’t win      ness practices, without their regulatory     and deliver stuff end users want. Not a
if its vendors wait for .e148 because they     protectors to protect them from competi-     world that rewards incumbent managers
think the business is about PSTN.              tion.                                        and golf-playing heirs for sitting around
                                                                                            and ordering their staffs to service their
It’s in a new start-up’s interest (Skype) to   Menard: If they are incapable of com-        personal ego needs for status and impor-
decouple naming so they can connect to         peting, I wonder why WISPs are not           tance.
everything else over time.                     expanding in areas where ILECs offer
                                               DSL services?                                Impact of Smart Design
Shockey: Looking at Skype, AOL IM,
MS-IM you will see that however viral          Gill: That is because the services pro-      on Wireless Cost
the system seems, it ultimately runs into      vided by wireless offer no compelling
                                                                                            It’s not the regulators who will enable
the wall that the control of the naming        advantages in either cost or bandwidth/
                                                                                            connectivity. People want it, and will
and addressing scheme is directly con-         latency that can overcome the inertia
trolled by the underlying service provid-      caused by the transactional cost to switch   buy it at a price that some technologies

                                                               53
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
can meet with handsome profits. Wire-         of Excel.                                     useful service despite such restrictions!
less solutions can cost pretty damn little,                                                 Including the right of Amateur Radio
if you use smart technological designs.       Menard: You cannot afford a truck roll        Operators to shut down T-Mobile Hot-
                                              the stuff needs to go through leaves and it   spots anytime they can *prove* interfer-
Menard: Such as? How do you beat 3            must work from your basement too, like        ence. But Part 15 has shifted the pre-
mbps DSL for C$19.50 a month with any         Tim the Toolman Taylor says: WE NEED          sumption of interference and burden of
wireless technology?                          MORE POWER. That’s why I’m waiting            proof. In those bands, ISM, NII, etc., un-
                                              to see what power Industry Canada will        like the AM/FM/TV/Cellular bands, the
Gill: I am very curious to hear this my-      allow in Cognitive radio in the TV band,      real fairness arises because of a simple
self. The numbers are confidential but I      i. e. 802.22.                                 legal shift, not power levels. In the TV
think given the right alignment, we can                                                     band, the regulations presume interfer-
come close to that number in USD given        How to Think about the                        ence even when there is no television
current technology in the 900 mHz band                                                      present that can hear the signal, much
using for example, Waverider gear. Can        Strategy of Power in                          less have its picture degraded. Such “in-
we beat three mbps for the same price?        Terms of Part 15                              terference” is a fiction. Just as to prove
Not to my knowledge. David may know                                                         burglary, you must prove more than that
some vendors that can, I do not. David,       Reed: Excuse me, Francois. That’s en-         someone walked into the house.
anything you can disclose here?               tirely the wrong understanding, though
                                              if you are focusing on one link at the        Earlier Reed: Ultimately, we need more
Reed: If the ILECs try to price DSL low,      expense of all in a reductionist way, you     network-scale coordination, cooperation,
the fact that they are being killed by cel-   can be forgiven. More power is almost         and sharing, less balkanization and focus
lular and cable competitors will syner-       always the last thing we need - you           on one greedy link at a time. The cellular
gize to hasten their demise.                  get faster computation by dropping the        radio industry has demonstrated continu-
                                              energy in each transistor, even though        ous increases in capacity while dropping
Menard: Question? Fact? Fiction? I’m          you get faster transistors if you raise the   radiated power continuously over time
seeing no evidence backing up your            energy in each; the same thing holds true     by architectures that follow exactly this
statement.                                    for radio communications. Radiated en-        strategy. [Your brain and corneas thank
                                              ergy merely pollutes the electromagnetic      you because although the old cell phones
Gill: I’m interested in the reasoning be-     field with energy at all the places that      were barely safe, if we had increased
hind this as well.                            don’t want your signal. Not only does it      power to increase coverage and data rate,
                                              waste the energy input, killing your bat-     rather than using better techniques, you
Ballard: And who is picking up the cost       teries and contributing to global warm-       would have to hold your cellular radios
of the Waverider CPE and the truck roll       ing, it also does not improve the system      at arms length to be safe from cooking
associated with this?                         performance as a whole for reasons that       key proteins.] Remember that capacity of
                                              perhaps I can hint at below.                  a link increases only as the logarithm of
Gill: It is in the model, with some as-                                                     power, which means that to double data
sumptions such as return CPE if it doesn’t    Menard: OK, but do you consider that          rate, you have to SQUARE the power!
work for you, plus RF planning and pre-       its fair for the FCC to limit ISM to cur-     To double distance at the same data rate,
qualification, you can reduce truck roll.     rent power levels and then compare the        you have to square the power, or if the
Far more costly on the wireless end           power levels that the cellular carriers are   curvature of the earth is taken into ac-
though is interference. What most people      allowed to radiate against the power level    count, you have to raise the energy to the
don’t realize is that if a customer support   that WISPs are being limited to?              fourth power. And this ignores the other
call comes in from a user, you lose all                                                     effects of putting out more power:
margin on that customer for a good while      Reed: It might even be smart! The key
and with high churn rates, it well may be     thing about Part 15 (*not* ISM, which is      First of all, putting out more power to
for the life of the customer.                 the primary licensee of the 2.4 GHz band      cover more is a “one way broadcast”
                                              in the US, or Amateur Radio, which is         concept. Networks are interconnects, not
The costing model is a fully loaded cost,     the secondary licensee of the same band       one-to-many. It does no good to have a
including equipment writedowns, MRC           - “unlicensed” is at level 3 in the regula-   tower with more power, if the other end
for pole rental, power, and SG&A.             tory framework!) is that Part 15 must         transmitting back does not.
                                              accept ANY other signals, and must also
Ballard: Interested to hear how this very     not interfere with primary or secondary       Second, the effectiveness of a network
low cost model provides payback.              licensees (aforementioned).There is no        is not measured in ergs or joules. It is
                                              “right” that Part 15 devices have to trans-   measured in the same units as entropy,
Gill: We are not sure, hence the experi-      mit at *any* power level above zero.          not energy - bits (information is precisely
ment. Models are only so good, at some                                                      negative entropy). The key to scaling
point the rubber meets the road and I’m       The reason Part 15 has worked is that it      information capacity is to manage the
a very big fan of empirical verification      has encouraged innovation that provides       system’s distribution of entropy, which
                                                                 54
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
is largely independent of energy. Shan-                                                     was raised by Francois:
non showed that it’s based in the ratio        Regarding working in your basement, a
between energy that has the relevant in-       trivial example applies: just put a very     Last week I Skyped a fella in Melbourne,
formation and energy that does not. Once       simple RF repeater or translator in your     AU who was using a WISP supplying pt-
you have sufficient wireless activity, true    house, and you have service in your          2-pt 512 symmetric, and paying $49.95
natural noise is not the issue - multiply-     basement. This is no different than the      Australian capped at 1GByte per month.
ing every transmitter’s energy by an arbi-     leaky-coax systems that distribute RF        Which, he cautioned, would not buy
trary constant does not change the infor-      throughout tunnels and buildings that        as many loaves of bread as $29USD.
mation capacity one single iota, because       cannot be penetrated from outside. The       That said, his alternatives were dial up
entropy is independent of the energy. Or       net improvement in efficiency, measured      and sub-384k DSL undependable (his
in other words, doubling every radio’s         in units of system entropy is huge. Why      words), at a cost of ~$30/mo., with no
power output also doubles every receiv-        pump up the volume so a few deaf people      two-way over cable coax seen on the
er’s interference input, which means           can hear, when you can give them hear-       horizon, yet.
that the ratio of signal to interference       ing aids or cochlear implants instead!
stays constant. Similarly, halving every                                                    http://www.goldenit.net.au and http://
transmitter’s energy halves the interfer-      It’s natural, but UTTERLY wrong, to          makeashorterlink.com/?L14A32D3A
ence at every receiver.                        think of power as “punching” through
                                               stuff. Adding energy to waves in elec-       This morning I posted the Intel story
A system of N independent units distrib-       tromagnetic fields just dribbles more        (upstream) that included mention of a
utes information (i.e. negative entropy)       energy and increase entropy (decreasing      wireless offering in Minnesota of 1Mb/s
as a result of decisions it makes in its       information capacity) in almost every        unlimited coming off lamp posts and
components that correlate and respond to       case. This is true of RF, optical energy,    adjacent rooftops for 15.99 per month.
incident signals, routing the information      X rays, and gamma rays. Power is Mar-        And lest I forget, the muni in this case is
from source to destination. The function       coni-era thinking.                           supporting the service.
of communications is only a redistribu-
tion of entropy, not a gain or loss in total   Networking (especially *inter*-network-      From an architectural perspective, which
energy.                                        ing, where connectivity increases for        includes being able to accurately as-
                                               everyone with every radio you add, ac-       sess the feasibility of such platforms in
And computation only need cost energy          cording to Metcalfe’s Law) wins over         a wide variety of circumstances, one
when it increases entropy (read Feynman        raw power.                                   needs to be able to predict what the shelf
and others on “reversible computation”,                                                     life (sustainability) of such services are
which is an area that we are beginning         If you want to tell regulators what to       before they are deemed obsolete, and
to really exploit as we move closer to         do, tell them to declare radios that don’t   what point solutions they aim to satisfy.
understanding how to design processors         participate in networking enemies of the     At 1Mb/s, we’re getting close to, but not
with more and more reversible logic)           people, and make producing them an of-       quite there yet, where one would want
- communication decisions within the           fense that carries a life sentence for the   to be able to satisfy most residential so
network do not necessarily increase en-        engineers who produce them.                  called triple play needs.
tropy throughout the network - the key
is to design networks that get closer and      Menard: If one day I become a politi-        Drop the CableModem and telco voice
closer to changing entropy only at the         cian, I will sponsor an amendment to the     and keep the CableTV services, while
sources and sinks.                             criminal code that makes plotting against    picking up voice and Internet access over
                                               innovation a criminal offense.               a Wi-Fi platform?
In optical fibers, we are getting closer
to such limits - we send signals down          An Almost Hopeless                           Wait for a marginally higher speed wire-
incredibly long stretches of fiber without                                                  less service to come along that will
amplification by designing with entropy        Complexity of Variables                      include IPTV?
and not energy in mind. The key thing          Involved in Service
about a fiber is that it doesn’t change        Pricing                                      How long will analog FDM NTSC/HD
entropy except at the endpoints (soli-                                                      services continue to dominate cable op-
tons are nice entropy stabilization tech-      Coluccio: If we’re addressing these is-      erator architectures and set top boxes?
niques). We have only started to have the      sues on a global scale, much will prove
scale to do that in RF networks.               to be local and terrain and nation spe-      Will voice continue to present the same
                                               cific. Allow me to post a couple of          level of revenue down the road, as it ap-
We are already able to translate micro-        examples that bring out the economic         pears to the operators to present now?
wave signals into optical domain without       realities being spoken of here, and at the
losing energy remoting microwave sig-          same time address the disparity of pric-     Just a few points while musing to tail
nals over optical fiber (read about micro-     ing issue between wireless and DSL that      this topic off, but issues that I’ve been
wavephotonics.com’s technology).                                                            wondering about recently, just the same,
                                                               55
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
so I thought I’d pass them along here in       be at the end points of consumer lines,      instead of slogging over to their desk
response to Jere’s concerns over in-elas-      where many of those will be delivering       to pick up a tethered, black telephone
ticity and see what sticks.                    services that are virtually free at one      set. All the evidence I need of this is to
                                               point, but the more lucrative services       observe how, in my own home, both I
Coluccio: I guess there’s more than one        will be embedded in enterprise and in        and other members of my family auto-
measure of separation occurring here,          governmental phone works for some            matically default to using our own cell
With regard to the different universes         time to come.                                phones, when there is a land line sitting
where VoIP falls into play.                                                                 in its cradle not more than a room or two
                                               Stastny; I also agree: There will be basi-   away, or when the land line-wireless unit
Stastny: I agree. This was a simplified        cally three types of “Service Providers”     itself is sitting on the coffee table side by
approach. See below.                           1. Enterprises 2. Service Providers or       side with the cell phone.
                                               better hosting providers (as now for e-
Coluccio: I commented to Gordon sev-           mail and web-hosting, etc) 3. DYI - you      Stastny: I fully agree, it is the same with
eral days ago, partially in jest, that large   may buy and run your VoIP Server at          me: In the office I use my (office) mobile
enterprises could do a great deal to miti-     home, like an e-mail server or web-serv-     phone just for convenience, because I
gate their net-borne security concerns by      er. This is now only for freaks, but more    have the numbers stored there (only for
allowing employees, sometime in the not        and more people run networks at home         longer calls e. g. conference calls I use
too distant future, to use their own uni-      (more than one PC, media server, NAS         the office phone - mainly because of the
versal platforms, as you suggest, both for     for videos and photos (also for backup),     speaker and the mute button).
their voice and data needs. This way you       control for networked appliances, so why
take the risk off the employee’s desktop       not run also your own communication          At home (I have four kids and all have a
and stick it in his pocket, where it can do    server. Normal people will buy them at       mobile) I never pick up the fixed phone,
far less harm to the network.                  the supermarket (as now PCs). Freaks         because it is not for me anyway. The kids
                                               will also buy them there, but reprogram      still use it for outgoing calls because I
Stastny: Yes and no, General purpose           them, because they all will run on Linux     have to pay. ;-)
devices are basically also endangered          or MS.
like Laptops, and everybody travelling                                                      My next gadget will be a dual-mode mo-
with laptops knows the paranoia of LAN         I read today in a computer magazine a        bile phone (e. g. the already mentioned
administrators against “privately” man-        story how to upgrade an out-of-the-box       Qtek 9090 to get also my Skype and
aged laptops ;-). So you will get in future    NAS (network attached storage device)        SIP call delivered on the same device, at
your business mobile phone handed out          by moving the Linux OS to the disk           home and everywhere in the world.
crippled from the admins.                      to act as a media server. And like with
                                               e-mail, many people will use both the        So what will providers deliver: access
Coluccio: Given the type of universal          office communication server and private      and hosted services - I still want to have
PDA Richard Stastny speaks of (which           communications server, either DYI or         a voice box not dependant of my home
corresponds to what I was speaking of)         outsourced                                   network if crashed by my kids. The rest
this is not a far-fetched idea.                                                             will be products you buy in a shop (on
                                               Reed: Even in the latter enterprise sce-     the Internet).
But the point remains that the center of       narios, however, I would not minimize
gravity of VoIP decent- to higher- margin      how quickly employees on their own will
revenues for service providers will not        move over to using their personal devices




                                                                 56
Skype Seen as "Instant Voice-Integration" of
Multiple Forms of Communication into
Broadband Based Collaboration Highlights
Improved Audio Codecs, P2P Architecture, & Other Features May
Push Skype like "Instant Voice" Softphones into New Areas
James Enck Explores Possible Impact on Wireline and Mobile Carriers
Editor’s Introduction: James Enck is        reports from Stuart Henshall that he has
the European Telecom Analyst and Glob-      heard that Skype is working on spatial          Enck: Yes - all of what you suggest is
al Telecom Strategist at Daiwa Securities   positioning of voices in a conference call.     absolutely true. I think what Duric is
SMBC Europe Ltd. James is based in          There is always scope for something like        saying is indicative of a growing real-
London. On the welcome page of his          haptics where you can project some ele-         ization that use of peer-to-peer audio
well-known EuroTelcoblog he states: “In     ment of a person's physical presence such       communication softphones or software
July 2003, I began publishing an email      as a heartbeat to come into play here. In       like Sype is just fundamentally different
blast called EuroTelcoblog as part of my    the grandparents’ scenario, the sense of        than products based on SIP that must use
work as an analyst at Daiwa Securities      being there and being able to listen to         ordinary hardware telephones and be able
SMBC Europe.” He also explains that         the kids play as opposed to having five         to connect effortlessly to the PSTN. You
his blog allowed him to give some real      minutes on the phone with them is worth         have on the one hand what he is saying
expression to his desire to “observe how    thinking about. This of course becomes          and on the other hand rather negative
disruptive technologies interact with and   possible if the technology works and as         responses coming from the SIP folk and
ultimately subvert rigid legacy struc-      long as the service is not metered.             the SIP --using hardware community.
tures.” I interviewed James on Friday                                                       This is indicative of the Skype’s having
March 4, 2005.                              Alan Duric is the CTO of Telio, not the         driven a wedge down not only the pro-
                                            one that every one is talking about in the      prietary versus open standards issue but
COOK Report: What are the most in-          States but a company that is basically a        about what the very nature of the service
teresting aspects of Skype, or other P2P    Norwegian Vonage. Duric used to work            is. Zennstrom has never made any bones
voice communication programs that you       at Global IP Sound where he was one             about the fact that Skype was originally
see at the moment?                          of the authors of the Sype audio codec.         basing its interface and user experience
                                            His description of some of the things           on instant messaging adding in effect
Enck: Some of the implications of pres-     that are in the development pipeline with       instant voice to instant messaging. They
ence for Skype are going to turn out to     broadband audio codecs is that he says          were never trying to recreate the tele-
be very interesting. There are stories of   for the future it will be like the difference   phone experience.
using it as a kind of open microphone be-   between black and white TV and color.
tween two physically separated but oth-     This is where he sees services differenti-      COOK Report: This gets back to what
erwise emotionally very involved people.    ating themselves once price is no longer        David Reed was saying last December
You may have also seen Martin Geddes'       an issue. The thinking seems to be that         on the mail list about Skype not being
blog description of how he and his Lithu-   market share will be determined by what-        an IP replacement for the telephone but
anian wife may leave an open Skype con-     ever platform delivers the best sensory         being designed for strongest appeal to
nection to the grandparents in Lithuania    experience. This is an area where Skype         those living a communications centered
on all day long. It permits verbal com-     already is quite far ahead.                     life. One has to really re-orient one’s
munication between grand parents and                                                        mindset in approaching this.
the grand children on an "as convenient"    COOK Report: Certainly visual presence
basis. It’s a bit like having an intercom   can’t be far behind? All manner of web          This leads me to ask about their use of the
open to the next room.                      cam devices are becoming very cheap.            Global IP Sound codec. How closely are
                                            Therefore, it probably will not be long         they tied to that? They have to be think-
Future Possibilities:                       at all until Skype or its competitors do        ing about how they would add features?
                                            video as well as audio? As monitors get
Improvements in                             bigger there will certainly be room for         Enck: My understanding is that Skype
Presence and in Audio                       a video window. As you move all kinds           has simply licensed the codec. I am not
                                            of presence to the edge on an individual        sure how the payments are structured -
The audio aspect is open to improve-        basis, this should drive increased demand       namely whether it is based on number of
ments in interesting ways. I have seen      for bandwidth and for filling up fiber.         users. My understanding is that they have

                                                       57
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
to make regular payments. Either quar-         There are lots of variations there that are   within Accenture. The reading I was
terly or semi-annual. I don’t think they       possible. I sent a note the other day to      given is that they are currently interested
are in anyway locked in but they have so       someone I know at Skype asking why            enough in it and want to see where it
many clients installed that, if they wanted    didn’t they put in a record function so       will take them such that there is no effort
to do something dramatically different,        that people could easily record their         made to stop it or restrict it in anyway.
then everyone would have to download           Skype conversations or conference calls?      The folks I have talked with stress that,
a new Skype with a new codec. It might         If you think about it being used in an        while they are not going in clandestinely
take a bit of a while to roll over their en-   enterprise where there are compliance         and using this behind a client’s firewall,
tire user base, but it would not I think be    issues or where you want to archive your      it is something they feel comfortable
an impossible task.                            discussions, having a record function         enough to use within their own organiza-
                                               would be useful and it couldn’t be that       tion and that they are not discouraged in
COOK Report: Stuart Henshall men-              difficult to do.                              anyway from doing this.
tioned a new 3D codec coming from
Japan. But other than Alan Duric in Nor-       The response so far from Skype has been       COOK Report: What do you hear about
way what do you hear about new codecs?         that we haven’t seen that much value to       the dangers and risks of a peer-to-peer
Would 3D audio imply multiple speakers         us so far in doing something like that        system like Skype?
or probably just a good head phone?            instead of other things that are higher on
                                               our list because they appear more imme-       Enck: While I am not a security expert,
Enck: With headphones, the 3D would            diately attractive.                           I have certainly noted Melissa’s concerns
imply that you could place people in                                                         about an open Port 80. I have also noted
a 360 degree stereo spectrum as to the         Enterprise Concerns                           the opinion of Dimitry Goroshevsky at
positioning of their voice. With a con-                                                      Popular Telephony http://www.peerio.
ference call you would get the image of        about Skype Encourage                         com/ and the folks at Nimcat Networks
people actually sitting around a table. I      Competitive Products                          in Canada http://www.nimcatnetworks.
would think in a conference setting this                                                     com/ that any IT manager who turns
would be very useful in a situation where      COOK Report: Perhaps this is because          loose an application that can punch a
essentially what you have now is 10            of the very negative reaction that Skype      hole in a corporate firewall needs his
mono channels over lapping.                    gets from enterprise security people?         head examined and that is why they have
                                               Would you describe what you hear from         built into their application an administra-
It would make it much easier for people        enterprises as to their use or non use of     tor role where central control is required
to identify who is speaking and in that        Skype?                                        to switch functions on and off.
sense I thing they could learn a lot from
some of the gaming enthusiasts. In this        Enck: I wrote a piece not long ago on         COOK Report: So isn’t this another way
area there are a couple of products - one      Accenture. It turns out that this piece       of saying that what is going on here will
is called Teamspeak and the other is           flushed out two other guys. They have         probably evolve into new software pack-
Teamtalk. These products offer a way for       project teams working in Pakistan, and        ages, new devices and new companies?
multi-player on-line gaming administra-        other teams in Amsterdam, Madrid, Vi-         Right?
tors - basically the people running the        enna and London. First of all within Ac-
server - to impose some moderation on          centure itself I have confirmation that top   Enck: Absolutely and I think that there
the process of running the game. I be-         managers and even board members are           may be future iterations of Skype that
lieve you can see who is talking as a part     aware that this is going on. While there      embrace enterprise security concerns. It
of the gaming character on your screen.        is no official policy pro or con, they have   can’t be something that is perceived ass
It is a very advanced kind of presence         never said to their employees that you        a renegade product. They will realize
that they have built into this thing.          cannot use Skype. Apparently at least         that if their product is to find widespread
                                               one senior board member of Accenture is       enterprise use, it has to be controllable
Within Skype, for conference purposes,         a Skype user himself and does so within       from the IT manager’s view point or it
perhaps you could have something like          the business.                                 will be seen as an unacceptable threat no
this built into a future version so that                                                     matter what the perception of benefits by
you could see a representation of a meet-      Now when they are out at client sites         the other folk in the enterprise.
ing with a representation of the person        what they do apparently is set up their
speaking his name and an indication of         own free-standing Internet access point.      We are already seeing some activity
whether that person’s audio channel was        They would work through the local telco       from another Norwegian company called
active or not. In an even more simple          to construct a VPN that would enable          Paradial whose leaders are veterans of
form, if Skype lit the icon of the speaker     them to set up their own access node          the old Ericson Voice over IP research
and you could couple it with some sort         independent of the client’s network. Or       labs. They have something called Real
of stereo placement of voices, it might be     perhaps they would just bring in an inde-     Tunnel. Basically it’s a firewall traversal
really interesting.                            pendent DSL line. Therefore, the client       product for MSN Messenger that I have
                                               network is never at risk. It is Accenture     written about a couple of times. It pro-
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                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
vides a Skype like functionality for MSN     his software onto its DSP. Given that TI       on it to launch Peerio for example? Or
Messenger. It works like a treat and has     is there I would be surprised if Broadcom      whether it is in the numbering or in how
no trouble getting out. www.paradial.        is not also involved. My surmise is based      your address book is structured?
com/documents/RealTunnelTM.pdf               on the fact that Broadcom is a financial
                                             investor in Nimcat Networks which is           COOK Report: But presumably it could
It’s a SIP application where you are         Goroshevsky’s principal competitor.            also be distributed as a software client?
log into a proxy server and where the                                                       I understand that like Skype it is peer-
purpose is to deliver P2P like functional-   Also I know someone in the product and         to-peer in its structure but presumably it
ity to MSN users who find themselves         development unit of a large European           is how the “peer-to-peerness” is imple-
behind firewalls. You get pretty high        electronics firm. These folk have actu-        mented that is different?
quality voice. You can do video. There       ally done trials of the Peerio application
are some other companies with similar        in their laboratory and had good things        Enck: Yes. I think that is a good ex-
application developments. One in the         to say about it.                               ample of the difference. Peerio is a bit
UK called Ridgeway Networks was ac-                                                         of a black box. I had a conversation
quired last year by Tandberg the confer-     COOK Report: The software resides as           with Bram Cohen, the guy who wrote
encing people in Norway. Alcatel and         firmware in a TI Digital Signal Processor      Bit Torrent. Although he was not aware
Cisco have made similar acquisitions         (DSP) chip then? Where would one find          of any of the P2P voice systems I gave
in the past year that seem to have been      this chipset?                                  him a description of what Dmitry was
driven by the perceived need - namely to                                                    doing and said that I had asked Dmitry
bridge firewalls in such a way that desk-    Enck: It would be in the desktop VoIP          whether Peerio was similar to any other
top conferencing can be safely allowed.      or hybrid kind of phones that are coming       P2P application? Dmitry had replied
http://www.ridgewaysystems.com/prod-         out. The ones that they, in late Febru-        "Well, yes and no." Conceptually it was
ucts_ipf_faqs.aspx                           ary, announced from Grandi (a Chinese          similar to something called Chord. Later
                                             firm) is a good example. That phone has        I read some academic papers describing
I think the notion of enterprise use is      a PSTN connection, two Ethernet jacks          Chord but did not understand them very
being validated but that the central au-     and also a SIM Card slot. Popular Tele-        well. However when I mentioned Chord
thorities also want more control than        phony has signed agreements with about         to Bram Cohen, he immediately said that
Skype currently offers.                      6 different makers at this point. They         he understood what Goroshevsky was
                                             have Gateway people involved.                  doing. For this I conclude that within
COOK Report: And with Skype’s suc-                                                          P2P coding circles, this is an architecture
cess there will be other people stepping     COOK Report: Their software loads into         that is actually understood.
up to the plate?                             the DSP as firmware?
                                                                                            The folk from Nimcat networks also
Enck: Yes.                                   Enck: Yes. It is firmware. Middleware          seem to understand this. They, by the
                                             or whatever you want to call it. Theoreti-     way, have given us an in house demon-
Goroshevsky and                              cally at least it can sit on mobile handsets   stration where they brought three hand-
                                             or on virtually any other device you want      sets in. They set up a miniature LAN
Popular Telephony                            to think about.                                in our offices. The person responsible
                                                                                            for the demo configured one phone and
COOK Report: Let’s come back to Goro-        COOK Report: How would it work?                assigned the other two identities that
shevsky. I have seen from reaction on
                                                                                            were basically extension numbers. We
my Network Economics mail list that he       Enck: I think it would be conceptually         switched the phones on and watched as
has little credibility because he has been   similar to some of the clients developed       they used the network to discover and
announcing products for many months          around Skype by third parties. For ex-         configure each other. We were up and
and has not delivered. What is going on      ample there is a product called the Dual-      running within a couple of minutes on a
here?                                        Phone, a DECT phone for Skype <http://         demonstration where they went through
                                             fa86dd8e8eff5070c1256f1c0040dee5.              all the standard PABX functionality.
Enck: Over the past two or three months      dualphone.net/>. It is a cordless phone
their press releases have made it clear      that is available in Europe. It is both a      We forced one phone to fail. The purpose
that they have a working relationship        wireless PSTN phone and one that af-           of this was to ascertain the fate of all the
with Texas Instruments (TI).                 fords you a connection to your PC and          address book information and other user
                                             to your Skype contacts. You can access         data that would normally reside in the
COOK Report: And TI would have de-           both and choose what kind of call you          phone or on the central server, but in this
nied Goroshevsky’s assertion were it         want to make from this single handset.         case is actually cached within the net-
false?
                                             Conceptually that is how it would func-        work. It worked. We plugged the phone
                                             tion. What the mechanics at this point         back in and it recovered all its data from
Enck: I think that indeed you can count      are going to be I am not sure. Whether         the network. There are reasons to believe
on that. It looks now that TI has ported     there is to be a purple button with a “p”      that this fully distributed architecture
                                                              59
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
does work. Unfortunately I would have          Skype?                                          the Internet the networks of the various
to say that all the proof I have to substan-                                                   enterprises that buy their white label ser-
tiate this comes from Nimcat Networks          Enck: You are asking good questions             vices. They seem to specialize in white
rather than from Popular Telephony. At         and I am afraid I don’t know the an-            label wi-fi networks for retail and travel
least the things that Dmitry is saying         swers. I know Zennstrom, having eaten           organizations.
seem to be substantiated by his competi-       lunch with him a few times and I know
tion.                                          his principal backer - Draper Co. in            One of the companies I talked to recently
                                               California. Now that you are asking, I          that does work in this area was getting
COOK Report: But you have talked to            am surprised that this information is not       about 350 to 400 pounds sterling per
some folk who tell you they have seen          really public.                                  month per site. They have a little Linksys
working trials of Popular Telephony sys-                                                       wi-fi node and DSL connection and come
tems?                                          Skypeʼs Cellphone and                           by and check it out every few days.

Enck: Yes. And if I look at their agree-       Wi-fi Direction                                 COOK Report: But a London train sta-
ment for the French phone, I believe                                                           tion takes much more substantial equip-
                                               COOK Report: How would you describe
those are due to ship before June. If they                                                     ment?
                                               the wireless wi-fi direction in which
are really playing with people it will
                                               Skype appears to be headed? I think
become apparent pretty quickly. I can                                                          Enck: Oh yes. You can bet on that. Mean-
                                               Stuart in his conversation with me was
understand people’s impatience, but I                                                          while some of the locations are quite de-
                                               suggesting that Skype viewed its value
have a hard time believing there is noth-                                                      sirable and this will expand enormously
ing there because for there to be noth-        more in mobile technology than in con-          the Skype friendly locations for people to
ing there would be the ultimate suicide.       vergence with the PSTN.                         work from. The release was worded very
What would Dmitry have to gain from                                                            strangely and I am not precisely sure how
                                               Enck: I think that is correct. Certainly in
releasing a bunch of press releases and                                                        the use arrangement will work.
                                               Europe the mobile area is where a lot of
then producing nothing?
                                               the arbitrage opportunity for subscribers       COOK Report: I understood it to be that
COOK Report: And someone from Texas            exists. The reason for this is that if you      you would be able to connect into the
Instruments would, presumably, have sat        are traveling around Europe, you pay            net in such a way that your Skype client
on him long ago for claiming TI’s in-          very heavy charges for roaming. This            could function normally at no cost but
volvement?                                     is an area that costs businesses a lot of       you would be unable to send and receive
                                               money and where they would be very              email unless you paid the hot spot.
Enck: Definitely. My view has been that        keen to make savings. Based on anecdot-
TI is hedging its bets on an interesting       al evidence I get people from the States        Enck: I agree that that it how it sounds.
looking technology. But TI is not the only     seem to be happy to go into a T-Mobile          I am not directly sure of the mechanics,
one involved. Some European consumer           or BT commercial hotspot and pay seven          but I assume the network is set up from
electronics firms involved in the hybrid       pounds for an hour because in that hour         a technical point of view to recognize
set top box arena are involved at least in     they can make forty dollars worth of in-        Skype. I don’t know if it would be done
                                               ternational calls over Skype.
looking at the technology, although I am                                                       through port scanning or if you would
not aware of any decisions at this point to                                                    have to make yourself known to man-
                                               Very worthy of attention in this area is
actually put them into equipment.                                                              agement as a Skype user. The Skype
                                               the announcement yesterday (March 3)            question aside, in many UK hotspots,
                                               regarding Broadreach. They are huge in
COOK Report: A lot of folk had better                                                          usage is geared to purchase. You make
                                               the UK. They cover all of the London
pay attention because we see now that                                                          a minimum two pound purchase and get
                                               train terminals, as well as all the MoTo
broadband data networks are morphing                                                           30 minutes free use. How it’s going to
                                               roadside truck and car stops that are re-
into telephone networks.                                                                       work in the train stations is not entirely
                                               ally somewhat like miniature shopping
                                                                                               clear. Whether in the lobby or in pubs or
Enck: Indeed.                                  centers. They claim that 500 million peo-
                                                                                               in coffee shops? I don’t think it will be
                                               ple is the annual total of the daily visitors
                                                                                               train-station-wide because there are other
COOK Report: A question about Mike             to all their locations, although obviously
                                                                                               white lable wi-fi network management
Volpi at Cisco who as of last September        people aren’t going to be carrying their
                                                                                               firms besides Broadreach that deal with
15 joined Skype’s Advisory Board. Volpi        laptops on each and every visit.
                                                                                               train stations. BT has some points there,
has to have a pipeline now into Skype’s                                                        and also at airports.
development plans and one had better           Broadreach is basically a wi-fi managed
believe he will be watching out for things     services company that is hired by the           Editor: Thanks to Sebastian Hassinger
that impact Cisco’s interests. Are you         railroads to wire up the train stations for     for this additional note: http://www.ben-
aware of any other firms whose execu-          wi-fi and so on. They actually do give          hammersley.com/weblog/2005/03/03/
tives have advisory type positions with        services to a chain of coffee shops called      snow_and_skype.html
                                               “EAT”. They manage and connect to

                                                                   60
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                              they have to begin to ask whether they
“Meanwhile, one terribly interesting          want to continue to be a slave to this       Skypeʼs Business Model
thing to arrive in the Press Release Inbox    dying industry? Or do they want to get
this morning: Skype have signed a deal        in bed with an application developer like    Have you ever looked at the Skype job
with Broadreach to allow Skype to be          Skype. You can see it now not only with      listings page? That can give you some
used free over the 300 or so ReadyTo-         Skype and Motorola, but you can also         ideas about where they are headed. http://
Surf wifi hotspots in the UK.                 see it with Microsoft Nokia announce-        skype.com/company/jobs/ And then you
                                              ment that shocker everyone so much a         will see an interesting page for business
Broadreach’s ReadytoSurf(TM) network          few weeks back about allowing direct         development manager listings for their
of locations has a combined footfall of       connectivity between Windows XP and          London office. http://skype.com/compa-
over 1bn per year and includes major          Symbian based handset in order to share      ny/jobs/london/index.html#job-bdmm
brands like Virgin Megastores, Eurostar,      music. This will immediately eliminate a
Travelodge, Moto, Little Chef, Virgin         certain amount of carrier revenue. Who       Business Development Manager - Mo-
Trains, EAT , Choice Hotels and Quality       is going to pay a dollar fifty for a song    bile Devices
Inn and major railway stations including      download over the network when you
all the London terminals.” [end of press      can simply down load to your I-tunes         The Skype Business Development Man-
release – Hammersly concludes: “You’ll        and the upload it to your phone?             ager, Mobile Devices (BDM-Mob) shall
still have to pay to get web and email,                                                    play a key role in establishing, develop-
but the firewall is unlocked for Skype        Nokia signed an agreement with Macro-        ing, and managing commercial relation-
traffic. You hear that? That’s the sound      media developers to allow more indepen-      ships with key Skype device partners
of the future.”                               dent applications coming in. They have       shaping the future of the mobile indus-
                                              also opened up a Python forum. Python        try.
COOK Report: Malcolm Matson claims            is apparently well tailored to writing
that people in the London office of           things like SIP applications. Bit torrent    Business Development Manager, Re-
Skype have said that Skype will be            is written in Python and the fact that       tail
loaded into wi-fi phones before Christ-       they are opening up the Nokia platform
mas. Will these phones be dual use in the     to this kind of programming language         The Skype Business Development Man-
sense that flip a switch and they operate     that is associated with wild disruptive      ager, Retail (BDM-Ret) shall play a
as cell phones as well?                       open source technology is a further sign     key role in establishing, developing, and
                                              that the handset makers don’t want to be     managing commercial relationships with
Enck: I believe the Motorola agreement        enslaved to the carriers.                    key Skype consumer electronics retail
was exactly that. It looks to be on a class                                                and distribution partners.
of phones that have a handoff capability      I think Motorola was really sticking up
between GSM and wi-fi. I don’t know           its middle finger at its traditional cus-    Business Development Manager -
whether it will be on a best effort basis     tomer base and saying "look we want to       Computing
or whether it will be the user who flips a    carve out a sustainable stake in this sort
switch. I think the carriers will obviously   of value chain because we think your         The Skype Business Development Man-
have a problem with this should you be        traditional model may be in trouble and      ager, Computing (BDM-Comp) shall
able to do a wi-fi call rather than a Vo-     we don’t want to be on the wrong end of      play a key role in establishing, develop-
dafone one. But I think many enterprise       that." I think also that the Motorola guys   ing, and managing commercial relation-
customers would VERY much like to             will have seen the Taiwanese makers          ships with key Skype device partners,
have this control.                            HTC, or High Tech Corporation trying         shaping the future of the computing
                                              to court Skype. They will have also seen     hardware and peripherals industry.
COOK Report: How far are we from              the Skype I-Mate announcement and
these dual use handsets being on the          find themselves getting very paranoid.       Business Development Manager - Mo-
market? Two or three months?                                                               bile Services & Technology
                                              COOK Report: Are you seeing anything
Enck: I think that is a about right for the   from Skype about how soon they are           The Skype Business Development Man-
enterprise market. And perhaps another        going to be out on Symbian? [Editor’s        ager, Computing (BDM-MST) will play
two to four months beyond that for the        Note - Global IP sound has announced a       a key role in establishing, developing,
general consumer market. My reading           version of their Voice Engine codec for      and managing commercial relationships
of the handset makers is that they are        Symbian during the week of March 7.]         with key Skype mobile and technology
scared. They have been the victim of                                                       partners.
the carriers for too long. They have seen     Enck: No and that is an important ques-
the carriers hammering them down for          tion. If they really want to cover the       Business Development Manager - In-
too long. They are begining to see that       mobile front, they do need to get it out     ternet
the carriers have a limited shelf life so     there.


                                                              61
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
The Skype Business Development Man-            to the sale of KaZaa to Sharman, That          Enck: Potentially yes. Depending on
ager, Internet (BDM-Int) will play a key       story in my mind was not about free            how the mechanism works. Weedshare is
role in establishing, developing, closing      speech or rebellion but was about sell-        built around Microsoft DRM and I am
and managing commercial relationships          ing the entertainment industry something       not sure that I believe in DRM. But if
with Skype online partners around the          that could be used something that could        it does work what they would be selling
world.                                         be used to distribute content.                 is the social or viral nature of the Skype
                                                                                              network.
Basically they are hiring in all the key       COOK Report: Unfortunately the enter-
market verticals that you would expect         tainment industry didn’t get the intended      For example at the moment you are able
them to be approaching. This list used         message.                                       to transfer files of up to two gigabytes
to be a lot longer. They have obviously                                                       - directly, person to person. I wrote about
filled a lot of positions. They used to        Enck: They didn’t. There is a book about       this and Zennstrom was unhappy. He
have one that was for embedded products        what happened to Sean Fanning when the         thought I was insinuating that they were
which is similar to what Peerio is trying      labels sued him and shut him down. He          putting together a file sharing network.
to do. So clearly there is stuff happen-       just couldn’t believe it would happen.         He rightly made the point that it was not
ing there. Mobile is clearly one of their      He seemed to have thought he could sell        file sharing because there was no direc-
priorities and, according to these listings,   Napster to Universal music and retire as       tory - that is to say no way to query for
perhaps an area where they haven’t filled      a teenage millionaire. Instead he spent a      desired content. There is certainly how-
in all the gaps.                               long time in court and Zennstrom is ap-        ever the potential to directly transfer the
                                               parently worried about getting served so       content from one user to the other.
COOK Report: What else can be said             he doesn’t come to the US.
about the Skype business model at this                                                        Now when I threw this suggestion at
point? When Motorola puts the Skype            A Content Distribution                         one of Skype’s development people, he
client in their handsets they presumably                                                      replied that there was no conscious intent
have to pay Skype?                             Strategy?                                      to do yet another file sharing platform.
                                                                                              Rather he said they wanted Skype to
Enck: I would think so. I think a large        My assumption was that there was always
                                                                                              have the same capability as other instant
part of what they are up to is really li-      some sort of content strategy built into
                                                                                              messaging platforms in order to be com-
censing. From what I have heard them           this once they can get big enough that         petitive. But I think this is where they
saying, I think they have been shocked         they have several million users on line        are coming from and that they may have
and surprised by the uptake of Skype           world-wide at one time. Especially if you      a dormant element to their strategy that
Out. I don’t think that it was ever a part     look at what is in place to try to incentiv-   they are not yet fully aware of at this
                                               ise people to become more responsible
of their business model to try to make                                                        point.
                                               file sharers. For example with someone
money from termination to the PSTN. I
                                               like people with Weedshare where they
spoke to them for the first time in the fall                                                  But you have to ask yourself if they re-
                                               set up a system designed to incent people
of 2003 - a couple of months after their                                                      ally have the 28 million users they claim
                                               to share content and if it results in a sale
launch. It was clear at that time that it                                                     and 80 million downloads on March 4
                                               they get a cut. www.weedshare.com/ It
was never an integral part of their plan.                                                     at some point this is going to grow big
It was n ice to have but they didn’t need      becomes a limited pyramid marketing            enough that someone is going to say
to have it.                                    scheme. This was tried last summer by          "Gee- how can we use this huge plat-
                                               Heart if you remember them. They used          form to sell our product? Or to get our
They are having a lot of painful customer      it to sell their Comeback album and            message across or whatever?" At that
service issues with it and this may be         using the Morpheus file sharing system         point - Skype is the gatekeeper. I have
one reason - namely that it exploded in        they apparently sold more copies than          no proof of these assumptions - but they
uptake far beyond what they had envi-          I-Tunes did.                                   seem logical.
sioned. [Editor’s Note: On March 11 the
Skype web site reported a million Skype        COOK Report: Now I am getting your             COOK Report: What we are talking
Out customers for the first time.]             point. Skype already has a file trans-         about then is a really well entrenched
                                               fer capability and, with Skype In and
                                                                                              peer-to-peer system. The ability to stop
Income will come from licensing, from          Out, it is putting accounting capability
                                                                                              or root out such a system as long as ac-
Skype-out (and Skype-In beta tested on         into place. Consequently Skype has the         cess to the Internet is not licensed and
March 10th for the first time) and given       basic infrastructure by which it could sell    controlled along the lines described by
where these guys came from, I certainly        music or take a percentage of other file       the author of the Digital Imprimatur is
imagine that content will play a role.         sharing revenue. And if you have some          generally nonexistent? To try to control
                                               kind of content that you want to make          such networks would render so many
Given the KaZaa thing with what I would        available on Skype, you pay them a fee         other things inoperable as to effectively
call phase one of the peer to peer story       for letting you distribute it?                 destroy the Internet?
that runs from Sean Fanning and Napster
                                                                  62
                                         The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
Enck: Yes. I don’t think anyone can root         users. You put all of these together and      the Israeli concern which he claimed
it out. It is here to stay. That is one of the   you still get a number that is smaller than   functioned on something like two kilo-
things I like about it. There is no reason-      the registered user base of Skype. We are     bits per second. They claim to compress
able way that you could gain control of          talking about over 2 million concurrent       by a factor of 12. He says that the next
what it does. If you look at industry try-       users at any give time these days and that    time someone claims that their codec
ing to create alternative products that will     is a helluva lot of people.                   can function in 22 kbs, you just say that
do what peer-to-peer networks do and                                                           is no longer relevant. This is definitely
create what people like about them, then         COOK Report: What I am beginning to           something I have to check out because
they have a really lousy track record. In        realize is that the feature set of things     if it is the case then we have Skype over
my view practically everything that has          that can be done with a P2P instant voice     narrowband. Editor’s Note: On March
happened in Internet/telecom product de-         program like Skype are by no means            14 James added I think this URL may
velopment has been an accident. Email.           exhausted. But still Skype seems so well      be what he was referring to http://www.
SMS. These all found uses that were not          embedded that the competition’s feature       veraznetworks.com/products/Digital_
intended by the developers and they have         set would have to be really stunning to       Compression_Multi_product.asp
subsequently become massively trans-             get people to switch?
formative consumer technologies.                                                               COOK Report: So where is this going?
                                                 Enck: Quite true. Likely the only way         It seems that bandwidth like electricity
I think instant messaging has been an-           would be to take an entirely different        allows you to do a lot of things. And
other case in point. What has Yahoo,             approach. There is a company called           that bandwidth therefore is just a com-
MSN and AOL accomplished? What was               Voipster in the Netherlands I have been       modity.
that all about? What was the master plan         tracking that had gone rather quiet. But I
behind it? It generates zero revenue for         reestablished contact with them a couple      Enck: You’ve got it.
the telcos. It has caused all sorts of prob-     of days ago. www.voipster.com/
lems in enterprises. But they have also                                                        COOK Report: But the LECs with their
found ways to use it for their own ends          They have a similar background to Skype       ability to insist that you buy bandwidth
by putting it safely inside of sub-netted        in the sense that they are very small and     from them at their prices are an im-
playpens blocked off from undesirables.          have developer in Estonia. They were          pediment to any progress. And they are
                                                 using the Global IP Sound codec but           stronger in the US than anywhere else it
COOK Report: What are your views on              they dropped that in favor of something       would seem. What does it look like here
Skype’s market place position? Do they           that uses less bandwidth because they         from your perspective in the UK?
have such a head start that no one else          are trying to get a start in some emerging
can overtake them?                               markets. Their goal is to be an invisible     Enck: I agree you have a big problem
                                                 partner to carriers or ISPs. Or potentially   and I followed last year the ups and
Skypeʼs Market Place                             to people in the online world whether         downs of Utah’s UTOPIA project. They
                                                 that is retailing or services. They should    had to suffer and enormous amount of
Position and Prospects                           becoming out soon with exciting an-           alarmist flak from Qwest and Comcast. I
for More Controllable                            nouncements. Their architecture is very       think the US is an exception in this area.
Competitors                                      similar to Skype but they allow a level       If you look at Sweden, you will see how
                                                 of control at the administrator level with    Stockholm pioneered the idea of a mu-
Enck - Being bigger than all the other           the set up of their systems that will be a    nicipal fiber utility with Stokab.
VoIP implementations in the world com-           relief to enterprise security people.
bined it is looking pretty formidable.                                                         The Competitive
Yahoo Japan would be the closest in size.        COOK Report: In this sense they might
But what have they got? Five million?            be the software that gives Google work-       Broadband Situation in
And Yahoo is an access-based service so          ing telephone icons for parts of its emerg-   Europe
you are stuck with an IP phone in your           ing local service activity? Services like
house. It simply doesn’t have the same           this that could be used and administered      Now turning to the Netherlands, you
feature set as Skype.                            by third parties rather than just out there   really have the next generation of this
                                                 like Skype might be more interesting to       at work with the Amsterdam municipal
COOK Report: What you mean is that it            Google? And in the third world are if you     government trying to push through the
is rather like Vonage or Lingo?                  can get by on less bandwidth, you have a      initial phase of a project where when
                                                 lot of possibilities.                         completed every home and business in
Enck: Yes. Exactly. Then you get down                                                          Amsterdam will be connected by fiber
to the next level with firms like Vonage         Enck: Yes to both assumptions. I was          on a carrier neutral platform that will be
and Iliad in France. Time Warner Cable           talking today to a guy who works for          housed in a network operating company
and so on. At this level we are still talk-      a European carrier who is a VoIP spe-         which is set up by the municipal govern-
ing about only a few hundred thousand            cialist and he was talking about a new        ment and is partially funded by the fees
                                                 codec that has been developed by ECI          it generates from service providers. In

                                                                  63
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
this sense it is very similar to the Stokab                                                  The rates of home ownership are a lot
model.                                          However in places where cable TV is          less in continental Europe than in the UK
                                                making inroads, the cable companies          and US. In Sweden and the Netherlands
COOK Report: Kees Neggers with Surf-            are saying to consumers we will double       a lot of residential property is in the
net6 and Gigaport in the Netherlands has        you band width speed or double the cap       hands of private or quasi private and very
certainly prepared the groundwork for           for the same prices as the telco. This is    highly regulated housing companies.
this expansion. But the ideology here           hardly satisfactory. I see it as a feeble
in the United States that says anything         attempt to circle the wagons. You could      What is happening is that they have an
done by a government is, by definition          really smell the fear in the Netherlands     aging population and a competitive hous-
incompetent, is doing us considerable           the other day when KPN announced job         ing market and they want to be able to
harm. The direction of the technology is        cuts of 8,000 positions over the next five   offer an extra amenity to their customers
pushing broadband more and more in the          years. This is 28% of their total work       that is not only broadband but can claim
direction of becoming a central econom-         force. Given that about a quarter of the     telemedicine and security monitoring.
ic utility - as vital to business activity as   work force is in Germany where they
roads, water, sewers and electricity. Per-      have a large mobile network it means         There is a property company in the UK
haps with more Skype like applications          that about half of their domestic work       called Land Securities that is positioning
and the new things underway at Google,          force is on the chopping block.              itself to string fiber to all new housing
it will begin to dawn on people that                                                         developments in the greater London area
broadband is more than just faster down         COOK Report: What will happen then?          where the government has committed
load of email and web pages? I went to          As carriers shrivel away municipal net-      itself to encourage hosing development.
broadband only because I wanted long            works will fill the gap?                     They will control the last mile and offer
distance telephone arbitrage with Vonage                                                     a fiber connection almost as the feature
but now that I am there it makes me see         Enck: In some areas I think this will be     of a home. I think we are going to see
things in entirely new ways.                    the case. But in southern Europe the car-    more developments along these lines as
                                                riers seem to be quite strong. Companies     one more source of pressure against the
Enck: Agreed. I think what you see              like Telefonica and Telecom Italia seem      incumbents.
now in Europe is that the carriers see          to be quite strong. There is much less
broadband as a new revenue opportunity          competition there. In fact in Italy there    But in places like Ireland it is going to be
with the ability to charge for overage on       is zero cable.                               a long tome before you see that level of
monthly usage caps. What they are doing                                                      competition unless it happens in wireless
is putting a usage cap on their prices. The     France on the other hand has been a real     which is the other wildcard - whether it
minimum BT product at the moment is             wake up call because in less than two        is mesh or Wi-MAX or something pro-
capped at one gigabyte - but for heaven’s       years it has gone from a point where the     prietary like Flarion.
sake that is a less than a single feature       incumbent controlled the entire broad-
length film. What is that in music terms?       band market to the point where unbun-        COOK Report: How would you sum
Four hundred songs? It’s a joke.                dled lines total 25% of the ADSL in the      things up at this point?
                                                country. For 29 Euros a month you can
What they want to do is sell you incre-         get 15 megabit per second ADSL band-         Enck: It is a ball of confusion! I think
mental bandwidth for a charge. Telenor          width plus TV and free phone calls with-     Skype has been an inspiration to watch.
which is one of the most forward looking        in the country. If you want to compete in    I was lucky enough to stumble on it
companies in Europe tried this idea two         France you have to come in at under 29       a week or so after they launched and
years ago and quickly scrapped it because       euros per month which is really hard.        started to write about it. I think some
of overwhelmingly negative reaction.                                                         people here thought I was crazy but
But all the telcos in Europe are looking at     I think that the environment will continue   some other clients clearly grasped the
capped products. They sell you cheaply          to vary from country to country. Ger-        meaning of this from Day One. We are
a basic connection with a cap or you            many is still a long way from being com-     talking here about institutional inves-
can upgrade to the so-called unlimited          petitive while the UK is moving towards      tors who have people’s pension money
plan. Unfortunately people then find that       being hyper competitive. France is there     at stake.
those have limits of 20 to 30 gigabytes.        already as is the Netherlands.
(http://www.bt.com/broadband/bb_info.                                                        I think that everything we see from them
jsp?targetSection=packages)                     COOK Report: What is happening out-          and everything being thrown at Skype
                                                side of Amsterdam with other municipal       by want-to-be competitors is evidence
An aside: Martin Geddes made an in-             networks?                                    that it is a genuine force with validity
teresting post the other day about how                                                       and staying power. The validity is best
people who are on bandwidth capped              Enck: There are other networks being         described along the grounds of saying
packages may be putting themselves at           built and they are not all municipal.        that users simply love the product. You
financial risk if their PCs happen to be        Some of the drivers of this process in the   plug it in and it just works.
supernodes on the Skype network.                Netherlands are housing corporations.
                                                                  64
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
It seems to be engendering a different        absolutely dismal.                            Cable TV is a tough business. Why any
kind of behavior and usage from people                                                      telco operator wants to enter another
than does traditional telephony. I think      I don’t think they possess the skill set to   world of pain is hard to understand.
at this point if you are out there trying     do the things they need to do. A lot of
to sell a VoIP product on the basis of        them seem to think they have the VoIP         COOK Report: Agreed. I am coming to
it being simply cheaper PSTN quality          question already ironed out already. So       realize now that broadband is like a well-
voice that you are on the wrong track.        the next thing they are going to do in Eu-    fertilized field on which you can grow
                                              rope is charge down the path of recreat-      and experiment and do an incredible
COOK Report: I had no idea how true           ing the television experience over broad-     amount of things. As long as you have an
those statements are until I actually tired   band which I am not at all convinced that     open field out there, the old closed loop
it, motivated in large part by David          people necessarily want.                      networks can’t go anywhere unless gov-
Reed’s post to my list. By the way what                                                     ernment artificially extends their life.
do you think of the May 19 2003 Viral         I think those who say that a lot of what
Communications paper by Reed and              has gone on in the last couple of years       Enck: Exactly and what you can say in
Lippman?                                      with VoIP gateway manufacturers and           the case of the United States is that they
                                              border session controllers is an effort to    have done so. I think Europe is turning
Enck: Fantastic paper.                        recreate the PSTN in an IP world, when        into a very different picture.
                                              in fact Skype is saying: “your PSTN
COOK Report: Do you agree then with           world is irrelevant we are going to give      COOK Report: And Japan is certainly
the premises?                                 customers things they cannot get in the       different. China and India will see broad-
                                              PSTN world.” They telcos are saying we        band as a national resource not some-
Traditional Service                           are going to go out and bring you the old     thing to help old technologies maximize
                                              world but do it on demand.                    profits.
Providers Blindly Want
to Move PSTN Voice                            The only ones who may have it right           Enck: Yes. But meanwhile in the US we
and TV to IP Networks                         so far are telecom Italia who have an-        will likely see a major collision between
                                              nounced they are going to roll out a set      the interests of the municipal govern-
Enck: Oh yes. Absolutely. I am very           top box with a DSL modem, a hard drive        ments and those of the incumbents. In
bearish about the prospects for the tra-      and a digital terrestrial TV tuner inside.    Amsterdam what the municipal govern-
ditional service providers. I am a full       They are making use of what is already        ment is trying to do is stimulate eco-
100% believer in the dumb pipe as their       there in Italy. They are not trying to        nomic development and not give people
destiny. Given what is going on, I don’t      reinvent the wheel which I think is very      cheaper web down loads. But meantime
see how they can avoid it. I think their      smart and is they way I have expected         in the United States it seems like a great
track record of trying to reinvent and re-    things to go. But I think a lot of these      occasion to be a regulatory lobbyist.
position their businesses so far has been     other guys are simply going to get fried.




                                                              65
Symposium Discussion January 15 to February 8 2005


How VoIP Mixes with Wireless, the Enterprise
and Other Markets Highlights
VoIP Peering                                  communicator providing me with both           service highlights the competition for
                                              SIP and Skype capability and it inter-        the voice service. We’ve argued about
Architectures - Hard                          works with all IM versions.                   various aspects of Skype, but I think no
Installations or More                                                                       one will argue that what they’ve built
Flexible Software Glue?                       I am just waiting for a PDA version and       is incredibly efficient -- very, very few
                                              then I have all my communications e. g.       people required per thousand customers.
Raj Sharma: It may be useful to think of      on a Qtek 9090.                               It just operates, with basically no opera-
IP telephony in the context of peering:                                                     tions staff.
                                              Forster: I have trouble seeing these
(i) carrier to carrier peering,               peering functions as long-term important      So the challenge for these peering func-
                                              functions because the technology differ-      tions is to justify their expense.
(ii) carrier to enterprise peering,           ences tend to reduce over time due to the
                                              network effect, rather than stay strongly     Schulzrinne: The question is whether
(iii) carrier to consumer peering.            different, or worse, continual emergence      VoIP requires special application-specif-
                                              of new variants.                              ic peering, beyond the already-occurring
Even in case of Skype, there is VoIP                                                        IP-level peering at BGP level. Nobody is
peering, specifically with its SkypeOut       In the past national interest in protect-     arguing with the need for the latter. I’m
service, where Skype hands off traffic to     ing local manufacturers was one of the        certainly not enamored with VoIP-spe-
another VoIP carrier to terminate the call    forces that preserved silly differences,      cific peering - we don’t do email peering
to a traditional “‘black” phone. But let’s    such as T-1 vs. E-1 framing, but I don’t      or web peering, either.
say that all 6 billion people on the planet   see that happening now.
are using VoIP and they have all dis-                                                       COOK Report: I think Nextone has a
carded their traditional “black” phones,      Sharma: Now, will we be worried about         window of opportunity - (space of time
does the need for peering go away? I will     the same agreements and arrangements          before the iceberg closes in). The Ques-
submit to you that peering is required no     that people have worried about in the old     tion is whether the window is six months
matter what - it is required every time       traditional TDM world - some may be,          or two to three years?
two networks which have different own-        some may be not. However, a lot of this
erships connect with each other. Along        has nothing to do with technology neces-      And another thought occurs - if enter-
with peering come all the other peering       sarily. Peering agreements and arrange-       prises are having trouble making their
agreements and arrangements such as           ments are normal business constructs          VoIP systems talk to each, it would seem
topology hiding, security, admission and      that various entities put in place as the     there is a business opportunity for some-
denial, settlements etc., etc.                normal course of doing business.              one to develop devices to make what
                                                                                            would not otherwise interoperate do so.
Forster: Can you expand on this? What         Forster: I think an implicit assumption
value do these things deliver to end          in what you are saying is that the busi-      So you form a company, develop prod-
users? What percent of the calls must         ness models can support the expense of        uct and services. For some number of
such a device be in the data path for the     negotiating and executing these agree-        months you have a viable business and
VoIP data packets? What’s the typical         ments and deploying equipment required        then OOPS - you aren’t viable anymore
CAPEX per subscriber for these func-          to support these agreements, whereas the      so you disband. Hopefully for a while
tions? I can see the need in a few cases in   alternative is to design the infrastructure   you kept some people employed and
the data plane where there is dissimilar      and end points such that the need for         performed an important service. And
technology (e.g. no common CODEC in           these is minimized. In the past the cost      who knows - something weird happens
the end points), and a few more in the        of all this was small compared to the         and you may be viable far longer than
control plane (translation between dif-       rest of the business, but IP telephony can    you thought.
ferent names spaces (Skype <-> E.164,         drive down the costs of operation enor-
etc.) such that there is no direct interop-   mously and it’s especially noticeable as      You would argue better to do it right in
eration.                                      the voice service has been largely sepa-      the first place - fair enough.
                                              rated from the access network service
Stastny: Even for that, peering will be       -- a typical subscriber pays $X for broad-    In this globalized economy can anyone
necessary, it will also be done by the        band Internet access, and then $Y for a       even begin to tell what the best course
end-devices If you miss a video-codec,        voice service, and Y<X. In some cases         is for the various segments of IT and
you just download it now already. I am        with certain restrictions Y=0, but in any     Telecom? We each have our values and
using now the new beta of the Pulver          case the separation of access from voice      according to different values we come up

                                                   66
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
with different answers. What then do IT        Reed: Frank - I agree with you that          mum speed or minimum energy; neither
and Telecom decision makers and inves-         there will always be connectivity gaps       is 48V anything more than a way to slow
tors need to know? I would guess they          to be filled in by whatever means will       the introduction of commodity computer
need to appreciate the complexity and          work. And often there are nice busi-         industry gear into the racks of telcos).
understand how much they don’t know.           nesses solving such problems at low cost.
                                               When there’s a river in the way, getting     Coluccio: Thanks, David.
Coluccio: I’m having some issues, prob-        people and goods across the river affords
ably internal ones, mostly, that I’ll have     lots of opportunities for ferries, subma-    By the way, my use of the term “peering”
to work out myself at some point, but          rines, bridge builders, tunnel builders,     was in deference to its prior use upstream
some also boil over into the real world,       airplanes, missiles, and dirigibles.         by someone else, and I fully appreciate
as well, that I’d like to air.                                                              your clarification as to its more generally
                                               But “peering” implies a single answer,       accepted use. I would use the term gate-
Email hasn’t always been free of requir-       and often it comes with the idea that the    way or shim, depending on the problem,
ing peering fixes. I view VoIP’s place-        first solution will capture rents forever.   so your point is well taken.
ment on the Internet continuum today
where email might have been during the         In particular, peering is associated in my   Speaking of usage behind the term “peer-
early Eighties, when indeed it did require     mind with interconnection of *exclusive*     ing,” I just received this release from
a host (no pun) of gateway functions in        franchises, whether they are “corporate”     Converge Digest:
order for it to hop from one domain to         or “municipal” or ILECs. With the idea
another. And this preceded commercial          that the government or management will       ---snip:
exploitation. This didn’t stop email from      see it your way and sign a long-term deal
becoming the most used of all Internet         that locks out other solutions.              InfiniRoute Launches VoIP Peering
applications, and it won’t stop VoIP,                                                       Service for Wireless Carriers
either.                                        In contrast, connectivity gaps can be
                                               filled by “a few lines of code” (well,       InfiniRoute Networks began offering a
What are we saying about the need to           maybe a few hundred thousand) running        VoIP peering service for Wireless Car-
bridge between dissimilar voice pro-           in a commodity blade server or a com-        riers. The company, which has been
tocols if we simply ignore the matter          modity router. And that hardware, and        offering a carrier-neutral Managed VoIP
because it is unworthy, by whatever            most of the software, can be picked up       Peering (MVP) service since last year,
measure, of pursuit? What happened to          and reused for something entirely dif-       now provides mobile carriers with the
the notion once voiced here that if you        ferent.                                      ability to terminate and receive inter-
can get your message across to the party                                                    national traffic using VoIP. http://www.
with whom you hope to communicate by           There’s a huge difference between such       infiniroute.com
slamming railroad Morse with a ham-            general purpose gap filling, bridging
mer and anvil, then it’s “good enough”         and protocol translation between legacy      InfiniRoute Networks Inc. was estab-
if that’s all you’ve got at the moment to      or competing service architectures (de-      lished in 2004 as the result of the merg-
do the job?                                    signed to be temporary until the industry    er between two private companies, IP
                                               sorts that particular problem out in a       Deliver and Proficient Networks. Es-
Would citizen Josephine be better served       more elegant way), and a sustainable         tablished in 2001, Proficient Networks
if she is forced to wait for the real thing,   high-growth business.                        provided a platform that measures end-
like Internet users in depressed areas who                                                  to-end IP network performance, responds
are waiting for the RBOCs to eventu-           I’m in agreement with you that there is      quickly to automatically fix problems
ally “get to their neighborhoods” before       always need for a gasket or some filler      and prevents network congestion. Es-
receiving it, they get their first taste of    where things come together; just sug-        tablished in 2002, IP Deliver provided
broadband? Enduring the ugliness of            gesting that it’s important not to confuse   comprehensive VoIP network manage-
kludge over IP is undoubtedly a better         terminology that sounds very architectur-    ment services. IP Deliver’s Global VoIP
solution than no solution at all, as dem-      ally “hard” like “peering point” with soft   connectivity product will continue to be
onstrated by its ability to have already       concepts like translation and glue.          offered as part of the company’s overall
wreaked the effects of cannibalization                                                      solution.
on the carrier industry, even prior to its     Making too much of the problem is just
achieving singularity of form.                 another version of George Gilder’s fan-      Sharma: Interestingly enough InfiniR-
                                               tasy concept that 48V DC power will al-      oute uses NexTone to offer VoIP peering
Voice inter-working remains one of the         ways be the optimal way to power com-        service. But let’s say that “VoIP peering”
few money making applications on the           munications gear, so Emerson Electric        is not the right terminology because
‘Net. Even when it is no longer such, I        is a certain winner. (Ever wonder why        it has been used in the context of IP
think it is a topic that will deserve more     5.0000 V DC is the standard for TTL          peering, so let’s just call it some sort of
attention than I’ve read here today.           logic? I can tell you that it has nothing    “boundary function.” And even when
                                               to do with physics or chemistry or maxi-     there is no need to do any kind of VoIP
                                                               67
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
                                                                        believe there may have been a connection between the two
New Yorkʼs Broadband Gap                                                somewhere along the line.
Coluccio: All, I’ve often remarked about how unusual it was
                                                                        “New York’s Broadband Gap” Prepared by Center for an
that there’s nary a hint of fiber to the home or node activity tak-
                                                                        Urban Future December 2004 http://www.nycfuture.org/im-
ing place anywhere in NY State, except, possibly, for the nodes
                                                                        ages_pdfs/pdfs/telecom.final.pdf
that some ILECs feed for DSL services. Except, maybe, some-
where in state Verizon may have recently earmarked a location
                                                                        Who is CUF? From the back page of the report:
for its FTTP deployment, but I’m not sure where that is.
                                                                        snip:
After following this space since the beginning of time I don’t
                                                                        The Center for an Urban Future is a New York City-based
ever recall seeing mention of a fiber or extensive wireless build
                                                                        think tank that fuses journalistic reporting techniques with
taking place in the state. In fact, if one looks at a plot of the two
                                                                        traditional policy analysis to produce in-depth reports and
hundred or so FTTx deployments across the country, most of
                                                                        workable policy solutions on the critical issues facing cities.
those are squarely placed in the middle of the country’s heart-
land. This point is driven home especially well in the December
                                                                        For more information, visit our website, www.nycfuture.org.
2004 issue of Broadband Properties Magazine, which has done a
                                                                        To sign up for our monthly e-update, contact cuf@nycfuture.
rather complete survey of incumbent operator- municipality- and
                                                                        org or 212-479-3341. This report was written by Jonathan
independent company- rollouts, to date.
                                                                        Bowles with Tara Colton, edited by David Jason Fischer and
                                                                        designed by Julia Reich. Special research assistance by Nick
Today I was sent the URL below by the principal of a startup
                                                                        Johnson.We also acknowledge the helpful contributions be
cable TV company, and from the looks of the report that it points
                                                                        received from many people.
to (“New York’s Broadband Gap”), New York City, itself, could
use some additional silica and wireless coverage in quite a few
                                                                        This report was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Ad-
of its neighborhoods and industrial park locations. I’ve not read
                                                                        ditional program support was provided by the Bernard F. and
the entire report yet, and probably won’t until tomorrow, but I
                                                                        Alva B. Gimbel Foundation, the New York Community Trust,
thought I’d pass it along to the list at this time, just the same.
                                                                        the Taconic Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Note that all of the neighborhood locations cited in this report
                                                                        The Center for an Urban Future is a project of City Futures
are the same as those that were mentioned in the Daily News
                                                                        Inc. City Futures Board of Directors: Andrew Reicher Mark
article that I posted here two or three days ago, where Ron
                                                                        Winston Griffith, Marc Jahr, David Lebenstein, Ira Ruben-
Sege’s Tropos company was mentioned, which leads me to
                                                                        stein, John Siegal, Karen Trella and Peter Williams.

protocol conversion, a number of net-          are the peering arrangements between          you been able to demonstrate the concept
works are getting deployed with a VoIP-        the two street locations? I have yet to see   really scales?
specific Boundary Element. So even if          how in the case of IP telephony, there is
this Boundary Element is not performing        any fundamental difference. Now net-          Reed: Jere - the truly simple and cheap
“VoIP Peering,” it is providing useful         works (i.e. cities) don’t require peering     viral radio network is a research agenda,
functions such as call admission control       arrangements - all the peering (if that’s     not a business plan, so I’m very hesitant
(the e-mail analogy is spam control), to-      the appropriate word) is in the hands/        to predict deliverables. It’s important
pology hiding, efficient call routing and      head of the traffic itself. What am I miss-   not to confuse a clear view with a short
CALEA. As long as VoIP is not a ”free”         ing? (Other than an ”operator”!)              distance.
application like e-mail, there will be a
need to do Least Call Routing which is         How Real Are Viral                            At the Media Lab, we are inventing ways
one of the things that a Boundary Ele-                                                       to build systems that scale by coopera-
ment does. If and when voice becomes           Radios?                                       tive adaptation to the propagation envi-
free like e-mail, the Boundary Element                                                       ronment, that need no infrastructure.
                                               Retzer: I read the paper and did a little
is likely to participate in some form of
                                               looking around on the viral network/
efficient call routing given the real-time                                                   So what have we invented? Well, I’ve
                                               radios concept. Sounds great. How suc-
requirements of VoIP. Whether and how                                                        been involved in filing 3 patents so far
                                               cessful have your demonstrations been to
long the Boundary Element functionality                                                      on the viral radio ideas, one on an in-
                                               date? Have you proven that the concept
stays stand-alone or becomes part of the                                                     vention done before I joined the Media
                                               scales? We were working on CDMA-
router is up for debate.                                                                     Lab, and two after, and a couple more
                                               type concepts in the Pentagon in the 80s.     are being prepared. Not trying to be coy,
Matson: Think about the truck starting         As you begin to think it through you          but I can’t disclose the details because of
out on 5th Avenue in NYC making its            realize that bandwidth is theoretically       the way the Media Lab sponsor contracts
way to Boylston Street in Boston - what        infinite, however the net is limited by       work - sponsors get first looks and first
                                               processing capacity of each node. Have

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                                          The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
chance to negotiate rights. (It’s a good       prospect of TV-Band 802.22-based viral          Time Warner Sues NKC http://makeas-
deal to join a Media Lab consortium or         radios does seem about 3-5 years out. By        horterlink.com/?J3DE1214A
the Communications Futures Program!)           then we’ll all be well used to 26 mbps
                                               over copper... can you do 26 mbps over          The reply (which is hardly essential
The work involves both techniques based        the air?                                        reading, but interesting for the logic
on advanced software-defined radios that                                                       that it offers. I’ve found this and similar
have highly adaptable front-ends and           Strange Concepts of                             inclinations to be representative of the
fancy DSPs, and techniques that can be                                                         kind of thinking that exists in many parts,
applied with mass-produced cheap radios        Free Markets in the                             especially from those who have experi-
of the kind that cost $10 per unit today -     Muni Network World                              enced the benefits derived by having a
the former could be just as cheap, but the                                                     broadband connection in the home, oddly
volumes haven’t been there to drive the        Coluccio; A point for Ron Sege: I’d             enough. Funny how that works, eh?):
learning curves, though the new GnuRa-         imagine that the report referenced above
dio Universal Software Radio Peripheral        should serve as a made-for-the-purpose          ---begin reply:
is the next step in cost reduction on that     road map to opportunities for your or-          Hi Frank---The Law Of Unintended
paradigm (first radios were $20,000 per        ganization. What did you think about            Consequences has yet to rear its ugly
unit, USRPs under $500 per unit, ...).         it? Has anyone else taken the time to go        head. For example, the purchasing power
                                               through it?                                     of groups of municipalities who may
We also have a small NSF contract, ex-                                                         choose to create buying consortia could
ploring the use of networks of software        I’d be interested in hearing of comparable      yield disproportionate influence on the
radios to measure and adapt repeaters to       circumstances in other large inner-cities,      choices of standards and suppliers. Not
indoor and dense urban propagation as it       where I suspect similar conditions exist.       all of these choices will be identical
changes.                                       Once again we see evidence of the prin-         to those that would have been yielded
                                               ciples we’ve discussed here in the past         by a free market. Much capital might
A couple of students have written and          with regard to a potential reverse digital      be wasted along the way, and superior
published papers describing different ap-      divide occurring in our day. It is typified     technological solutions might be aban-
proaches for cooperative physical layer        by large cities receiving early generation      doned. Additionally, we run the risk
repeating.                                     implementations of low-speed ADSL,              of turning our brightest CEOs, venture
                                               only to see, finally, after years of neglect,   capitalists, and visionaries into glori-
Another student has been developing            rural areas and smaller towns starting          fied lobbyists. The social cost of such a
the concepts and techniques associated         to step up to light speed rates and rein-       transformation would be enormous and
with “viral broadband” - to demonstrate        forced wireless platforms on their own,         might far outweigh any benefits we get
his hypothesis that cross-connects within      or through the late but better than never       from “jump-starting” the buildout. Those
towns and neighborhoods and distribu-          build outs by incumbent providers.              are the kinds of outcomes that keep lais-
tion of content into cheap local storage                                                       sez-faire ideologues awake at night (OK,
provided by the users provides a richer        I’ve been asked by someone off-list the         not literally).
set of services that includes all “broad-      following question, and was hoping you
band”, but in a much more incremental          could fill the gap:                             Read “Empires Of Light” by Jill Jonnes
and organic economic process than tra-                                                         for the fascinating story of how even a
ditional command and control central           “Does anyone have [a collection of] links       freewheeling capitalist like Edison was
service providers.                             to incumbent position papers outlining in       motivated to use the political process
                                               detail what they don’t like about munici-       rather than the market in order to build
But as I said, this is all early stuff.        pal networks and why?”                          public support for direct current, his own
                                                                                               vastly inferior distribution technology.
We aren’t the only people exploring the        It would seem obvious, but one never            George Westinghouse and AC ultimately
technologies that will lead to “viral” in-     knows what could shake out of such a            prevailed, but not before an expensive,
frastructures. But I think our long-term       collection.                                     drawn-out political and PR battle involv-
vision is more clear - most of the other                                                       ing the exploitation of the horrors of the
folks are trying to adapt ideas like multi-    In a similar way someone else offered           electric chair that played more upon the
antenna systems, MIMO, ... into existing       me the following argument on the Gild-          public’s emotional response to capital
legacy networks. Nothing wrong with            er list about why governments should            punishment than upon market consid-
that, in fact it’s hugely synergistic.         not get involved with networking, even          erations. You may choose to view this
                                               after local elections and referenda by the      cautionary tale with its happy ending as
Menard: While I too have a great deal          people have endorsed them. It was in            proof that even politics won’t stand in the
of appreciation for what the MIT Media         response to the article below concerning        way of progress; I read it as a narrowly
Lab is placing on this planet, including       North Kansas City’s struggle with Time          dodged bullet involving gobs of unneces-
open sourceware and MIT Rooftop, the           Warner:                                         sarily wasted time and capital. […]


                                                                69
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
---end reply.                                have at least one example of a rural city however, the RBOCs’ fiber initiatives are
                                             that wanted a fiber POP but the ILEC the only sane way for them to proceed
Baller: Actually, it’s really easy to jump would not hear of it so they managed if they want to stay in the wireline busi-
into the industry position-paper loop. All to get a competitor to build one - which ness, because the total cost of ownership
you have to do is read the latest industry instantly encouraged the incumbent to (TCO) of building and maintaining an
“study,” and it will cite all the prior ones build one as well. Comments? Do we re- optically provisioned network pales in
as “authority.” It get’s really amusing ally have more than anecdotal evidence the face of its far more expensive, over
when you know when something flat-out of municipal builds discouraging private time, copper counterpart. And to do noth-
wrong was introduced and you then see it investment? What is “bad” versus “good ing at all is not an alternative for them,
quoted as gospel ever afterward.             competition”?                             either, since the burdens and limitations
                                                                                       of a copper only infrastructure today just
For example, a prominent attorney for Coluccio: Jere, I find myself interested won’t cut it. Therefore, the only solu-
the cable industry once said in a confer- by what you stated, although I am not tion left for them to take - if they want
ence handout that the municipal utility of entirely sure who the actors are that you to remain wireline players - is to install
Scottsboro, Alabama, had gone to court refer to in your first sentence. When I put fiber, anyway.
to stop its competitors from charging on my stereo viewer on, your comments
competitive prices. In our oral presenta- are doubly intriguing to me because, The game of chicken you described,
tions, I called the attorney’s hand on this, either way, whether one inserts “incum- where the incumbent wouldn’t budge
noting that Scottsboro had not gone to bent” or “green fielder” in your first sen- until a competing entity gave them a
court, but had filed papers with the FCC tence, it yields interesting and similarly good enough reason to, is now one of
documenting that the incumbent was influential, yet different, results.                legions. Were it not for Teleport’s move
charging predatory prices over an ex-                                                  in 1984 to bring fiber to the business-
tended period of time, and that the FCC Certainly, by the RBOCs taking the posi- es surrounding Wall Street, brokerages
had confirmed in its annual report on the tion they have by beginning to expand there would probably still be using their
status of competition in the cable indus- their reach of fiber into neighborhoods labyrinths of inter building pneumatic
try that Scottsboro was right. Neverthe- and homes, competition on the part of systems to send their message missiles
less, the attorney’s written presentation the cable cos goes up, accordingly, as to one another in order to execute trades
took on a life of its own. The Scottsboro we’ve seen, along with everyone else’s. and settlements.
canard was presented as fact in a “report” At the same time it has served to finally
by the Beacon Hill Institute, and the legitimize in the industry’s, as well as Retzer: Why surprised? It seems to be
Heartland Institute has now jumped on the general public’s, eye the matter of a recurrent primary argument by some
the bandwagon.                               efficacy resulting from the spending of ILECs that they couldn’t possibly jus-
                                             money on fiber builds. Thus, this tacit tify fielding system upgrades if they
I’m puzzled by the arguments quoted form of endorsement has re-opened the had competition, especially from any
above from the Gilder list -- Why is it pages of business plans that have been “government” entity. Isn’t that the ra-
OK for the Bells to have a joint RFP collecting dust for eons, while the stone tionale behind their argument in PA for
for FTTP but wrong for municipalities walling and sometimes hijinks over what example?
to join in buying consortia, particularly was best to do had been disputed on an
consortia such as NCTC that include almost universal level with fiber always It is interesting to flip the problem over
scores of small private sector entities? previously receiving the short end of the and view it from the green-fielder’s view-
How does Edison’s (i.e., the private pipe, being regarded as nice to have, but point. If I’m right and competition is the
sector’s) alleged abuse of the political still a blue sky future that was beyond the surest way to spur incumbents to action,
process prove that municipalities should short reach of copper. ;)                     but this places greenfielders at risk then it
be barred from providing communica-                                                    may be that the surest method to get the
tions services and infrastructure?           While I’m at it, I think it needs to be incumbents to upgrade is for the public to
                                             said that the dollar numbers they’ve used compete with them.
Retzer: Contrary to the notion that historically to represent the costs of fiber
FTTH deployed equals competition that builds have been artificially inflated over Baller: [to answer Jere Retzer’s ques-
discourages providers, I contend that time to give them the breathing room tion] Here are two excerpts from the
deploying fiber may be the best way to they’ve needed until now, and now, pro- FCC’s decision in the Missouri case,
encourage the incumbents to step up to ceeding only due to the emergence of which we challenged on other grounds:
the plate. Seems like there is nothing alternative sources of services in their
like the prospect of losing a market to midst, as presented by cable operators From the unanimous Commission opin-
move comfortable incumbents out of and wireless alternatives that heretofore ion (footnotes omitted):
their comfort zone. How else could we have only been threats, but are today now
explain the innovation and investment materializing as we speak.                       “10. While the legal authorities that we
that began with Carterphone and the ATT                                                must look to in this case compel us to
breakup decisions? Within Oregon, we Viewed through a slightly different angle, deny the Missouri Municipals’ petition,

                                                                70
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
we reiterate the Commission’s urging in       “In the Telecommunications Act, Con-           there is an unfair playing field being im-
the Texas Preemption Order that states        gress recognized the competitive po-           posed upon us, the near term sacrifices
refrain from enacting absolute prohibi-       tential of utilities and, in section 253,      being worth the long time wait, why cut-
tions on the ability of municipal entities    sought to prevent complete prohibitions        ting back on staff is essential and there-
to provide telecommunications service.        on utility entry into telecommunications.      fore the time to repairs on weekends are
The Commission has found that mu-             The courts have concluded, however,            naturally going to be excessive.”
nicipally owned utilities and other utili-    that section 253 is not sufficiently clear
ties have the potential to become major       to permit interference with the relation-      That sort of thing, if such exists. But in
competitors in the telecommunications         ship between a state and its political         retrospect, I suppose that is all held very
industry. In particular, we believe that      subdivisions. “Nevertheless, municipal         close to the vest or available only in oral
the entry of municipally owned utilities      utilities can serve as key players in the      form, mouth to ear, but thanks for the
can further the goal of the 1996 Act to       effort to bring competition to communi-        replies just the same.
bring the benefits of competition to all      ties across the country, especially those
Americans, particularly those who live in     in rural areas. In our recent report on the    Google Wants Dark
small or rural communities. We empha-         deployment of advanced telecommunica-
sized this fact in our August 2000 report     tions services, we examined Muscatine,         Fiber
on the deployment of advanced services.       Iowa, a town in which the municipal
                                                                                             On January 17 Coluccio: Take a look
In that report, we presented a case study     utility was the first to deploy broad-
                                                                                             at: http://news.com.com/Google+wan
detailing advanced services deployment        band facilities to residential consumers.
                                                                                             ts+dark+fiber/2100-1034_3-5537392.
in Muscatine, Iowa where the municipal        The telephone and cable companies in
                                                                                             html?tag=sas.email
utility competes with other carriers to       Muscatine responded to this competi-
provide advanced services to residential      tion by deploying their own high speed
customers.                                                                                   Job listing spotlights vague plan to de-
                                              services, thereby offering consumers a
                                                                                             velop global fiber backbone. But why?
                                              choice of three broadband providers. It
“We noted that the degree of advanced         is unfortunate that consumers in Mis-
services deployment in Muscatine, which       souri will not benefit from the additional     ”Google wants ‘dark fiber’” By Evan
has three facilities based, high speed ser-   competition that their neighbors to the        Hansen
vice providers for residential customers,     north enjoy. “I urge states to adopt less
including the municipal utility, is due in                                                   “Is Google planning to build a global
                                              restrictive measures, such as separation
part to Iowa’s legal environment, which                                                      fiber-optic network from scratch? And,
                                              or nondiscrimination requirements, to
has encouraged municipal involvement                                                         if so, why? “
                                              protect utility ratepayers or address any
in the deployment of advanced telecom-        perceived unfair competitive advantages.
munications services. Our case study                                                         “The question has cropped up in light of
                                              Allowing the competitive marketplace to
is consistent with APPA’s statements in                                                      a recent job posting on the search engine
                                              work will facilitate the type of innovation
the record here that municipally owned                                                       giant’s Web site seeking experts in the
                                              and investment envisioned by Congress
                                                                                             field.”
utilities are well positioned to compete      when it enacted the Telecommunications
in rural areas, particularly for advanced     Act. I join with Chairman Kennard and
                                                                                             “Google is looking for Strategic Ne-
telecommunications services, because          Commissioner Tristani in urging Con-
                                                                                             gotiator candidates with experience
they have facilities in place now that can    gress to clarify its intention in section
                                                                                             in...(i)dentification, selection, and ne-
support the provision of voice, video,        253 with respect to prohibitions on entry
                                                                                             gotiation of dark fiber contracts both in
and data services either by the utilities,    by municipal utilities.”
                                                                                             metropolitan areas and over long dis-
themselves, or by other providers that
                                                                                             tances as part of development of a global
can lease the facilities. We are also en-     Coluccio: Jim, thanks for both replies to
couraged by the comments of Missouri          my request on the matter of incumbent          backbone network,” the posting reads in
River, which states that it is comprised      position papers. The second one concern-       part.” [Snip]
of municipally owned utilities that serve     ing the MO case was quite illuminating.
                                                                                             Peter Cohen: Couple of thoughts here.
communities with populations of less          And your example of the Joint RFPs for
                                                                                             Google’s strategy and deployment is
than five thousand people in Iowa, Min-       DSL and FTTP caused me to wonder why
nesota, North Dakota and South Dakota,        I didn’t think of that. It fits superbly.      such that they are interested in reaching
and that its members have installed fiber                                                    as many destinations, both corporate for
optic facilities that they could use to       I suppose what I was in search of is the       customer base and network for peering
provide telecommunications services in        stance that the incumbents are taking as       as possible. There are looser networks
markets where there are currently no          they approach their lawyers and lobby-         that will peer with Google despite ratios,
competitive alternatives.”                    ists with instructions that include justifi-   given their reach, or saving costs on their
                                              cations behind their stated positions.         upstream to reach Google (win-win situ-
                                                                                             ation). There are others that have stated
From the separate statement of Commis-
sioner Ness (footnotes omitted):              “Here’s what we see the issues being,          such policies as you need your own back-
                                              what our position is as to why we think        bone, customer base, etc... in various

                                                               71
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
places and irrelevant of ratios, Google       network. Just because they are thinking       client caches?), if you will. A collateral
may get some of those by expansion in         about acquiring their own high-speed          benefit of this could even be seen in the
particular areas or countries.                links in no way implies they would re-        heightening of security, too, as well as
                                              move access to their content and servic-      offloading of traffic from main access
The other option is that Google has           es. Consider that Google is continuously      router ports to the Web, where business
some grand scheme that this metro net is      inventing new services and that their         as usual is conducted.
needed for in deploying a new product or      popularity stems at least in part from the
service. Could be something like Akamai       high speed as well as quality of response     Gill: The problem is that ports cost
for distribution of content that is cached,   they give users and it is small wonder        money. For a few tens of critical sup-
cachable, Ca$hable!.                          they are interested in fiber. Google oper-    pliers, sure. However, it doesn’t scale
                                              ates in several languages and countries       to several thousand such. Building and
Schulzrinne: How about the simple, but        now - the Internet is far less US-centric     maintaining a fiber infrastructure that
far less fun, motivation that they might      than it was. One service alone, offering      homeruns to the customer base costs
want to interconnect their various data       GB e-mail storage for GMail may be            money. You want to get the benefit
centers more cheaply?                         sufficient to justify the links.              of amortizing your OPEX and CAPEX
                                                                                            across as many connections as possible
Coluccio: That could be taken in a way        Coluccio: With respect to the prospect of     over the same pipe.
similar to how municipalities start out       a company like Google’s building their
by wiring their muni buildings, first,        own infrastructure and taking a slice of      Coluccio: Looking forward, I believe
and then gradually pursue, through a          IP traffic off the open Internet along with   we’ll see more of this type of WWW by-
series of phased network extensions,          it, Jere Retzer wrote:                        pass situation unfolding where it makes
enterprises and residences later on. Or it                                                  sense, which, if not done identically to
could be nothing at all, as I remind my-      “I find that hard to swallow. Google ben-     what I’ve just described above, then in
self that this “tip” came from a bulletin     efits as much or more than any company        some similar form. Such capabilities will
board from a Light Reading subscriber.        from a full interconnected network. Just      be enabled cost effectively through the
Although it’s entirely logical that, like     because they are thinking about acquir-       inherent abilities and economics afford-
other enterprises who can justify a criti-    ing their own high-speed links in no way      ed by optical switching, when done for
cal mass, Googie should seek to optimize      implies they would remove access to           the purpose of creating quasi-permanent
on their backbone costs, as well.             their content and services.”                  virtual links to SPs at Layer 1/2 from
                                                                                            colocated network elements owned by
Giving it further thought, though, after      Gill: I agree.                                end users in the same or colos, or even
witnessing their rolling out storage and                                                    between virtual colocation centers.
mail offerings over the past year, it’s       Coluccio: True, but that is not what
clear that this company is aspiring to        I was getting at. Google itself or any        Gill: This looks good on paper. Places
more than a librarian’s status on the ‘Net,   other like it would always have a desire      where rubber meets the road, not so
so the prospect that they’d be seeking        to extend their content and services to       much. With the rate of current trouble
direct plumbing to NAPs and to larger         users, whether those users are large en-      tickets on our pipes, there will be a
enterprise institutions, directly (if you     terprises or consumers, but such does not     full time department just managing and
extrapolate) for whatever reasons, at         *always* require what has now become          troubleshooting the network. This is not
first, is not far fetched.                    regarded as access through one-on-one         Google’s core functionality.
                                              connections with them. Take for example
Stop and consider for a moment of the         how large firms now access carrier ho-        Coluccio: There is always the other way
negative growth impact - as measured by       tels and collocation sites on their own,      out by using a gateway built for the pur-
shift and lost future opportunities - this    by virtue of lambda directs they execute      pose, as an alternative that would allow
would have on a bean counter’s account        through their own dark fibers, which          the accessing of the WWW directly,
of the volume of traffic traversing the       they rent from fibercos or build on their     and then crawling over to the targeted
‘Net versus those of private shunts at        own.                                          Google or cache site, as is normally
a lower layer in the stack, once an ap-                                                     done. And while I view the eventualities
plication such as Google’s and its now-       Can you envisage a Google cutting deals       I cited above as inevitable, I’m only stat-
ancillary but potentially future-dominant     with the Merrill Lynches and GMs of the       ing them as my interpretation of a trajec-
services from, a bandwidth consumption        world, heck, with any enterprise for that     tory that’s already in motion, and not
perspective, have shifted to a “customer-     matter, whereby Layer 1/2 piping to their     from an ideological slant. I hope that that
owned” or a “private backbone” frame-         data centers and communications center        was a sufficient amount of CO2 to douse
work.                                         avails to end users the same content          any nascent flames that might have been
                                              and services as those companies’ users        smoldering. ;)
Retzer: I find that hard to swallow.          would otherwise have to search out over
Google benefits as much or more than          the Web? Think of it as a drop shipment       And if Google currently operates using
any company from a full interconnected        in bulk capacity form (daily uploads to       several languages now for the purpose of
                                                                 72
                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
mass customization, and seeks through        to connect to these server hubs and this is
further market targeting to entice ad-       where dark fiber comes in.                     The fiber company, in turn, has fiber
ditional business through a narrower                                                        routes going to where it needs to be to
approach to customized products, then        Coluccio: Thanks, folks, for some great        satisfy the needs that I cited. Where this
think what having a captive usership on      replies to my hypothesis and trouble-          was once the sole province of Fortune
the other end of a dedicated pipe might      some predictions.                              50s in the past, it is easily attainable by
portend for their marketing potential                                                       smaller companies who have dark fiber
down the line, sans the overhead of much     Google as an Example                           access in their fabric, and will be com-
other peoples’ services and gunk.                                                           monplace for the 1000s, soon, who are
                                             of When to Route                               situated within reach, not to mention
Gill: Or license their software and run      Versus When to Switch                          those of educational and research enti-
it in the customer datacenter, instead of                                                   ties.
providing pipe.                              Coluccio: I would hope that we keep in
                                             mind here that although the name Google        It’s interesting to consider the tradeoffs.
Cohen: Ooh. I forgot one thing. The guy      presents itself, as the article noted, be-     Colo and carrier hotel distances today
in charge of infrastructure to some extent   cause of its mention on a Light Reading        are accommodated with short- and very
at Google was at Yahoo before that. He       bulletin board, the same principle might       short reach, or VSR, optics, or even over
had plans there to build Yahoo a global      apply to others, and not necessarily even      copper patches using Cat 6 for GigE and
network of some sort and probably took       to Google, itself. But it was interesting to   soon even 10GigE speeds at reduced
that plan with him.                          read some posts that suggested it might        distances, in some qualifying cases, Each
                                             actually be them. The Equinix model, if        of these options costs far less than the
Gill: Precisely. There isn’t a quantum       inclusive of end user organizations on an      ports associated with the rigmarole of
jump between “100% transit in one lo-        equal footing with SPs and content pro-        provisioning additional physical access
cation” to “global backbone.” At some        viders, would allow for much the same          plumbing at the customers’ snail loca-
point, it makes more sense to gradually      effect as I outlined upstream.                 tions and their attendant monthly recur-
build out the backbone like a large ISP                                                     ring costs for rental.
and run that between your major data         Dumb Question: Does Equinix currently
centers, and to peering locations. Its a     treat user organizations on an equal foot-     And then there is always the Ethernet
purely numbers play. AOL did something       ing with service providers, when the user      peering potential via the electrical inter-
very similar to this, gradually moving       pipes itself to one of the Equinix centers?    face that can be had at the colo or meet
from a few transit points to a global        I’ve lost track, but at one time, I believe,   point, if optics become an issue either
backbone with no transit.                    that they did not, since they claimed it       due to distance-port-cost tradeoffs, or
                                             would compromise their allegiance to           availability. From a practical and immi-
St. Arnaud: I suspect the reason that        their best customers’ needs.                   nent perspective, you’re probably right
Google may want dark fiber is the same                                                      for the larger number of even very big
economic pressures that are driving          Now to look at it a little differently - and   enterprises, though, at least at the pres-
many media companies to reduce Inter-        with regard to a large content provider        ent time.
net transit fees by locating services at     doing what I suggested in my previous
major carrier hotels around the coun-        post on this subject,                          But I tend to look out 18 to 24 months
try.                                                                                        and in that case what I’ve stated is not
                                             Vijay stated: “The problem is that ports       far fetched from a trending viewpoint. I
Internet transit pricing seriously pe-       cost money. For a few tens of critical         appreciate your input and those of others
nalizes organizations that have large        suppliers, sure. However, it doesn’t scale     on this topic very much, nonetheless.
asymmetric data flows such as film and       to several thousand such.”                     Thanks.
multimedia companies. Equinix spe-
cializes in the business of hosting these    Frank’s reply: Good point, except I quali-     Earlier Bill St. Arnaud stated: “Of
companies servers at various major           fied this by stating that handoffs and         course, these organizations still have to
nodes throughout the US, so that these       peering would likely take place in colos       connect to these server hubs and this is
companies can directly connect to Tier 2     and carrier hotels, where large enterpris-     where dark fiber comes in.”
and Tier 3 ISPs and avoid transmit fees      es now make their presence known either
from Tier 1 ISPs.                            directly or by virtue of lambda hops made      To expand on a related one of your
                                             possible over an AboveNet or L3, or oth-       points, Bill, and to pick up where I left
Bill Norton at Equinix has written sev-      ers’ interconnected lambdas that are split     off with Vijay about enterprises seeking
eral good papers showing the economic        off at the customer site and beamed to         similar peering and transit capabilities -
cost savings of this type of business        the colo in question over special arrange-     although not exactly the same - as those
model.                                       ments, Which aren’t so special anymore,        of the ISPs and BBs:
                                             and becoming commonplace for the very
Of course, these organizations still have    largest users.                                 I may have mentioned this account here

                                                              73
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
before, or on some other list, not sure. If                                                  ISP may not be too far-fetched: Think
it looks too familiar I won’t be offended     Previously, the client was using six pro-      about YahooBB in Japan and Fastweb
to hear “next” being clicked throughout       prietary, interlocking OC-48 SONET             in Italy (providing FTTH in all bigger
the ether.                                    rings to achieve a fraction of what they       Italian cities between 50 to 100 Euro/
                                              are capable of carrying today, at a much       month).
A large client of mine signed onto a large    higher cost, not to mention the added
parcel of property that was out of state      aggravation of managing an increasingly        The 100 Euro provides you with at least
about five years ago, and I was com-          IP world through SONET orifices. To a          10MB and a set-top box containing a
missioned to do the outline for its macro     large extent the existence of ILEC cen-        video-cam for real-time video commu-
architectural statement for what amounts      tral offices, for this customer, at least,     nications from home. Italians like to
to being a campus design. This included       became a superfluous proposition for the       participate in TV-shows interactively
the base buildings to the WAN and ISP         purpose of reaching their highest capac-
worlds, and most of the innards as they       ity needs, if not potentially detrimental to   Wetzel: That’s funny, instead of having
related to a very large vendor’s then so-     their overall mission.                         access providers that desperately want
called “New World” architecture. From                                                        to provide content with the hope of mak-
there, others were assigned their appro-      So, as you can see, even when this form        ing money with it, to compensate the
priate pieces and life went on.               of solution was advised to the very larg-      loss they experience in selling low cost
                                              est of banks only three years ago, it was      accesses, we may see content providers
At an early stage brainstorming session       shunned. The evolutionary path for them        which will provide accesses to end users
I suggested that, in addition to the other    to awaken to the reality of the approach       and which will make money with both.
five dominant facilities-based providers’     was 24 months. So, I guess I should have
fiber routes, the client should attach to a   waited the 18 to 24 months I spoke of          Coluccio: It sounds similar to, but not
dominant colocation site in NY City for       earlier, and then I wouldn’t have felt so      exactly, the evolution of the cable TV
the purpose of meeting service providers      alone in that u-shaped conference room,        cartel. Oops... did I write ‘cartel’? Of
at the colo’s “meet me” points to become      way back when.                                 course, I meant to write “industry.”
a part of its “bandwidth pool.” I made the
mistake at that time of calling it a band-    Google VoIP                                    Stastny: Tom Keating was right:
width pooling point. Recall the expres-
sion, bandwidth pooling point?                                                               see: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ar-
                                              Stastny: Another idea why Google may           ticle/0,,2-1454225,00.html
Anyway, nary a single citizen in the          want dark fiber is on Tom Keatings
room knew what I was talking about,           Blog                                           Citation: Mr Hewitt said that a Google
and with fifty people sitting around the                                                     telephone service could be made to link
horseshoe all looking you in the eye at       http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keat-          with the Google search engine, which
the same time, that can be a very lonely      ing/VoIP/VoIP-blog/google-VoIP.asp             already conducts half of all internet in-
feeling. After some discussion, which                                                        quiries made around the world. A surfer
took a couple of weeks in conveying the       Schulzrinne: Calling this idle specula-        looking for a clothes retailer could sim-
concept adequately, the concept became        tion would give it too much credibility.       ply find the web site and click on the
clear, but the defaults had already been      Unless they plan to supply their yellow        screen to speak to the shop.
set in motion, which you can read as, no      page business customers with fiber or
one wanted to be confused with facts at       run fiber to residences, none of these         See the following quote: Google gears
that point in time.                           VoIP calls would ever touch their net-         up for a free-phone challenge to BT by
                                              work. They’d only make money if they           Elizabeth Judge, Telecoms Correspon-
As the project was nearing completion         became another run-of-the-mill Tier-1          dent http://images.thetimes.co.uk/imag-
in 2003 I learned that MFN had just at-       ISP, of which there is not exactly a short-    es/trans.gif GOOGLE revolutionized the
tached this client to the same colo I had     age. Some of these have gone through           internet. Now it is hoping to do the same
suggested three years earlier. They also      the Chapter 11 rinse cycle, so their           with our phones.
built out about 8,000 sq. ft. of cage area    former stock holders (and now wallpa-
for both production and development           per holders) have paid for their capital       The company behind the US-based In-
server farms under the same roof.. This       expenses.                                      ternet search engine looks set to launch a
has saved them over the past year or so                                                      free telephone service that links users via
très beaucoup de dollars, due to the ob-      Stastny: Of course Henning is correct          a broadband Internet connection using a
vious improved methods of interconnect        that VoIP calls from the end-user click-       headset and home computer.
allowed by close-proximity handoffs to        ing on the link, but on one hand they may
its service providers and to other loca-      want to connect the other side.                The technology that will enable Google
tions within their own customer-owned                                                        to move in on the market has been around
fiber optic based MAN.                        On the other hand the idea of Google as        for some time. Software by the London-
                                                                                             Contined p. 76

                                                                 74
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005

 Millimeter Wireless Links                                          services to service providers, financial institutions, enterprises
                                                                    and government agencies.
 It appears that it’s getting easier with time to establish wire-
 less links that possess fiber like speeds, as Gigabeam has     GigaBeam anticipates installation of the first Wi-Fiber GigE
 done with its 1Gbps millimeter radio system. The story         link for Stealth in the current quarter, providing high speed
 below about this firm and Stealth Communications, a VoIP       connectivity of one Gigabit-per-second across the Hudson
 service provider, is a fairly impressive, if you think about   River between a Stealth customer’s data center in Jersey City,
 it.                                                            NJ and Stealth’s Manhattan access point at 60 Hudson St., New
                                                                York, NY. One Gigabit-per-second is the equivalent of 647 T1
 The ability to drop ship an antenna and its associated 1 Gbps lines or 1,000 DSL connections.
 millimeter-based radio system on a rooftop or window sill
 anywhere there is line of sight from a hub location, and then Lou Slaughter, Chairman and CEO of GigaBeam Corporation
 disrupt or otherwise supplant the local telephony operator, stated, “GigaBeam’s ultra high speed wireless fiber technology
 is now upon us. Terabeam once portended to be able to this is an ideal solution enabling Stealth to provide a high speed
 through the use of its free space optical systems at one time, connection between customer locations and Stealth network
 but for reasons not germane to this post, they didn’t. Giga- access points.” Until now, Stealth has relied on traditional fiber
 beam and others, however, appear ready to deploy in ways optic cables to connect its customers and Stealth locations
 that give the sense of being more secure, and probably are, together.
 during times of inclement weather, hence will likely succeed
 where others did not. I believe we’ll see many variations of With GigaBeam’s solution, Stealth customers will be able to
 the scenario painted below, both for providing dedicated ac- bypass local infrastructure and other right-of-way obstacles
 cess, and in an ancillary way in which high capacity systems that prevent quick and cost-effective high speed connections
 such as these, which will likely support more backhaul for using traditional physical fiber. “The initial link highlights
 hot spots and meshed nets, thus fostering ad hoc alternatives, GigaBeam’s significant advantages over traditional fiber for
 as well. The impact implied for data solutions should be- primary and redundant fiber speed connections,” Slaughter
 come obvious as you read through the release. Do you sup- added.
 pose that an ILEC might attempt to use the same approach
 at some point, in order to thwart encroachment from such GigaBeam’s Wi-Fiber technology is not only expected to re-
 startups as these in the future? Dare I ask about a municipal- duce costs and provide additional levels of access redundancy,
 ity, or a utility, the same?                                   but it is also expected to improve network performance by re-
                                                                ducing network access latency by as much as 30% or more. The
 GigaBeam, Stealth Expand VoIP 01.17.05                         first link will be implemented in Stealth’s innovative Financial
                                                                Extranet which will enhance performance and reduce latency
 HERNDON, Va. -- GigaBeam Corporation (OTC Bulletin for the exchange of traffic among its members.
 Board: GGBM - message board), announces an agreement
 with Stealth Communications(R) for installation of its ultra Shrihari Pandit, CEO and founder of Stealth Communications
 high speed Wi-Fiber(SM),(TM) wireless fiber solution.          said, “Using GigaBeam’s Wi-Fiber wireless fiber solution, we
                                                                can now address the demands of a much broader market. Now,
 GigaBeam’s Wi-Fiber provides communications access with with a direct fiber-speed wireless Wi-Fiber Ethernet circuit,
 the capacity of fiber but with significantly less latency than our customers can connect to our unique portfolio of services,
 fiber to enhance Stealth’s unique communications services including Stealth’s Financial Extranet and The Voice Peering
 offerings. Stealth is New York City’s largest Internet gate- Fabric(TM). The GigaBeam-Stealth solution provides high
 way and offers Internet & Ethernet access, VoIP, and data performance, low cost access without the expense of running
                                                                physical fiber, and allows bypass of local infrastructure.”


                                                                    SIP or Skype. Distributed has always been best.
Peer–to-Peer SIP
                                                                    David Reed: Larry captured my reaction perfectly!
On January 21 Stastny: The following information was dis-
tributed via the sipping mailing list.
                                                                    This could be big if adoption becomes viral (but if it becomes yet
                                                                    another “what’s the business model” debate among incumbents
Jennings: David Bryan and I have submitted an draft of
                                                                    saying “after you, no after you”, it will die). So the question is
some early ideas on P2P with SIP. Until it shows up in the
                                                                    what edge-based marketplace will use it and become the driver?
repository, you can find it at http://p2psip.org/
                                                                    (Something cool and appealing, like Quake, could do it).
Roberts: This SIP approach is how it should work! Hopeful-
ly the world will convert. It is a better technique than today’s

                                                               75
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA

 New Push for Wireless                                       Mayors see the perfect political package: They get to address
                                                             economic development, digital divide, public safety, and more
 Retzer: New push for wireless access by Qwest and others. broadband access and lower prices. All with one low-cost in-
 Front page of today’s WSJ.                                  vestment in infrastructure that non-incumbents are increasingly
                                                             willing to fund (see below). See Philly Mayor Street’s address
 Alex Goldman: It proclaims “Dual Mode a Step Closer to this week to the National League of Cities.
 Reality “
                                                             Unbundled local loops keep getting more expensive so the
 “Companies are ironing out the final wrinkles in technology lesser-incumbents like Earthlink, AOL, Sprint, MCI are more
 that will allow cell phone subscribers to use IP networks.” anxious than ever to promote alternatives.

 http://www.isp-planet.com/fixed_wireless/technology/2005/ Verizon made a big tactical blunder by going after Philadelphia
 kineto_uma.html                                           as they did. They simply called attention to the power of the new
                                                           technology and galvanized more municipalities into action.
 My understanding is that Kineto is a relatively small com-
 pany that could win big time through the UMA relationships          Intel has been promoting WiMAX heavily as a fast, low cost,
 it has with several major carriers. I’ll have a follow up article   simple alternative last mile. Non-incumbents like the messages
 on Monday, about a conversation with Monica Paolini of              but since WiMAX is not available and metro Wi-Fi mesh is, they
 http://www.senzafiliconsulting.com and her latest UMA               are using it now.
 research.
                                                             I think this phenomenon has legs. Cable companies are looking
 By which I meant to say that today and this week seem to be at this, as are large retailers, both to pick up more customers and
 quite the wireless IP week. A trend. Why now?               leverage large backbones they already have. Maybe Google,
                                                             too??
 Sege: Because: At least 125 cities in the US are doing it
 today and the technology (metro Wi-Fi mesh, etc.) works and         Sandel: Hi Ron, Would you happen to have a pointer to Philly
 benefits are becoming apparent. Chaska, MN now has 2,500            Mayor Street’s address this week to the National League of Cit-
 users out of 8,500 homes, paying $16/month for an average           ies?
 1.5Mbps throughput. No net churn since billing began in the
 fall.                                                               Sege: http://www.broadcasturban.net/webcast/uscm2005/mon_
                                                                     session.html

based company, Skype, has been down-         the web site and click on the screen to        Although Google is reluctant to talk
loaded nearly 54 million times around        speak to the shop.                             about its plans, the logical use of such
the world but no large telecommunica-                                                       a network would be to help to support
tion firms have properly exploited it.       The basic cost of making calls across the      a new telephone service. The company
                                             Internet is almost nil. The real cost is in    would buy capacity cheaply, by taking
BT, which connects seven out of ten Brit-    developing the software; after that, the       up slack capacity left behind when the
ish households, has developed its own        service exploits available Internet ca-        internet bubble collapsed in 2001.
Internet-telephone service. However, the     pacity. However, charging does become
telephone giant, which has the most to       necessary to link internet calls with the      Around the world, thousands of miles of
lose if the new technology takes off, has    traditional phone network.                     fibre-optic cable remain unused because
been reluctant to promote it heavily.                                                       the amount of speculative development
                                             In addition, the sound quality of calls        vastly exceeded demand. Such capacity
Julian Hewitt, senior partner at Ovum, a     across the Internet can be poor and the        would be available at rock-bottom prices
telecoms consultancy, said: “From a tele-    connections can be less reliable.              today.
coms perspective there is a big appeal in
the fact that Google is a search operation   A recent job advert by Google’s on its         Elsewhere in the world, using the in-
- and of course the Google brand is a        website calls for a “strategic negotiator”     ternet to make phone calls has caught
huge draw.”                                  to help the company to provide a “global       on more quickly. In Japan 10 per cent
                                             backbone network” - a high-capacity            of households already use the so-called
Mr Hewitt said that a Google telephone       international infrastructure.                  “voice over internet protocol” and an
service could be made to link with the                                                      internet service offered by Softband has
Google search engine, which already          By investing in capacity, Google could         4.4 million subscribers. Its growth has
conducts half of all internet inquiries      circumvent the problems of quality and         depressed revenues of the local telecom
made around the world. A surfer looking      reliability and guarantee better service.      group, NTT.
for a clothes retailer could simply find

                                                                 76
                                        The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
In the US, a company called Vonage              AT&T’s future depends more than ever          vices; he said he expected to have just
offers customers unlimited calls each           on vigorous cost-cutting and focusing on      20 by 2007.
month for as little as $24 (less than           its worldwide data network.
£13).                                                                                         AT&T is also using more software to
                                                “There is a sense of urgency,” Mr. Eslam-     route more of its phone and Internet
Big companies and multinationals that           bolchi said. “We have no other alterna-       traffic. By getting rid of bulky circuit
make huge numbers of long-distance              tive. We have to do this to survive.”         switches, the company is significantly
calls are also increasingly switching to                                                      reducing costs connected to operating
internet calls to try to slash their bills.     The strategic shift was evident in the        old-fashioned switching stations.
                                                company’s quarterly earnings. The com-
Google, which was founded in 1996,              pany said Thursday that profits jumped        Mr. Eslambolchi is also pushing engi-
built its business from scratch by offering     84 percent in the fourth quarter, to $625     neers in Bell Labs to develop software
a fast, reliable and free Internet search. It   million, beating Wall Street’s estimates,     for computer firewalls and security sys-
gradually transformed into a highly prof-       thanks primarily to cost-cutting efforts.     tems that detect viruses days before they
itable company by offering commercial           AT&T eliminated 23 percent of its work        attack a corporate client’s servers.
services, including sponsored web links.        force last year and has automated large
                                                parts of its operations.                      These kinds of advanced services grew
Its most up-to-date figures show that, in                                                     13 percent last year and now make up
the first nine months of 2004, Google           The cost cuts, however, only slowed           10 percent of sales in AT&T’s business
made a profit of $195 million on rev-           the effects of a price war that drove the     group.
enues of $2.1 billion.                          company’s revenue down 10.2 percent,
                                                to $7.3 billion, in the quarter. The worst    [snip]
AT&T Looks Beyond                               is far from over. The company expects
                                                sales to decline another 15 percent this      The Web site handles about 2.6 million
“Number, Please”                                year.                                         transactions a month. Billing problems
                                                                                              for business customers have fallen to 3
Coluccio: Interesting headline. I wonder
                                                The way to stem the slide, Mr. Eslambol-      percent from 11 percent and the customer
which “number” the company will be              chi contends, is to merge the hundreds        support center now handles 80 percent
referring to, by the time it transformed        of computer systems AT&T created over         fewer calls.
itself into a new being ;)                      the years. With phone calls and data now
                                                transmitted increasingly via high-speed       By automating so many tasks, the num-
AT&T Looks Beyond “Number, Please,”             data lines using Internet protocol, the       ber of customer service and network
Ken Belson January 22, 2005 “For a              need for multiple systems is also dimin-      jobs has plunged to 22,000, from 55,000
century, AT&T was known as Ameri-               ishing.                                       in 1999. In all, AT&T has reduced $2.5
ca’s premier phone company. If Hossein                                                        billion in operating expenses since 2002.
Eslambolchi has his way, that label will        By reducing the number of networks and
go the way of the dodo bird.                    systems, Mr. Eslambolchi has been able        [snip]
                                                to reduce the size of AT&T’s once gar-
As chief technology and chief infor-            gantuan work force and strip away layers      Verizon Communications and SBC Com-
mation officer, Mr. Eslambolchi is the          of management.                                munications, in addition to aggressively
technological strategist behind AT&T’s                                                        pursuing AT&T’s remaining residential
ambitious turnaround plan to become a           That is easier said than done in a compa-     customers, are also aiming to lure AT&T’s
data transmission company selling an            ny filled with internal fiefs and unaccus-    business customers with discounted ser-
array of software products like network         tomed to responding quickly to market         vices. The Bells’ efforts on this front
security systems - with phone calls being       demands. Mr. Eslambolchi compared the         have quelled market speculation at least
just one of many digital services.              company to the United Nations, where a        for now that one of them might acquire
                                                multitude of managers have veto power.        AT&T or another long-distance carrier.
Indeed, for the first time, voice calls
generated less than half of the revenue         “The biggest challenge is not the technol-    [snip]
in AT&T’s corporate business group in           ogy,” he said, “but being able to change
2004.                                           the culture.” [Big Snip]                      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/22/
                                                                                              business/22phone.html?ex=1107439672
A few years ago, this approach was her-         For all the turmoil that years of declining   &ei=1&en=8de63670cb94e4e8
esy at AT&T, where connecting calls was         sales have caused, AT&T’s workers are
the cornerstone of the former monopoly’s        just getting Mr. Eslambolchi’s message.       Odlyzko: Well, Hossein Eslambolchi,
business. But with falling prices, grow-        Since 2002, he has dismantled 381 of          the chap featured in the article, is famous
ing competition and cheap new Internet
                                                the company’s 800 computer systems            (or notorious, depending on your point
phone services from start-up companies,
                                                designed for specific products and ser-       of view) for his “concept of one and

                                                                77
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
concept of zero.” We’ll see where AT&T        much gone in the wireline area), but right    voice is becoming available> I’m now
ends up. The idea to get into services is     now it can still be exploited, but these      holding off to see if it’s worth my time
an obvious and overdue one, the main          guys are still mesmerized by content.         to again negotiate the nuances of another
question is whether there is enough time                                                    new voice services provider.
for AT&T to accomplish this. My guess         AT&T has done very little cannibaliza-
was that this would work out only if          tion through IP Telephony.                    Retzer: On January 17 the Wall Street
AT&T, MCI, and Sprint were combined,                                                        Journal announced - Verizon, Yahoo
to lessen some of the price-cutting that is   Coluccio: I can’t say I disagree with you     Plan Joint Broadband Service. Hoping
driving them into the ground, but I don’t     on any single point, although I maintain      the subject line will get Andrew to jump
see anyone able to do it (and with the        a view that voice will be reduced along       into the conversation. Interesting that
recent Spring-Nextel deal, it would be        with email at some point, taking it out       Verizon in this article still seems to think
hard to arrange).                             of the running as a means to enjoy ap-        content is king, along with Comcast.
                                              preciable revenue. At least as it applies     Andrew’s studies lead to the opposite
Coluccio: It’s odd that you should men-       to the consumer markets, if not a great       conclusion.
tion Sprint-Nextel here, because AT&T         swatch of enterprise, as well. It offers
is in the process, as we speak, of becom-     constantly diminishing rewards, in other      Odlyzko: Responding to your prod, I
ing a Mobile Virtual Network Operator         words.                                        don’t see how this story necessarily
(MVNO) taking partitions off of Sprint’s                                                    proves that Verizon regards content as
wireless platforms, effectively becoming      And even if AT&T has not cannibalized         king. (They may very well do so, but this
a reseller of Sprint’s wireless services.     “itself” in terms of IP telephony, yet,       story does not prove it.) There is noth-
When Seven-Eleven does this they are          it has, nonetheless, joined the fray that     ing wrong with content, nor in telecom
called a MVNO. And in my book, that           points to the same end game by intro-         service providers being interested in it.
is exactly what AT&T has committed to         ducing and supporting its own flavor of       The issue is how much attention and
doing, as well.                               parasitic VoIP - CallVantage offering -       resources should be devoted to it.
                                              which uses best effort bandwidth side by
That sounds to me like they’re still trying   side with the MSO’s QoS-enabled VoIP          As an analogy, I doubt if anyone will
to garner revenues from voice minutes.        offerings under the heading of Packet-        deny that cars are primarily for transpor-
Doesn’t it sound that way to you? The         Cable. What we’re seeing here, in effect,     tation (plus conspicuous consumption,
company has always been good for mak-         is a food chain that’s been turned on its     but let’s leave that aside), and not for
ing a splash far in advance of perceived      head, where fish that aspire to smaller       home theater replacements. Yet car man-
threats. As when, Tom Evslin, then re-        and smaller status continue to kill off (as   ufacturers do put fancy sound systems in.
cently brought on by AT&T from Micro-         opposed to eating) their larger encroach-     They cost only a small fraction of what
soft during the mid-nineties proclaimed       ers, if that makes any sense at all.          the car as a whole costs, but people do
that if anyone was going to cannibalize                                                     expect to see them there.
AT&T’s voice service revenues with IP         All of which leads me to ask: What is the
Telephony (what was then called vari-         probability that PacketCable and other        Stastny: I think: Contact, not content, is
ously IP Phone, or simply I-Phone), then      forms of assured voice offerings will         king (Douglas Rushkoff).
it would be AT&T itself that was going        become profitable enterprises for those
to do it, and no one else. They’ve had ten    carriers and SPs offering them, while         Odlyzko: A very nice way to put it. My
years to inflict said cannibalization on      continuing to maintain the low price          own preference is to say that connectiv-
themselves. Have they succeeded yet?          points they used when those services          ity is king.
                                              were initially introduced? Since their
Odlyzko: Yes, AT&T is planning to be-         price point is at least in part based on a    Stastny: It is not only connectivity, it is
come a MVNO, but this is largely in           perceived penetration rate, I guess my        also identifiers.
order to be able to offer a complete bun-     question could have as easily read: Will
dle of services to its customers. There is    they meet their projected penetration         If you consider P2P networks, also the
not much money in being a reseller of         rates in the face of newer ‘Net-based         identification is basically peer to peer
somebody else’s service in general.           alternatives, with the latter often times     (see Skype), at least the trusted identi-
                                              classified as “free”?                         fication
There is nothing wrong with trying to
garner revenues from voice minutes.           I and many others like me have already        The only centralized part of Skype is the
My argument has been for years that           taken to using Skype for a number of          Identification and Authentication. On a
the wireless industry has been negligent      purposes for which I’d have used a sec-       global scale trusted 3rd parties and a
in ignoring the opportunities in more         ond or third line, recently. And where I      circle of trust will be needed
wireless voice and higher quality voice.      might have opted for a Lingo, or a Von-
Once we get to real ubiquitous and in-        age or a CallVantage service a couple of      This is the reason why Verisign is in-
expensive wireless broadband state, that      weeks ago to replace my aux line now in       volved in anything dealing with names,
opportunity will be gone (as it is pretty     the home <and now my cable operator’s         addresses, ENUM and numbers (and
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                                        The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
RFIDs)                                                                                        wp-dyn/articles/A31113-2005Jan23.html
                                                In mobile phones (GSM), the trust has         ?referrer=emailarticle
Issues of Security                              been extended with the SIM-card the net-
                                                work can authenticate the SIM-holder in       NexTones’ and Neustar’s roles are men-
Coluccio: Richard Stastny stated: “If           a quite secure way and therefore can trust    tioned, among a cast of others, with the
you consider P2P networks, also the             that the user is really the account holder.   main theme being the daunting chal-
identification is basically peer to peer        This allows for making payments by            lenges that exist for the smaller startup
(see Skype), at least the trusted identi-       using the mobile phone. The called user       service providers who are first getting
fication”                                       may also trust the CLI displayed some-        into the business of VoIP, both of the
                                                how, but not perfectly (more than 50%         enterprise and residential all you-can-eat
As Internet security experts go, I’m but        of mobile users use anonymous prepaid         types.
a step above a total neophyte, I’ll admit,      cards - so the network knows which user
so please bear with me on this one for a        to trust, but not the end-user)               Scrambling For a Slice Of Internet
moment.                                                                                       Phone Pie
                                                A similar situation is necessary on IP. A
It’s good to see you inject the trust com-      way to authenticate and identify yourself     By Yuki Noguchi
ponent in your statement above, since           to others is needed. Ideally the SIM-card
it seems to have been a principle that’s        approach is extended. (side remark: SIM       Investors showed little interest when
been absent in many of the previous             cards (to be precise IMSIs) may also be       Richard M. Tworek started setting up In-
discussions and sidebars, as I look up-         used -since last year - by any provider,      ternet-based phone systems for business-
stream. How likely do you think it is that      not only by mobile operators.                 es two years ago. Now the company that
renegade applications with large follow-                                                      Tworek founded, Qovia Inc., has $16.1
ings will even care about compliance to         ETSI is standardizing for the past year       million in venture capital and 120 busi-
such criteria, if the communities they          the so-called Universal Communications        nesses use its software to make sure their
serve are okay with the idea of carrying        Idenifier (UCI). The UCI consists of a        Internet connections stay robust enough
on without it? I ask because I’m not so         numeric part to provide a unique identity     for calls to go through glitch-free. But
sure that such an eventuality is all that far   (e. g. an E.164 number), a alphanumeric       last week the Frederick company laid off
fetched, and indeed may even serve the          part (e. g. your name or role) and addi-      16 of its 59 employees and retooled its
purposes of some by obfuscating their           tional information - a certificate telling    business plan.
identities that would be obvious in an          you something about the trust.
erstwhile controlled manner.                                                                  Like Qovia, most Washington area com-
                                                You may use anonymous UCIs (e. g.             panies in the Internet phone business
Stastny: Not at all - as long as they do        aliases) but the recipient knows that this    are relatively small and still searching
not want money from you. ;-)                    is an alias.                                  for a secure and profitable niche in a
                                                                                              fast-changing sector. They range from
Most people also do not care who is call-       The next idea is that the UCI are ex-         start-ups that provide behind-the-scenes
ing in the PSTN phone, and it is easily         changed between called and calling party,     support for the technology to alternative
possible to make anonymous phone calls          so you also know who is answering the         phone providers, such as Primus Tele-
(e.g. from any coin box) but in most            call, which may in some cases interesting     communications Group, that sell Internet
cases it is possible to identify the calling    if you are calling your bank.                 calling plans directly to consumers.
party (but not the called party).
                                                And basically UCI is not only for voice       [Snip]
The basis of this is that the telcos can be     calls, where you may identify known
trusted and also that the telcos trust each     person via their voice, but also for all      The number of consumers using VoIP is
other. In every phone call a network-           others types of communications.               expected to grow to about 4 million by
provided identity is transmitted from                                                         year-end from about 800,000 today, ac-
the originating office to the terminating       The basic problem here is that you need a     cording to Frost & Sullivan. The growth
office, even if the user has ordered to         global trust network to provide you with      may be driven by major communications
restrict his identity (CLIR). The destina-      UCIs certificates, etc. -which simply         companies such as cable giant Com-
tion network (and attached emergency            does not exist - and some say will never      cast Corp., which this month announced
services) can trust that this information is    exist.                                        plans to offer Internet calling to as many
correct, and the originating network can                                                      as 20 million homes this year and another
trust that the destination network will not     Commercial VoIP                               20 million by the middle of 2006.
deliver the information to a normal user.       Pricing Power                                 The percentage of business phone lines
One problem remains in fixed networks,
the identity is linked to the line (or end-                                                   that make connections over the Internet
                                                Coluccio: Interesting Washington Post
device), but not to the person.                                                               is expected to grow to 13.1 percent by
                                                article. http://www.washingtonpost.com/

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                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
the end of 2006 from 7.2 percent today,        other VoIP solution? The range of projec-       new twenty year terms.
the research firm said. Major corpora-         tions for year-end 2008, between 143 M
tions such as Ford Motor Co. and Boeing        and 246 M subscribers, is ludicrously           From my point of view, these last min-
Co. already have traded at least part of       small, given all the uncertainties.             ute adaptations to market pressures that
their traditional phone system for Inter-                                                      the incumbents are now exhibiting, both
net-based networks.                            Also, telco revenues do not have to de-         the ILECs and the IXCs, alike, will
                                               cline because of VoIP alone. (Migration         not be enough to remove those longer-
NexTone Communications Inc., also              of voice to cellular, and competition from      standing financial burdens that they’ve
based in Gaithersburg, makes software          cable are much more serious threats.) If        accrued over the decades, from their
that helps carriers hand off calls to each     a telco has a monopoly, and under the           backs. I could be wrong about this, but
other and monitor the traffic on their         traditional European model, say, charged        I don’t see how. Any thoughts on the
networks. The company, which has re-           $20/month for basic service including           matter would be appreciated.
ceived $32.5 million in venture funding,       some local calling, $20/month for long
is trying to win the business of large VoIP    distance voice, and $20/month for broad-        Odlyzko: You may very well be right.
carriers but it’s competing against large      band, all it has to do (subject to regulators   Those bonds, deferred tax liabilities,
equipment vendors.                             permitting, and protests of consumers,          and pension and medical care to retir-
                                               ....) is to charge $60/month for broadband      ees obligations might sink them even if
The Internet phone trend also has af-          with voice tossed in for free. (Actually,       nothing else does.
fected companies not directly involved         it can probably charge $50/month and
in the field. The primary business of Dis-     come out ahead, as it can then eliminate        Shockey: Think unfunded pension li-
trict-based NeuStar Inc. is maintaining        metering and billing costs.)                    abilities. They love to bury that stat in
the North American database of phone                                                           their 10-K
numbers, a service that is essential for       (These numbers are not meant to repre-
carriers to route calls properly. NeuStar      sent any particular country, just to illus-     Plus let’s remember the SBC and BS
has retooled its technology to track the       trate the principle.)                           have paid 40 some Billion dollars for
growing volume of calls riding over the                                                        the worst wireless network in the US.
Internet, said Jeff Ganek, chief executive     VoIP, whether Skype or Vonage, or any-
of the company.                                thing else, is a threat to the traditional      Gill: The latest net adds for Cingular
                                               price discrimination, taxation and sub-         are 1.8m. Whatever else they might
The most visible players in VoIP are the       sidy model, but not necessarily to telco        have done, their network integration is
companies that provide and market the          profitability. There is a slight threat to      being done extremely well.
new technology directly to consumers.          profitability, because of the lower ability
                                               to price discriminate. (Roaming charges         Wireless Business
[Snip]                                         are high not because costs are high, but
                                               because people traveling internationally
                                                                                               Models
The most daring companies may be start-        are thought to be more affluent and more
                                                                                               Shockey: Someday Vodaphone will
ups created solely to offer Internet calling   willing to pay for their voice calls home,
                                                                                               stick Verizon with a 30 Billion dollar
to consumers, such as SunRocket Inc., a        etc.).
                                                                                               bill to buy them out of their share of
Vienna company recently launched by
                                                                                               Verizon Wireless.
former MCI executives. SunRocket mar-          Now multi-modal competition from tra-
kets itself as a consumer-friendly alterna-    ditional cellular, cable, and broadband
                                                                                               Gill: Verizon would probably like for
tive with “no gotchas” such as activation      wireless are a different story.
                                                                                               nothing better. Verizon Wireless is about
charges and cancellation fees charged by
                                                                                               40 percent of revenue and the is by FAR
big phone companies. But analysts said         Coluccio: Andrew, after reading all that
                                                                                               the fastest growing portion.
such small players are about to face the       you’ve written just now, and I myself
formidable brand names and marketing           taking a moment to apply the principles
                                                                                               Shockey: So what is their cost of capi-
budgets of companies such as Comcast.          of price discrimination, pricing elastic-
                                                                                               tal?
                                               ity and the bundling strategies that are
COOK Report: The report “Impact of             now all too common in the industry, it
                                                                                               The wire line business is being canabli-
Skype on Telecom Service Providers”            dawns on me once again that even if the
                                                                                               ized by the wireless business and here
is interesting. http://www.evalueserve.        incumbents write down their embedded
                                                                                               comes both Wi-FI, WiMAX and Cable
com/download_mediacenter.asp?dfname            boxes that continue to produce cupric
                                                                                               which in my opinion gets 30 percent of
=Skype&user=N&download=1                       oxide, they’re still left to face the bonds-
                                                                                               the residential business by 2008-9 and
                                               men who, for whatever reasons of the
                                                                                               SIP trunking eviscerates the enterprise
Odlyzko: It’s hard for me to get excited       past and present, have enabled the telcos,
                                                                                               market by even greater percentages if
by this report. Why do these folks think       every time an issue comes to maturity, to
                                                                                               the IETF can ever get its act together
that Skype will win, as opposed to some        continue rolling their debt forward onto
                                                                                               to define a rational security model for

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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
SIP, etc. Patience. It took how many                                                       Your comment about the variance in
years for Southwest Airlines to finally       ISP/Hosting        xDSL 5 Cable 5            cable speed potentials is well taken, and
crack the business model of United, AA                                                     should remind everyone that the MSOs
and Delta?                                    Customer Acquisition xDSL 15.5 Cable         took the same strategy of holding back
                                              14.0                                         on the full potential of the DOCSIS de-
Gill: I don’t have the same confidence in                                                  sign that availed itself to 30 to 40 Mbps
WiMAX that most people seem to have.          CPE                xDSL 4.5 Cable 3          capabilities, initially, just as the FTTP
I’m still not seeing how this is actually                                                  networks of today are doing.
going to work in real life deployment,        Home Installation xDSL 5 Cable 6
especially in unlicensed spectrum, unless                                                  Only Verizon has made any mention,
_all_ players in the spectrum agree to use    Service/Billing    xDSL 11 Cable 7           and even then only in a passing way,
the same phy.                                                                              about its intentions to gradually crank
                                              Maintenance        xDSL 4 Cable 1            up throughput speeds on their data com-
Forster: I’m a little skeptical about                                                      ponent to 100 Mbps, over time, and
WiMAX as well. I assume the technol-          Sege: WiMAX will probably be good            even here their stated 100 Mbps is still
ogy is pretty good, but anywhere that has     for rural areas and small business where     conservative with respect to potential.
two decent broadband providers will be a      cable/fiber does not reach today. Note       This is because only Verizon, among
tough area for a third entrant. It might do   the success that Towerstream seems to        the RBOCs, is employing a true FTT’H’
OK in un-served areas, although there it      be having in the Northeast with pre-         design in a number of their city roll outs
will have to compete with lower priced        WiMAX into businesses today.                 today. Most of the others, using copper
Wi-Fi gear with meshing capabilities.                                                      xDSL extensions from field- and curb-
                                              It will also be good for transport from      nodes to their target points, will max out
In the long run fiber and wireless com-       a city PoP to a metro-scale Wi-Fi mesh.      at much lower rates, and will have to
binations are a winning combination,          Most of our installations today use “pre-    share copper spectrum, potentially with
but in the meantime DSL & HFC Cable/          WiMAX” equipment from various ven-           a number of video channels, besides.
DOCSIS should pretty well saturate the        dors. None are interoperable and all
broadband market in much of the US and        have their quirks. Standardizing this will   As for WiMAX, this is an area that re-
other similar markets.                        be useful for compatibility and price        mains an enigma to me, both from the
                                              reduction.                                   standpoint of its relative potential from
St. Arnaud: I agree with Jim that I don’t                                                  a technological standpoint, and its per-
see a business case for fixed point-to-       By the way, I have a Return on Invest-       ceived popularity among SPs going into
point wireless in competing with DSL          ment model that was developed here at        the future. I routinely become involved
or cable.                                     Tropos and iterated with about a dozen       in discussions on emerging wireless last
                                              carriers for accuracy. It shows $29 total    mile techs on my forum, and listening
A good web site http://www.cybertele-         cost per home passed to build and less       to the experts, some of whom are recog-
com.org/data/broadband.htm shows the          than $8per month per sub to operate.         nized in IEEE circles, has given me a lot
costs of DSL and cable deployment. It is      This includes CPE devices for in-home        ot digest, leaving me still in search of an
important to note that all these same costs   access which may or may not be needed        opinion to formulate on my own.
would apply to a wireless provider, but I     depending on construction, orientation
suspect that CPE equipment and mainte-        of the radios, etc. All based on LA basin    Retzer: I think a lot of the interest is in
nance would be higher for fixed wireless.     home densities.                              finding some broadband access method
The only difference is that transport/net-                                                 that can inexpensively bypass the LECs
work costs are already largely paid for in    Coluccio: Thanks for pointing out that       and MSOs. Local/regional service pro-
the case of DSL/coax. More importantly,       page on the cybertelecom site, Bill. The     viders are concerned that the big boys
especially with cable, it is very inexpen-    unit cost comparisons cited are from a       will muscle them out of the action.
sive to offer higher speeds. In Canada        McKinsey and Co. 2001 report, however,
standard cable offering is now 5 Mpbs is      and probably require some tweaking at        Gill: I am convinced that going head to
$C 44.95 per month, broadband “classic”       this point, and going forward, especially    head against DSL/cable is a fool’s game.
at 1.5 Mbps is $24.95 and broadband           as the larger MSOs’ fiber backbones          The wireless value proposition is not in
light is $12-$19.                             come into play, where transport costs        raw speed, it is in connectivity. Play to
                                              are concerned (if I’m reading the intent     wireless’s strengths, not telco/cables.
Cable and DSL Internet Access Cost            behind “transport” correctly). Just as the
Structure - an example $ Per customer         installation costs have probably dropped     Retzer: Thanks, Vijay. I’m not an ISP
per month for model network build:            in some categories due to the plug and       but work closely with a number of them.
                                              play nature of roll your own installations   What do you suggest for value proposi-
Total Costs       xDSL $47 Cable $40          enabled by the availability of DCE/CPE       tion for local/regional ISPs in areas that
                                              at retail outlets.                           are well-served by cable Internet and/or
Transport/network xDSL 2 Cable 4                                                           DSL? I think that some, at least believe
                                                                81
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
they need to be able to offer a high-speed with the mag’s editorial director, Stephen ing of new fiber to the home builds are
access method. It’s a little scary if you’re Hardy, who committed to me to “pull concerned.
small but depend upon service from these some strings” and have it posted as a
really big companies. Having alterna- feature, soon.                                      Instead, they’ve elected to take the slow-
tives is nice.                                                                            er route of building out their own service
                                             Coluccio: Richard Shockey, with all that territories, complete with the time con-
Menard: In a duopoly, things should be said, I agree, and it astounds me to wit- suming prospect of delivering on triple
unbundled                                    ness the the level of clinical denial that play offerings, at a time when the cable
                                             is being demonstrated by some of the operators are stepping up to their front
Gill: Jere, the best value proposition RBOCs, as they throw money the way doors with eviction notices in hand.
would be playing to the mobility of wire- they’re doing at FTTP.
less, as well as trying to be an alternative                                              Over the longer term, the ILECs will
to people who can’t get cable/DSL or are Not that I’m against fiber deployments, eventually be forced to deal with com-
tired of both, though the advantages in mind you, but I don’t see how they can petitors of all sizes whose only means
latency and raw bandwidth are hard to continue to spend like drunken sailors, of accessing subscribers will be through
surmount, esp. if you have gamers in the after coming to terms with all of the their own facilities buildouts, whether
house, where the service lives and dies above. I’m sometimes inclined to think over wide territories or in localized ten-
by the ping times to the game servers.       that it is merely a last-ditch effort by the ant complex situations, whether they be
                                             captains of those ships who are trying to fiber-based or wireless, or some hybrid
It is entirely possible that there IS no convince themselves that the Iceberg in thereof. This will leave the telcos in a
compelling value proposition in dense their scopes is only an optical illusion situation where they have absolutely no
areas well served by cable/DSL. Taking (pun intended). And I tell ya, to listen control over those upstarts, whereas, in
churn rates from cellular of about 2% of to Seidenberg of Verizon is almost a a contrasting way, they could have been
user base a month, if you get one phone religious like experience to behold, the enjoying a symbiotic or even dominant
call from a user for support, chances are guy is so good. I’m convinced that he relationship with those startups, while
you’ve blown the margin on that custom- actually believes everything he’s saying, serving them as a wholesaler of their own
er for the entire lifetime of the customer. *sometimes.* ;)                               facilities and services, to boot.”
This being wireless, it is just going to be
very hard to deal with.                      It was about a year ago that Qwest’s CEO VoIP Pricing Power
                                             publicly announced that his company
Retzer: Thanks, Vijay. Good response. was broke. At that time he hinted that Encore
I think there is definite room for local/ he was seriously considering partnering
regional ISPs to provide network and with some of the CLECs, which, in retro- Retzer: My apologies for inserting my
web services that the giants don’t neces- spect, probably would have been a much two cents when you asked Andrew, but
sarily provide very well. You provide wiser thing to do, compared to squashing I’d also like your views on a couple
some good insights on the limits and them into the ground.                                related points. I was struck recently by
capabilities on the wireless access side.                                                 Comcast’s conclusion that they could
I appreciate it.                             Earlier today I wrote the following in my charge nearly $50 per month for VoIP
                                             SI forum on the subject of the RBOCs when Vonage is all-you-can-eat for $25
Coluccio: It’s not simply a distinction of blowing a good thing (indeed, stepping and Skype is free to call other Skype
the technologies that come into play here, deeper into the fire) by vanquishing their subscribers (I don’t, however think most
but the business models and the type of UNE-P and fiber facilities UNE-L- based consumers are generally impressed with
ensuing operating restraints and costs to competition instead of embracing them the limited network pitch). Now there
end users that any business model usu- as partners:                                       is pricing power! They gain that pricing
ally imposes, as well. Where WiMAX                                                        power, assuming they haven’t miscal-
is generally perceived to be primarily a “In retrospect, one has to wonder about a culated through a combination of ad-
service provider’s platform, many Wi-Fi potential outcome that could suggest that vertising/name recognition and I guess
mesh and grass-root, ad-hoc approaches the RBOCs and most of their sibling and bundling. Everyone knows that Comcast
are not, or they may represent a hybrid of lesser ILECs around the country have will be around and if you don’t like the
the two, or even more, approaches.                                                        service you at least know there is some-
                                             taken the wrong approach to DSL and
                                                                                          one local (their ads says so), but who are
                                             other forms of competition, all along.
By the way, I thought of you and Fran-                                                    these Vonage guys (the consumer thinks
cois when the hard copy of this month’s Consider, where they could have had a even if the current ads are great). So here
issue of Lightwave Magazine arrived. ready stable of resellers and distributors is Comcast able to charge $50 a month
It’s accompanied by a supplement that of their facilities in the way of CLECs for a service with a marginal cost of
is devoted to Blown Fiber technologies and third party agents, they’ve practically probably a few bucks. I’m not even sure
and applications. It doesn’t appear on vanquished all of those, for all intents they have to pay the usual government
their web site yet, but I’ve been in touch and purpose, especially where the shar- fees. If Comcast could do that, then why

                                                                82
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
not the ILECs? Where have I, or perhaps       as that in Japan) appears to be growing       and market has never been that great.
Comcast gone wrong here?                      close to 100% per year, whereas here in       Even today, most corporate folks think
                                              the U.S. we appear to be down around          Apples are for artists and academics.
Is this good public policy? Since Com-        60% a year.                                   Radio Shack just seemed to run out of
cast, and presumably the ILECs have                                                         gas. Could Apple have felled the IBM
considerable market power they face a         As for Comcast pricing (whether it is $50     mainframe the way Intel-Microsoft duo
downward sloping demand curve where           or $40/month), it does not look sustain-      did? We’ll never know but I have my
a company subject to perfect competi-         able for long, but there is a lot of iner-    doubts.
tion would be a price taker. Perhaps we       tia/pricing power/... in the system. A few
have, for the moment a market where the       years ago I dug up some data on banks,        I don’t think I was saying that IBM had
major incumbents can charge $50 and           and at that time they had a few hundred       “pricing power” in that market. Actually,
known, credible competitors like Vonage       billion dollars in checking accounts that     the point I was making is that incumbents
can charge $25. The net result of this will   bore no interest, even though most of         dragging their feet can slow the deploy-
be at this stage far fewer people going to    that money could have been moved into         ment of new technology and the develop-
VoIP, although the price is bound to drop     money market accounts. Some of these          ment of new markets. In the case of VoIP,
as others enter the market and consumers      inefficiencies can persist for decades. As    the ILECS allegedly drug their feet on
gain confidence. Does a slower transition     one example that I have been citing occa-     to prevent more rapid cannibalization of
and higher cost for VoIP cost the public      sionally, if you go to your neighborhood      existing PSTN revenues. Strategies like
or are we just as well off?                   gas station, you are likely to see prices     that have a public cost. Make sense?
                                              per gallon along the following lines:
At least the industry seems to be mov-                                                      Reed: Apple was growing rapidly in the
ing now on VoIP. It seems that we may         regular (87 octane) $1.79 intermediate        corporate market, and at the time (Apple
have finally passed an era where the          (or whatever it is called, but 89 octane)     II) was open and modular.
incumbents were apparently dragging           1.89 premium (92 octane) 1.99
their feet.                                                                                 Did God give IBM pricing power? No, I
                                              (This is a common but not invariable          think it’s something simpler - I was there
It seems to me that the Internet and ap-      pattern.)                                     in the PC industry when IBM entered,
plications like VoIP that use it may be                                                     and IBM BOUGHT pricing power. They
characterized by decreasing long run          Well, if you are in the habit of buying       paid flat, upfront contract fees to get the
average costs - that certainly has been       the intermediate grade of gas, then you       most popular apps on Apple comput-
the case since 2000, although I’m not         can save easily. Instead of 10 gallons of     ers ported to the IBM so they would be
sure how much price drops since then          that grade, get 4 gallons of premium and      available on Day 1.
have been bubble-related. Do we have          6 gallons of regular, for a net savings of
any data to support (or disprove) the         $0.20.                                        In other words, there was very little about
notion that this industry has decreasing                                                    the letters I B M that gave them any pric-
long-run average costs? If so, then what      Reed: Jere - I’m still puzzled as to why      ing power in that market whatsoever.
sort of strategies are appropriate? I’ve      you think Comcast might have pricing          They did have the opportunity to enlarge
maintained for some time that rapidly         power?                                        the market by making it seem less risky
dropping transit costs mean we should                                                       to use PCs. And that was their long-term
be pushing new bandwidth-hogging ap-          The IBM analogy is underwhelming.             edge. However, every time they tried to
plications out the door just as fast as we    IBM at the time was responding to a           close the box (Microchannel was a good
can, which is certainly contrary to recent    very aggressive competitor, called Apple,     example), customers dropped them like
history. What would the computer and          who already had competitors such as Ra-       a hot potato.
network industry be like today if the PCs     dioShack with the TRS-80.
had grown slowly? Imagine, if you will                                                      So I think Comcast’s $50 offering will
that IBM decided instead of going open        Retzer: Meaning they didn’t have much         fail to generate volume, unless they can
with the PC they had kept it in-house         to lose? That wouldn’t necessarily have       link it to other things that customers
where it competed with the mainframe          prevented them from holding on to their       value from them, that they can’t get from
and the result was a slow evolution. What     rights rather than let Intel and crowd take   Vonage or those guys who are under-
would have been the economic impact?          over the “IBM PC.” If they had instead        cutting Vonage (there’s a $200/year for
                                              kept it in-house in competition with          two lines Vonage clone that I just got
Odlyzko: Apropos the last paragraph,          their own mainframes history could have       an ad for. Same service as Vonage, es-
I agree. I have been saying for a while       turned out a lot differently. Potentially     sentially).
that the number one imperative for ser-       billions or even trillions in wealth might
vice providers is to teach their custom-      not have been generated and we could all      “Pricing power” is merely a descrip-
ers how to increase their traffic. And        be staring at 3270 screens. Apples have       tive term for the results of underlying
some are able to do it. I was in Korea a      always been better but the company’s          advantages. It doesn’t seem to me that
few weeks ago, and their traffic (as well     ability to leverage 3rd party developers      it exists as a “real thing” separate from

                                                              83
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
such things as choke points or barriers       carriage.                                    set its product apart.
to entry.
                                              I don’t know if that equates to the          Officials of the company - which plans to
Retzer: I think we agree. It simply           equivalent of what you refer to as pric-     charge $40 per month, or $5 to $20 more
describes a firm with a downward slop-        ing power, but it sure suggests a level      than most of Internet phone services
ing demand curve. I would add name            of market power, even if measured in         - said Monday they believe customers
recognition and an established business       another, perhaps even a Machiavellian,       will pay more for features such as battery
relationship with millions of customers       dimension.                                   backup to keep the phone line running
as substantial advantages for Comcast                                                      during power outages.
that give them pricing power.                 So, as long as Vonage and its peers lack
                                              any means of supporting a suitable level     The new Digital Voice service won’t be
Coluccio: Jere wrote: “My apologies           of quality with consistency across all of    immediately available beyond the three
for inserting my two cents when you           its venues of operation, the MSOs will       markets where Comcast has been test-
asked Andrew ...” Not to worry, Jere,         have, from a consumer experience point       ing it. The company plans to offer the
since your two cents often receives more      of view, a superior product, and as such     service in 20 of its markets by the end
than the usual two cents in currency ex-      would normally allow them to enjoy a         of this year, and the rest of its territory
change. Where did you get that figure of      premium, whatever it might be in terms       during 2006.
$50/mo for Comcast? Releases I’ve seen        of a percentage or dollars per month.
put them at $40 ...                                                                        That delay that could prove costly in a
                                              And for these reasons I believe we’ll        young market already marred by price
http://makeashorterlink.com/                  see the MSOs experience internal ten-        wars among AT&T Corp., Verizon Com-
?S26A3115A                                    sions between the throttling up of their     munications Inc., Vonage Holdings Co.,
                                              absolute cable modem data throughput         and a growing list of no-name rivals.
... while offering more features. (Hey,       capabilities, on the one hand, which
I’m only reporting the story here:)           could potentially improving the quality      But despite the apparent disadvantage,
                                              of competing, parasitic voice offerings,     Comcast officials said they hope to sign
But there’s more to their purported feature   and the holding back on those speeds,        up about 8 million phone customers, or a
advantages, I think. Despite their having     which would have the detrimental effects     20 percent share of the markets it serves,
sunk millions into circuit-switched voice     of making them appear non-competitive        within five years. [Snip]
prior to waking up and fully committing       with future FTTP throughput capabili-
to VoIP, they had already begun provid-       ties.                                        VoIP and Security in
ing circuit switched services to 40,000
residents and small businesses. Okay,         Later Coluccio: Correcting my earlier        Government and the
that’s on their dime, and it shouldn’t im-    URL posting of the Comcast PR, the           Enterprise
pact their new biz plan to recover invest-    press release below discusses the Com-
ments in VoIP, but rest assured it does.      cast VoIP offering I referred to, earlier.   COOK Report on January 27: http://
                                                                                           www.computerworld.com/newslet-
Also, there is always the spectre, at least   The URL, followed by the text for pos-       ter/0,4902,99258,00.html?nlid=PM
in the back of my mind, that their new        terity:
entry into a Packet Cable-based variation     http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/             JANUARY 26, 2005 (COMPUTER-
of VoIP will far outshine at a perceptual     html/2005/01/10/89432.php?sps=rgj.           WORLD) - A new report from the Na-
level if not a real, measurable one, from     com                                          tional Institute of Standards and Tech-
the perspectives of reliability and assured                                                nology urges federal agencies and other
quality through the application of QoS, a     “Comcast to offer VoIP service” by           organizations to take care in switching
better product than that of Vonage, or        Maryclaire Dale ASSOCIATED PRESS             to voice-over-IP technology because of
CallVantage, or Lingo, to name just three     1/10/2005 09:45 pm                           security concerns.
of a growing number of look-alikes.
                                              NEW OFFERING: Comcast Chief Exec-            The 99-page NIST report, “Security Con-
Lest we forget, it works counter to the       utive Brian Roberts delivers the keynote     siderations for Voice over IP Systems,”
Cable Operator’s interests to enhance         address during a telecommunications          includes nine recommendations for IT
the quality of best-effort parasitic VoIP     conference Monday in Phoenix.                managers to help them implement VoIP
offerings, while their own QoS-enabled                                                     in a secure manner. “Lower cost and
voice services share the same cable           PHILADELPHIA - Comcast Corp. is              greater flexibility are among the prom-
modem space as tenants in the same por-       joining the crowd of major cable TV          ises of VoIP for the enterprise, but VoIP
tion of the spectrum. And taking an even      and telephone companies venturing into       should not be installed without careful
more sinister view of the matter, there is    Internet-based phone service, but with a     consideration of the security problems
nothing forcing MSOs to even support          higher price and extra features which the    introduced,” the report says.
the parasites, much less enhance their        nation’s largest cable provider hopes will
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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
“Administrators may mistakenly assume         Open Systems Institute.                          Dave, I’ve been following the Simson/
that since digitized voice travels in pack-                                                    Skype thread on IP and I’ve read the
ets, they can simply plug VoIP compo-         It sparked the following exchange on             Columbia analysis of the Skype protocol
nents into their already-secure networks      Dave Farber’s Interesting Persons Mail           (http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~library/
and remain secure. However, the process       list.                                            TR-repository/reports/reports-2004/
is not that simple,” the report says.                                                          cucs-039-04.pdf) I’ve known Simson for
                                              First Commentor: Is Skype secure? The            14 or so years and have a ton of respect
The report, authored by NIST comput-          answer appears to be, “no one knows.”            for his technical skills. However, I think
er security experts Richard Kuhn and          The account accurately reports that be-          there are some significant Skype vulner-
Thomas Walsh, as well as Steffen Fries        cause the security mechanisms in Skype           abilities and associated legal ramifica-
of Siemens AG, appeared in draft form         are secret, it is impossible to analyze          tions that Simson did not discuss in his
last June and was formally released in        meaningfully its security. Most of the           article.
final form earlier this month. Today,         discussion of the potential risks and
NIST included excerpts from it in an e-       questions seems quite good to me.                Security is based on trust of the par-
mail newsletter.                                                                               ties exchanging information that they
                                              But in one or two places the report says         are who they claim and that the data
Among its recommendations, the re-            things like: “A conversation on Skype is         exchanged appears to be random to an
port calls for building logically separate    vastly more private than a traditional an-       untrusted observer. While Skype’s use
voice and data networks where practical,      alog or ISDN telephone,” and ““Skype is          of encryption supports the second part
instead of building a single converged        more secure than today’s VoIP systems.”          of the definition, it does not support the
network. It also calls for using VoIP fire-   I don’t see any basis for statements             first. Because it does not support the first,
walls and routinely testing them.             like this. Unfortunately, I guess these          it is very easy to use the Skype network
                                              sorts of statements have to be viewed            to intercept communications between any
Another recommendation says that “if          as blind guesswork. Those claims prob-           user or to pose as any user. This presents
practical,” VoIP softphones should not be     ably should have been omitted from the           a problem as against both third parties
used where either security or privacy is a    report, in my opinion -- there is really no      and governmental agencies.
priority. A softphone involves using an       evidence either way. Fortunately, these
ordinary PC with a headset and special        statements are the exception and only ap-        A critical part of the Skype network is
software instead of a typical telephone       pear in one or two places in the report.         the “super-nodes.” According to the Co-
unit.                                                                                          lumbia paper, super-nodes perform three
                                              David Wagner: The basis for these state-         functions:
Many analysts and even VoIP hardware          ments is what the other systems don’t
vendors have discussed VoIP security          do. My Vonage VoIP phone has exactly             * Designating the login authority
for years, but the predominant thinking       zero security. It uses the SIP-TLS port,
seems to be that such systems can be          without encryption. It doesn’t encrypt           * Media packet forwarding
installed in a secure way (see story).        anything. So, its easy to be more secure
[snip]                                        than that. So, while it may be bad cryp-         * Routing user search requests Super-
                                              tography, it is still better than the alterna-   nodes appear to “volunteer” to perform
Coluccio: I’ve see the NIST Report            tives. Unfortunately.                            the function. Or put another way, they
Computerworld summary, and a Power-                                                            are nodes that are not under the control
point presentation of same, but not the       Adam Shostak: I don’t buy it. How do             of Skype, but they perform all the rout-
full report referenced anywhere, itself,      you know that Skype is “more secure”,            ing functions necessary to discover a user
so here it is:                                let alone “vastly more private”? Maybe           and exchange information with the user.
                                              Skype is just as insecure as those other         Super nodes run on any machine running
“Security Considerations for Voice Over       systems. For all we know, maybe Skype            the Skype program and the machines
IP Systems Recommendations of the             is doing the moral equivalent of encrypt-        under Skype control have no way to
National Institute of Standards and Tech-     ing with the all-zeros key, or using a           determine if the super nodes are running
nology,” D. Richard Kuhn, Thomas J.           repeating xor with a many-time pad, or           unmodified Skype code.
Walsh, Steffen Fries Special Publication      some such? Without more information,
800-58 January 2005                           we just don’t know.                              If one were skilled in reverse engineering
                                                                                               x86 code and one were willing to violate
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nist-       I’m sorry to pick nits, but I have to stand      Skype’s user agreement, one could cre-
pubs/800-58/SP800-58-final.pdf                by my statement. No matter how atro-             ate a Skype node that volunteered to be
                                              ciously bad other systems may be, I don’t        a super-node. It would appear to all other
COOK Report : This paper is also worth        see any basis for saying that Skype is any       Skype nodes as a normal super-node.
looking at. http://www.simson.net/            better. It might be better, or it might be       It would perform all the functions of a
ref/2005/OSI_Skype6.pdf. It is a study        just as bad. We don’t know.                      Skype super-node. However, it would do
that Simson Garfinklel did for the Soros                                                       a little bit more. Let’s call one of these

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                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
super-nodes a “Bad Seed.”                    requests to a series of super-nodes. The         so the police don’t hassle you. But you
                                             super-nodes either respond with the ad-          can do it.
The Bad Seed could point users to anoth-     dress of “other_dude” or forward the re-
er authentication server. Thus, the user     quests to other super-nodes. If one of the       If the government wants to do it, it’s
would exchange username and authen-          super-nodes is a “Bad Seed”, that node           somewhat harder. The government has to
tication information with a “bad relay       can respond that it is “other_dude.” Be-         get a warrant to listen to your phone con-
proxy” rather than the Skype server. That    cause there is no cryptographic trust or         versations. Once they obtain a warrant,
permits the “bad relay proxy” to deny        any form of trust authority in the Skype         they present it to the phone company
Skype access to a user that I designate.     network, any super node that returns             which makes an entry into their switch to
Okay a denial of service attack is not       the information about “other_dude” is            record the call or send a real-time copy
great stuff, but for businesses that rely    trusted by my node.                              of it to the government.
of Skype (http://news.com.com/No-cos
t+Skype+strikes+chord+with+businesse         An aside... SSL certificates are signed          SIP is different. SIP supports encryption,
s/2100-7352_3-5553053.html ), having         by a trusted third party. That third party       but most SIP providers do not make use
the prospect of a DoS attack could be        validates that the certificate is held by        of it. The Microsoft SIP client librar-
an issue. Further, the “bad relay proxy”     the organization that claims to hold the         ies have the option of communicating
could collect username/password chal-        certificate. Using SSL insures that the          with the SIP server via TLS (TLS is
lenge (I’m assuming that Skype’s not         party that I’m communicating with is             like SSL, but uses the same IP port for
sending the actual password, but per-        the party that they claim to be within the       both encrypted and unencrypted traf-
forming a challenge/response method          bounds that I trust the signer of the SSL        fic.) Additionally, the media portion of
of verifying the password) data and do       certificate *and* that once the connec-          a SIP call can be encrypted by setting a
dictionary attacks on the passwords. This    tion is established that no one can under-       flag in the media descriptor. While most
isn’t a hardcore vulnerability you say.      stand the data exchanged with this party.        SIP providers do not use this functional-
Yep... I agree.                              That initial trust of the signed certifica-      ity, it’s part of the SIP spec and can be
                                             tion is a critical part of the security of the   turned on. Note that the machines that
The Bad Seed routes some of the media        overall communication. If I do a session         could play man-in-the-middle with an
requests if the two peers cannot see         key exchange with an unknown party,              encrypted SIP call are controlled by your
each other directly. Skype claims that       the communication is *not* secure. This          SIP provider (rather than any machine
because the packets are encrypted, the       is the case with Skype.                          running Skype.) Thus, you can trust the
super-nodes are just routing agents. This                                                     security of your call as much as you trust
is true unless the Bad Seed is part of the   The Skype network relies on trusting the         your SIP provider.
key exchange (see the next paragraph.) If    super-node. A Bad Seed can perform a
the Bad Seed is part of the exchange of      man in the middle attack during the ses-         With unencrypted SIP calls, if you are
private AES keys that are used to encrypt    sion key exchange by posing as the party         able to intercept packets, then you can
the voice data, then they are able to de-    being contacted (or forwarding the infor-        tap the call. Anybody on your LAN can
crypt the audio or text streams. Yikes. If   mation of another compromised node) to           listen into your call. This level of secu-
a Bad Seed was a man in the middle of        a caller. So, my Bad Seed is able to route       rity is no different than anyone in your
the private key exchange, then the Bad       call requests to an untrusted node and           house can listen in on your phone calls
Seed could record your conversation          do a man-in-the-middle during the key            and anyone in your office can probably
with another user. Okay, that’s not good.    exchange and snoop into my call. The             do the same. Anyone who can intercept
Given that any Skype node can become         only question is how many Bad Seeds to           the packet stream outside your LAN can
a super-node just by raising its hand and    you need in order to capture a significant       also listen in on the conversation. This is
a skilled hacker can re-engineer a Skype     percentage of the routing requests that go       more of a challenge. UDP packets (the
node to perform bad acts, then if you        over the Skype network. My guess is that         stuff that the media stream goes over)
connect to the Skype network, you don’t      the number is in the hundreds. So, with          may or may not be routed through the
know which nodes are listening in on         a hundred machines located around the            same backbone during all parts of the
your conversation. But wait, you say, the    world, I could intercept any Skype call          conversation. There is a certain amount
requirement for the above bit of scari-      and record it. Pretty scary.                     of security with the packets going over
ness is doing a man-in-the-middle attack                                                      the backbone. The ability to snoop on an
on the encryption key exchange. You’re       The PSTN primarily uses pairs of copper          unencrypted SIP call is marginally more
right. And here’s where the Skype net-       wires to transmit voice communications           difficult that snooping on a PSTN call.
work is totally insecure.                    from my house to the phone company
                                             central office. I can gain physical access       For the government, it’s more of a chal-
One function of the super-node in the        to those copper pairs very easily as long        lenge. Because the media portion of a SIP
Skype network is to route and respond        as I have physical proximity to the loca-        call goes directly between the end points
to user search requests. If I want to        tion of the person I want to snoop on. It’s      without going through the SIP provid-
connect to “other_dude” on the Skype         not hard to do. Yeah, you have to paint          ers network. This raises an interesting
network, my client sends out search          a white van with “Verizon” or “SBC”              issue: http://news.com.com/2100-7352-
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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
5296417.html. This is interesting for two     number of Bad Seeds, the communica-          they should just keep using their analog
reasons. First, SIP “telephone” compa-        tions between any users can be intercept-    phone lines. Their primary concern is
nies like Vonage will have to provide a       ed or denied. It’s something that a person   being wiretapped by the government in
flag to allow them to intercept the media     with the resources to rent 100 servers in    the host countries.
stream and decode it if the government        collocation facilities around the world
has a warrant. Second, the government         could do (that’s about $10,000 per month     These grant recipients and other Open
has acknowledged that SIP callers have        investment.) Given that Skype is a P2P       Society activists have heard so many
the same expectation of privacy that cop-     network and users of such networks are       crypto-nuts saying “Skype isn’t safe”
per-pair PSTN callers have. This is really    not afforded the same expectation of         that they’re using the local PTT phones
important.                                    privacy that users of the PSTN and other     instead. They’re pouring their grant
                                              telephone networks are afforded, the         money into the coffers of the local gov-
Users of peer-to-peer file sharing programs   government could use such a mechanism        ernments (who own the PTTs) and they
don’t have an expectation of privacy in       to listen to Skype-based calls and have a    are opening themselves up to systematic
their use of P2P programs. That’s why so      reasonable legal argument that they do       eavesdropping.
many folks are being sued (http://news.       not need a warrant to do so.
com.com/RIAA+files+754+new+file-                                                           This is just a completely different threat
swapping+suits/2110-1027_3-5494259.           That’s my 2 cents. Thanks, David             model than most of the anti-Skype people
html?tag=nl ) Skype touts themselves                                                       are even aware of. I’m sure that if David
as a P2P voice communications system          P. S. -- I was CTO and VP Engineering        wants to write a standards-based SIP
(http://Skype.com/products/explained.         for an Internet security company for a       system and distribute it to the OSI grant
html). That means that if you use Skype,      number of years and I’m a member of the      recipients, and make it as easy to use as
you have the same expectation of privacy      Rhode Island bar.                            Skype, and make it sound as good, and
as a P2P user. Given that the government                                                   make configuration instant, and make
has the resources to build Bad Seeds and      Garfinkel: Hi, David. Lovely to hear         it interconnect to PSTN networks for a
that P2P users have no expectation of pri-    from you again.                              few pennies a minute --- I’m sure that if
vacy, you can bet that there are govern-                                                   David wants to do all those things, then
ment run Skype nodes looking for Skype        I actually specifically discussed this at-   the OSI grant recipients and other Open
communications between Osama911 and           tack with the folks at Skype when I wrote    Society activists will be happy to use it.
Sleeper_in_Seattle and that the govern-       my piece. They say that all authentica-
ment doesn’t have a warrant for these         tion and authorization communications        But those activists live in the real world
activities.                                   are encrypted with a public key, and that    and have to make real choices. Right now
                                              the private key is only at the Skype HQ.     the choice is using Skype or using the
To conclude my long rant, the Skype           I’m not sure where to take that idea, but    analog phone on their desk. Discussions
network is radically insecure because it      it’s an idea. My piece doesn’t go into       about theoretical vulnerabilities and bad-
relies on untrusted super-nodes to per-       details of this kind of attack because it    seed super-nodes just scare the activists
form trusted functions, most notably user     was written for OSI grant recipients who     into thinking that this Internet security
look-up. It’s easy to build a compromised     are not technical. These grant recipients    stuff is too complicated, and they’re bet-
super-node (a Bad Seed.) With a limited       want to know if they can use Skype or if     ter off just using that analog phone.




                                                              87
Symposium Discussion February 6 - February 24

Skype, SIP, the Enterprise and Security
Skype is Like Apple                           far better than boundary firewalls, and      capabilities announced by Tandberg, as
                                              sandboxing (virtual machines and chroot      illustrated in this NW Fusion article that
II in the Enterprise                          jails) is far more relevant than “shameful   arrived in my snailer today:
Highlights                                    packet inspection” in gateways.
                                                                                           http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2005/
Reed: Skype is kind of like the Apple         Editor's Note [on March 25]: Wrestling       0207tandberg.html
][ in the enterprise. People are using it,    with a final draft I have just chopped
but the IT Department doesn’t like it         13,000 words of rather detailed tech-        As a non-ISP, but one who is well ac-
one bit.                                      nical discussion. I had put all of this      customed to the kludges that result from
                                              through an extensive edit and format.        firms merging and being acquired, my
I’m sure the Skype people want to see         However 120,000 words is simply too          observations suggest that most of the
it viewed positively in the enterprise.       much! (And the 120,000 words was             “dumbing down” through such measures
I’m sure the Skype competitors want           edited down extensively from the list        at the edges of the network that is being
to spread unreasonable FUD, and also          discussion!) I realize now that it is an     accomplished by these devices are an
justifiable skepticism, in order to keep      example of reaching the limits of discus-    imperative, if not merely lending a form
Skype out of the customers they think         sion with 40 contributors over 3 and one     of license, to those who’d prefer - or are
they rightfully “own”.                        half months.                                 forced into - proliferating the existence
                                                                                           of heterogeneous environments.
The best way of course would be to make       Retzer [reacting to what I have just
their service work as well as Skype out of    cut]: Another [outcome], perhaps is to       And maybe this is sometimes due to
the box, and not tie it to enterprise sales   deploy a stupid network and not worry        service providers being forced into situa-
[As I left Lotus in 1992 to join Interval     so much about what goes through it.          tions, like the example I just used above
Research, one of my parting warnings                                                       concerning mergers and acquisitions, or
was that Lotus Notes *must* be pur-           Coluccio: Maybe we’re sitting too far        because of a philosophical preference
chasable and operable as a solution that      apart in the classroom, Jere, but I can’t    an SP has for selecting “best of breed”
wasn’t just an “intra-company” solution,      tell whether you meant that seriously,       software, appliances and network ele-
or they would lose big to the Internet. I     or not. In any event, you’ve hit on a        ments for each point solution. Thereby
don’t think they listened carefully - they    growing part of the overall problem by       perpetuating the need for such solutions
continued to create private networks for      highlighting the dissimilarities between     even further down the road, while effec-
customers, and created boundaries for         that which [in networks] is rote stupid,     tively providing a form of regenerative
inter-corporate Notes connectivity that       and that which aspires to act in a stupid    feedback to the syndrome.
were operationally too hard to surmount.      way. It only becomes more so when you
This failure was one of the sources of        consider the options now taking advan-       "What to do?" is probably not a question
the “Reed’s Law” idea, since it stunted       tage of stupidity to new heights, a la the   that any individual can answer for the
Notes’ potential precisely due to the lack    Skype application whose presentation         whole, but rather, "what will folks do?",
of paying attention to how group-form-        we just listened to.                         is more apt a question to ask here, where
ing creates value].                                                                        matters or security, if not overall archi-
                                              The situation approaches that of a Gor-      tecture, are concerned.
The reasoning behind “boundary secu-          dion knot when you consider “what is”
rity” is seriously flawed - connectiv-        and where one would like to be, with the     And through all of the complexity that
ity across the corporate membrane is          backdrop being one of the only forms         is usually ascribed to the newly engi-
the MOST business-critical connectiv-         of Internet based - or PSTN-based, for       neered, deliberate forms of kludges that
ity there is, not the least - and at the      that matter - services that is still being   result when additional boxes are inserted
same time, putting your protection at         monetized beyond break even levels, in       in the diagram, in order to assuage the
the boundary ignores the nature of the        any appreciable way. And of course I’m       problems brought on by the other addi-
worst threats, which are predominantly        speaking about voice and video confer-       tional boxes, may there not be an added
INSIDE the firewall.                          encing, both of the measured minutes         level of security from viridae and worms
                                              variety and the all you can eat, as well.    sent by the bad guys that now have to
The best protection is right up next to the                                                negotiate those additional boxes, than a
application, and based on authentication      And so, the translation devices at the       purer form of end to end model would
at the application semantic level. That       edge make everything appear homoge-          present? Although this sounds silly, the
means that per-machine firewalls are          neous. Today we see another example of       question is legitimate, in my opinion.
                                              this by way of the NAT-firewall traversal
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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
I’m just asking some questions here that      and Late Adopters are the huge bulge          that would be the death of Lotus due to
happen to be surfacing in my mind as I        in the frequency chart that is definitely     the raging security risk.
read through the list comments, without       negatively skewed.
any prior suppositions of what the an-                                                      As a vice president in charge of develop-
swers to those questions might be. From       To meet the “four nines” SLA, absent          ing technologies and products around
the standpoint of doing any type of busi-     any, using Gordon’s term, “disruptive”        (among other things) electronic mail
ness in a commercial context, voice and       and rapidly adopted by a super-majority       products and stuff like Lotus Notes, I
video conferencing applications may be        of the economically significant popula-       and others argued that we couldn’t afford
viewed as being as far removed from the       tion, signaling or other in-band or out-of-   not to interconnect. This was not an easy
architectural ideals of the Internet as a     band IP protocol, such as Yakov Rektor        fight. There was “no business benefit” to
computer numeric control application is       and some of us techno-agnostics at Cisco      interconnecting to the Internet in those
on a factory floor. It’s merely a business    attempted to promulgate, the SS&/AIN          days - we were told we had to limit in-
tool that has to work right when called       network is essential. Government-to-          terconnect to a small number of essential
upon every time. And they are nothing         Business, Government-to-Citizen, Busi-        R&D personnel who could demonstrate
more or less than that, from the stand-       ness-to-Small Business, and Business-to-      a “need to email”. When we engineers
point of most who use them.                   Citizen will require it.                      said: “No, Jim Manzi should be using
                                                                                            Internet mail.” People thought we were
Davis: Well said, Frank, at least from        To some objectors, citing that IP was         joking. Jim, fortunately, understood the
my perspective. I am an engineer and an       designed to be connectionless, I respond      point, and chose to make an example of
architect. I am also the one my company       that TCP was designed to be “connec-          himself.
trots out to government and enterprise        tion-oriented”, just as ATM is connec-
customers to give the hows and where-         tionless but “connection-oriented.” To        It also reminds me of the time Starwave
fores . . . customers who are highly          those who insist, with what I always hear     and some Interval Research people dem-
concerned about cost, availability, insist    as protocol religion, on EoIP (nothing        onstrated the first commercially success-
on the telco-like SLAs to which they          less than Everything over IP), I respond,     ful Web service to Microsoft’s executives
are accustomed (four ninies). Frequently      and Yakov responded, that IP was never        (ESPN Sportszone) in late 1993. Micro-
there are competing customer groups: the      designed to do anything with voice or         soft could NOT connect to the Internet,
older, telco-accustomed, frequently prox-     video, whereas ATM was, and . . .             again because of corporate policy. We
ies for their customer favorites and per-                                                   had to do the demo at a site outside the
sonal relationships built up over decades,    if the engineering and architecture of        corporate campus because of their over-
and on the other side, younger “whiz-kid      communications networks is about “the         wrought policy.
wana-bees” who tout their protocol reli-      communication” part - User Adaptation
gion and vendor of choice.                    Layer, let’s work on that problem, using      The CSO’s are now feeling more than
                                              whatever tools we have or can design in       ever empowered (perhaps by the fear
These are real issues up at the political     the process.                                  campaign launched by the right to keep
end and tribal end. I am the one usually                                                    America in line with the Bush adminis-
brought in at stalemate stage.                Melissa - who worships no protocol            tration) to stop any technology that might
                                              godlet.                                       make corporations more productive or
These larger organizations, unlike indi-                                                    better connected to their customers. They
viduals who are free to care or not, who      Is the Enterprise is in                       are abetted by technology suppliers sell-
are constrained by statute, case law and                                                    ing gewgaws pandering to their fears
GC interpretation as to liability and con-    Gridlock?                                     (check out some of the new gear pander-
tracts, and policy to provide at least dis-                                                 ing to the fear of 802.11, cameraphones
ciplined due diligence on security. At the    Reed: Don’t bet on the Enterprise mar-        and USB memory sticks being sold today,
Operations level, the security issues are     kets for any of this, Gordon. Enterprise      which costs a lot and fixes nothing).
not only of privacy and confidentiality of    use of new technology is now dead.
digital information asset stores, but the                                                   So if I were to bet on the source of
                                              The Chief Security Officer outranks the
requirement to keep the network up and                                                      the next technology revolution, it would
                                              CIO, and each one says: “Be afraid of
operational, especially as the post-BUST                                                    NOT come from the Enterprise Market.
                                              novelty, be very afraid.” Just imagine
cost cutting has driven staff to what I                                                     It should, but it will not. Not until the
                                              your worst nightmares and project them
think is excessive thin-ness.                                                               CSO’s understand that the best way to
                                              on new technology because it’s weird.         secure a company is to stop dealing with
The interoperability issues that Frank                                                      customers or suppliers, and build up that
                                              This just reminds me of 1986 at Lotus
raises are essential in designing and op-                                                   moat until they can’t feed their employ-
erating. As a simple case, the Geoffrey       when the Chief Security guy (our cor-         ees, much less help send their kids to
Moore curves on market adoption of new        porate counsel) said that we should not       college.
technology hold true. The economic case       allow our employees to interconnect our
is rarely won by the swift. The Middle        electronic mail with the Internet, because    P. S.: Lest you think I am against secu-

                                                              89
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
rity, let me point out that the best petri ... are firing offenses.
dish for viruses is the corporate intranet,                                            Retzer: Frank wrote:
because everything operates wide open And to back it up, various gear provid-
by default, and hidden from public view. ers are providing traps for such “evil I recently found myself in one such situa-
I am frustrated that those who argue from technologies” that can be deployed on tion in my own den, at home, where I was
security actually create the most vulnera- corporate campuses.                         Skyping out over my cable operator’s
ble and fragile systems. Security matters.                                             cable modem connection to a centrallized
CSO’s (non-technical lawyers mostly) So yeah, those of us who live largely enterprise conference bridge, into which
are suckers for snake oil salesmen and outside the “enterprise” as consultants, my customer’s Cisco VoIP gear also at-
never have to justify their actions in pundits, small-business owners, etc. tached, and into which other participants
terms of business risk/return tradeoffs.    don’t see this phenomenon.                 from home were also being SIP’ed in,
                                                                                       simultaneously.
Coluccio: David, while many of your But I can assure you, you may be able to
points are well taken, I don’t know how technically route Skype out of your PC How do you bridge Skype, SIP and
you or anyone else can any longer dif- on the corporate network today, but the PSTN? Thanks
ferentiate today between enterprise, con- trade organizations of corporate legal
sumer, and the caller who is Wi-Fi’ing departments are telling all their mem- Forster: Voice bridging can exist in any
his way via VoIP into a conference center bers to make policies against it, to re- signaling/transport domain (PSTN, SIP,
via VoIP from a cafe hot spot, through quire technology to block it, and asking Skype); mixed mode bridging most likely
the use of a dual-mode cellular device. I senior executives to direct against it.      happens in the PSTN (G.711 on DS-0
recently found myself in one such situa-                                               with DTMF & Robbed-bit signaling)
tion in my own den, at home, where I was After all, you wouldn’t want your em- domain because pretty much everything
Skyping out over my cable operator’s ployees actually to be empowered would can connect to the PSTN. The dial bridge
cable modem connection to a centrallized you? That’s a scary thought!                  itself looks like a bunch of phones and
enterprise conference bridge, into which                                               simply does the right mixing.
my customer’s Cisco VoIP gear also at- This fear of novelty is one of the many
tached, and into which other participants reasons why genuinely disruptive new Coluccio: Dead on. And to answer Jere:
from home were also being SIP’ed in, communications technologies come last
simultaneously.                             to the Fortune 500. The enterprise mar- As Jim has already noted, the least com-
                                            ket eventually gets there, but it’s rarely mon denominator is a plain old PSTN
The mix of voice applications and point in the vanguard of anything.                   compatible 800 number conference bridge
solutions currently being used and on the                                              - although I’ve been told that if the client
drawing boards has evolved to a level Coluccio: David - Just for clarity, I’m so elected, they could also have used a
that is far too incestuous to allow such Skyping from home, not my clients’ of- VoIP feature accommodation in their IP
distinctions - or exclusions - to be made fices. ;-)                                   PBX to achieve the same end. Everyone
when discussing matters of security, sole-                                             dials into the bridge which effectively be-
ly on the basis of who, or from whence, On that note, however, I recently spoke comes a DS-0 exchange, so at some each
call sessions are being set up.             with one my associates who IS situated session is being set up through a gateway
                                            behind a client desk (and who also VPNs of one form or another. I used my Skype-
These dynamics will further frustrate from home two days out of the week), out feature from home to dial in to the
future efforts to distinguish between call- and I asked him if the client’s security bridge. The IT staff at the client site used
ing classes, as the diffusion in the work hawks were still adamant about prohib- SIP-based phones, which, through PRI
place, accompanied by decentralization iting IM’ing over the corporate LAN, gateways to the PSTN, did the same.
of larger corporate offices, continues. So, as they had been a while back. I was And the work-at-homes equipped with
it doesn’t surprise me why a vertically in- advised that they are now using an in- SIP phones use the enterprise VPN. Al-
tegrated proprietary solution, something house IM package, which, while capable though, I’m not sure of the mechanics
like Skype, say, might be so appealing of talking to other vendors/SPs’ versions that are used, but I can find out and report
to some.                                    of IM, still cannot do so for the types back to you if you wish.
                                            of reasons you’ve cited and otherwise
Reed: Frank - I wish that the internals of implied. Also, Skype is not to be seen I think that this should also serve to point
enterprise networks were just part of the anywhere on the horizon in that particu- out that, under the conditions I’ve out-
Internet.                                   lar account, while there are staff that I lined above, at least, different species of
                                            have situated elsewhere who say that VoIP don’t necessarily have to touch each
However, as I mentioned, in many com- it’s being used with mixed resistance, other in an organic way, but in some way
panies, the CSO has ordered that use of still, and I’d imagine that the smaller the must be made to talk a LCD language,
contact managers (like Plaxo), VoIP (like number that exists following the name nonetheless. At the same time, the DS-0
Skype or Vonage), access points, Wi-Fi, FORTUNE 500, the more resistance one normalization also serves to dispel any
                                            will find.                                 heightened concerns surrounding each of

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                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
the variants also infecting one another,      to protect privacy and integrity of both      ered workers” without themselves be-
since it also serves as a means of invok-     financial transactions and employee per-      coming disemboweled in the process.
ing an active state under quarantine, if      sonal information (personnel, discipline,
you will.                                     evaluations, labor grievances of some         VoIP presents special problems in the
                                              kinds, EEOC violations). Businesses and       corporate/enterprise/government en-
On February 4 Davis to David Reed:            Government networks institute policies        vironment. Business cases have to be
Your statement immediately below, to          for very secure authentication and com-       made, risk assessments done, mitiga-
wit: "Don’t bet on the Enterprise mar-        munications with and about employees          tions proposed-tested-deployed that meet
kets for any of this, Gordon. Enterprise      with some risk, likelihood of being tar-      cost-benefit decisions. Information may
use of new technology is now dead."           geted by hostile agents (kidnapping, etc).    be free, or practically free on the Inter-
                                              Businesses and Government networks            net, but information is not free in the
"The Chief Security Officer outranks          must maintain privacy, integrity, and         corporate/enterprise/government envi-
the CIO, and each one says “be afraid         transaction logging of sensitive manage-      ronments. There, information costs to
of novelty, be very afraid”. Just imagine     ment, trade secrets, intellectual property,   produce, and that cost has to be justified
your worst nightmares and project them        strategy information.                         with some judgment of ROI.
on new technology because it’s weird."
                                              I would like to hear your dissertation on     The NIST report - Yes,Gordon, the 100
This is different from the one in your        the compelling reasons for opening all        page one- lays out the risks. No one says
second email below:                           that up to any old curious person, or ex-     the risks are proscriptive. One can, and
                                              pose that non-public but legally obtain-      CSO’s do have to accept risk.
“However, as I mentioned, in many             able information for public discussion.
companies, the CSO has ordered that use                                                     The issue for techno types like us is to
of contact managers (like Plaxo), VoIP        I will tell you that I am, with others,       make the business case. Not by technol-
(like Skype or Vonage), access points,        engaged on ferreting out an applica-          ogy alone will one sell anything much
Wi-Fi, ... are firing offenses."              tion you did not mention, specifically        any more.
                                              “GoToMyPC”: a remote control pro-
While the former is just not true, not in     gram that defeats and renders useless         Stuart Henshall and
my experience with my customers, and          enterprise firewalls, IDS/IPS, and other
invocation of the universal premise out-      packet inspection devices. GoToMyPC,          Skype Voice Mail
side of formal logic is usually hyperbole,    once installed on an internal enterprise
                                                                                            On February 9 COOK Report: Please
the latter is undoubtedly true at least for   machine, maintains an open outbound
                                                                                            welcome Stuart Henshall to the list
some, and the use of “many” depends on        connection HTTP (443) to a remote
one’s scalar of what many means.              proprietary GoToMyPC server and ex-
                                              changes shared private keys with AES-         By way of background Stuart told me
                                              128. The remote agent contacts that           that for a number of years in the 90s he
I know of none, which only means
                                              broker/server from some outside point         worked for Stewart brands global busi-
that this writer knows of none, attack-
                                                                                            ness forum helping various companies
ing Plaxo. All of my big customers are        with unknown and unknowable authen-
                                              tication standards (weak passwords, e.g.)     do marketing turnarounds. If I under-
doing test beds or actual deployments
                                              This places anyone with the legitimate        stand him correctly he has been more of
of Cisco’s VoIP or Nortel’s VoIP. Von-
                                              credentials (possessed by a user for use      a marketing consumer goods person than
age is, among my customers, in no way
                                              on the internal network or possessed by       a telecom specialist.
singled out as a target.
                                              a poseur who has stolen the credentials
                                                                                            But he is into blogging and he said the
I wish you would explain the point of         via RAT/keystroke logger, or zombie via
                                                                                            blogging world made him away of Skype
why you wish, as you state below, that        RAT) in complete control of the internal
                                                                                            instantly. He downloaded Skype on day
“the internals of enterprise networks         machine, its access to other machines and
                                                                                            three of its release and his blog appears
were just part of the Internet.” Why          network stores. Internal security policies
                                                                                            to be almost all Skype all the time. Read-
should they be? The internals of the          have no effect on restricting the export
                                                                                            ing from his blog and talking with him
enterprise networks are privately owned       of internal information as, to the network
                                                                                            and using Skype more and more myself
and operated, under the constraints of        devices, the request is received from a
                                                                                            makes me appreciate what David Reed
the marketplace of P&L, for the busi-         device internal and local (the invisible
                                                                                            wrote here in early December about how
ness requirements of that business/en-        remote user not being visible). The en-
                                              crypted connection between the internal       Skype is CHANGING fundamentally the
terprise. Those enterprises are governed
                                              machine and the remote machine through        way people communicate in general and
by statutes (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA,
                                              the GoToMyPC broker is opaque to any          by voice in particular.
etc. Government networks must meet
the requirements of Clinger-Cohen,            known sensor or firewall device.
                                                                                            At http://www.henshall.com/blog/ar-
e-Commerce, e-Auth, and coming is
                                              Every customer I have wants “empow-           chives/001095.html we find
HSPD-12.) All businesses are bound


                                                               91
                         COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
Skype Journal Voice Messaging Fast to share what I was doing with those For that expenditure, I have 4 wireless
Forward January 23, 2005 11:21 AM          that found the line engaged. I got a lot phones dotted around the house, can call
                                           of voice mails. Mostly blank and short for “free” (at least on an incremental
I was granted 10 opportunities to share voice mails. I also got VM’s from people basis), and can call anyone without hav-
Skype VM with others. I shared it with that clearly didn’t know how to stop ing my PC or a separate PC server up
Buzz and I have this wonderful mes- them... I think that is the “Oh no!” what and running.
sage back from him asking for 100 more is it doing factor?.. playing message and
invites. I know he actually wants 1000! then asking to record. Too scared to do I then keep coming back to Skype to see
Of course, I wanted to share this news anything they end up as 1 minute of si- what I am missing - yes, I could set up a
and send it back to Skype . It’s the sort lence. Having added VM to this account I PC that runs as the host machine, I could
of voice message people get a kick from. found that there was no way to turn it off. get (for $150 or so) a phone with a USB,
In fact in my life I find I don’t forward Why would one want to turn it off? Well and could probably manage to wire it
many messages. In the cell phone world in this case a “busy” signal would have around the house to other locations etc.,
I have a feeling that it costs me money provided better feedback. Now that the I could get Out to call people in the US
and then I just don’t have the feature set client is completely offline it has prob- or UK, could work through the voicemail
on my landlines. This seemed the perfect ably taken VM from frustrated former system that is in beta, could perhaps get
message to forward.                        listeners all day. Most will be a second or (at a cost) a IN number so that people
                                           nothing at all. Thus this account would could call me (paying by the minute?),
So, I tried to record it to a .wav file a be better served by remaining perma- probably cant make emergency calls
couple of different ways and was unsuc- nently offline rather than collecting VM’s from it, and now my telephone service
cessful. As I’ve already sent a voice mail until this trial ends. Collecting VM on an is dependent not just on the power and
while in a conversation with another account that someone may not use again cable modem, but on my PC not freezing
person. I thought I’d see if I could play seems like a bad idea.                       as well. Would my cost be less than $20
it back in a conference call. That failed.                                             per month - I doubt it.
I also tried Windows Sound Recorder [Snip]
with Virtual Cables etc. Didn’t work - at                                              I’ve then thought about using Skype
least not yet. In the end my solution was Steve Heap: I sometimes think I am from a PocketPC to avoid using a mobile
to send it to my iPod with iTalk recorder really missing the excitement here in - yes, it works, but if you have already
out the headphone jack and then iTunes these recent emails about Skype, and decided to have a mobile for other con-
copy it back to my PC. Clipped in Sound I cant fully put my finger on what is venience reasons, it is probably only for
Recorder and convert to mp3. A little too missing. I don’t think I am viewing the international calls that it would be useful,
hard. Still I have an mp-3 and now can world through my many years of telecom and there are ways to do that - such as
provide the feedback. So, here it is. A employment, and am a pretty geeky per- a prepaid phone card - which is about
short snip of Buzz’s message to me on son in trying new technology, but I am the same level of additional effort. Can
Voice Mail. It’s not the same Skype qual- missing the attraction. Skype is great I eventually use a VoIP/ enabled cell
ity; it does deliver the message. VMBuzz technology, implemented in a very novel phone to bypass my minutes allowance -
PodCast!                                   way, with new features that are being yes, but the underlying wireless provider
                                           developed, but it is missing what I still will charge me for the bits through the
[Snip]                                     think is the marketplace.                   data connection.

COOK Report: We find at: http://www.         What I want at home is a communica-         So - if long distance charges are increas-
henshall.com/blog/archives/001106.html       tions system that lets me make outgoing     ingly bundled into VoIP (and non-VoIP)
Journal VM Update February 1, 2005           “calls” to people around the world, lets    based service packages, and especially
05:58 PM                                     me receive incoming calls from anyone,      if this is bundled into my high speed
                                             lets me make emergency calls if I need      internet/Entertainment package at home
Henshall: I’ve again been playing with       to, allows conferencing, have voicemail     - why would I bother with Skype?
Skype VM beta. I also wrote about it first   (emailed to me), and isn’t expensive. I
here and then added these thoughts here.     have solved that set of needs by using      Hope this doesn’t sound like the last
Today I terminated my little experiment      Lingo (VoIP) on my broadband connec-        wimperings of a fading telecom person!
with iPodRadio. I just wanted my iPod        tion, with no local line as backup, but
back. While it was neat getting visitors     with my mobile available if the Lingo/      Stuart Henshall: I’ve not had time to
from all over the world listening to my      broadband is out of action. In an emer-     read the history on the list. Just jump-
music I wasn’t getting to use it myself.     gency, I can use either Lingo or mobile     ing in.
So it is now offline. Which brings me        whichever is closest to hand. The Lingo
back to VM (voice messaging please!).        costs me $19.95 a month for unlimited       Lingo is one of the best PoIP plans
                                             US, Canada and Europe, which pretty         around. I think Broadvoice may be even
I added voice messaging to my iPod           much defines where I call. Per call pric-   cheaper for even more countries. As you
Radio, thinking it would be a neat way       ing outside those areas is reasonable.      note they are effective plans.

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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                              I am really missing the excitement here       below and I will watch the other com-
However, your note doesn’t mention the        in these recent emails about Skype , and      ments with interest. Not convinced yet
impact of “presence”, ad-hoc conferenc-       I cant fully put my finger on what is         for “ordinary” residential use where I
ing, audio quality - stereo positioning is    missing.                                      have already dropped Verizon and my
coming, IM/Chat Integration, video, and                                                     entire “phone bill” is $20 a month, but I
always on etc. Elements that are chang-       I’ve used it only briefly but it worked       will watch this space!
ing how we use and experience conver-         better than a popular VOIP service that
sations. (In this realm there was also a      charges. Only briefly because of the          Ciscoʼs CMX Platform
nice post by Barlow recently called “The      relative inconvenience of using a pc as
Intimate Planet” http://barlow.typepad.       a phone.                                      Promotes Mobility
com/barlowfriendz/2005/01/the_inti-                                                         Across Wireless Access
mate_pl.html .                                Steve continued: I’ve then thought about      Networks
                                              using Skype from a PocketPC to avoid
There is an “Online Presence Spiral” and      using a mobile ...                            Matson: Spent an afternoon with the
this links to a great paper by Douglas                                                      mobile team of Cisco Systems earlier
Galbi. http://www.henshall.com/blog/ar-       Your comments didn’t mention that             this week. They believe that the ‘mobile’
chives/000718.html                            Pocket PCs increasingly have WiFi so          operators move into the ‘fixed’ space
                                              that you don’t necessarily need to use the    is the major trend ... and that providing
I’m a real advocate for intensive use. Not    cellular time and you can overcome poor       mobile operators with a fully mobile IP
that Skype may be the only solution; it is    cell reception indoors if you have WiFi       ability - regardless of access network - is
elegant in its simplicity. There are fewer    available. So, go on your business to a       a key opportunity.
steps to make a call in Skype vs the          conference where you have WiFi. Con-
phone or even most mobiles. It’s easier       nect your bluetooth headset and be fully      But to hear Cisco talking about “creat-
to return calls etc. That’s probably just     connected all day with just the pocket        ing network embedded intelligence” to
hygiene factors.                              PC rather than drag a laptop and disturb-     counter the peer-to-peer IP connectivity
                                              ing folks when the phone goes off. Use        across a “dumb network” was somewhat
Where it really changed what I do is in       your GSM time and cellphone service or        surprising!
“global” connections, sharing links while     Skype as desired - forward the cell to the
talking, and adding in screen sharing file    Skype if you like. I’ve found a lot of con-   Forster: Hey, we’re a big place, and we
sharing etc. The capability for an “in-       ferences in places that have pretty poor      try to sell to all sorts of different cus-
dependent” to hold a global conference        indoor cell reception. Consequently, this     tomers with quite different viewpoints.
call 4x per week for sometime hours re-       is also a way around that problem. This       The groups responsible for selling to a
ally changes the “who” I can work with.       is all speculative, however as I don’t        particular set of customers tend to think
Having audio where I can hear helps           know people doing this now.                   like those customers. The groups selling
too. The majority of conversations I hold                                                   Ethernet switches are lot more comfort-
on Skype combine text and chat. That’s        Forster: What excites me about is that        able with the dumb network / smart edge
something I can’t do on the phone (Well       they’ve taken an axe to a whole lot of        notions, but even there the pain of deal-
I can with a Bluetooth headset and my         infrastructure and associated people, al-     ing with the incredible mess of today’s
Nokia using Agile Messenger and Opera,        lowing them to deploy a very high audio       desktop systems running Windows will
would be clumsy). Similarly, the “how”        quality but extremely low cost infra-         drive many to desperate acts.
I contact someone is changing. It’s that      structure.
“Presence” thing.                                                                           Matson: They claim their Mobile Ex-
                                              You’re absolutely right that using a PC       change (CMX) platform will permit the
In today’s world a “ring” may be rude,        for a phone has some drawbacks. I be-         customers of mobile operators to roam
a text message intrusive, when a voice        lieve it’s technically straightforward to     over various mobile access networks (
message may provide a timely update           put the client code into an dedicated         GSM, 3G, WiFi etc etc). Not only that,
when you need it. The PoIP plans still        device (an appliance if you will) so that a   because the CMX unpacks and catego-
ring, can’t text effectively, and don’t en-   PC is not required. With respect to taking    rizes every packet (to determine URL,
able voice messaging.                         incoming calls off the PSTN: yes, that’s      location, file type, content, time, type of
                                              another very valid issue and huge limita-     service etc.) it will afford mobile opera-
Still at the heart of it I’d choose a Skype   tion. But I believe that’s fixable as well.   tors to support any business model - such
call over a phone call any day of the                                                       as identifying a packet and either block-
week. It’s better sound quality. Until bet-   Heap: To prove I am not a caveman, I          ing it or charging for it!!
ter audio comes along --- then I’d prob-      did call Stuart on Skype and had a good
ably go there too. After all what I want to   discussion about the merits of Skype in a     I can’t believe Cisco has changed its core
do is talk and listen.                        business context - especially for consult-    view of a world of “the dumb pipe with
                                              ing or global interactions. Quality was       intelligence at the edge” if for no other
Retzer: Steve asked: I sometimes think        great! There are some good thoughts
                                                               93
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
reason than Cisco makes intelligent de-       hardly the sort of heart-lifting prospects    they want?
vices and there is a bigger business down     that vendors and operators who’d like to
the line selling to the “edge” than “net-     capitalize on the original dream of the       Coluccio: Narrowing the field of ‘custom-
works”. But in these chaotic, confusing       shift to Layer 3 like to hear, much less      ers’ down to just three, i.e., Consumers,
and disruptive days transitioning into the    promote, when addressing new markets          telcos, and enterprises is in my opinion
IP world, Cisco cannot abandon the mar-       with their wares.                             an over simplification. What happened
ket potential and commercial opportunity                                                    to the large base of government-based
afforded by major cash-rich players (like     Matson: Don’t get me wrong. The longer        networking taking place, not to mention
the mobile operators) who are “on the         we are in this period of paradigm transi-     an even larger base of enterprise custom-
defensive” in the new paradigm shift and      tion (lengthened primarily in my view         ers, municipalities, greenfield operators,
want to deploy intelligence to try and do     by misguided regulatory/public policy         condominium builds, etc?
anything they can to halt the Tsunami.        intervention) the more ‘visionary’ public
Well now we know what Cisco are doing         companies like Cisco have to attend to        To further break it down, some enterprise
to help them “evolve into the future”         the short-term interests of their share-      customers are asset-based network op-
(their words)! They claim to have 80 mo-      holders by developing revenue generat-        erators unto themselves (some in a very
bile operators ‘on board’ with their CMZ      ing opportunities created by the vested       large way), meaning that they own major
platform and will be making significant       interests dedicated to extending their        portions of their own infrastructures. I
further announcements at the forthcom-        old-paradigm shelf life and slowing the       submit that in each of the categories of
ing GSM event. Cisco is desperate not to      transition. So I am not criticizing Cisco     ‘customers’ listed above you will find
be relegated to commoditization and are       and I suppose I am not in that sense “sur-    both SIP and Skype infiltrating into traf-
even venturing with radical new charg-        prised” that a major public company such      fic flows, whether they are sanctioned
ing model with this platform - e.g. $x per    as Cisco should seek to generate rev-         or not.
user. Worth watching                          enues by serving deep-pocketed vested
                                              interests rather than end users who will      Enterprise IT departments fill proxy roles
Coluccio: “But to hear Cisco talking          benefit from the demise of such cash-         similar to that which David refers to
about “creating network embedded intel-       collecting intermediaries.... but then I      when he speaks about the vendor-telco,
ligence” to counter the peer-to-peer IP       suppose I was.                                or vendor-consumer relationship. In the
connectivity across a “dumb network”                                                        case of the enterprise, IT is both service
was somewhat surprising!” wrote Mal-          Maybe it simply highlights the fact that      provider and the vendor that counts, and
colm Matson.                                  once a public company - then the need to      has the last say in what is authorized
                                              hit revenue/profit targets transcends all     and what is not. So, IT folks, too, have
I agree that such a statement coming          else - which is why, as an entrepreneur       to listen to their ‘customers.’ And while
from a company that vowed to replace          with private funding backing for me           there are many applications that make
switched PBXes with its own VoIP gear         and the “vision”, I can be single-minded      sense, like IM, those apps don’t always
sounds counterintuitive, but if their audi-   about where I am going ... trying to ac-      become endorsed or supported by IT
ence consists of fixed and mobile wire-       celerate the transition of the chasm ... at   in a timely manner. If they are compel-
less operators, then I’d hardly call their    whatever cost. I’m sure Bosack, Lerner        ling, they eventually find their way onto
statement surprising.                         and Co. know what I mean!!                    users’ nodes, even it if means putting the
                                                                                            enterprise logo on them first. And this is
Forster: Right. (And we did move off          But What is the VoIP                          exactly what I’ve seen happen in my cli-
Lucent’s PBX’s, several years ago. Only                                                     ent organizations.
recently we moved off the old voicemail       Market?
system onto our own IP-based Unified                                                        And in a way that we’ve seen this take
                                              COOK Report: Is VoIP now mature
Messaging System. It’s a big pain to                                                        place with IM already, where the Mer-
                                              enough to be worth talking about only
move thousands of users to a different                                                      rill Lynches (I believe), the JPMs and
system).                                      in the context of what the surmised cus-      many others have implemented it, we’ll
                                              tomer base is? Does it make any sense to      very likely see the same thing occur-
Coluccio: If a telephony model is based       suggest that such a customer base falls       ring with a -like application before long,
entirely on its intelligence residing with-   into three broad categories?                  if not licensed directly by and others,
in the client’s software there is not means                                                 themselves.
of monetizing their services.                 1. Ordinary consumers - SYPE
                                                                                            You asked earlier if I’d offer some ex-
It’s now axiomatic to say at this point       2. Telcos - sip based proprietary systems     amples of enterprise applications that
that as application intelligence is pushed                                                  might be conducive to , perhaps in bank-
                                              3. Enterprises - because of security issues
to the “outermost edge” (to differentiate                                                   ing or brokerage. How about junkyards?
                                              they don’t like , BUT do they want the
from the ISP’s edge), and into the client’s                                                 Junkyards and financial trading floors
                                              SIP gear being designed for the phone
end point software, so moves the value of                                                   share more than one legacy together, you
                                              companies? If not why and what then do
that application. These circumstances are                                                   know :)
                                                                 94
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
                                              have found all of the implications of that     broadband internet); and start zapping
One is a form of public address system        are offered in the article below to be at      lots of video down their fat pipes. In
application that is tied to a conference      least highly plausible, and most of them       other words, get into the TV business.
circuit arrangement known as a “hoot          true. What the author states about the
and holler” network, or, variously as,        RBOCs resolve to see their convergence         It hasn’t been lost on the Bells that while
“shout down” circuits, or even “order         plans to the end this time as opposed to       the fees they command for voice calls
wires” in some folks books. With some         their earlier announced plans of ten years     have been collapsing, cable companies
tweaking to ‘s conferencing features I        ago is particularly in line with my way of     have been raising their programming
can see where similar functionality could     thinking, since for them NOT to follow         fees, year after year. That’s because—
be achieved, although I don’t know just       through with robust video capabilities         satellite notwithstanding—cable opera-
how far tampering with it would con-          would amount to their hanging up their         tors have remained monopolies in their
stitute creating another application al-      sneakers for the last time.                    markets, while the telecommunications
together. See one vendor’s approach to                                                       market has exploded with competition.
hoot and holler over IP, below:               http://www.alwayson-network.com/
                                              comments.php?id=8478_0_4_0_C ]                 This is a qualitatively different situation
http://www.bsslimited.com/Business/                                                          than the telcos faced ten years ago, when
KCS_IP_Hoot.html                              Begin "alwayson:" The -TV Connec-              they announced expensive and imprac-
                                              tion VoIP is forcing telcos to go Hol-         tical trials to bring video-on-demand,
Cisco has done considerable work (as          lywood.                                        interactive TV, and other services to
have others) in adapting this application                                                    homes. Or when Hollywood super-agent
to IP, as well:                               Michael Stroud [iHollywood Forum] |            Michael Ovitz contracted with Nynex,
                                              Posted Feb 9: Since Skype invaded my           Bell Atlantic, and SBC in 1994 to devel-
http://makeashorterlink.com/                  life, I understand why the telcos are so       op interactive services over phone lines.
?B6EF5267A                                    desperate to take over my TV set.              Then, the telcos were dilettantes with
                                                                                             deep pockets. Today, it’s succeed or die.
It doesn’t take too much imagination          My kids’ nanny makes one-hour phone
to see how ‘s conferencing capabilities       calls for free every day to her family in      You can still be skeptical about Verizon’s
might fit here. I wrote the following         Hungary. I myself plan to call my family       and SBC’s publicly announced plans to
introduction to the article that follows,     and office in Los Angeles for free when        invest billions of dollars to offer IPTV
which should expose some of the reser-        I’m in France next week. And a buddy I         to consumers. But don’t doubt that this
vations that I have, however, since force     told about Skype a week ago is already         time they will stick to their TV plans
fitting Skype into enterprise will not be     calling a Canadian business partner every      to the bitter end. If they fail, they will
as acceptable as most would think. There      day, for free.                                 either buy a cable company or be bought
are the usual security issues to deal with,                                                  themselves. After all, ten years ago,
but beyond those there are compliance         Worldwide, about 67 million people have        who could have imagined that mighty
mandates that must be honored with            downloaded Skype. How long until one           AT&T’s long-distance business could go
regard to disaster recovery preparedness,     billion people realize that they can make      for a paltry $16 billion?
and Sarbanes-Oxley implications, as           unlimited free calls to their friends?
well. Remember, too, that many voice-         How long until everybody does? One,            In their battle to implement IPTV, the
based financial trading ‘circuits’ (oral      two years?                                     telcos’ advantage over cable companies
session facilitators?) must be auditable                                                     is the same as their disadvantage: they’re
to the same extent as their computer-data     Until then, I can still switch my entire of-   starting from scratch.
counterparts, meaning that they must          fice over to a Voice-over-IP service like
be recorded (i.e., conversations are re-      Vonage, and save around $500 a month           “The telcos are in the enviable position
corded) and tied to D/R backup facilities     on my employees’ phone bills—and               today that they don’t have this mas-
through a maze of failover gunk, besides,     while I’m at it, port my phone number          sive legacy investment in all this cable
at least to the extent of meeting minimal     and incoming calls to my laptop at Star-       video technology like cable companies
criticality measures.                         bucks. Hell, I could even Skype over Ve-       do,” said Ed Graczyk, marketing and
                                              rizon or Sprint’s EVDO networks—get-           communications director for Microsoft
What follows is a message that I posted       ting unlimited broadband Internet AND          Television, which is providing the under-
to my SI Forum earlier today, prefacing       voice calls for around $80 a month.            lying software for SBC’s and Verizon’s
an alwayson.com blog post. I’ll play it                                                      IPTV services. Cable companies, Grac-
back here in its entirety: ---                So what’s all that got to do with TV?          zyk said, have “billions invested in the
                                              Everything. There’s no margin in voice         underlying technology and services.”
[Frank Coluccio: After having used            calls any more, and the telcos know it.
Skype for only about a month, not to          If they want to survive, they’ve got two       Cable networks are designed primar-
mention having read several very recent       options: bundle commodity services to-         ily for programming; broadband internet
in-depth interviews with its founders, I      gether (wireless and wireline voice and        was added later and uses a different
                                                               95
                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
architecture. Because interactivity was      group that is found at http://www.sipcon-    so immersed in addressing, numbering
added as an afterthought, uplink speeds      nect.info/mc/page.do with its intercon-      and naming issues that I assume auto-
are slow.                                    nect draft in turn found at http://web.      matically everybody else is also ;-)
                                             memberclicks.com/mcdatafiles/site/sip/
SBC and Verizon plan an integrated,          SIPconnect_Version_1_Draft_2-2-2005.         Coluccio: There’s hardly any cause to
open IPTV architecture that will offer       pdf                                          sound an apologetic tone. The single
lightning-fast user interaction with the                                                  most rewarding aspect of participating
network and nearly limitless channel pos-    Case b may the most important use case       on this list, if not challenging at times,
sibilities. Think instant channel changing   for ENUM                                     as well, has been the kaleidoscopic ef-
(no one- or two-second delays after you                                                   fect it’s had for me and I’m sure others,
click the remote control), thousands of      Fixed Telcos and mobile operators are        seeing the world through so many other
on-demand channels, multiple picture-in-     currently coming back to the market of       professionals’ eyes on a sustained basis.
pictures, and multiple camera angles.        VoIP very strongly, both in the US and       I certainly appreciate your viewpoint and
                                             in the rest of the worlds (see 3GPP/TIS-     those of others, even when connecting
Cable companies won’t take this lying        PAN/ATIS using IMS, but finally the          the dots, using both real and virtual links,
down. They’re planning to ultimately         whole issue boils down to the question:      sometimes requires cracking a dust col-
upgrade their own networks to IPTV,          will the consumer need telcos anymore        lector, or two ;)
although they’re tapped out from their       or not? Note that the SIP server manu-
massive investments to go digital.           facturers play a crucial role here, they     Stastny: In my opinion what will be left
                                             may even be betting on the wrong horse.      in future as service on the Internet, be-
For both sides, the Holy Grail is offering   The horses they should be attending to       sides hosting services will be “directory
so-called Triple Plays or Grand Slams:       is the device and end-user application       services” or “identification” services.
packages of three or four services that      providers.
will reduce customer churn and create                                                     This starts with the existing DNS, contin-
the economies of scale they need to profit   Device manufacturers basically do not        ues to the move of existing number trans-
in an intensely competitive environment.     care who is buying their equipment,          lation services to the Internet (Number
For Verizon, that means offering wire-       just look at the mobile phone industry       portability, IN services), using ENUM or
less and wired voice services, broadband     Of course they like to sell in bulk via      something else, RADIUS etc. for roam-
Internet, and television. For Comcast and    service providers, but they also sell to     ing, certificates and public keys, and will
Cox, it means adding telephone service       the end-users. And any general-purpose       end with RFIDs.
to their cable and broadband Internet        mobile phone or GSM-enabled PDA is
services.                                    another step to the death of the service     Coluccio: Failing that measure [directory
                                             providers.                                   services], your message would have end
For both cable operators and telcos,                                                      nodes connecting to one another through
telephone service will be the commodity      The big US carriers, the big mobile op-      an imaginary ether. It appears that you’ve
product and perhaps even the loss-leader     erator groups and also the cable operators   entirely ignored both the network and
they need to drive consumers to more         are currently competing like mad within      physical layer dependencies below the
profitable multimedia services. Because      and between the groups and they seem         services layers in your presentation. How
if they try to gouge you for your phone      completely forget Clay Shirkys’ Zapmail      do enterprises connect to one other inde-
calls, you can be sure they’ll turn you      example: http://shirky.com/writings/zap-     pendent of telcos or cablecos or WISPs
into a Skyper, too.                          mail.html                                    and ISPs, for example, regardless of what
                                                                                          form of addressing is used?
The Importance of                            You can compete with everybody except
                                             with your customer So this battle will       Stastny: This is easy: the “imaginary
Directory Services                           be decided from the customer, and the        ether” is the IP network. It all boils down
                                             first one really satisfying the customer’s   that you know the IP address of the other
Stastny: Regarding Gordon’s three cat-
                                             needs will succeed                           party. Ok, some additional information is
egories [of broadband], - I would put                                                     helpfull, but this also can be served with
municipal networks under enterprises, as     Skype is well ahead here                     the existing infrastructure, the DNS und
they have essentially the same require-                                                   URIs To get the other “ether”, the E.164
ments                                        Coluccio: Hi Richard. I had to read your     numbers in, you need a translation ser-
                                             message twice before I realized that you     vice, e.g ENUM.
The 3rd point can be split in two:
                                             would have been much better served in
                                             my opinion if you had prefaced it with       So what you need is a namespace and
a. Enterprises connected to telcos
                                             the following qualifier: “From a direc-      a centralized service (with the current
b. Enterprises wanting to peer directly      tory services perspective, ... “             development in P2P you may not even
                                                                                          need this)
Case a is supported within the sipconnect    Stastny: Hi Frank. Sorry, I am currently
                                                               96
                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
Regarding IMS, this discussion here is        on their web sites yet, either. If anyone     with a lot, you can create another set of
a bit US centric and IMS was up to now        can shed any additional light on this, it     numbers you use just to communicate
more Europe centric. I personally am not      would be welcome news. From Con-              between your two companies.”
convinced of its success (in my opinion       verge Digest: 15-February-2005 Volume
it is much too complicated), but mobile       12, Number 029                                Henshall: Now that’s a “federated” ap-
operators like it and now also fixed oper-                                                  proach. Note not confederated. It also
ators (TISPAN and ATIS. End of March          “Motorola and Technologies announced          has interesting security implications.
there will be a joint 3GPP/TISPAN/ATIS        a co-marketing collaboration that will
workshop on NGN IMS in Washington.            provide greater connectivity options and      Separately I found myself playing around
                                              access for Skype ‘s more than 25 million      with a crude number today. Skype
Earlier - Coluccio: This raises yet anoth-    registered worldwide users. The alliance      does provide #of concurrent active users
er question: Can a discussion concerning      will explore opportunities broadly across     and “number of minutes served. Today
the manner in which naming and address-       both companies. The initial focus of the      they broke 2 million concurrent users
ing is accomplished be fully meaningful       collaboration will be on co-marketing         and did over 3 million minutes in that
without also taking into account the          of new optimized Motorola ‘ Ready’            hour. The “Skype” time experience is
service organizations that are supporting     companion products, such as Bluetooth         like no other communications experi-
access, aggregation and transport? I sus-     headsets, dongles, and speakerphones,         ence to date. In my view the above con-
pect that the answer to this would be yes,    as well as delivery of the Skype Internet     firms that. A possible hypothetical best
if one were looking solely at the services    Telephony experience on select Mo-            guess average usage around 500 minutes
layer and ignoring everything beneath         torola mobile devices. Motorola ‘ Ready’      per week. I played around with them
it. But if you zoomed in to a set of real     companion products are expected to be         here. http://www.henshall.com/blog/ar-
world conditions, would it? I’m not look-     available in the first half of 2005.”         chives/001120.html
ing to nit on this. I’m merely highlight-
ing my view that one must be mindful          COOK Report: I knew about the an-             I’ve also been mulling over the Moto
of all adjoining layers when addressing       nouncement but only because I had a           deal with Skype. The minute’s case
solutions to any one of them, if they are     Chat with Stuart Henshel who informed         above means the “profile” of a Skyper
to be held responsible for managing the       me rgarding it. Stuart told me that Dmitry    is not one that I’d think fits easily or
services of any of them.                      Goroshevskii is doing a federated peer to     scales within the current mobile pack-
                                              peer challenger to Skype. Would that be       age for voice or data. Thus with handset
On another note, unless I missed a por-       good for use by hoot and holler systems       manufacturers it may present a real op-
tion of the discussion here, yours was the    I asked? "Ohhh yes," said Stuart.             portunity. Late night thinking is found
first message I’ve read on this list, aside                                                 at: http://www.henshall.com/blog/ar-
from an article of my own several weeks       Coluccio: Say more about Goroshevskii         chives/001121.html.
ago, that even mentions the acronym           and federated, please.
IMS, by which I take it you mean IP                                                         Could Skype’s real “case” already be
Multimedia Subsystem. I find this a bit       Henshall: Martin Geddes wrote a piece         in the numbers? Could it be that Skype
curious, given the nature of the discus-      on [Goroshevsky's] Popular Telephony          doesn’t really know themselves? Quite
sions that have been taking place here.       and Peerio that may be interesting to         possible.
I’ve surmised that there must be a natu-      you. Generally the jury is still out. Are
ral aversion to it, which is fine in one’s    they vapor or not. I’m yet to see any-        Matson: My inside contact in the Lon-
own mind, except that by not exposing         thing ever. Still they get press, I don’t     don Skype team told me some weeks ago
the elements of IMS, and its potential        know why. The ideas are interesting.          that they will be launching a branded
implications, I find the overall discus-      See http://www.telepocalypse.net/ar-          WiFi handset for the Christmas 05 mar-
sion wanting to some degree, due to the       chives/000602.html                            ket - so we now know who the mfg. Is
inevitability of having to contend with its                                                 [Motorola] ...and what will be top-sell-
existence in the future.                      “Telepocalypse to Goroshevsky: So             ing gadget next Christmas!
                                              Skypes‘s problem is a lack of private
Skype and Motorola                            namespaces?                                   Peter Ecclesine: “Operators develop
                                                                                            ultra-cheap mobile” By FT.COM – Feb
Marketing Partnership                         Dmitry Goroshevsky: Exactly. In our           15
& Motorola Ultra Cheap                        system you run your own Peerio network,
Mobile                                        and join other Peerio networks as a spe-      “An ultra-cheap mobile telephone has
                                              cial administration task. You authorize       been developed by an international con-
Coluccio on February 14: I thought it a       a handset to join another network, from       sortium of network operators, in a move
bit odd that there would be no mention        which it receives an identifier, and it can   that could transform the market by bring-
of this release here on the list. There       receive calls from the other network. It’s    ing mobile telephony within reach of
doesn’t appear to be any mention of it        modular. So just as an example, if you        millions of people in developing coun-
                                              have another company that you work            tries.
                                                               97
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
                                                very different from the US and European
Motorola, the world’s second biggest            Markets. I suspect that this cell phone         I am not an expert in marketing, but
mobile phone manufacturer, has devel-           development is a very significant move.         one potential strategy seems to be to
oped the C117 handset in partnership            Increasingly there is a very viable wire-       get all potential customers feed up with
with the GSM Association, which repre-          less infrastructure in all parts of India and   the company before the service really
sents operators worldwide, to overcome          China – imagine running on 100 million          starts. Whereas the competition (Skype)
the principal barrier to mass phone own-        of these new very low cost cell phones in       is announcing new services only after
ership: price.                                  two years time.]                                deployment, “Populistic” Telephony is
                                                                                                only deploying hot air.
The low-cost mobile project was initi-          Goroshevsky, Popular
ated by nine operators, mainly Asian,                                                           They also seem to have a weird under-
and the scheme will be piloted in Asia.         Telephony and Peerio                            standing of the meaning of weeks and
The GSMA has set an initial target of                                                           days. In my simple understanding a week
                                                COOK Report: Thanks to Stuart for
6m handset sales in the first six months.                                                       is a week and a day is a day. Not so with
                                                his pointer above to Martin Geddes’
With other manufacturers expected to                                                            Peerio, GNUP, PT or whatchumacallit.
                                                Interview with Dmitry Goroshevsky. I
follow Motorola’s lead, operators hope
                                                have read it and find the concept very
the scheme will ultimately drive the                                                            Since May 2004 they announced on their
                                                intriguing. A couple of questions. Would
global industry towards 2bn connections.                                                        Peerio444 <http://www.perio444.com>
                                                any self-respecting enterprise ever install
There are almost 1.5bn people connected                                                         webpage that new beta-testers will be
                                                code like this without being able to in-
on mobile networks worldwide.                                                                   accepted within two weeks. In the mean-
                                                spect every line of it? Is the guy going        time the webpage was replaced with
                                                to claim that his stuff doesn’t have to
The C117, which is expected to be the                                                           “looking forward” into the void. [Editor:
                                                go through NATs because its is used
first of a family of low-cost phones pro-                                                       On March 24, 2005 - the above url was
duced by Motorola, is likely to be sold         with “federation” and can use his GNUP          no longer valid.]
for less than $40 at wholesale prices less      whatever as a gateway to get where he
than half the $100 that the GSMA defines        needs to go?                                    At the Fall VON 2004 they announced at
as low cost.                                                                                    the both, the service will start November
                                                Coluccio: Gordon, it may have slipped           1st, 2004 and will be called GNUP.
The GSMA, which hosts the industry’s            your attention, but we discussed an en-
                                                terprise adaptation of the other day very
biggest trade show in Cannes this week,                                                         OK, on November 3rd one could down-
                                                similar to this during our own call. You
estimates the C117 will open mobile                                                             load the so-called PT Inspector (6MB),
                                                may recall my mentioning WalMart, by
phone ownership to more than 700m                                                               which did basically nothing but check if
                                                name, supporting its own p2p voice ap-
new consumers in Asia, Latin America,                                                           something is available at the PT web-site
                                                plications with restricted access controls,
the Middle East and Africa if it can ulti-                                                      and tells you the service will start in three
mately bring the price below $30.               and using gateways [GNUP? in this               (3) days. After one week it stopped work-
                                                case?] to its suppliers and to the PSTN,        ing (did not find the PT web-page, so I
Rob Conway, chief executive of the              where ‘WalMart’ permits ;-)                     downloaded the new version (only 4MB
GSMA, said that while a low-cost hand-                                                          now), containing a patch to find the web-
set offered the prospect of new growth          In generalizations on this topic, I don’t       page again - and obviously a optimized
markets to operators and manufacturers,         think that I ever, or at worst I have           software saving 2 MB to do this.
it could also aid social and economic de-       seldom, referred to the calling model
velopment in emerging markets.                  introduced by Skype in a singular sense,        Then the next teaser was announced on
                                                always preferring instead to use verbiage       the blogs: you now can get a number!
“This is a stimulus that can really kick-       like “Skype-like,” or “and other similar
start the economic development of cer-          applications,” for this very reason.            So I retrieved my GNUP number: (8844)
tain areas. People get connected and that                                                       4294967265
helps them to build up their social and         COOK Report: Is no one anywhere really
business infrastructure,” he said.”             USING Goroshevsky’s stuff?                      Since Tom Keating <http://blog.tmcnet.
                                                                                                com/blog/tom-keating/voip/voip-blog/
[Editor’s Comment: This is just one             Richard Stastny: I had a entry (rant)           popular-telephony-gnup-registry-now-
more piece of the emerging jigsaw puz-          about this on my blog in November               live.asp> got (8844) 4294967281 regis-
zle. It calls to mind the points so forceful-   2004, http://voipandenum.blogspot.              tering a bit earlier, they seem to count
ly made by Sam Pitroda and CK Prahalad          com/2004/11/gnup-numbers-another-               down from 4294967299 ;-).Who came
in May of last year and published in our        hot-air-teaser.html I copy it in here for       up with this number? A random genera-
                                                convenience:
September October 2004 issue. Namely                                                            tor? Or has this some secret numero-logic
Asian markets are huge and consumer                                                             meaning? Freemasonry?
                                                GNUP Numbers - another hot air teaser
electronics development for those mar-
kets will need to deliver goods that are        from Popular Telephony                          The PT Inspector still tells me the service
                                                                    98
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
will be available in three (3) days, so        a Recommendation towards this aim.            some vendors have made promises for
somewhere in 2006, maybe.                                                                    these devices I find hard to accept.
                                               Enterprise Voice Issues
Anyway, I wonder what (8844) means.                                                          Service providers think SBC are neces-
From talking to the PT guy at the VON          Yield Many UnKnowns                           sary since they need a point of ingress
and reading the flyer they distributed,                                                      where they can maintain and meter state
                                               COOK Report: I am left with the im-
they are planning to make a petition?                                                        for calls that must terminate on the PSTN
                                               pression - a rather bizarre one at that
PT to ITU-T to get country code 884                                                          and do things like “SIP mediation” which
                                               - that the consumer space with Skype,
(which is currently reserved) assigned                                                       is basically fix implementations that may
                                               Vonage, Lingo and all that lot is seri-
for their use.                                                                               or may not be standards compliant.
                                               ously far ahead of the enterprise. Why?
Although I told them that you do not get                                                     In addition the security model for SIP
                                               Forster: What’s so strange about that?
CCs from ITU-T assigned by petition, but                                                     trunking is not well developed. it is as-
                                               Consumers, or at least early adaptor
by request and that there is no way to get                                                   sumed TLS between proxies but this
                                               consumers, can try out new things much
a CC assigned to a carrier (here you may                                                     does not solve the termination carriers
                                               more easily than large enterprises. En-
request one out of 882 xx - which is easy                                                    problem of billing which means MCI
                                               terprises would inevitably go through an
and does not take much time - assuming                                                       need to know with some level of cer-
                                               evaluation process and would uncover
a proper request), but only for a service.,                                                  tainty that joe.blow@ibm.com who is
                                               50 different reasons why anything new
and here you need first a service descrip-                                                   trying to create a session is really Joe
tion. This path is more time consuming         is incompatible, insecure, unreliable,        Blow of IBM.
(as I know from personal experience ;-).       or just too new to adapt so they have to
On the other hand, they could either use       stick with the status quo. At this stage in   Jennings: I think this is somewhat
878 10 or they could even request 878 20       the market for new telephony services         wrong. RFC 3325 provided a solution to
or so. But they seem to know better and        the new players can claim success with        this and in truth MCI does not care if it
just start to use 884, because it is unused.   1-10% adoption, but no enterprise IT          is Joe or not. They care they can prove
ITU-T will really like this.                   department would endorse something            it was IBM and that IBM will pay the
                                               unless they expect to use it for most         bill. MCI offers this service today so I
I wonder which measures will be taken          or all employees. IT departments like         think it is pretty hard to argue something
eventually by national regulating author-      uniformity not diversity. Eventually, if      is missing.
ity if carriers within their reach start to    there are large cost savings or produc-
route numbers on the PSTN to non-exist-        tivity increases then the enterprises will
                                                                                             COOK Report: Where does Sarbanes
ing Country Codes, considering Resolu-         respond.
                                                                                             Oxley fit into all this? Does it mean that
tion 20 <http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/wtsa/                                                      there are whole new escalating concerns
resolutions04/Res20E.pdf> of the WTSA          Shockey: As per other comments its not
                                                                                             of security that mean that a vendor that
2004 <http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/wtsa-           surprising that consumers are pushing
                                                                                             sells security has a big edge over one
04/index.asp> , which instructs:               VoIP ahead much faster than enterprises,
                                                                                             with just cost on its side....
                                               With Skype the benefits are simple,
4. the Director of TSB, in close collabo-      demonstrable and immediate and they           Shockey: In financial industry applica-
ration with Study Group 2, and any other       don’t have to go to committee to define       tions this is a big big deal. Reuters for
relevant study groups, to follow up on         a implementation schedule.                    instance developed a private secure SIP
the misuse of any numbering, naming,                                                         based IM system for bond traders. $18K
addressing and identification resources        COOK Report: Are primary issues there         per seat per year.
and inform the Council accordingly;            ones of security and interoperatbility?
                                                                                             COOK Report: Are enterprises really
                                               Forster: No. A primary issue is decision
5. Study Group 2 to study, urgently,                                                         shy about innovative VoIP technology
                                               process time, i.e. inertia.
necessary action to ensure that the sover-                                                   because they don’t have interoperability
eignty of ITU Member States with regard                                                      and because they are scared of proliferat-
to country code numbering, naming, ad-         Shockey: Well yes and no. The security        ing security dangers?
dressing and identification plans is fully     mavens in many enterprises have de-
maintained, as enshrined in Recommen-          manded that Session Border Controllers        Forster: They’re probably concerned
dation E.164 and other relevant Recom-         (aka fire walls on steroids) be installed     about spending a bunch of money on
mendations; this shall cover ways and          to present a single point of ingress and      staff and equipment and then running
means to address and counter any misuse        egress to the internal VoIP network and       into bugs and delays, and not delivering
of any numbering, naming, addressing           the effect of these devices are not com-      results.
                                               pletely understood by anyone including
and identification resources, and of call
                                               the vast majority of the SIP community.
progress tones and signals, through prop-                                                    Henshall: Suggestion: Who is leading
er development of a proposed resolution        Some Edge Network Element was nec-            the revolution in call centers? I’m not
and/or the development and adoption of         essary to implement STUN ICE etc but          referring to the back end rather re-think-
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                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
ing how we that is you and I engage with an 800 pound gorilla positioned to win ages do carriers have to offer enterprises
a call center. At the moment there is lots the enterprise? What kind of interoper- that will satisfy combined concerns of
of push one or two, wait and hold. Then ability is needed that isn’t yet here? What cost and these other issues?
you get dropped. Tried a HMO recently? kind of security?
Hung on for half an hour. The paradigm                                                 Shockey: Well remember what is the
that is emerging is a world in which we Shockey: Its not a security model prob- Holy Grail here. Direct SIP trunking of
have no need to hang on. We call, click lem. It’s a trust - identity management calls over IP from the edge of the En-
a call to: tag on a website, get a text problem. How do I know you are who terprise directly into a Carrier Network
message or a simple voice recorder for you say you are?                                for termination. Eliminate or reduce the
capturing our message, agree to share our                                              number TDM T1 trunks at the edge of
“availability presence info short-term, Jennings: Well as Richard knows I’m the enterprise and you tip the economic
get an update in terms of likely return one of the author on the IETF solution balance way in favor of VoIP and mess
call time and then get the right operator to that problem and one of Richard’s up the LEC’s big time.
calling us back when it is still convenient colleagues, Jon Peterson, is the other co-
for us. We’re less frustrated. The opera- author (see http://www.softarmor.com/ COOK Report: Is the enterprise really a
tor is better selected. Plus there are some wgdb/docs/draft-ietf-sip-identity-03.txt ) mess from the standpoint of voice as an
compelling additional things the co could                                              application on its networks? If so what
do as a result.                             However, I’m not sure I see this as a steps must be accomplished to improve
                                            problem. You have no way to tell whom things?
Move from caller on hold to call back re- this email is from. If I called you on
quests combined with text support where the PSTN, you would have no way to Shockey: It’s lots of things. Remem-
possible. Share short-term presence info know that my caller id was correct. That ber SIP and ENUM like technologies
to facilitate the connection and recon- works fine for enterprises today. I agree completely decompose the features and
nection if necessary. Etc. For web based that knowing who you are would be an functionality of the PBX into plug and
catalog businesses I’d think it would be improvement to communications - but I play components You are beginning to
immediately compelling. Similarly for question the idea that lack of it is a show see the emergence of demands by major
Banks and online Financial institutions.    stopper.                                   enterprises that - gee, I like those Cisco
                                                                                       phones but I want them to work with my
For not much in monetary early learning Don’t get me wrong I think knowing Avaya IP PBX. Oh I’ve got 7 different
could be captured now.                      who I was communicating with would Voice platforms ..I want to manage a uni-
                                            be a big step forward - I just don’t think fied dial plan across the enterprise that
COOK Report: How can small vendors that it is table stake because no one has all of the platforms will support.
compete under these circumstances?          it today.
                                                                                       Jennings: All the open source PBX
Shockey: You’ve never actually had to What happens as Skype goes on mobile (Vocal, SER, Asterix, sipX, etc) seem to
configure a Cisco Call manager have devices? How does the enterprise protect work great with Cisco phones and gate-
you? They have lost several major stra- itself from voice conversations it can’t ways. I asked Avaya if their PBX would
tegic accounts in the past couple of years control?                                    work with Cisco phones but so far they
-- including Merril Lynch because of the                                               have not got back to me yet :-)
inherent problems and lack of native SIP Forster: Look at what’s happening with
support in Call Manager                     IM’s, PDAs, and cell phones. Enterprise Forster: If things look like a mess then
                                            IT departments in some cases try to we’ve passed out of the early euphoria
Jennings: Funny you should mention control these but I suspect in many cases stage, which is good. We’ll just have
this. We did loose the Merrill deal some- their employees start using there before to keep muddling along and see what
what over a year ago however I never they’re ‘supported’ by IT.                        works best and who does it best. There
heard SIP mentioned as something that                                                  is huge change taking place, but if we’re
was involved in that decision at all. How- Shockey: Like DUH, Skype simply disappointed by the short-term expecta-
ever, Merrill after doing some work with works.                                        tion gap we may still be amazed with the
the company we lost to reversed their                                                  longer-term results.
decision and decided to go with a Cisco Jennings: What happens when you use
system. Needless to say we were pleased AOL, Yahoo, etc inside lots of enter- Henshall: Telio www.teleo.com was pre-
- The press release is at                   prises. The Firewall blocks it. Some sented at Demo@15 this week. It’s SIP
                                            enterprises will choose to block Skype and uses the GIPS voice engine. They
http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2005/ too. The owner of the network will assert have US numbers available. Voice qual-
prod_020905b.html                           policy on how it is used. Usual cat and ity is comparable to Skype in all ways.
                                            mouse games will ensue.                    The client is effectively still PoIP. It’s
COOK Report: How can Nortel and                                                        not Peer to Peer and all calls are routed
Avaya compete with Cisco? Is Cisco then COOK Report: What kind of VoIP pack- through the server in SF so it won’t scale

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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
the same way. It has no chat facility and     enables calls to landlines and mobile         more powerful and broad generalization
presence is only online or offline. It’s a    phones.                                       here that can be drawn here.
good Vonage replacement today. Fee and
prepaid minutes. Minute charges appear        Regularly, the Out service costs about        Skype is not the first Internet application
very competitive.                             2 cents per minute for calls to 20 of         that has become viral, and it would seem
                                              the world’s largest markets. Other paid       that the keys to becoming viral are:
Coluccio: note what this article says: ‘...   services, such as voicemail, are expected
an alternative to Microsoft Windows-          soon from Skype.                              - Provides significant practical value -
based machines, can sell for as little as                                                   Broadly deployable - Free
$200.”                                        Skype officials believe today’s deal will
                                              expand its base. Xandros’ Surfside OS         Moreover, the opinions of those stuck
(It appears that PCs, like voice, are in      also includes the Firefox browser, Thun-      in the previous paradigm can safely be
a race to the bottom. Where zero wins?        derbird e-mail, a headset and security,       ignored. Broadband (and more gener-
C’mon, now... how far can you leverage        including anti-virus and firewall appli-      ally -- higher bandwidth) always enables
free... I suppose we’re getting ready to      cations. Xandros-based computers, an          new applications and since IP is the
see.)                                         alternative to Microsoft Windows-based        ubiquitous transport, the only real delay
                                              machines, can sell for as little as $200.     is in discovering needs and engineering
http://www.internetnews.com/infra/ar-                                                       the solutions. This is the real message
ticle.php/3483726                             Financial terms of the -Xandros pact          of the Internet: communications is only
                                              were not disclosed.                           limited by your imagination. Complex-
Skype, Xandros Bundle VoIP, Linux By                                                        ity is evil, and pragmatic considerations
Colin C. Haley February 16, 2005              The pact comes only a day after Skype         rule the day.
                                              trumpeted a broad agreement with mo-
BOSTON -- Internet telephony specialist       bile phone giant Motorola (Quote, Chart)      Bandwidth uber alles,
and desktop Linux developer Xandros           at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes,
will bundle their products and sell them      France.                                       COOK Report: BUT for the infectious
through retailers including Amazon.com                                                      agent to do its work it cannot be JUST
and Walmart.com.                              That partnership will focus on collabo-       a Wintel platform. It has to run on EV-
                                              ration and joint marketing of “Skype-         ERYTHING
The agreement was announced here              ready” products, such as headsets and
Wednesday at the LinuxWorld trade             speaker phones, as well as lay the            Which is another way of saying that the
show in conjunction with a preview of         groundwork for delivery of service on         software has to be severed from the hard-
Xandros’ new Surfside Linux operating         Motorola mobile devices.                      ware. Ergo it is another way of saying
system for consumers.                                                                       WHY Skype runs on Windows, Linux,
                                              Skype Not Tied to                             Mac OS-X and if I recall correctly soon
“We share the same values in trying to                                                      on Symbian for smart PDAs that act as
lower costs for our users,” Eileen Broch,     Specific Hardware                             phones, and on the Microsoft agent that
director of product management, said,         Can Act as a                                  works on cell phones? Forgive my lapse
adding that the agreement marks the           Virally Infectious                            of knowing the proper terminology.
company’s most aggressive move in the
Linux community to date.
                                              Communications Agent                          You know I am Neaderthal in many re-
                                                                                            spects -- no I-pod, no cell phone, never
                                              COOK Report on February 18: Let me
With more than 25 million registered                                                        owned a PDA, so I am being drawn
                                              see if I can articulate a couple of threads
users, Skype is surging. Its software,                                                      thankfully here into some new areas. Not
                                              after having talked with Stuart.
which uses an instant-messaging-like                                                        having these other devices (cell phone,
interface, enables free Voice over IP                                                       PDA etc) to play with has meant that I
                                              Richard Shockey was saying to me and
(define) calling between its broadband                                                      have been slow on the uptake.
                                              others more than two years ago that
users.
                                              voice with VoIP is just a bucket of bits.
                                                                                            Anyway back to the main subject at hand
                                              YES - it its the SOFTWARE “stupid.”
The Luxembourg-based company, which                                                         - while I understand corporate concerns
                                              – Yes, he called that one right. But things
is privately held and venture-backed                                                        and security concerns thanks to Frank,
                                              have moved on since then big time. What
by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and others,                                                      Melissa and others I am concluding that
                                              I think we may be seeing here is do the
wants to boost revenues with paid offer-                                                    the profound story here in "VoIP land"
                                              basic software voice program right, then
ings, as well.                                                                              is not Vonage and Ciscos stuff, and SIP,
                                              let it lose and watch it virally infect ev-
                                                                                            and IP pbxs etc - this stuff, one way or
                                              erything.
As part of its pact with Xandros, users                                                     another is tied to hardware and not sur-
will receive credit for about 120 minutes                                                   prisingly tied to the phone system and
                                              Tony Li: I think that there is a much
for the company’s Out product, which                                                        its related hardware.
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                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
                                             wants to drive as much high value traf-       is being delivered. It is, in fact, a part of
Instead, this stuff (Skype), free and        fic as possible across its network and        the underlying stack that enables deliv-
viral, is tied only to one thing. To         an application provider wants to reach        ery of that content, instead.
BROADBAND and its underlying in-             the broadest audience possible with its
frastructure. It could care less whether     service. Therefore, a vertically integrated   Why am I nit’in on this point the way I
it rides over DSL or cable modem. It         operator/provider is always internally        am? I’m sensing, not only here but else-
does both with equal ease. And now it is     conflicted - the network business wants       where, as well, that some would have
being freed to ride on mobile. Namely on     its value-add services to be bound to the     regarded Skype as some form of ethe-
Wi-fi and cell phones. Skype certainly       network it owns, in order to increase the     real manifestation poised to be used as a
depends on all the existing layers of the    traffic and the value of that traffic. The    wholesale substitution of all that has pre-
protocol stack. In that sense there is       value-add service (application) business,     ceded it, when, in fact, it merely muscles
nothing magical about it. In depending       however, doesn’t want to be bound to the      in where it can in the existing structure,
on broadband it has to depend on the         network because that limits its market        becomes a participant in that structure,
infrastructure that enables broadband.       reach.                                        and then steps onto the shoulders of
While end user premises and connec-                                                        existing constructs in a very selective
tions would need some serious upgrades       Imagine a -like application owned by          and focused way, instead, so as to be
to run end user controlled ligthwaves,       a DSL or cable provider that favored          unencumbered by their usual constraints.
these same end user connections, if they     its own network - allowing free calls         In this way it is able to ignore much of
deliver broadbrand, can deliver Skype        only to subscribers on the same net-          the gunk and glue that make national and
without any changes to the underlying        work, for example, and charging for           international networks function the way
network infrastructure.                      calls that ‘leave’ the network. Imagine       that they currently do.
                                             this network-bound -like app compet-
Skype will move forward in the rest of       ing against the actual Skype with its         Skype is not the message. It is a part of
the world whether the enterprise likes       polymorphously perverse disregard for         the medium.
it or not, and the applications that will    the underlying network of its users. No
grow up around Skype will give broad-        contest. In fact this is the often the case   Skype from an
band another huge push that just email       with the features of the mobile networks
and the web cannot.                          today - free calls to other subscribers on    Enterprise Point of View
                                             the same network, or Push-to-talk only
Sebastian Hassinger: I believe that                                                        COOK Report: Melissa Davis has been
                                             interoperable with phones on the same
Skype is just another sign of the inevita-                                                 watching these discussions from the pri-
                                             network, or even the spotty operation of
ble restructuring of the communications                                                    vate enterprise, proprietary, intellectual
                                             SMS across networks.
sector from a vertical to a horizontal                                                     property, security point of view. The uni-
orientation. Whereas the landscape has                                                     verse she lives in is drastically different
                                             There is a robust business in operating
been historically been dominated by ver-                                                   from the type of world that Stuart and I
                                             ‘commodity’ networks that are agnostic
tically integrated firms who own and                                                       were talking about in our interview. She
                                             to the applications that push bits across
operate networks, selling bundled con-                                                     sent me some of her thoughts privately.
                                             them, but it is a far leaner model than
nectivity and ‘value-added services’ to                                                    We talked at length by phone. As a result
                                             that practiced by the vertically inte-
its subscribers, we are moving towards       grated OpEx heavy firms of today. Some        I would like to open a new thread that
horizontally layered network providers       will make the transition gracefully, some     will talk about the reasons that a very
(various flavors of broadband, wireless      won’t.                                        significant segment of enterprises will
or wired) with the ‘value-added services’                                                  never allow Skype inside. Why they
(applications) provided by unaligned         Matson: Precisely, Gordon - you are           could because of Skype’s architecture
firms that ‘float’ on top of the networks.   getting hold of the OPLAN principle           never afford to allow it inside, even if it
                                             coming at it from the other direction. It     were the enterprise’s own virgin version
This is a natural evolution for maturing     is software that makes the link between       of Skype run independently inside the
networks, and in fact one could argue        networks - not networks concluding            enterprise’s firewall,
the communication sector’s transforma-       interconnection agreements in the old
tion is way overdue, retarded by the         world way. As I have explained before         I did get the impression that enterprises
incumbents’ reluctance to change and the     - the OPLAN “island of local connectiv-       might begin to build their own Skype
regulatory deck that has been stacked so     ity” is the essential building block - to-    like applications that would do Skype
decidedly in their favor.                    tally unconcerned and uncontrolled as to      like things in a way that the enterprise
                                             how and where ‘bits’ enter and exit the       felt secure in being able to meet its legal
One reason this decoupling is inevitable     OPLAN -- unlike a central-office-centric      and financial responsibilities in a way it
is the economic reality that the optimal     cableTV or telco network.                     could not do with the current version of
business models for selling network con-                                                   open but proprietary Skype.
nectivity and network applications are       Coluccio: Don’t forget that with Skype,
at odds with one another. An operator        in and of itself, is not *the* content that   There are lots of questions here. Among

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                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
them are whether the big enterprises         conveniently and at low cost there is a
feeling breathing at their doorways will     great opportunity for profit.                 Hassinger: This may be my personal
create their own like applications sooner                                                  prejudice warping what you wrote, if so,
than otherwise would be the case? will       What seems to be different is that for        please correct me.
these parallel forces enable the telco’s     telecom the service used to be defined in
to trash their circuit switched networks     terms of what came out of the wire (telco     As a related aside - if we are headed for
sooner than otherwise would have been        demarcs), or how the device behaved           a bifurcation of the providers of applica-
the case?                                    (cell phones, IM devices, etc.), but now      tions/value-add services from those of
                                             the only constant is the IP packet and IP     commodity connectivity, who will sub-
Stastny: E.g. SIP? There is basically        address; all the rest is in constant motion   sidize the purchase of the sophisticated
nothing you cannot do in SIP what you        and the result is a lot more like software.   device for the end user?
can do in (even P2P), you may even do        Adding to the confusion, sometimes the
more and what is even more important         software is momentarily solidified into       Forster: Hmmm. I don’t know if the bi-
for enterprises: it is not proprietary and   devices (Skype in a phone).                   furcation will be so strong as to preclude
you know exactly what is going on in-                                                      bundling deals between the various play-
side.                                        Coluccio: Jim, one word in your mes-          ers on either side of the connectivity/ap-
                                             sage caused me to reflect: “momen-            plication boundary. Or even investments
Enterprises hate proprietary solutions,      tarily”. Unless it was merely extraneous      by the existing providers in the newcom-
they do not want single source. The big      verbiage, please explain why you chose        ers, which of course would facilitate
advantage of Skype is that it is simple to   to qualify it as such. I’m tending to think   bundling.
use, but this is not a big argument for an   it’s got something to do with the limited
enterprise.                                  capacity of some mobile devices, but          COOK Report: Lots of unanswered ques-
                                             not sure.                                     tions.... Melissa? Frank?
It is not between ENUM and Skype,
it is SIP vs. ,Skype but you are correct     Forster: Frank, what I was thinking was       Skype and Enterprise
somehow: for ENUM you need URIs,             that the functionality is somewhat frozen
basically sip URIs. There is nothing like    for a time so it can act like a fixed-func-   Security Issues
a Skype URI. Consequently, Skype is a        tion device, but recognizing that it’s
                                                                                           Melissa Davis: To Richard Stastny I say
walled garden NGN, more walled then          really software and need not be frozen
                                                                                           right on point here in many ways.
the 3GPP/TISPAN/ATIS NGNs. Con-              forever.
sequently, the decision will be made by
the enterprises: if they will go SIP (and    Hassinger: Jim, am I right in assuming        1. Despite Gordon’s enthusiasm for
                                                                                           Skype:
ENUM), the hype will fade away, be-          that while you don’t believe that only
cause the normal users will use the same     providing bandwidth will be able to
client.                                                                                    1.1. No one in my communication groups
                                             capture value in the market, you would
                                                                                           or customer groups feels [any need]
                                             agree that telcos and mobile operators
But if the companies are not fast enough                                                   other than to configure their network
                                             can only reliably derive profit from “the
to provide their employees decent com-                                                     desktop management systems to detect
                                             IP packet and IP addresses,” i.e. connec-
munications and simple SIP clients to        tivity/bandwidth? Leaving the capture         agents, destroy them, and report the of-
use on their laptop, PDA and Smart-          of value from software-based services         fender for violating security policy, not
phone, the employees will continue to        to those, like Skype, who “crystallize        against per se, but against using non-
use Skype. Skype is now used already         into one thing 90% of what everyone           approved applications, and exposing the
by many business people on the road.         wants?”                                       corporate network to outsiders by main-
                                                                                           taining easily exploitable open TCP port
COOK Report: Are we indeed headed to         Forster: I guess it depends on how            80 connections.
a world where the only thing monetiz-        adept the telcos and mobile operators
able will be bandwidth?                      are. Probably some of them will make          1.2. Enterprises own their networks, the
                                             this shift. IBM was adept enough to shift     infrastructure, the machines, and the soft-
Forster; No. While I agree that Skype,       quite a bit over the last decade.             ware that runs on them. Those machines
and VoIP in general, are adding to the                                                     are for business use, and the user signs
pricing pressure on voice-type services,     The mobile operators do have inherent         an end-user agreement to that effect.
I don’t think bandwidth will be the only     value beyond bandwidth: location. They        This notwithstanding, the enterprise can-
                                                                                           not dismiss liability for misuse, fraud,
thing that will be monetized. Whenever       know about where the phone is and this
                                                                                           theft other than by due diligence based
an amorphous and ill-defined service         can be valuable although it’s not clear if
                                                                                           on industry standard, and judicially rec-
that is done somewhat differently for        it’s a major value or how well they will
                                                                                           ognized as “reasonable” procedural de-
many sets of customers at great expense      capture it. It partly depends on things
                                                                                           fenses.
can be crystallized into one thing that      like the typical screen size on mobile
can do 90% of what everyone wants very       phones.
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                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
1.3. Enterprises have already gone down                                                      some very preliminary discussions with a
this path with Napster and Kazaa. Hence,     6. ENUM, as a directory service, to             couple of large US system integrators.
they are not unprepared with policies,       allow location of devices and persons
guidelines, practices, and corrective ac-    associated by XML links to devices, call        I am wondering if this is part of a larger
tion. Use of Napster and Kazaa or other      re-routing, call direction (e.g., next avail-   trend?
P-2-P tools are as punishable by dis-        able customer service rep, or high prior-
missal, litigation to recover losses, and    ity service rep for platinum class users,       Davis: To my knowledge, there has been
prosecution on par with importing or         or “if Jim is busy, ring Doug if free, else     only a single instance of such to one of
exporting sensitive information through      Sarah) still is a concept to be proven.         the Agencies of the U.S. Government. I
email, ftp, portable mass storage device,                                                    know personally about that one. I have
or other more traditional means.             6.1. it must have authentication                to tread very carefully here due to NDA’s
                                             6.2. it must have authorization attributes      and internal corporate constraints.
2. Regardless of whether enterprises         6.3. it must be protected against the very
could create a Skype of their own, I         kinds of vulnerabilities that fuel the daily    UCLP in some form, whether directly
agree with both Richard and Malcolm          escalating wars between vandals, thiefs,        Edge-to-Edge controlled or controlled by
that there seems to me no earthly rea-       brigands and netadmins with DNS                 a rapid web interface OSS/BSS of a pro-
son or cost/benefit to so do. As Richard     6.4. it must be secure from RATs and            vider is imminent. The Canadian NRC,
points out, commercial and government        tiny data miners that will make ENUM            the US DOE/NNSA, DoD, Treasury,
IT want, and in some cases are con-          a greenfield for IP Phone Spam, identity        Justice, the US Homeland Defense are
strained, to buy COTS (commercial off-       theft, and “phishers of men.”                   all constrained to maintain the most rigid
the-shelf) software. Advantage: products                                                     security on their WAN links.
that are supported and can do SIP, H.323     Much of this is still shaking out.
transparently and use SS7/IP signaling                                                       There is a major RFP that will be re-
when PSTN destinations or sources are        I don’t see a Skype vs. vendor based            leased in April for the entire Federal gov-
required.                                    VoIP contention. Animals co-exist in the        ernment. This one is called “Networx”
                                             same eco-spaces if they are not compet-         (US GSA) and is a replacement for the
Vendor maintenance and support are a         ing for the same food source.                   older GSA “FTS”. Winning a selection
necessity and a financial no-brainer rela-                                                   place doesn’t immediately transfer to
tive to the costs of personnel and train-    For some people, and this includes me,          contracts, but it does free other Govern-
ing.                                         we have opted out of the Microscheiss           ment Agencies from having to let bids.
                                             tax and security holes. That doesn’t mean       They can just buy from the list of pre-
3. Commercial and government networks        that Microsoft feels threatened by us in        ferred providers.
are still accounted as a “cost of doing      its desktop market.
business”. That means, for those of us                                                       Matson: Gordon - Many of us think
who have operated and run big networks,      I am an architect and an engineer. I leave      that the major private enterprises simply
quiet and controlled. That is a fundamen-    the broad sweep vision thing to others,         haven’t begun to understand the implica-
tal difference from those who simply are     and avoid polemics.                             tions of flat, universal global peer-to-peer
“users” of networks, such as end-users.                                                      communication has for their business
                                             I think about and act on the next few           models and very structural survival. I am
4. My big customers have huge security       steps. There being no money for me in a         not sure there is much to be gained by
concerns. Just one location with 7000        de-monetized application, Skype is just         “blue-skyping” the future in this manner,
users reported 11 million penetration at-    not something I think about.                    but I have for years held to the words of
tempts in just one month. P-2-P applica-                                                     the great Walter B. Wriston:
tions, such as Skype and “GoToMyPC”,         St. Arnaud: Melissa: Agreed. Well said.
which, by means of their operations,                                                         “”The philosophy of the divine right of
bypass layer 3 and layer 4-7 firewalls       Are you seeing any changing require-            kings died hundreds of years ago, but
and IDS/IPS sensors/detectors, allow the     ments for wide area networking because          not, it seems, the divine right of inher-
thievery, brigandery, highway robbery,       of security? Lately we have seen a couple       ited markets. Some people still believe
vandalism right into the core infrastruc-    of RFPs that will not accept MPLS VPNs          there’s a divine dispensation that their
ture.                                        or VPLS because of security concerns.           markets are theirs - and no one else’s -
                                             This, of course, is music to our ears in        now and for evermore. It is an old dream
5. VoIP still is of primary interest, as     terms of UCLP. IN fact one major project        that dies hard, yet no businessman in a
a cost avoidance for replacing expen-        that we are deploying is linking all the        free society can control a market when
sive legacy PBX’s, as well as other          NRC labs in Canada (Canadian equiva-            the customers decide to go somewhere
advantages. SIP, SIGTRAN (SCTP and           lent of DoE labs - but on a smaller scale)      else. All the king’s horses and all the
SCCP-UA), H.323 are of interest. Those       with UCLP so that they can manage their         king’s men are helpless in the face of a
protocols fit with the ability to manage     own truly private network, and reduce           better product. Our commercial history
and control the network.                     number of firewalls etc. We are also in         is filled with examples of companies that
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                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
failed to change with a changing world         The cost of loss of availability, as to       to acquire, secure, and maintain TB’s of
and became tombstones in the corporate         propagating worms, is huge in any busi-       email stores, but the cost is far worse for
graveyard.”                                    ness, where, for the end user, loss may       not being able to answer the subpoena.
                                               be inconvenient, but of minor financial
Maybe Wriston’s wisdom applies to a            impact.                                       Reed on March 8: Melissa - your point
much higher level of the established                                                         that connections to from employees’ ma-
order than just individual “companies”         Per the following quote from the Skype        chines to outside resources pose a risk is
and “markets” in times of seismic tech-        web page: “We prefer to think of our-         dead right.
nological change such as we are cur-           selves as a big group hug, even a present.
rently in.                                     Yes… that’s it… we’re a present… but          But the risk is not exacerbated by those
                                               without the ribbon.”:                         connections being persistent or encrypt-
Davis: Malcolm, I totally agree with                                                         ed.
both of your statements above, but not         My customers and I retort: “Beware of
the implication lying transparently in         geeks bearing gifts.”                         The real problem is that internally com-
your syntactical construction, some in-                                                      panies are “wide open”, so any random
dicative mood form of a French “n’est          Skype, Firewalls and                          person passing through (especially em-
pas” implying that the audience should                                                       ployees and their visitors) are exposed
bow in affirmation.                            Security                                      to information they shouldn’t be allowed
                                                                                             to see.
1. I haven’t seen such business models.        Coluccio: Also, what of my earlier im-
                                               plied observation above concerning Sky-       Making rules at the membrane surround-
2. Enterprises (private, public, govern-       pe's‘ ability to penetrate WiFi hot spots’    ing the company is like creating the
ment) have business models globally and        firewalls, even when those hot spots are      Maginot Line - you bet your entire se-
very distinct component models, each           not part of such a promotion or ongoing       curity on the assumption that the path
                                               service?
with differing levels of need for the CIA                                                    the attacker will take is where you think
triad (Confidentiality (sensitivity), Integ-                                                 it is.
rity, Availability).                           Davis: Frank, perhaps I haven’t explained
                                               sufficiently how Skype, and other such        Essentially this is because keeping the
If your statement and your quote are           “firewall-friendly” applications work         internal records secure *internally* is
simply techno-religious a priori value         (also reference “GoToMyPC”).                  viewed as “too expensive”. This unwill-
axiologies, of the now trite cliche of                                                       ingness to do the job right shows up in
“Internet vs Telecom”, or “Power to the        As David Reed has said often here, the        lots of ways.
People and tear down the walls of the          insider threat far, far outweighs the out-
                                               sider threat.
oligarchs”, or a moral imperative for the                                                    Why was that “backup tape” of Bank
kind of transparency that makes long                                                         of America payroll records that made
                                               Skype is not penetrating the firewall
haul optical glass seem opaque: then                                                         the front pages last week not encrypted
                                               from the outside in. Skype penetrates
we simply have nothing more to say to                                                        when it was shipped on a truck and in-
                                               the firewall from the inside out, on the
each other. I don’t share your axiologies,                                                   sured for a few hundred dollars? Surely
                                               same TCP Port 80 or 443 connections
therefore discussion is impossible.                                                          the BofA risk managers know that ex-
                                               that are open by design for web brows-        posing such personal information is im-
                                               ing. Skype goes out just as your Firefox
The eco-spaces of end-users and their                                                        portant to stop.
                                               or (hopefully not) Internet Explorer goes
communications needs are fundamen-
tally different from those of complex or-      out to LightReading or CNN or Google.         Similarly, you wouldn’t have to worry
ganizations, though for some businesses        What is different about this breed of ap-     about people making phone calls through
overlapping at the edges.                      plications (and GoToMyPC) is that they        the firewall (even if the phone calls
                                               maintain persistent strongly encrypted        could be hijacked by VoIP hackers to
Enterprises, whether privately held, pub-      connections to external untrusted or un-      carry other info), if the fundamental se-
lically held, or governmental have exter-      trustable servers.                            curity principle called “the principle of
nal constraints to protect and maintain                                                      least privilege” were applied consistently
confidentiality and integrity of certain in-   That may not matter to an individual
                                                                                             throughout organizations.
formation stores and transaction records.      end-user or a “hot-spot”. It does matter
Consumers are not so constrained.              to any organization that is liable for at     Protecting an organization against losses
                                               least certain categories of its data stores   should not be a matter of random stabs
Enterprises are playing in a competi-          (by statute or to stockholders), privacy      in the dark, worrying about symptoms
tive environment. Intellectual property,       of personnel and medical records, em-         and highly-hyped threats, but instead
business strategy, and much of corporate       ployee behavior (e.g., harassment). It
                                                                                             should involve keeping the valuable and
governance must be maintained with             may seem “way over the top” for a
                                                                                             highly private information inside an or-
restricted availability to “need-to-know.”     corporate or government agency to have        ganization in a secure manner in the first
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                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
place.                                        terminate.                                     My experience with application access,
                                                                                             and most particularly data store access,
In other words, implement a security          5. In side the internal collision domains      is that it is much easier for a business
infrastructure *inside* the organization      are internal SPF/FW’s and stealth mode         unit steward to grant privileges than to
that limits access effectively.               IDS/IPS sensors. The main function here        revoke them. If there is a formal employ-
                                              is to monitor the presence and epidemi-        ment adverse action, the revocation is not
Then Skype or VoIP or whatever cannot         ology of worms, port scanners, unusual         so difficult. Absent that, and particularly
be a threat in the first place.               activity. The legal “procedural defense”       in “white collar union” shops and civil
                                              rationale is to establish that user behavior   service, one could be challenged to meet
Davis: David, You are dead right about        is subject to monitoring. Now, you and I       almost criminal proof standards to sus-
everything you have said, with a single       know that packet sniffing is a notoriously     tain such a revocation.
exception that I, at this moment, disagree,   bad way to do something like that, given
but am willing to be further informed by      the sheer amount of traffic, but it is argu-   Further, particularly North American en-
your argument if you will advance it an-      able and is argued.                            terprises have largely followed by a long
other few steps.                                                                             way that of major European enterprises
                                              6. The IDS/IPS systems are also there,         in adopting X.500-like LDAP Directory
Point I wish further clarification on im-     along with the NMS (Network Manage-            Services, which allow authentication to
mediately below: David Reed wrote: But        ment Systems) to map traffic in effort         be done globally with authorization done
the risk is not exacerbated by those con-     to discover “rogue gateways” (illegal          locally (with a few mouse clicks). Con-
nections being persistent or encrypted.       or unauthorized gateways to the Public         sistency checks and date checks can be
                                              Internet).                                     run to produce alerts on possibly stale
But first Per agreements: 1. Simple                                                          permission attributes.
“Maginot Lines” of perimeter security         7. Internal NMS monitor switch and
are of little usefulness, for enterprises     especially router interfaces and buffers,      David Reed wrote: But the risk is not
with the beaucoup bucks they spend on         again to detect the kinds of congestion or     exacerbated by those connections being
SPF/FW devices.                               malformed packets that would indicate a        persistent or encrypted.
                                              potential packet pandemic condition.
2. Inside the “RED ZONE” (Public In-                                                         Davis: David, here is where I may be
ternet) perimeter are the email and web       8. Internal workstations and mobile lap-       blinded by my own training and the cy-
packet content inspection and filtering       tops have virus scanners on them. With         bersecurity culture in which I immersed
engines, the publicly facing Directory        internal workstations, the scan engines        myself after the Bust.
Servers (Border Directories), SIP Proxies     and signature updates are pushed out
(if exist), Web Proxies, and IDS/IPS (In-     with software transparently to the user.       1. the persistent, always on, connection
trusion Detection Systems/Intrusion Pre-                                                     seems to me vulnerable to any number
vention Systems), TACACS+ and RA-             9. Laptops are a huge problem and are          of hijacking, session key theft, and intru-
DIUS RAS (Remote Access) services.            getting more and more attention as a           sion techniques through known exploit-
The Citrix Nfuse and ICA servers would        political battle focuses on locking them       able applications, e.g., Windows Media
sit here, if exist. For medium companies,     down vs “creativity and innovation.”           Player.
this is a single DMZ.                         Increasingly, mechanisms are being
                                              planned and experiments being done             2. the persistent connection is simply out
3. For larger enterprises, the description    with requiring scanning before the login       there hanging for any black hat to use
in #2 above, exists in an Orange Zone         is consummated. That is, with a login          as a route of propagation for any kind
DMZ, handling traffic primarily facing        request, the user request is placed in a       of malware they have, again, Windows
the Red Zone, or the Public Internet. The     queue while another process patches and        Media Player is an excellent example of
main ingress and egress MTA’s would           scans “out-of-compliance” machines.            a propagation route
sit here.
                                              10. All of this, as you know, should fol-      3. if I allow a non-encrypted connection,
4. Behind the Orange Zone is a Yellow         low a thorough assessment of what infra-       even locally to a proxy, I have the snoop-
Zone DMZ, primarily handling traffic          structure and data resources an enterprise     ing ability to investigate suspicious activ-
and transactions within and between the       has, triaged by risk (impact of loss or        ity (an insider exporting protected infor-
various Green Zones (considered Trusted       compromise).                                   mation or a “captured” insider machine
Zones). Intranet Web Servers serving as                                                      with RATs, Zombies, Trojans, Data-Min-
secure portals for internal transactions      It is here, David, that your major point       ers and other digital critters.
(e.g., finance, HR, labor, executive strat-   of “least privilege” applies. Is it done?
egy) would be here, Yellow instead of         In my experience, yes when it comes to         4. perhaps not in general with , but defi-
Green if the Enterprise wishes remote ac-     infrastructure (routers, switches, server      nitely not with encrypted sessions, can I
cess. Or they may be in Yellow because        sysadmin).                                     enforce what I am compelled to enforce,
that is where the inter-data center links                                                    specifically calls which are sexually ha-
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                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
rassing, conspiratorial, etc.                  Reed: The answer to blocking theft of          with cable companies offering this as an
                                               information is to control the flow of in-      add-on service, in addition to Vonage,
Please tell me what I am missing.              formation to the small number of people        Callvantage and the like.
                                               who need to know in the first place, not
Reed: Melissa - Disclosure doesn’t re-         buy thousands of dollars of equipment          The interesting questions, financially,
quire persistent connection. A novel’s         because you want to buy Microsoft’s            is not how many people use softphones
worth of data (plenty if you are trying to     garbage systems and patch them around          like Skype, but how many would be able
capture a corporate strategy) is only half     the edges because they do not allow you        and willing to forego paying the phone
a megabyte or so. Given the number of          to build appropriate security policies at      company or its replacement.
bits flying in and out the doors of any        the right grain in the first place.
company, that takes an instant. It fits in                                                    It is indeed likely that the total amount of
a tiny corner of an otherwise innocuous        Davis: As for the monitoring, again we         money spent in corporations on PBX, IP
document, perhaps by misspelling occa-         have no disagreement. As a practical           or traditional, is likely to decrease long-
sional words in emails over time. It takes     matter, no team of people is large enough      term, but that hasn’t been a major factor
a few *milliseconds*, not hours.               to monitor the volume of transmissions         in corporate IT spending for a while.
                                               and content filters are easily fooled with     (We have had the same classical PBX
Disclosure doesn’t require obvious en-         syntax (e.g., double negatives) mis-spell-     for twenty years, so the likely outcome is
cryption. At the network level, you or         ings, and shared secret word substitu-         that we’ll spend less money on the next
anyone else cannot understand what 99%         tion.                                          generation, but more often, as I can’t
of the bits mean, or understand what bits                                                     imagine that we’ll use the same IP phone
are reasonable and what ones are not.          In the case of suspicious behavior, with       and software for the next 20 years.)
                                               internal crypto, such as PKI, the stream
It may be that you think you are mandat-       could be encrypted and the transac-            The notion that peer-to-peer somehow
ed to listen to everyone’s phone calls be-     tion time recovered under legal or other       makes Skype fundamentally different
cause “sexual harassment law” requires         policy permission.                             or better is naive, at best. The cost of
you to do so. I understand that that’s the                                                    supporting a SIP server, for example,
interpretation of many lawyers.                But for now, the main points are those         in an enterprise is trivial, compared to
                                               of the lawyers and the “procedural de-         end systems of any stripe. (We have two
Independent of my judgment of whether          fense”, as well as the fact that these en-     redundant Sun low-end servers, at about
that’s good public policy, it’s also techni-   terprises continue to pour big dollars into    $1000 a pop, for about 200+ users. They
cally stupid. You cannot assign enough         defective insecure operating systems.          could handle a large part of the univer-
people to the job to notice and block all                                                     sity if they had to.)
attempts at sexual harassment merely           Skype in the “Civilian
by listening to phone calls. Even if you                                                      Davis: I want to look at ENUM and
hire a whole staff of outsourced Indian        World”                                         Reed’s Law and then build on Henning’s
English-speaking listeners at low dollars                                                     economics:
                                               Schulzrinne: “Civilians” do get some
per hour!
                                               of the power and capabilities that larger      Henning presents excellent points in his
                                               organizations had a while ago. This tends
The same argument applies to the idea                                                         paragraphs quoted immediately below,
                                               to broaden availability, but there is little
that you can monitor every possible                                                           especially with regard to the economic
                                               evidence that the same technology imple-
word flying through the network and                                                           case.
                                               mentation is appropriate for professional
prevent theft of information.
                                               use or somehow puts the professionals          The collapse of long distance pricing
                                               out of business. They definitely tend to
The answer to blocking theft of informa-                                                      has long since eliminated the toll-bypass
tion is to control the flow of information     exert downward pressure on prices, as          economic arguments for VoIP of any
to the small number of people who need         3Com found out when companies like             kind. The collapse of long bandwidth
to know in the first place, not buy thou-      Dlink, Netgear and Linksys entered the         and peering prices have reduced the
sands of dollars of equipment because          LAN space. Cisco and Extreme Net-              cost of operating a voice network on
you want to buy Microsoft’s garbage            works seem to be doing fine, however,
                                                                                              the legacy circuit switched paradigm to
systems and patch them around the edges        and I haven’t seen a large organization
                                                                                              near cost or below. Flat rates for access
because they do not allow you to build         throwing out their Cisco gear for Linksys
                                                                                              and flat rates for number of minutes
appropriate security policies at the right     switches. (I know that Cisco now owns
                                                                                              pervade the circuit switched business
                                               Linksys.)
grain in the first place.                                                                     pricing policies.

Davis: We have no disagreement here.           The demise of telephone service as a
                                                                                              Legacy PBX’s, per Henning’s obser-
Your words below capture the problem           major revenue generator for the ILECs          vations, largely function if supported
eloquently.                                    will likely have little to do with soft-       by maintenance contracts, are rarely a
                                               phone clients like Skype and much more         security concern, and provide a comfort-
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                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
ing and economically desirable transition    Communications networks are connec-           If ENUM is to work, one must be able
time for the businesses owning them. It      tions of humans, thus are as much a psy-      to control one’s own entries, that is, to
is the rare commercial or government en-     cho-social and psycho-physical phenom-        turn it off for one’s own protection and
terprise that will be stuck with the label   ena as a technical ones, and the former       peace of mind. In the PSTN, we have the
“early adopter.” The cost of being wrong     pair must exist with interest before the      option for private, unlisted numbers, call
relative to the probability of being right   latter. This is to say, there must be play-   blocking, etc.
are just too great for careers.              ers in the game, playing under conditions
                                             (rules, boundary gradients) which return      Malcolm stated earlier this morning, and
Now to ENUM and Reed’s Law as it af-         a value to them for the dollars and time      other Skype fans tout, the “flat, peer-to-
fects Skype and the predictions of scaling   they spend.                                   peer, global communications.”
in customer uptake:
                                             By now it is well known that the O’Dell       Some of us do not want that, celebrities
Reed’s Law arose from a refutation of        curve on Internet growth that fueled the      and otherwise. We have so much com-
Metcalfe’s Law (the n-wise possible con-     speculative bubble was a statistical fluke,   munication that we have difficulty being
nections being the familiar {N*(N-1)},       that is the growth doubled every ninety       productive, not the other way around.
where, as N scales to “large”, approxi-      days for the two quarters under study,
mates N^2 as a limit. Reed, without          and as far as is known, did not before        But Skype May Show
giving the name of the female engineer       or since.
elucidating the refutation, paraphrases                                                    up in Some Enterprises
her as showing that if N people make         As a psycho-physical model, Reed’s Law        Sooner Rather Than
one call per day, the communications         doesn’t map to what we know well and          Later
pair-wise connections approach N, not        incontrovertibly about humans and our
{N*(N-1)}. Thus, Reed reports her con-       great ape cousins. We not only are not        On February 20 Coluccio: Over the past
clusion, inevitable by her analysis and      “on” for psycho-social contact (including     two weeks, on an unsolicited basis I’ve
his reflection, that it is the size of the   cyber-psycho-social contact) all the time,    become aware of two instances, merely
network, not the pair-wise connections       but past a fairly stable mean, increases      by speaking with acquaintances, where
on the network at any given time, which      in psycho-social “connections” become         Skype is actively being piloted by a very
produces revenue.                            aversive at an accelerating rate.             large business enterprise. In one case, I
                                                                                           was told of a publicly traded semicon-
Reed knew that of any group of N             This would turn both the Metcalfe N^2         ductor manufacturer that has discovered
members, 2^N possible groupings can          and Reed 2^N exponential curve into a         some flow-related issues that have arisen
be formed. In group forming networks,        downward opening parabola. Too little         inside its firewalls, which is looking at
Reed concludes, the connections that a       “connection” (pair-wise or group), and        Skype and should have a fix on, soon. In
network can enable then is 2^N, where        there is a rapid uptake to grab for more.     another, a financial institution on the East
as N grows, quickly becomes to dwarf         Beyond the peak and duration window           Coast is readying a launch of an applica-
Metcalf’s {N*(n-1)}.                         (we have to map with Fouriers), and           tion similar to Skpye (which was hinted
                                             interest declines with annoyance and ir-      might even be Skype dressed up for the
MELISSA’s LIMIT ON REED’s LAW                ritability building.                          occasion as something else), but no word
(and by corollary a design requirement                                                     as to when that might be.
for ENUM):                                   This suggests to me that, Skype and other
                                             “always on” kinds of vulnerabilities to       Shockey: I’ve heard this as well. Skype
Both Reed’s Law and Metcalf’s Law are        “over-communications” will set a limit        is spreading like wild fire in European
simply simple two dimensional infinite       on the scalability of the medium and its      circles. James Enck the noted telecom
sequence models, necessary from the          rate of adoption, absent any other damp-      analyst with Diawa Securities has noted
algebraic rules on which they are formed,    eners.                                        this extensively in his blog -
but in no sense empirical, as laws of
physics, laws of cellular automata of >      The other dampeners are risk of com-          http://eurotelcoblog.blogspot.com/
two dimensions, or of complex systems,       promise to one’s own communications
that is dissipative systems.                 device, already well known as a highly        Coluccio: And clearly, Skpye has had a
                                             preferred epidemiological route of prop-      very active front office, despite images
While it is easily shown mathematically,     agation of spamming email relays, email       one might conjure by statements in the
to the credit of both Reed and Metcalfe,     address capture for spoofing, RATs, data-     press about its limited size and pres-
that it is possible to grow some infinite    miners, worms, zombies, and other ugly        ence, as witnessed by the number of very
network to infinities, it is equally clear   digital beasties.                             serious announcements that have come
that neither Reed nor Metcalfe factored                                                    out over the past week, alone: a broad-
in any dampening variables – in other        ENUM:                                         sweeping announcement with Motorola;
words boundaries with gradients.                                                           Amazon and Wal-Mart will be hawking

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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
it i.c.w. a PC bundling arrangement with      were originally intended, for some time       place!, and hasn’t stopped thanking for
a Unix OS and Firefox; and discussions        to come, and within designated zones of       my introducing him to it, yet).
surrounding a host of mobile devices that     trust. So much for the blue chips’ and the
would become Skpye ready, soon, if not        government’s concerns over security and       How many times do I get marked down
already.                                      reliability.                                  for my participation during that single,
                                                                                            albeit multi-parted, conversation?
IM was once regarded with the same            Shockey: See the Microsoft LCS plat-
level of skepticism and mistrust in large     form. What you described is being de-         Hassinger: Gordon asked me to weigh
enterprises as Skype receives today, but      livered.                                      in on the web services aspect to VoIP
over time it has gained acceptance, even                                                    and Skype.
at the cost of losing its identity during     Coluccio: For the other ninety some odd
screen pops, yielding to the monikers of      percent of the universe, however, they        I see web services as a way to loosely
the firms who employ it. And in those         will continue to adopt Skype in the same      link application components - think dis-
cases where IM is used, in some cases by      ways and for the same reasons they’ve         tributed computing with less of the pain-
the nation’s largest banks and brokerage      ever adopted anything else. If it works to    ful complexity that guaranteed it would
firms, they are indeed designed to oper-      a user’s favor, it will be adopted. If not,   never be taken up en masse. In that
ate as walled garden applications, barred     then it won’t.                                regard, there is clearly a whole suite of
from receiving or transmitting anything                                                     voice-centric componentry that will be
to or from the outside world.                 There are tens of millions of small to me-    required for the types of composite ap-
                                              dium sized businesses out there whose         plications that enterprises (and end users)
Shockey: Excellent Frank. I recently          sole connections to the Internet consist of   will be wanting to instantiate.
wrote a magazine piece pointing this          one or two DSL lines or a T1 line or two.
out.                                          Add some tens of millions of consumers        These components and their boundaries
                                              who attach via broadband from home,           are not yet known and won’t be until
Skype, Web Services                           and now from the street via certain forms     we get into full swing of implementing
                                              of wireless, as well.                         composite, web services-based applica-
and Mission Criticality                                                                     tions. They may range from versatile
                                              And then we are hundreds of millions of       client front-end to voice communications
Coluccio: Having said that, during the
                                              citizens of all types who overlap with at     to backend ‘message center’ workhorse
near to intermediate terms, I cannot see
                                              least one of the categories of presence       to generic ‘speech-to-text’ modules,’ all
either IM or Skpye being used to fill the
                                              listed above, which means that you can        for mixing and matching into cross-en-
shoes of mission critical applications or
                                              then mark some of those individuals           terprise, category-blending applications.
any of the more advanced requirements
                                              down twice, sometime three times, as          It seems likely to me that the components
that are now finding their way into com-
                                              candidates for using IM, or Skpye, or         will need to be compliant with the domi-
plex Web Services.
                                              whatever the next pop up act is that          nant standards for interface, provision-
                                              comes along.                                  ing, and management (at the moment
Shockey: They will once they become                                                         these are Web Services, however I think
standards-based. Web Services have
                                              Several days ago I had an interesting         we still have some turns of the evolu-
completely taken over the data exchange
                                              experience. I started out by having a         tionary crank to go before we get to the
market because everything around web
                                              long business conversation over Skpye,        ‘final’ protocols for composite apps).
services is based on real documented
                                              which migrated to my cell phone when
standards.
                                              my laptop audio bummed out on me, as          Like the Web itself, however, the ap-
                                              it sometimes does without notice, and         proach is very much retro-fitting, and
Coluccio: Instead, they will continue to
                                              then to my cordless POTS phone when           therefore it is likely that a technology/
be used as a form of expedient to save
                                              my cell phone’s battery showed signs of       component will emerge as ‘best of breed’
time and steps to get the job done, by        expiring.                                     *before* it becomes a standardized plug-
taking the place of email and phone calls.                                                  and-play part of the Web Services infra-
And this will be so NOT because they          During that one and a half hours, ap-         structure. Why? Because loose coupling
cannot be made to perform to fulfill the      proximately, I used the last mile services    and late binding don’t amount to much of
more advanced functions, but for all of       of at least three service providers and       an incumbent advantage. If there were a
the reasons that Melissa has stated.          the Internet, without counting any of the     Web Services component for SIP calling
                                              services on the other end of the call. And    in use today and Skype became indis-
But I do believe that they will find ac-      consider, I am both a private consumer        pensable tomorrow, you could just slap a
ceptance when they are modified and/or
                                              and the owner of the consulting firm          Web Services layer onto the Skype client
tuned to the organization’s specific cri-
                                              whose business was being discussed dur-       and swap out the existing component.
teria as related to both security and their   ing that call, and the party on the other
boundaries on reach, and will receive         end of the line(s) was a client of mine       The long and the short of it is that the
use only in the manner in which they          (who insisted on using Skype in the first     future of enterprise computing is look-

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                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
ing more and more like the capricious,         We had exactly the same problem with
faddish consumer landscape. If Skype           Lotus Notes when I was at Lotus, by the       COOK Report: Do read the blog
or whoever convinces the world through         way. When the US government required          entry        http://james.seng.cc/ar-
viral marketing that their technology is       Lotus to weaken Lotus Notes crypto for        chives/2005/02/21/giving_out_wifi_sip_
a ‘must have,’ CIOs and IT departments         export (after I left) the proprietary code    phones.html .
will have pretty feeble arguments to op-       in Notes made it vulnerable to accusa-
posing that urge.                              tions that the US was using it to spy on      Davis: SIP Enum is a viable option,
                                               non-US companies, and for all I know, it      through a gateway, mediated by a circuit
The very fact that we are discussing the       was doing exactly that (my more grandi-       layer proxy, to an IP PBX that allows
merits of Skype, a p2p app with a lin-         ose spook friends hint that US suppliers      internal users to select availability op-
eage that traces directly back to Napster      have private deals with the NSA to put        tions and what will be published . . .
(through Kazaa and gnutella) proves            backdoors into every product that is mar-     and to provide this with authentication
this point, at least to me. (It goes with-     keted overseas; I don’t know if I believe     and individual+role/group based authen-
out saying that these are my personal          them, having never been asked to do so        tication and authorization of voice mail
views and do not reflect those of my           at Lotus when I was in charge of such         boxes via directory services, is a build-
employer.)                                     things - I didn’t verify that some junior     able service via metadata/XML. We
                                               programmer didn’t do exactly that).           haven’t seen such yet.
Reed: Sebastian’s point about late bind-
ing and loose integration is important.        However, that point is true in spades for     But the consumer end-user market is a
Some control-oriented suppliers (the           the SIP suppliers, because its security is    different eco-space. There may be differ-
usual near monopolies) and control-ori-        still dependent on every component of         ential communications/IP within even a
ented IT dept. customers, see “Web Ser-        a solution working predictably and cor-       small business: per our phone conversa-
vices” as the new SAP - the procrustean        rectly. SIP has no “brand” investment in      tion, use of a Nextel VoFR walkie-talkie
bed that all corporate services have to        security, and it has no enforcement over      may be all that is needed in calling from
be forced into. But pragmatism suggests        its implementers.                             the retail section of an Ace Hardware
otherwise - the key thing about success-                                                     store to the storage area in the rear. A
ful companies is that they retain flexibili-   Sip Based Enum Wi-fi                          different kind of communication and
ty to learn new things and do new things,                                                    security may be selected for credit card
and the sensible use of Web Services           Phones                                        point-of-sale transactions and EDI inter-
technologies can achieve that. Only the                                                      faces with suppliers.
                                               On February 21, Dewayne Hendricks:
most bureaucratic companies let their IT
                                               I just completed an iChat with James
departments dictate how the lifeblood                                                        In an interconnected world, there can be
                                               Seng, who’s attending the APRICOT
of their companies, information, should                                                      connected communities of interest with
                                               2005 <http://www.2005.apricot.net/>
flow in their arteries. IT depts. that focus                                                 walled garden protocols, but the wider
                                               conference in Kyoto. James pointed me
on creating business opportunity (such                                                       the community on some scaling factor
                                               to his recent blog entry titled ‘Giving out
as new ways to connect to customers and                                                      and the more complex the work through
                                               WiFi SIP Phones’ <http://james.seng.cc/
suppliers and partners) are the ones that                                                    applications, and the changing variances
                                               archives/2005/02/21/giving_out_wifi_
help their companies succeed. IT depts.                                                      on the need for confidentiality and in-
                                               sip_phones.html>. If you’re one of the
that resist new ideas in order to maintain                                                   tegrity, the greater the commonality of
                                               lucky folks attending the conference,
control often use “security” as a code-                                                      protocols . . . . . . yet, the greater the
word for anti-strategic action.                then you would have received one of           commonality, so also the greater the risk
                                               the new Hitachi Wi-Fi SIP phones as           to any exploitable vulnerability.
It’s a paradox that is very simply end-        part of the ‘APEET ENUM/SIP Live
to-end secure, and end-to-end resilient        Trial’ <http://www.apenum.org/APRI-           We just don’t know how it works. SIP
compared to such networks as the POTS,         COT2005/Live_Trial>. Take a look at           servers are a risk, but one security of-
cellular, and SIP+CALEA networks that          his blog entry and consider the future as     ficers more and more sign acceptance of
are compromised from the start, but cor-       more of these phones start to roll out with   such risks --- because there is mitigation
porate America is making up stories to         support for things like ENUM. I have          that can be taken.
try to paint it as insecure and unreliable.    had a Pulver Innovations ‘WiSIP’ phone
                                               for several months now, programmed            At least this link didn’t advertise itself
Skype has a problem, in that it is not         to use my Vonage softphone account. I         as “fire-wall friendly”. ;-) If you don’t
currently able to openly demonstrate           haven’t made much use of it on trips due      know what this means, it means that
its secure nature (potential, and prob-        to the problems with getting it to register   the traffic of that application (e.g., and
ably actual, because reverse engineers         with commercial hotspots which require        GoToMyPC) slips through firewalls with
would discover and expose the holes            web access of some sort to authenticate       outgoing http, and the end-to-end en-
rather quickly as they have with SIP           and use their service. Hopefully, these       cryption makes the information flowing
implementations), because its protocols        next generation phones will make travel       impenetrable to IDS or Firewalls.
are proprietary and somewhat secret.           use easier then it has been to date.

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                                      The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
Hence, in a crafting of words as skilled      me to reflect on my earliest use of a         With substitution of a few words it’s easy
as Carl Rove’s mining of Red State            closed, purpose-built network, which in       to see how my view of an IM-like voice
prejudices, “firewall friendly” is from       some ways resembles the kinds of walled       application might be supported by the
the reference point of the application, not   garden networks we see in enterprises         definition above.
the reference point of the people who are     today.
charged with defending the integrity of                                                     Wetzel: Just my humorous point of view
the network.                                  During the late Sixties I found myself        regarding what I think of the corpo-
                                              using a network set up via submarine          rate sector. I believe nothing good, new,
Reed: If corporate IT thinks that security    cable channels and satellite links mesh-      or technologically innovative will ever
is enhanced by making the internal VoIP       ing NY City, Paris, London, and White         come from that sector. They always will
system non-interoperable with the “pub-       Plains. Its purpose, like so many other in-   be followers and join the wagon very late
lic” voice systems, that is not surprising.   dustry ‘order wires,’ was to facilitate the   when success is here. IT people in that
However, it’s why corporate IT shouldn’t      internal workings of telecom company          sector are worried about security issues
be allowed anywhere near business op-         employees via express means, sometimes        only because they want to keep their job
erations.                                     ‘nailed up’ to overhead loud speakers in      or protect themselves from their N+I
                                              work locations, similar to - and in some      bosses. They sell them a firewall that lets
The reason they call trade “intercourse”      ways identical to - hoot and holler net-      everything pass and they will be happy
is because it involves intimacy with your     works used by the junkyard and trading        because they got their firewall.
customers and your suppliers. A business      floor crowds.
that can only talk to itself will die the                                                   Davis: Damian, Geoffrey Moore, in his
death of the onanist.                         In the case cited above, every channel        latest and very popular two business
                                              that was used was a dedicated full-time       books on techno-business articulates the
Davis: David, I don’t think there is any      circuit independent of the TASI (time         same. But, one wonders why you think
intention for that. Onanism refers to one     assignment speech interpolation, which        it should be different with business and
person and one only. Any business has         was the analog precursor to digital speech    technology, vs smart money in gen-
communications needs that are layered.        interpolation techniques used in early        eral. My grandfather taught me well that
Any business constrained by the need          TDM T-1 multiplexers) based network it        “smart money is conservative money.”
to mitigate its risks will be observant of    was designed to protect, thus performing
those needs as they are now. Corporate        the function of an independent overlay        Moore’s analysis of techno-ventures
competitive strategy and the latest and       that could be used during times of cable,     show even most successful ones falling
greatest product prototype secrets are not    satellite and TASI system failures. While     into his now famously named “chasm.”
put in the company newsletter, nor are        these are still used extensively today (see   Most of the other successful ones are ac-
executive strategy meetings broadcast on      url below), one might think of a wireless     quired by big techno-corps that have the
Video/IP.                                     based public safety and service network       incubators to hone and refine, to focus
                                              in the same context, independent of pub-      horizontally on the vertical success.
The substitution of an application or a       lic service provider facilities.
technology for the work to be done with                                                     Money and the bulk of the purchasing
that application or technology, and the       In my earliest contemplations of how          power is in the hands of the “middle
scope and boundaries of that work is to       Skype would be used in a commercial           adopters”, the “middle late adopters”,
substitute the means of transportation for    context order wires were the first things     and the “late adopters.” Early adoption,
the arrival at the destination and coordi-    to come to mind.                              where large consequences for failure or
nation of what is necessary to get there.                                                   large costs on impact of operations and
                                              From: http://www.dsptele.com/products/        labor are at stake, is simply foolish from
Coluccio: David, I understand your point.     order_wire.html                               a cost/benefit point of view, and dollars
However, I submit that our friends in the                                                   rule.
black hat cadre have another view of the      “An order wire is a voice communica-
term “intercourse.” And they appear able      tions system used primarily by main-          Damien, I am not saying I have never
to “do it” with impunity, wherever they       tenance personnel to communicate be-          been “an early adopter.” Hardly, but what
see an open orifice.                          tween equipment sites. It is a telephone      I am saying is that I am “an early adopter
                                              system, but has no central office switch-     who was mugged.”
On Walled Gardens                             ing. It uses a portion of the network’s
                                              bandwidth that is not normally used           Architecture doesn’t upset me. Skype
and Getting to the                            for revenue traffic, such as the bottom       is an entity. Worms/Trojans/RATs/Dat-
Other Side of Geoffrey                        portion of the base-band spectrum or a        aMiners/tiny NMAP port scanners are
Mooreʼs Chasm                                 portion of an overhead bit stream. It is an   entities. GoToMyPC is an entity. Mi-
                                              economical phone system that is network       crosoft is an entity. AT&T will soon no
Something Melissa stated earlier caused       owned.”                                       longer be an entity. The old IBM and HP
                                                                                            are scarcely visible in the present incar-

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                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
nations. Cisco is no longer getting 90%       Services, the ability to deliver a branded    ment schedule, budget, timeline depen-
margins on cheap Motorola and TI chips        product with a stable provider at a rea-      dencies with costs over several to many
and NVRAM.                                    sonable price, is the game for SOHO and       scenarios).
                                              the bulk of the non-early adopter con-
[Skype] will get traction or it won’t,        sumer. You forget how techno illiterate       The discussions here on Skype led me to
in some niche, some niches, and over          the consumer is. In the enterprise/gov-       such thoughts, especially after Jim For-
some duration. That isn’t an engineer-        ernment, bandwidth is simply assumed          ster of Cisco suggested I try it.
ing decision or an architectural one.         to the edge. The differentiators are about
When it begins to interfere with busi-        service delivery and SLA’s, as well as        Per what Frank Coluccio and Jim For-
ness revenues, it will be come a judicial,    MTSP (MultiTier Security Planning) de-        ster have written, there is the possibility
regulatory, and legislative issue. I don’t    ployments that cut the internal costs to      to modify or reverse engineer the code
know how Skype will turn out. ‘Skype’s        the enterprise and fovernment customer.       such to eliminate the persistent “(ugh)
success would be a huge push in “the                                                        firewall friendly” problems. We have
race to zero.”                                I don’t need a solution, Gordon. That isn’t   done so with internal-only IM with near
                                              my game, predicting the broadsweeps of        wire speed Web packet filtering/ACLs
Depressions, deflation, stagflation are all   some future. I am an engineer and an          (Access Control Lists), VLAN design,
about perceptions of economic and in-         evolutionist. Evolution doesn’t reward        and routing policies.
stitutional instability. Capitalism works     more than very few of tens of millions
because the big guys stay big, there is       of mutations, and those are small ones,       So, it was with that sense of seren-
enough room in this vast economy for          mostly neutral in terms of survivability      dipitous propinquity that I chased last
experimental innovation, and in times         and incremental improvements I don’t          night’s link in slashdot to the follow-
of economic and institutional stabil-         know what optimization even means. I          ing interview with David Worthington
ity, there are incubators for those ex-       know that what I have is a niche is grey      in Beta News on the evolution of Grid
periments, and time to allow them to get      matter, experience, knowledge, and the        Computing. I share it as a possible path
traction and modify themselves to fit.        self-discipline to get more and make that     or at least vector of Skype evolution.
                                              activity fun.
Revolutions impoverish everyone, and                                                        Interview: The Future in Grid Comput-
usually for a very long time - as Japan,      So I only think about getting through the     ing By David Worthington, BetaNews
Inc has proven. The shock that has ren-       next few steps and how to get a decent        February 21, 2005, 11:41 AM
dered the Japanese stagflation impen-         check for that. Being a player in the “race
etrable to monetary and industrial policy     to zero” is not in my interest, personally    http://www.betanews.com/article/Inter-
is the shock to the culture of the collapse   or professionally (by association).           view_The_Future_in_Grid_Comput-
of the real estate and banking enter-                                                       ing/1109004118
prises, which were backed by a govern-        Skype and Grid
ment/MITI that had so long promulgated                                                      INTERVIEW Computing grids are soft-
invulnerability and wisdom.                   Computing                                     ware engines that pool together and man-
                                                                                            age resources from isolated systems to
You are seeing now in the telecom field       Having been an early experimenter, and        form a new type of low-cost supercom-
what has been predicted. You are seeing       participant in research, with Grid Com-       puter. In spite of their usefulness, grids
what your anarchistic leanings fear the       puting, I had been thinking of possible       remained the plaything of researchers
most . . . consolidation, or re-consolida-    parallels of how Skype or Skype-like          for many years. But now, in 2005, grids
tion, “pay for play.”                         unified messaging might occur. In the         have finally come of age and are becom-
                                              early days of Grid Computing, what we         ing increasingly commercialized.
IP won as the transport of necessity          saw was an almost purely horizontal play
now. No one cares, especially the ILECs       with compute clusters, the grid control-      Sun Microsystems recently unveiled a
about the circuit switched legacy dino-       ler’s only function being to manage con-      new grid computing offering that prom-
saur and all are moving to max revenue        nections, send and receive batches, order     ises to make purchasing computer time
generating businesses and services away       packets, and transmit when all batches        over a network as easy as buying elec-
                                              complete.
from “common carrier.” FTTH is dead                                                         tricity and water. Even Microsoft is said
except as a symbol - making almost no                                                       to be investing in grids and Sony has
                                              Grid Computing is evolving into verti-
economic sense with a single exception                                                      grid-enabled its PlayStation 3 for movie-
                                              cally integrated work, off loading com-
- the ILECs see their competition for the                                                   like graphics.
                                              pute-intensive work from the applica-
SOHO and residential customer as the
                                              tions with which users interface, sending
cable co’s, and each other as competi-                                                      As interest in these distributed tech-
tors for the large enterprise/government      results up to those applications (e.g.,       nologies grow, so does the probability
space.                                        huge financial systems, nuclear emula-        for disinformation. With that in mind,
                                              tion systems, huge financial-engineering      BetaNews sat down with some of the
                                              applications integrating project manage-

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                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
world’s leading grid guru’s, Dr. Ian Fos-    way exceeds what the other voip models,        model).
ter and Steve Tuecke, to set the record      tied as they are to the handset and the
straight and divorce grid hype from grid     legacy telephone system, can do. I think       Open Source, e.g., Linux, is not the free-
reality.                                     this bears close watching. It will migrate     volunteer cyber peer-group of yore. Open
                                             to businesses for sure. How far how fast       Source programmers, and “the main-
BetaNews: Since we last spoke in 2001,       remains to be seen.                            tainers” of significance in the commu-
what significant developments have there                                                    nity now are largely employed by Intel,
been in the commercialization of grid        The Google Telephone                           AMD, HP, IBM. Linus and McVoy are
technologies?                                                                               corporate animals of this consortium. So,
                                             Network and a World                            my question has to do with the economic
Dr. Ian Foster: Back then we were just       of Abundance in                                model. Given that significant economies
seeing earlier interest in grid technolo-    Communication                                  are all monetized, what is the financial
gies from companies like IBM etc. Since                                                     incentive?
then we have seen tremendous growth          And back to the Google dark fiber dis-
and enthusiasm. And a lot of things are      cussion (pages 71-76 above). Have you          How far it penetrates into the realms of
being labeled as grid that perhaps one       all looked at Google’s new local feature       the techno-barely functional and techno-
could argue they are not. Perhaps they       and ‘s voice mail? Look at the maps            illiterate remains to be seen. How it
are more, in some cases, computing clus-     available now on Google. It is much bet-       morphs to provide a border gateway for
ter management solutions, but also some      ter than map quest. You can query those        enterprise internal security is another
substantial early deployments in the in-     maps for all hotels within five miles of       open question.
dustry from companies like IBM and           any address. Why not gas stations, res-
Sun, and others like HP and so forth.        taurants, in short why not any kind of         Per David Reed’s challenge about busi-
                                             specific retail business? And why not the      ness connecting with customers, the in-
[snip]                                       next feature being a Skype or Sype like        centive is to have customer and sales call
                                             calling number for that retail business?       centers totally available by any of the
COOK Report: Thank you, Melissa.             There is a potential here for removing         individual and hybrid media present and
                                             vast amounts of phone traffic from the         emerging. From the network perspective,
At the end of my conversation with           PSTN to the Google telephone network.          those can be air-gapped, or DMZ seg-
Stuart we talked about Skype’s possible                                                     regated, from the highly sensitive inner
evolution. Stuart talked about the ad-       I am just try to see some of the possi-        realms of the enterprise?
vantages of a federated system - which       bilities of where this could go. But the
system would incorporate the principals      cautionary pushback is a welcome signal        The Skype security issues for transit
of Goroshevsky’s design for Peerio - the     to choose my words with care.                  traffic through an enterprise boundary
design could be done regardless of Goro-                                                    are not unfixable. Declared port ranges
shevsky’s lack of credibility. Federations   You have mentioned a race to zero that         connected to SSLv3/TLS proxies would
are mentioned in the grid discussion         I find frightening indeed - but it seems       eliminate the persistent open connection
below.                                       that something - like it or not is happen-     from the enterprise internal machines to
                                             ing - and the question becomes what are        the “open external relays.” The enter-
Certainly anyone can reverse engineer        the activities in the society that add value   prise could operate a filtered relay at the
Skype and probably should do so - in-        and people will pay for? Or if not this        edge. Web packet filters could handle the
cluding perhaps Skype in its next release    what does the question become?                 transit relays with ACL’s.
giving itself federated capabilities?
                                             Davis: Gordon, here is what I am looking       There are a lot of ways to make these
Part of the attractiveness of Skype is the   for: simply a business model that would        two eco-spaces compatible. In my opin-
tool set it comes with. Skype really does    provide sustainability, scalability, direc-    ion, “Either/Or” zero-sum games are not
change the nature of one’s communica-        tion, control. In all of anthropological       going to be productive.
tion patterns - I am glad to hear that you   research, there are only a few sustainable
will be giving it a spin. Last night both    models that work. There is the techno          Sterling: So just out of curiosity what
Frank and I were looking at the web -        primitive fairly flat, family and extended     is the Skype business model? Agenda?
doing slightly different google searches     kinship of the subsistence hunter-gath-        Skype endgame? Skype exit strategy?
in real time and swaping urls back and       erer, the warlord, the feudal cum nation-
forth via IM. Something not doable with      state model. There are equally only a          Reed: Well, given that Motorola just an-
the same effectiveness via email.            few economic models that have shown            nounced a Skype cellphone, and Skype
                                             workability, mass socialism of a Voltair-      Out makes money, I think the business
While the architecture of the current        istic model and mass Libertarian models        model appears to be quite simple. Give
Skype carries risks - undoubtedly- what      falling to state or economic oligarchy         customers something they appreciate for
can be done with it as a platform inde-      (and apparently in the Western World, so       free, and they’ll buy other things from
pendent softphone in consumer hands          do republics, parliamentary and the US         you, and people will value your brand-

                                                              113
                        COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
name.                                            think the views of the backers may be           folks provide stats regularly for their
                                                 somewhat different, and it’s important to       usage, as does Vonage (and there are
Of course such a business model may              note that the initial backers, Draper et al,    VoIP market share stats for Vonage). Is
not appeal to those who think business is        also flipped Hotmail at a relatively early      “traditional” LD traffic still growing? I
about coercing customers and screwing            stage. My guess would be a trade sale to        recall seeing various stats in the past the
them out of their last dime once you’ve          a major Internet player, and my intuition       voice traffic was growing at 2-3% per
bought the right to exploit them from the        tells me Google, though they’ve never           year in the 1990s, but I believe this was
government franchised communications             done anything remotely as big as this on        all voice traffic minutes, not LD specifi-
commission (funny how those initials             the acquisition front. I think an IPO is        cally. What does the LD growth rate look
crop up...)....                                  unlikely in the current climate.                like overall now, given the continued
                                                                                                 erosion of prices, and how much of the
But many other businesses work exactly           Henshall: This came across my desk              overall growth is due to VoIP, and how
that way, just not the “business” satirized      today. I know people that have been try-        much due to new Skype applications,
as TPC in The President’s Analyst. :-)           ing to do aspects of this for years.            etc.? I’ll dig around a little and see what
                                                                                                 I can find, but if someone has a pointer I
Matson: Well said David. You have it             http://www.twilightutilities.com/ and           would appreciate it –
absolutely. Knowing some of the London           http://www.twilightutilities.com/For-
Skype team, it is clear that they deeply         warder.html                                     Coluccio: Dave O’Leary highlights two
believe that if you have a relationship                                                          interesting points, which I interpret as:
with 75,000,000 people as a result of            “Skype to phone and phone to Skype.             The fidelity of Skype’s audio response
giving them something of use (at no              Never miss a Skype call again. Skype            and the intractability of voice growth.
charge), then using their creative imagi-        Forwarder acts as both a telephone and
nation to develop new and unimagined             a Skype answering machine, as well as           Historically, most voice codecs were
elements of value for sale for a few             a Skype to phone and phone to Skype             designed to fit the bounds of the voice
cents/$ is not too difficult. They have          gateway. Incoming phone calls can route         frequency (VF) channel, which have
really begun to understand the world of          to TAM (telephone answering machine)            been almost universally limited by tele-
‘abundance’ and the new business mod-            or a Skype buddy, while incoming R              com industry channel filters, when chan-
els which this creates - rather than the         calls can route to TAM or phone. Have a         nel multiplexed line facilities have been
world of artifical-scarcity created and so       Skype call dial your cell phone, or dial a      used:
vehemently maintained by the twighlight          Skype buddy with your cell phone.”
industries of telecoms, Hollywood, and                                                           2700 HZ of bandwidth on the low side
music recording.                                 I’ve not tested this. Seems they want to        (from 300Hz to 3,000Hz), and
                                                 enable everyone to have their own per-
James Enck: Absolutely spot on. Ze-              sonal software PBX. The day is just get-        3400 Hz of bandwidth on the high side
nnstrom has said that if Skype could gen-        ting closer. I’ll get a test or two done. I’m   (300Hz to 3,700Hz).
erate the kind of relatively paltry ARPUs        “SURE” this is not “enterprise” ready!
that Yahoo! generates from incremental                                                           Additional line properties associated
services (I think the figure he quoted me        What I am observing is “Skype” is               with: phase shift, which is the primary
was something like $8 per annum) from            creating interest in audio that goes way        factor in analog signal delay distortion,
a small proportion of users, it would be         beyond just phone communications. As            often characterized en masse as enve-
immensely profitable and they would be           software engineers tinker with what can         lope delay distortion (as opposed to the
satisfied with this. My other observation        be done via windows and how to bypass           latency and jitter we encounter in the IP
is that Skype insiders have expressed to         its crippled audio systems and so on, lots      sense) and uneven frequency-amplitude
me their surprise at the rate of take-up         of creative new applications are begin-         response (fidelity); AM/PM; and a host
of Skype Out, i.e., revenues are ahead           ning to emerge.                                 of noise contributors further degraded
of budget.                                                                                       signal quality to the levels that we’ve
                                                 Skypeʼs Impact on Voice                         become accustomed.
My conversations with Zennstrom have
always led me to believe that his person-        Traffic and Open Source                         These line anomalies are non-existent
al goal is to be recognized as a visionary,      VoIP PBXs                                       in a world where the encoding and re-
and someone who helped to break down                                                             production of auditory signals no longer
cozy cartels. He started out at Tele2 in         O’Leary: Given the observation (above)          must negotiate hostile analog line con-
Sweden, where this mentality is deeply           that Skype is driving creation of new           ditions and their attendant constraints,
ingrained. He got close with KaZaA, but          audio applications, how much of Skype’s         but are enabled, instead, by codecs on
it all ended in tears, litigation, and a hasty   traffic generation is new applications and      either side of the ‘connection,’ by client
exit. So I think from an ego perspective,        how much is replacing traditional long          software. Thus, Skype and others who
he would like to run it and see it get big-      distance? I expect this is pretty hard to       follow will no longer be bound to the
ger, along with his profile. However, I          sort out, but it appears that the Skype         channel’s parameters. Instead, its codecs
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                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
can be designed to simply follow the           of auditing to take place, however,         Asterisk’s architecture is designed around
intentions of the designer, following the      through its logging and IM auditing ca-     a core PBX engine, with applications
frequency ranges that they select, and in      pabilities, ironically enough. I wonder     layered on top to support a number of
the process introducing only a marginal        how those will be viewed by anyone          different protocols, including SIP, H.323,
penalty when viewing overall packet            examining them, since no one is actually    MGCP, IAX (itself an open-source pro-
sizes.                                         auditing Skype, itself                      tocol written by Digium), and potentially
                                                                                           other yet-undeveloped protocols.
It was about eight years ago that I en-        Davis: See below for comparisons with
gaged a DSP application engineer who           Asterisk and comments of users. Free,       This approach, says Spencer “offers sig-
had been working on a set of 729/723.          open source. Both sipX and Asterix hope     nificant benefits‚ for organizations that
a codec designs, in a conversation about       to leverage their software to sell add-on   want to support a heterogeneous network
stereo and quadraphonic delivery of VoIP       products, which has been suggested here     out of the box.”
for the music and content delivery indus-      as the Skype model.
tries (MoIP?). The TDM equivalents re-                                                     sipX is built from the ground up using
quired anywhere from a quarter to three        The difference, is sipX is sip only, but    100-percent SIP-compliant blocks. Un-
quarters of a T1 system (using multiple,       easily managed with a web browser.          like Asterisk, sipX speaks SIP and only
concatenated DS-0s) to produce these re-       Asterisk has no easy-to-configure tools.    SIP, the protocol which has become the
sults in the past, with the latter typically   Both are non-proprietary, open source.      de facto industry standard and is credited
used for the transport of content from the     These open source products may be           for providing the basic foundation upon
studios of FM Radio (and TV) Stations to       another play on the techie side of the      which much of the VoIP industry now
their respective hubs for distribution over    market.                                     sits.
the airwaves, which, themselves, were
bandwidth constrained, by design.              http://voxilla.com/voxstory136.html         By relying on SIP, says Pingtel CEO Wil-
                                                                                           liam Rich, sipX “provides a very high
While it was envisaged at the time that        Open-Source PBX Battle Brewing              level of interoperability and scalability.”
such fidelity would someday be available       By CAROLYN SCHUK for VOXILLA.               The architecture of sipX, says Rich,
to the content and distribution industries,    COM                                         allows systems developers to perform
as replacements for what preceded them                                                     different functions on different servers,
in the TDM world, it now appears likely        In the open source PBX world, Asterisk      replacing the included components with
we’ll be seeing such capabilities extend-      is king, but it’s no longer the only game   custom-developed ones, or combining
ed to consumers for ordinary day to day        in town.                                    them in different ways.
use, as well. Granted, such capabilities
already exist in cable TV and other sys-       SIPfoundry, a Westborough, MA-based         [Snip]
tems that support residential entertain-       group formed in March 2004 to pro-
ment delivery, but I’m talking here about      mote open-source telephony applications     Stastny: Or hack your Linksys WRT54G
applications that are under the end user’s     based on the Session Initiated Protocol     Router to be a SER or Asterisk PBX ;-)
direct control and choosing. --                (SIP), has released a complete SIP PBX,
                                               called sipX, based largely on code con-     see:    http://www.toyz.org/mrblog/ar-
Tracking voice traffic growth has been         tributed by IP telephony vendor Pingtel.    chives/00000186.html and http://euro-
tricky business, at best, for a long time                                                  voip.blogspot.com/2005/02/100-telco.
now, even before the introduction of           And though Digium, the company re-          html
VoIP. Enterprises who’ve used tie lines,       sponsible for developing the popular
for example, have tended to obfuscate          Asterisk PBX, has enjoyed a virtual free    Coluccio (in answer to Richard Stastny):
the matter, as have integrated packet          ride in the world of open source tele-      Thank you Richard. I pulled on the string
delivery systems supported by Frame            phony since Asterisk was made public in     your (toys.org) link and landed here:
Relay and ATM, where the end user              1999, CEO Mark Spencer is welcoming
organization has dictated what slices of       the competition.                            h t t p : / / w w w. t o y z . o r g / m r b l o g / a r -
bandwidth would be used for which ap-                                                      chives/00000185.html
plications. Since ~1998 or so, the prob-       “It’s beneficial to have several compa-
lem has only become much larger for the        nies offering open source systems,” said    The message on that page reminded me
bean counters, since enterprises, as well      Spencer. “It validates the concept.”        that ordinary end users’ machines can be
as consumers, have been deploying VoIP                                                     used as Skype servers. I have, on about
in their backbones (and from PCs, where        Both Asterisk and sipX are written for      three or four occasions, experienced a
the consumer is concerned) in ways that        the Linux operating system, but there       premature session tear down (on hook
defy auditing from ever taking place.          are significant architectural differences   from the other end) while talking over
                                               between the two.                            Skype. Could those have been caused
Skype actually ‘does’ permit such forms                                                    by end users powering their units down,


                                                               115
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
thus removing themselves from my es-          I should add that when this occurs I do      nobody said geeks know how to name
tablished paths? While the Skype license      NOT have a similar problem re- con-          products).
states that your computer may be used by      necting to the same party if I choose to
others as a server, there is no compelling    disconnect and re-connect immediately.       Jennings: I’ve seen several different
reason why end users can’t power their                                                     proxies running on hacked Linksys box.
units down (or experience crashes, for        COOK Report: Check out this September        Cool hack, but who cares. We have a
that matter, or reboots) at any point in      15 2004 announcement http://www.thes-        name for phones system inside your
time. Any thoughts on this?                   treet.com/tech/scottmoritz/10183131.         house that can’t call out -”intercom”.
                                              html                                         You still need the IP phones. As soon as
Another quirk, which I now believe to be                                                   you want PSTN connectivity, in or out,
a trending pattern, has to do with initial    Cisco’s (CSCO:Nasdaq - news - re-            you start talking about a telephony ser-
session initiation time. Upon first Skyp-     search) router chief has taken a board po-   vice provider TSP of some type. Now the
ing someone on any given day, I find          sition at closely held VoIP upstart . Mike   TSP is willing to provide the proxy for
that it’s taking longer for the session to    Volpi, head of the Cisco technology unit     no more than just the PSTN connectivity
initialize now than it did a month ago. A     focusing on boxes that direct Internet       so it’s hard to see the incentive for the
little over a month ago I didn’t notice any   traffic, has joined the board of the Lux-    local box that does call control. I’ll point
appreciable delays in setting up sessions,    embourg Net calling company, according       out people like Vonage charge *more* if
maybe a few seconds. Two weeks ago it         to a story published in BusinessWeek on      you try and connect something like this
was taking me perhaps five seconds or         Wednesday.”                                  up to them.
more. Yesterday I clocked one attempt to
reach Gordon at 13 seconds.                   Then Toni Li returns to Cisco in De-         If it was cheaper to get a ISDN BRI line
                                              cember (or was it late November Toni?)       from the LEC than to get phone service
At first it occurred to me that this might    to work for mike Volpi. So far so good       from a TSP, and if the linksys box had
be a scaling problem, due to the enor-        – now take a look at this. http://www.       an ISDN port, this would be more inter-
mous numbers of new users coming on           toyz.org/mrblog/ Feb 22                      esting.
line. But further thought on the matter,
given the nature of p2p being what it is,     “It’s here, the user owned phone system      In the meantime, keep letting me know
I now am tending to think otherwise. Has      The rebels are at it again. This time        about hacked Linksys boxes that do cool
anyone else noticed these longer session      they’ve built a free, open-source VoIP       VoIP stuff. I love it - very nice platforms
initiation times aside from myself? Curi-     platform for embedded devices. It’s a        to experiment around on. Of course a
ous. And if so, what do you suppose it’s      VoIP PBX in box, a cheap affordable          single intercom system that went to my
due to?                                       box. The box, in fact, is a common           house, your houses, and everyone else
                                              Linksys router. It’s called SIPatH (hey      house would be interesting.




                                                                 116
Symposium Discussion February 25 - March 10, 2005

VoIP Economic, Quality and
Network Traffic Issues Highlights
                                              an estimate that it will take approximate-     be consumers’ not just incremental or
VoIP Adoption Curves                          ly 6-8 years for majority (80%-85%) of         marginally better PSTN service.
                                              end points to be VoIP. The way Skype
Raj Sharma: I am trying to model the          is being adopted, this may even seem           If you are thinking about only urban
growth of VoIP end points and I am as-        reasonable.                                    US and other dense population cities
suming that the adoption of VoIP tech-                                                       with excellent telephone services, sure,
nology for the end points will follow         So, my question is, are my assumptions         VOIP isn’t really ‘needed’ except for a
Gompertz or Fisher-Pry models. So, let’s      correct? Does the Gompertz model re-           handful of people like me who DO make
take the Gompertz model – the speed of        ally apply here? Or is this more of a          lots of long distance calls and therefore
any technology adoption (the slope of         viral phenomena that follows a different       have Vonage at $24 a month (which
the Gompertz curve) depends on the ‘b’        adoption curve. Is the implication of this     cut my AT&T bill by $400 a month LD
value. The ‘b’ value for different technol-   hypothesis that majority of traffic will be    charges)
ogy adoptions in the past is given in the     VoIP to VoIP in 8 years with very little
following table                               being originated and terminated on the         Schulzrinne: I don’t think we’re dis-
                                              good old PSTN?                                 agreeing, just answering different ques-
                                                                                             tions. I would be the last one to dispute
Analogy                                       Odlyzko: The Gompertz model seems              the usefulness of VoIP, but I’m just trying
Range                                         appropriate, and with the parameter you        to be realistic when people try to estimate
b                                             mention, as long as, the choices are           the speed of displacement of existing
Radio                                         made by individuals. What might change         residential technologies by extrapolating
1922-1940                                     things is presence of what I called “forc-     from other (US) technology adoption
.18                                           ing agents” in a paper from 1997 that          curves. There is no doubt that VoIP is
Color TV                                      debunked the notion of “Internet time,”        today very useful as a “niche” residential
1955-1992                                                                                    technology in the US and as a core tech-
.18                                           http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/           nology in developing countries. But it’s
Television                                    slow.evolution.pdf                             a big jump from supplying the roughly
1946-1960                                                                                    at most 5% of US households that don’t
.32                                           Forcing agents can push thing along,           have traditional landline, bought at what-
CD Player                                     say when a telco moves its customers,          ever inflated or subsidized prices, to 80%
1986-1994                                     whether they want to or not, to VoIP.          market penetration.
.17
VCR                                           Schulzrinne: However, in the absence of        I think there is a core message that we
1979-1994                                     forced upgrades, I have some doubts as         both agree on: It is absolute foolishness
.23                                           to whether using the average ‘b’ across        to expend another tax (= USF) dollar on
Pay Cable                                     the earlier technologies mentioned is rea-     running narrowband phone service to
1973-1981                                     sonable. Unlike almost all of the technol-     hard-to-serve rural areas.
.21                                           ogies mentioned in the comparison, VoIP
Personal Computers                            does not currently offer fundamentally         Btw, even the Cisco phone can be con-
1980-1998                                     new capabilities to consumers. (Presence       figured for G.729 (which has much lower
.10                                           is nice, but only matters if most of your      bandwidth needs than G.711), but I think
Cellular                                      calling destinations are on IP, too. Bet-      Cisco has been primarily after the enter-
1984-1999                                     ter voice quality is nice, but I doubt that    prise market where this matters less.
.17                                           many non-techie people would consider
Online/Internet                               this sufficiently interesting to ditch their   Hughes: Yes, I even tried the G.729
1992-1998                                     phone number.)                                 lower bandwidth over Cisco 7960 SIP
.20                                                                                          phones, but it still failed at 64kbps sat-
Average                                       Hughes: When one who lives in Thame,           ellite bandwidth. Only Skype worked
                                              Nepal, a Sherpa village which has NO           to Namche, Nepal. (and with 1,200ms
.20                                           Nepalese PTT PSTN service at any price,        latency!)I hate to kick a gift horse in the
                                              and now gets reasonable quality voice          mouth on this list, for it was Jim Forster
So, I took the average of .20 for adoption    both IP to IP and to Out, that offers new      and Cullen Jennings, both from Cisco
of VoIP in end points and came up with        and revolutionary capabilities for ‘would      who got the Sherpa’s set up through me

                                                              117
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
with sets of those Cisco IP phones as a       minutes in Table 10.1 of the FCC report      this the fact that most people’s economic
donation from Cisco. So they will keep        that Henning cites, we find (for all of      interests are tied to the old technology.
them around until the price of 128kbps        2003) 444.1 billion, which, coupled with
satellite IP comes down from the $1,200       183 million local lines gives 202 minutes    Thus, at first, the adoption of new tech-
they were paying, even when no climbers       per line per month.                          nology proceeds slowly relative to the
or trekkers are around. Cause they really                                                  total market, which explains the early
are nice phone instruments with built in      Schulzrinne: This is indeed peculiar; it     flat part of Gompertz’s S-shaped curve.
speaker, while Skype still requires a PC,     should be noted, however, that access        Usually, the new technology finds niche
and external speaker or microphone. And       minutes apparently get counted once at       application where its special features
the Sherpas sure are not very techie.         each end (see explanation on pg. 10-1)       outweigh its disadvantages. The first
                                              and include 800# calls, so the difference    application of electrical lighting was on
Earlier Schulzrinne: Radio, TV and In-        may not be quite as large.                   ships, where fire caused by oil lighting
ternet did. Thus, this is still mostly                                                     was a constant fear. The first applica-
a price decision for consumers, with          It is interesting to observe that long       tions of transistors were in bomb fuses
some risk (reliability, work during power     distance volume has gone down signifi-       and hearing aids, where the package
outages, 911 issues) and inconvenience        cantly, despite falling prices, although I   size and low power requirements were
(wire up ATAs or restricted to PC). Ex-       can’t tell how mobile calls count in this    crucial. Perhaps ‘presence’ is the first
cept for the small minority that make         calculation.                                 application of VoIP and success in such
tons of domestic long-distance calls,                                                      early applications combined with lower
$25-$40/month just for long-distance          Odlyzko: So the prices are higher than       cost is allowing VoIP to pull itself up by
isn’t a terribly good deal, particularly      cited, and in practice considerably high-    its bootstraps.
since many of these long distance calls       er, since most people are lazy, and then
are now placed over cell phones. Aver-        there are also all those fixed monthly       With Regard to
age residential interstate toll minutes per   charges.
month is 41, i.e., $2 unless you’re too                                                    Architecture and
lazy to change your 1975 AT&T calling         Schulzrinne: The subscribers to 30cent       Economics all VoIP is
plan. Total toll minutes is 90 per month,     per minute plans are probably least likely   not Alike
i.e., $4.50 at competitive consumer rates.    to have broadband Most of them (sub-
I don’t have the complete distribution,       scriber line charge and the like) would      Davis: But, Raj, VoIP isn’t so new, and
but since the median is presumably less,      not be affected if somebody were to          the collapse of PSTN traffic prices, much
getting close to 50% replacement is           replace MCI long distance by Vonage,         of which inter-city traffic, along with
going to be tough.                            for example.                                 mobile telephony, is carried in VoIP,
                                                                                           doesn’t make it cheaper.
Data from http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/         Odlyzko: Another little comment: I am
Common_Carrier/Reports/FCC-State_             not sure Frame Relay has been displaced      For infrastructure not engineered to the
Link/IAD/trend504.pdf                         yet. As of a couple of years ago, industry   psycho-physiological requirements and
                                              revenues were climbing (and carriers         expectations of voice, VoIP can be, and
Vonage and kin obviously make sense if        were making money). I imagine by now         frequently is a worse product and very
you ditch your regular local phone ser-       there has been some cannibalization by       much more expensive, given the cost
vice, but that’s more of a risk and hassle    the Internet, but don’t have recent sta-     in labor, planning, time, fixing, re-engi-
for the typical household with a bunch of     tistics.                                     neering.
phones spread throughout the home.
                                              Sharma: A new technology is adopted          Legacy PBX replacement will be a move
(I don’t know the details, but my impres-     because it is more economical or tech-       reason when that is necessary. Edge-to-
sion is that X.25, frame relay and Telex      nologically superior to the ‘existing way    Edge is VoIP within same provider, or
were displaced by another version of          of doing things’. The latter is, as often    when encapsulated in Sonet which is
forced upgrades: prices that became ever      as not, an identifiable older technology.    trans-provider interoperable out of the
less competitive or were even raised.)        Thus, the process is referred to as one of   gate.
                                              ‘technology substitution’ of new for old
Odlyzko: These are reasonable objec-          technology. Regardless of its ultimate       I think this one is difficult. I can see/hear
tions to my comment (and Raj Sharma’s         superiority, when a new technology is        the difference with digital cable and
assumptions). We’ll see.                      introduced to the market, it is usually      satellite on my HD TV and my excel-
                                              expensive, unfamiliar, unproven, and im-     lent home theatre system (B&W speak-
But a couple of minor corrections: The        perfect. The old technology has already      ers rendering concert halls and movie
long distance usage figures in Henning’s      achieved economies of scale and is well-     theatres rather banal for audio). When
message are way too low. I am swamped,        known, proven and mature. In short, the      Vonage works, which so far has been a
so can’t search for all of them, but          old technology is superior to the new        hundred percent, I notice no difference. I
just looking at interstate switched access    from a ‘business’ perspective. Add to
                                                                 118
                                        The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
know what to expect in terms of quality         fice aggregation NE? Must the telephone       through a Class 5 switch. I do not count
from the PSTN. I use a different standard       handset itself contain the VoIP client        all the Class 4 TDM to VoIP conversion
with my Verizon CDMA and my Cingu-              code in order for it to qualify as a VoIP     ports as end points.
lar Blackberry.                                 end point?
                                                                                              So yes, a subscriber for Vonage, Lingo
The ILEC’s don’t want their own PSTN.           O’Leary: These are good questions. We         count as a VoIP end point.
I don’t know what the war cries are             are involved with a bunch of VoIP trunk-
about.                                          ing projects with carriers (as described      Matson: Raj is right as far as history
                                                in other messages) where nothing chang-       is concerned but in the case of a highly
Sharma: Originally, the question was            es at the handset (or with the service        regulated sector like telecoms, “technol-
‘can you apply Gompertz curve to adop-          model), the carrier is just “converging”      ogy substitution” is paced by vested
tion of VoIP end points?’ And, if so how        their backbone.                               interests and NOT the market of end
long will it take to reach 80%+ adoption                                                      users. The world is currently experienc-
for VoIP end points. Gompertz curve is          On a somewhat related note, and com-          ing the confusion and turmoil caused
an S-curve and the adoption of any ‘new’        menting on another parallel thread with       by the deployment of advanced digital
technology (I know VoIP is not new              the discussion of transition from Frame       technologies over the past two decades
technology, but that is relative) takes the     Relay to IP/MPLS based services, there        by the telcos to shore-up their obsolete
longest for the first 10%-15% adoption.         are service providers that are using the      business models.
After the first 15% adoption there is a         same model as with VoIP trunking. Frame
rapid adoption to saturation (85%+ adop-        relay continues as the service provided       February 28, Coluccio: Metrics are hard
tion being defined as saturation), and the      to the customer, and the backbone is          to come by with respect to actual packet
problem at hand is to estimate how long         transitioned from ATM (or a proprietary       counts on FR networks, as by now I’m
will it take to go from 15% adoption to         technology) to MPLS in the backbone.          certain you don’t need to be told. One
85% adoption. Now I know that we may            So measuring bits carried by frame relay      metric that is both easier to track, and
not have reached 15% adoption for VoIP,         vs. IP vs. MPLS rather than revenues          actually makes a far more significant dif-
but the way Skype is going, this may not        derived from the services can generate        ference to service providers, however, is
be too far. So the estimate was that it will    quite different views of the market.          the amount of revenues that each brings
take 6-8 years after VoIP reaches 15%                                                         to their top lines. According to a report
adoption for end points to reach 85%            Coluccio: That’s a great analogy, Dave,       released in BCR last month, FR revs are
adoption. The reasons for adoption are          which captures the essence of what I was      still about six times those of comparably
almost irrelevant - in fact, historically, in   saying about VoIP end points. To suggest      provisioned (similar traffic bearing) IP
a lot of cases, the reasons are not even        that Vonage qualifies as a VoIP end point,    services today, with 2007-8 viewed as
economics or quality - they could be a          even though it’s extended to the user         the time when they will be more or less
totally different niche application as in       over a ten foot analog cord from an ATA,      the same, with IP taking off beyond that
the case of electricity or transistors. So      and that VoIP from the basement or field      point, leaving FR eventually far behind.
the question is 6-8 years a reasonable          node doesn’t, because the analog cords
estimate given the above?                       on those are 500 ft or 1,500 ft, respect-     Given the radical disparity in per-mega-
                                                vely, doesn’t make any sense to me.           bit pricing between FR and IP, how-
Coluccio: To add some color to the dis-                                                       ever, even knowing the revenue spread
cussion, radio was twenty years or older        Unless a user has direct control of the       between the two is not really a good
before its penetration began to make a          VoIP client software (application) and        indicator of how their actual traffic vol-
difference, and TV about fifteen. What          can manipulate its varied features in a       umes compare. And too, many enterprise
would you say VoIP was? If we use the           converged data-voice manner, it’s not a       intranets use a blend of both FR and IP,
NetSpeak client software launch as a            VoIP end point, in my opinion. In other       often with the integration of the two tak-
start point, then that would make it what,      words, the VoIP client code must be           ing place on the customers’ own prem-
nine or ten years and counting?                 embedded in the end user’s device, or         ises, in order to circumvent the high costs
                                                as close as possible to it, and must be       associated with FR’s predominantly hub
Raj, please define what you mean by a           under the direct control of the user. Other   and spoke design.
VoIP end point, since that seems to be          thoughts on this, anyone?
the point of interest here? Does Vonage                                                       More on Muni Networks
count, when the telephone set used is           Sharma: For call origination, I would
an analog device, hence an analog end           define a VoIP end point as any end point      (Texas and Colorado)
point?                                          from which the originating media gets
                                                                                              Februrary 24 Coluccio: This may ap-
                                                converted to IP with the use of Codecs
How about a regular POTS phone, where                                                         pear off topic at this stage of the discus-
                                                before it ever hits a Class 5 switch if at
the IP to metallic-copper analog conver-                                                      sion, or maybe time-shifted by a month
                                                all it does. For call termination I would
sion is done in the basement? Or out in                                                       or two from when municipal networks
                                                define a VoIP end point as any end point
the field in a pedestal? or in a central of-                                                  were being discussed here. I had to share
                                                where IP media terminates without going

                                                                119
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
these stories here, just the same. The urls   for 10Gb/s soon). When used in concert
below will refer you to two municipal         with fiber in a hybrid fiber/wireless con-     http://www.house.state.tx.us/fx/av/
fiber optic access networks that are being    figuration, these millimeter radios will       committee79/50223p35.ram
rolled out abroad:                            also support the kind of wireless mesh
                                              topologies in some rural areas that would      Hertz: I know you asked about technolo-
Brazil: http://www.siliconinvestor.com/       otherwise be impractical or too expen-         gy issues, but having dealt with, face-to-
readmsg.aspx?msgid=21074902                   sive, even where fiber from incumbent          face, dozens and dozens of communities
                                              providers already exists.                      (POP 2k to 90k) and their so-called IT
China: http://www.siliconinvestor.com/                                                       departments over the last 8 months, tech-
readmsg.aspx?msgid=21074927                   Yokubaitis: Lucky Colorado Municipal           nology really isn’t the issue. The people
                                              entities that can still build such projects.   that make the decisions have the 50,000-
see also Lessig essay at From Wired                                                          foot view and don’t want to get any
Magazine, available online at: http://        I just got back after lunch from the Texas     closer. The IT people, while not clueless,
www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/            Legislature where there is filed a new         tend to be very narrowly focused; they
view.html?pg=5                                Telecom Bill (HB 789) ( deregulating           take the 1-foot view, and don’t want to
                                              Incumbent Tel cos). HB 789 includes            look up. As a result there isn’t much
Hughes: I am supposed to be a 45 min-         language that prohibits a municipality         shared understanding between the two
ute presenter next Friday, March 4th, in      from building or selling telecommunica-        groups.
Colorado at a “City/County Management         tions services OR partnering with any
Association’s “Emerging Wireless Tech-        organization ( wireless service provider)      If you are speaking to IT people, then
nologies: Passing Fads or Permanent           that does.                                     maybe the best bet is demystification. A
Solutions Forum”                                                                             history lesson may be appropriate, with
                                              The “partnering” part may go away be-          history being more than the last 10 years.
50 City and County IT types or Adminis-       fore a final version surfaces for a House      After all, the common use of the term
trators will be there. About 4 ‘City’ Case    vote. But the part about the city owning,      “wireless” pre-dates “radio.” People
Studies will be presented also, and a         operating or selling telecommunications        have been using wireless for more than
panel discussion. Most the cities attend-     (wireless) services other than for internal    100 years, so we certainly aren’t talking
ing are under 150,000                         municipal services will probably stay.         about fads or new discoveries. There is
                                              “Vamos ver.”                                   nothing new about the physics (disre-
I am supposed to talk about - ‘future                                                        garding nano-small and cosmo-large),
wireless technologies’ (which, of course,     Cities are up in arms. Texas Municipal         and there are certain physical law limits
might be applicable to City or County         League of Cities is roused. Private Com-       (same caveat) that apply regardless of
Governments                                   munity Wireless initiatives are up in          whose technology implementation you
                                              arms.                                          choose.
What wireless technologies on the hori-
zon do YOU think would be of real value       The Texas Legislature, or at least mem-        By grounding the IT people, they can
to the operations of local governments        bers on the Regulatory Committee hold-         better connect with the people that will
like these?                                   ing hearings on the House Bill 789, does       make the decisions to invest (or not).
                                              not want “tax money and municipalities         And like most management decisions, it
Cheponis: Two main technologies need          competing with private money and in-           isn’t the best technology that wins.
exploring: meshed 802.11n (or g or b)         dustry.”
and Wi-Max. I don’t believe the Wi-Max                                                       Forster: I think at this stage there’s no
hype, but it’ll no doubt be useful in some    Who does? However, small towns across          need talk about the technology at a City/
situations. Wi-Fi is here to stay, it’s the   this vast homeland of ours (Texas) are         County Management Association, or at
Ethernet of the Airwaves.                     desperate waiting for the promise of           least no need to bring up an alphabet
                                              broadband to finally arrive via entrenched     soup of protocols. You can leave that for
Coluccio: The merits of WiFi, and the         Incumbent telcos. Unfortunately, many          a separate discussion with the technical
questions surrounding WiMAX, not-             areas of Texas are closer to remote parts      people. I think you ought to talk about
withstanding, Dave, you may want to           of the Third World. There is no economic       the role of government or other quasi-
think about some of the enabling and          counterpoise to the juggernaut Incum-          public bodies — merchants associations,
ancillary wireless technologies that will     bent except the municipal governments.         homeowner associations, etc. , and how
foster backhaul in some cases, and direct     They want access to something other            they don’t need to become ISP’s per se’,
high speed access to schools, municipal       than high cost dial up i.e. Broadband,         but can still play a major role in physical
buildings, libraries and hospitals, etc.,     that they have been hearing about for          layer through siting, permits, etc., and
in other cases. Such as some of the mil-      years.                                         potentially in the financing.
limeter radios like those being supplied
by Terabeam and Gigabeam at this time         Coluccio: Here’s the full-length video on      Editor’s Note: at http://wifinetnews.
that will support gigabit speeds (slated      Wednesday’s hearings in Texas:                 com/archives/004870.html on Feb 21
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                                     The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
Chuck Larrieu asked:                         authorized and the first radios came out       a change. Or run their ass out of town
                                             - about 1990.                                  when they go bankrupt. I have my Voice
Tell us why is muni wireless a good idea?                                                   over IP, both with SIP, , and can connect
Good answers do not include “because         Everywhere the story has been the same         up to a SATELLITE IP feed any time I
it’s kewl”, “because I think its a good      - the small and rural towns beg the Telcos     need it. I don’t need Qwest for anything
idea”, “because the poor need it” and        to bring broadband to them for their eco-      anymore. They had their chance when
other selfish or pretentiously altruistic    nomic and educational future. The Telcos       the Internet first came in. They failed
responses. The utility argument is not a     have dragged their feet, tried to obstruct     then. They had their chance to USE cost
good answer either, because the response     any one ELSE bringing broadband, and           effective wireless for the last 12 years.
is “why not privatize utilities?” Another    then when they have been forced to have        They failed at that too. They had their
response is “why not socialize other pri-    charged obscene rates ($2,000 a month          chance with Voice over IP. They still are
vate businesses that government deems        for a T-1 forty road miles from Alamosa        failing compared with ANY private SIP
important to the economy or beneficial       to San Luis School. While *I* put up a         VOIP company. Now they deserve to
to the poor?”                                pair of Unlicensed radios that cost less       die. That’s called survival of the fittest
                                             than $2000 each and got the same thing         where I come from, even if a hell of a
Hughes: Here is my answer to the per-        30 miles FREE between the radios. In           lot of Republicans say they believe it,
fectly reasonable question Larrieu posed     1995! Where wireless is concerned, the         but then feed at the government trough
on Glenn Fleischman’s forum. I have          RBOCs are not only greedy, and too             themselves.
found that a woman Colorado Senate leg-      stupid to see the coming market, they are
islator, Jennifer Viega, Democrat no less,   also more often than not incompetent.          And if Municipalities deploying Wire-
has sponsored SB-05-152 which would                                                         less can be their Pall Bearers, so much
all but block any Colorado town from         I hope the Muni-Wireless bandwagon             the better. The Muni’s will learn soon
setting up their own municipal wireless      really gets rolling, and for the first time    enough its not as easy as it seems, and be
(or any other type) public network. The      REALLY give the State-Anointed Telcos          happy, in many cases to invite in private
Colorado Municipal League is against         competition. That will get them off their      Wireless companies, subsidize them with
that Bill, for good reason. Consequently,    ass faster than ANY anti-muni legisla-         tax breaks, red-tape cutting, and support
I am not only going to educate the 50        tion.                                          just like they do all OTHER job produc-
Colorado Town/County Government reps                                                        ing businesses.
at the Wireless Conference next Friday, I    And I frankly don’t give a damn if
am going to yank the bell of every Colo-     municipalities are in competition with         Coluccio: Dave, Just in case you’re not
rado Springs Senator and House member,       private Wireless ISPs, because very very       angry enough, read this one, where Bell
whether Republican or Democrat and get       few Wireless ISPs can on their own             South blackmails Louisiana to kill muni
them to kill that stupid bill.               connect up complete towns and cities.          fiber project:
                                             They don’t have the capital, the scale,
“There’s one damned good reason,             or the highly profitable marketplace that      h t t p : / / w w w. t e c h d i r t . c o m / a r t i -
Chuck, why NO State Legislature should       is needed before any Venture Capitalist        cles/20050225/1232223_F.shtml
be allowed to block Municipal Wire-          will part with HIS money. And I AM a
less networks. And that is because the       wireless ISP in Colorado Springs. I’d          On Wireless for
Telephone Companies have TOTALLY             LOVE for the City of Colorado Springs
FAILED to bring Broadband services to        to do Municipal Wireless; I’ll have more       Voice and Interactive
every town in the US, even though they       business extending wireless to places no       Applications – QoS
are guaranteed rate-of-return monopolies     city wireless network is going to go and       OpEx and CapEx
at the local loop level! And even though     make more money if they DO than if
‘Universal IP Access’ is the Policy of the   they DON’T.
                                                                                            Implications
United States Government! AND they
                                                                                            On February 25 Roberts: We have tested
charge Universal Service Fund Access         Make the Internet Pie Bigger, don’t fight
                                                                                            WiFi (802.11b and g) for many months
fees out of YOUR pocketbook, AND if          over the Wireless pieces.
                                                                                            to so if we could use it for Skype or
they had any brains they could extend IP
                                                                                            other VoIP to PDA’s. The problems with
wireless to EVERY farmhouse in spread        If ANY of the large telephone companies
                                                                                            voice and 802.11 are severe in a loaded
out Colorado for PEANUTS, and charge         were real risk-taking profit or loss private
                                                                                            environment. 802.11 is based on slot-
$50 a month for every remote customer        businesses, and did NOT have govern-
                                                                                            ted Aloha (which I invented in 1971)
who would be glad to pay it.                 ment filling their pockets by regulation,
                                                                                            to request a transmission slot. If there
                                             there might be a case for holding back
                                                                                            is other competing traffic, the transmit-
I have been actively engaged in bring-       muni’s. But they are NOT real business-
                                                                                            ter waits and tries again. There is an
ing broadband to the most Rural areas        es. They are fat slothful Dinosaurs who
                                                                                            exponential backoff technique so that
of America, including the most difficult     require governments to stay in business.
                                                                                            one may be delayed for more than most
and poorest areas of huge Colorado from
                                                                                            voice systems (including Skype) can tol-
the day unlicensed wireless was FCC          Make the damned Telcos compete for

                                                              121
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
erate without blackout periods (drops).        Southworth: This is an article quoting       need. While DSL – sans fiber-to-the-
This makes 802.11 almost useless in a          my business partner that I think is ap-      premise – can’t match the size of cable‚s
heavy use area. I would hope that load         propriate to our discussions                 broadband pipe, it can level the playing
control could fix this but I have no proof     http://www.vonmag.com/issue/2005/feb/        field by delivering low latency QoS with
yet. I do know that at home and at work,                                                    benefits that go well beyond just letting
802.11 (either b or g) is too bad for me       VoIP/Video Quality of Service, by Rich-      two gamers have at it.
to use wireless voice over it. If instead, I   ard Grigonis
use a wired computer, and Skype works                                                       “This is something for the business en-
perfectly. I expect the same problem was       Size doesn‚t matter– at least for service    vironment that would make the voice-
the problem some of you were having            providers carrying multiplayer online        over-IP experience better” Macauley
on cable where congestion grows each           games. OK, it matters a little, but in the   says. “We need to make a business case
month.                                         scheme of the “my pipe’s bigger than         for quality of service and we can do that
                                               your pipe” trash talk that‚s transpired      in a business environment pretty easily.”
Note that at first, at low congestion,         between cable and telcos for years, size
802.11 for voice works great. So many          is practically irrelevant. All you need is   Cable maintains a nice lead in high-speed
people will then install it, later finding     broadband.                                   data networking but can‚t rest on its lau-
out that data works well, but voice is                                                      rels because the telcos, with a platform
hopeless.                                      Quality of service, on the other hand,       more widely viewed as data-friendly, are
                                               does matter. That‚s why the cable and        creeping up. So cable is steadily com-
On the other hand, no matter how much          telco industries are racing to see who       pleting details on a next-level DOCSIS
I dislike the central design of Wi-Max         can deliver data with low latency, no jit-   1.1 specification– PacketCable Multi-
or cellular, both have been designed to        ter and no delay. The one with the most      media (PCMM) – that covers a variety
support highly interactive data (voice,        reliable connection will likely be the de    of needs, including setting rules for how
etc) with low delay variance once the          facto carrier of choice for what’s now a     operators can segment their broadband
call is established. Thus WiMax, used in       niche market of gamers that‚s expected       networks to make room for dedicated
open spectrum, may in fact have some           to grow exponentially in size and value      gamers. [SNIP] . . . .
future value.                                  this year.
                                                                                            QoS OpEx Economics
WiFi (802.11) might be fixed with some         To be clear, today’s broadband pipe is
protocol changes. It will not happen           adequate for interactive gaming and it‚s     - Flows or UCLP?
with the currently deployed cheep boxes        being used today without much worry.
                                               Big-name gaming companies like Sony          Bill St. Arnaud: Technically this [what
but smart vendors could perhaps fix the
                                               and Microsoft already „have our own          the BCR piece above says about QoS
delay variance problem.
                                               infrastructure; it’s open to all broadband   and OpEx] may be true, but rarely do
                                               companies” according to Sony Computer        you see a systemic comparison of QoS
These points are not well understood
                                               Entertainment spokesman Ryan Bowl-           and OPEX versus an alternative of in-
yet, but it is worth warning peopleabout
them.                                          ing.                                         creased CAPEX to significantly increase
                                                                                            the bandwidth. The OPEX costs of man-
Coluccio: I want to call attention to ar-      And that’s enough for today’s gamers.        aging QoS are horrendous and, because
ticle in the January 10 issue of Network                                                    they are so labor intensive are only going
World “Voice over Wireless LAN” by             But best-effort broadband connections        to increase. CAPEX costs per bit of
David Newman http://www.nwfusion.              are less than optimal; real-time interac-    bandwidth continue to drop dramatically.
com/reviews/2005/011005rev.html. The           tive gaming demands a level of control       Many carriers feel they will be a charge
author took part in extensive tests using      that exceeds even the most stringent         a premium for QoS that will more than
various vendor’s access points, with and       VoIP requirements.                           offset the OPEX costs. But, it is hard
without QoS. Without QoS being in-                                                          to imagine how carriers will recover a
voked, and traffic levels being constant       “For voice-over-IP you have to have          premium for a service like voice that
for all tests performed, only one or two       the round trip time be 300 milliseconds      has never seen as a premium service by
talkers could coexist in the same zone at      or less. Gamers are looking for about a      the public. Can you imagine carriers try-
                                               30-millisecond latency; something 10         ing to sell a service that ensures greater
quality levels that were livable. Beyond
                                               times better than what we’re doing for       probability of having better sound qual-
that number quality deteriorated rapidly.
                                               voice-over-IP,” says Peter Macaualey,        ity or a higher likelihood of not being
With QoS invoked, the number increased
                                               an independent consultant from Res-          dropped?
to, I believe, 5 or 6 users. Unfortunately
this article is not posted to the BCR site     ton, Virginia, who serves on the DSL
                                               Forum’s technical committee.                 Odlyzko: Very well put. QoS introduces
yet, but if you can get your hands on
                                                                                            new levels of complexity into an already
the hard copy it’s worth the read, in my
opinion.                                       The DSL Forum is upgrading its VoIP          complex system.
                                               QoS specifications to meet what gamers

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                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
Roberts (to Bill St. Arnaud): I’m not          in other packet information.                   An external system is where a customer
sure what I said that triggered your                                                          needs end-to-end QoS and wants a SLA.
comments about QoS Capex and Opex.             I realize it will take time for me to prove    To my mind this is very costly and expen-
However, I am happy to comment on              these points, but do not assume that the       sive because of the SLA management is-
the issue. However, to clarify what my         structure of routers has to remain as it has   sues regardless of whether you use flows,
comment was about, it was that Wi-Fi           for 30 years and that with a new design,       MPLS with premium service, WRED,
or 802.11 has serious problems with            that the cost and complexity does not          TDM SONET or other techniques.
delay variation in practical use. I only       need to appear in the same place as be-
had same small private experiments but         fore. I know full well you understand this     However, an alternate approach is to give
the paper referenced by Henning Schul-         point. So please accept the possibility        the OPEX knobs to the customer so that
zrinne confirms my concern, only a             that QoS can reduce cost, not increase it.     can deploy and manage their own QoS.
few (10-30) VoIP calls are possible over       I will prove it to you very soon. (Andrew,     This gives the customer what they want
802.11b and with normal computer FTP,          the same for your comments).                   without incurring a huge OPEX over-
very few will work acceptably. 802.11g                                                        head for the carrier.
would reduce the delay, but has a much         I really do worry however, about QoS at
shorter range and thus coverage. This          the wireless edge, since the 802.11 pro-       This is what UCLP provides - by using
should be of great concern for cities that     tocol is imbedded in the wireless devices      web services we can let the customer
are installing 802.11 across the city if       and cannot be improved easily. People          control their specific knobs for manag-
they think it will support WiFi phones.        may assume the same performance as             ing and controlling end-to-end QoS. This
The same holds true for Motorola and           on the wired network, and this is not yet      will work with flows as well.
Skype if they hope to use cheap phones         the case.
using 802.11.                                                                                 Roberts: Bill, I agree with all you say
                                               St. Arnaud (to Roberts): It is not the         here. There are two ways for the cus-
Now, back to your economic point, Bill.        technical costs of OPEX that are my            tomer to set his own QoS, one which you
I now believe that routers built to route      concern - it is the human costs of manag-      mention is a Web service, and a second is
flows rather than routing every packet,        ing SLAs and billing systems that QoS          to allow some in-flow QoS signaling, ei-
eliminate a vast amount of complexity,         entails.                                       ther Diffserv or more generally as I have
reflected both in CAPEX and OPEX.                                                             done in the TIA and ITU QoS signaling
When flows are routed, it is easy to man-      In the wireless example, there is no ques-     specifications. But I agree that billing
age the QoS of the flow. The more the          tion that today’s WiFi has limited capac-      should be simple flat rate based on the
flow is like a fixed rate TDM flow the         ity to support QoS. One solution is to         web setup of a profile. PSTN history
easier is it is to manage and support low      implement QoS so that those customers          forced me to do call by call billing when
loss and low delay variation. The more a       who have contracted with you to provide        I started Telenet back in 1975 (Sprint
flow is like TCP with big bursts and un-       a service are guaranteed priority when         today) and the billing cost as much as
controlled growth, the harder it is to sup-    they make voice calls over your WiFi           the service. Thanks for clarifying your
port and manage. Perhaps the higher cost       system. The other approach is to install       point.
of managing TCP over VoIP can be offset        a lot more WiFi nodes. Assuming every-
by the use of cheaper excess bandwidth,        thing else being equal, for a given num-       Coluccio: to St. Arnaud - I agree with
but overall, as you know, fiber bandwidth      ber of Wifi VoIP customers, which would        your explanation for applications that
is the lesser of the costs today. So I would   be the cheaper solution? This analogy          leverage abundance, as in those cases
contend, that bit for bit, a constant TDM      can be extended to so many other net-          you’ve described in the past where uni-
stream like VoIP should be cheaper than        work examples where it is perceived that       versities and large enterprises were pro-
WWW or FTP bits. I cannot predict the          QoS is the only answer.                        vided their own lambdas, which I’m
charging model that will be used, I am                                                        sure could commute to other situations,
only looking at the CAPEX and OPEX             There are basically two types of QoS           as well, where very high capacity L1/2
cost. Carriers will charge what the mar-       systems: internal and external                 links are managed by end users who
ket will bear, and if voice sells at a pre-                                                   have access to the web services you’ve
mium, they may charge a premium. But           An internal system is one that may be          mentioned, which, in the case you cite is
as flow routers become more widely used        used by a service provider at the edge         namely UCLP or equivalent.
and the competitive market settles down,       of a network so that can prioritize traf-
the price per bit may be the same for any      fic within their network - but not offer       Does this scale to the average end user
QoS. That is because, managing QoS             SLAs to their customers. This is some-         sitting in their living room, study or of-
only requires discarding and scheduling        thing MSOs want to deploy in order to          fice at home? What I’m about to state
correctly, two much easier things than         support triple play on the cable system        holds true for the end sitting behind an
routing and DOS on every packet. Done          between the head end and the customer.         enterprise desktop computer as well as
correctly, there is no increased OPEX to       This makes a lot of sense and is relatively    the residential user sitting at home.
set up or manage QoS. It is a specified by     inexpensive
the sender, either in the DiffServ mark or                                                    Consider the total personnel-hours/days/
                                                                123
                       COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
years that would be involved, if you’re       stalled optical fiber for the first time in          is not sufficient to make claims like the
concerned about human costs, if every         the world - 126 km-span transmission                 preceding one without stating where they
user in a large corporation or residen-       trial on the JGN II testbed -                        apply.
tial serving area had to adjust for their
own QoS by manually setting up macro          h t t p : / / w w w. n t t . c o . j p / n e w s /   Bill St. A’s assertions in the above give
parameters of their own, and adjusting        news05e/0503/050308.html                             and take, where he stated that the com-
periodically for trends and shifts.                                                                plexities and costs of QoS were best
                                              [With demonstrations like this it is                 left to the end user while offering the
The sum total of all users’ time and          not inconceivable to imagine a world                 UCLP approach as an example, were
labors would be such that outsourcing         where every research institution, if not             correct, with the following caveat. They
those burdens to the service provider         researcher, would have its own long                  were only correct if one chose to view
would make eminent sense. A kind of           haul 10 Gbps wavelength. ROADM and                   large enterprise on their own fiber nets
equilibrium would be reached, similar         ULH techniques may also allow all the                or RENs using lambda based networks,
to what we have today, where the carrier      active optical elements for wavelength               and the “users” in those instances were
is responsible for not only the channel’s     insertion and removal be located at cus-             also the administrators of those larger
raw capacity, but for governing flow          tomer premises, while the core of the                organizations who had high capacity
prioritization and packet loss for all ser-   network consists of solely broadband                 bandwidth swaths at their disposal.
vices that share the common channel.          optical amplifiers and ROADMs. This
                                              will allow systems integrators and other             But Bill’s assertions in this regard tend
I don’t want to appear to be nit pickin’      organizations to deploy condominium                  to lean toward being incorrect, in my
the points you made, for they are valid       wavelength networks where very partici-              opinion when we focus on individual,
in the network settings that you’ve de-       pating institution or enterprise can man-            highly-regimented end users who are
scribed. I am stating, however, that dif-     age its own set of long haul wavelengths.            only one among millions either at home
ferent networking domains demand dif-         Thanks to Olivier Martin and Harvey                  or at work, as though they were stamped
ferent forms of attention and treatment,      Newman for this pointer -- BSA]                      out recipients in the reference design of
and where you have a residential serving                                                           a larger provider’s (enterprise or carrier)
area at the edge (or office complex sit-      Hughes: There’s no free technological                sphere of influence.
ting on the edge) consisting of tens of       lunch. And this is true even with free,
thousands or millions of subscribers all      open source software OR with ‘unli-                  In the absence of a larger provider’s
being fed from the same cookie-cut ref-       censed’ wireless, or virtual ‘giveaway’              design, however, I believe Dave’s char-
erence design pipes at the access layer       (extremely low cost) chip sets.                      acterization of chaos ensuing to be cor-
- all of them being too narrow in band-                                                            rect, especially in triple play circles and
width, by nature, to qualify for the ben-     Not only do you have increasing com-                 where organizations’ VPNs and other en-
efits afforded by abundance - economies       plexity, BUT you also have a real, and               terprise-specific applications come into
are best achieved by the service provider,    increasing, TIME cost (labor, which in               play, but not necessarily when e-to-e and
and not the end user, performing policy       some quarters = $$$) to master this stuff,           p-to-p applications are considered, al-
enforcement and QoS.                          make it work, make it interoperate, make             though the more isoochronous-like those
                                              it standard, make it compatible. By indi-            tend to be, the more they fit into the for-
Since I mentioned abundance, I should         viduals, by organizations, by schools and            mer category, as well.
remind myself, and perhaps others here        universities, by small companies, by big
as well, that abundance is merely a rela-     companies, by governments.                           At the expense of appearing redundant
tive term, and what might be designed                                                              over this point, for any discussion of this
into a network today as an abundant           [For those contemplating municiple wire-             nature to be meaningful, one has to be
resource, such as bandwidth, quickly          less systems], it will be like a Big Wire-           specific about the network venue, who
becomes the gating factor in the future       less Candy Store in the Sky. Until they              its tenants are, and which dimension of
as application-creep continues to claim       try to implement them all in their town,             networking is being discussed.
more cross-sectional real estate in the       thinking they are free or cheap costing
pipeline.                                     them little in their city budgets. Except            Technical Aspects of
                                              time. And THEN begin to see why tech-
Editor’s Note: Meanwhile the optical          nology and communications companies                  VoIP Traffic Shaping on
network progress we wrote about at the        exist, as well as licensed radios.                   Wi-fi Network
beginning of 2005 shows no sign of
slowing down. On Tuesday March 15,            Coluccio: Dave’s comments while cor-                 On February 26, David Reed replied to
Bill St. Arnaud posted the following to       rect in their own right, have caused me              Larry Roberts technical 802.11 ques-
his Canarie mail list.                        to recall the discussion on the cost of              tion: Larry - just to clarify something
                                              QoS being one of network opex and                    you said. The 802.11 standard supports
FYI, 1,000 channel WDM transmission           capex costs and, as I asserted, time costs           slotted Aloha operation, but it is wrong
is successfully demonstrated in an in-        on the part of end users, as well. But it            to say that it *is* slotted Aloha. 802.11

                                                                    124
                                       The COOK Report on Internet May June 2005
supports both DCF and PCF operation.           during the contention period (as called         didn’t base my statements only on that
DCF (distributed control function) is          for) and then has nothing to send during        book, which was written by long-time
slotted aloha, and suffers the problems        the next content-free (polling) period,         chairs of the 802.11 committee, and vet-
you refer to.                                  wasting the poll. Also, with silence sup-       ted by implementers at Intersil and other
                                               pression, about half of the PCF polls are       primary implementors. I based them on
PCF (point control function) is a central-     wasted on temporarily silent stations.          actual empirical observations carried out
ly controlled polling protocol, with every                                                     by me and a student in exploring the ac-
transmitter getting turns allocated by the     Reed: As you certainly know, polled net-        tual MAC layer of installed APs at MIT.
so called “access point”. Actual 802.11        works are NOT slotted Aloha, and are ap-        I may have even looked at Netgear and
networks - the ones you call “cheap”,          propriate for voice. In fact, that is exactly   Linksys APs at my home in the process.
even the “cheapest” ones - actually use        what WiMAX is - a polled network.               PCF was present in all cases. This was
PCF whenever an access point is present.                                                       not about VoIP, so I bow to Henning’s
Even the $100 access points use PCF,           Schulzrinne: Unfortunately, in practice,        experience with VoIP problems on WiFi.
and tell their clients to use PCF.             the voice capacity of PCF is actually
                                               lower than for DCF, at least under the          I didn’t find a reference to PCF not being
Schulzrinne: I’m sorry, but this is wrong.     standard voice models we’ve used.               implemented in that paper, Henning. I
All access points today use DCF, with                                                          would like to see evidence that access
PCF rare to non-existent. As far as we’ve      Reed: So there is no difference result-         points on the market do not implement
been able to determine, Cisco access           ing from the Medium Access Protocol             PCF at all. I have had graduate students
points are capable of doing PCF, but           between WiFi and WiMax regarding its            studying the actual frames sent in our
we’ve never seen it being used. (Also,         appropriateness for VoIP (SIP, , ...).          access points, and that work (last year)
DCF uses CSMA/CA, which is related to                                                          showed PCF present in the access points.
Aloha, but not the same thing. In Aloha,       Where there are differences, it results         So I would be interested in makes, mod-
the sender can’t listen to the channel; in     from overloading the local access capac-        els, and actual frame traces that show
CSMA/CA, it does.) This makes sense            ity. It is trivially easy to overload a 10      pure DCF operation of a commercial ac-
since data transfer performance for PCF        Mb/sec network with a single file trans-        cess point (say a Linksys).
is dismal since a large fraction of the        fer. And the situation is worse when your
bandwidth is wasted on polling.                “uplink” (as in a home network) is only         It is a different question whether the par-
                                               a few hundred kb/sec, matched to a 10           ticular PCF implementation in an access
Reed: Quoting from the 802.11 Hand-            Mb/s local access network.                      point supports isochronous traffic well.
book (IEEE), “with proper planning, the                                                        The phenomenon you describe (of units
PCF is able to deliver a near-isochronous      Schulzrinne: And SIP works fine in              sending frames into the DCF period of
service to the stations on the polling list.   networks where the average load on the          the MAC protocol, instead of waiting
... While the PCF is an optional part of       bottleneck link is 50% or less, and the         until the next PCF) would indeed cause
the IEEE 802.11 standard, *every sta-          biggest packets are a small number of           problems due to CSMA/CA issues.
tion* is required to be able to respond to     milliseconds long on the bottleneck link.
the operation of the PCF”. That means,                                                         Roberts: I want to thank both Henning
access points are not required, but if an      The bottleneck link is rarely the wire-         Schulzrinne and David Reed for helping
access point is present, every station is      less access link, but can be the next link      me understand what the problems with
required to operate in a polled mode.          upstream. This isn’t the result of slot-        802.11 for VoIP are and why I have not
                                               ted aloha at all, but is instead the result     been able to make it work. Clearly there
Schulzrinne: Except that APs don’t actu-       of overloading the upstream link input          are settings to optimize but even then
ally use it. We have worked extensively        queues, creating a transient, but slow-         FTP in the same zone (which we have
in this area recently; see our WCNC            resolving traffic jam in the buffers on the     lots of) makes delay grow quickly. Also
paper, for example, for PCF extensions.        source side of the upstream link. Nor is        the number of phones is limited far more
(http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~hgs/pa-           it particularly due to wireless vs. wired       than the “10 Mbps” would suggest. But
pers/Kawa0503_Improving.pdf)                   link reliability.                               from this information, perhaps we can
                                                                                               control the traffic to make it work, up to
This is just an example, and a rather          The same problem with voice happens             the natural limit. Thanks!
specialized one; there are many more           in wired LANs with under provisioned
papers, some cited in that paper, on VoIP      upstream paths, and the same solutions          And on March 1 David Reed: Henning, et
capacity for DCF (and a few on PCF).           work, but they are not implemented in           al. - I have spent a few days in my spare
The problem with some PCF-is-better            the LAN equipment in either case. They          time doing exactly what I often suggest
papers is that they assume that the PCF        must be implemented in the endpoints or         others do, checking with my own hands
interval and the voice interval are per-       the router queues, or both.                     and eyes. Executive summary - you are
fectly lined up. Nothing ever is, so you                                                       right, and I was wrong. The vast major-
get into the situation where the station       Reed (in response to Schulzrinne above):        ity of access points I scanned claim that
misses the poll by just a tad, then sends      I’m ok to discover I’m wrong, but I             they don’t implement PCF, so they don’t

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                      COOK Network Consultants, 431 Greenway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 USA
support a polling mode, and instead are     the past couple of days, for which I am       focus to the conditions that exist on last
CSMA/CA. [the work last year had me         grateful to everyone here.                    mile residential services today, where so-
looking at 802.11 beacon frames, but                                                      called broadband services are supported
whether PCF was enabled didn’t matter,      Larry, with the exception of the WiFi         by DSL, Cable Modem and even some
so I guess I misremembered :-( ] Kismet     part of this discussion, when you refer       forms of FTTP (the bandwidth scarcity
is a quite reasonable tool for examining    to flows, I take it you mean MPLS flows       perpetuating variety), are used.
the protocols implemented by access         between the edges of the ‘Net, as defined
points, to see who claims to implement      by the public facing edges of ISPs. Edge-     These exceptions to the qualities enjoyed
the PCF function on cheap access points,    to-edge, in other words, and through the      over backbone flows hold doubly true
as opposed to DCF.                          core, so as not to confuse the term ‘edge’    for the growing number of end users
                                            as meaning the customer end node.             who are now opting for bundled (3P)
When one wants to pursue the engi-                                                        services and receiving squeezed-down
neering truth (rather than the marketing    I follow your logic and agree with it,        droppings of bandwidth on their last
FUD) about networking technologies,         but at the same time feel compelled to        mile connections. Clearly two-thirds of
it is very useful to do hands-on explora-   caution that edge to edge activity that is    the RBOC’s promised IPTV subscriber
tion. (I remember the many demos of         internal to the cloud is only one, albeit a   connections are going to depend heavily
“bad quality over VoIP” by marketroids      major, part of the end-to-end connection.     on Microsoft’s coming across with their
that came down to the fact that most PCs    I have to go back to Bill’s earlier state-    compression algorithms in a timely man-
had problematic sound cards and driv-       ment to make a point that I feel applies      ner, in order that those subscribers’ DSL
ers and bad VoIP software that didn’t       equally to some of your last post as it       connections are able to actually support
understand how to use those devices in      does to his.                                  all that the carriers are saying they will.
low-latency mode).
                                            Bill, you stated:                             All of which means, that all of the i’s
The mystery of networks to users, and                                                     and t’ have yet to be dotted and crossed
sometimes even “experts”, often leads       “... but rarely do you see a systemic         on just how Microsoft’s IPTV platform
to treating the somewhat inaccessible       comparison of QoS and OPEX versus an          will accommodate video, yet. And in
phenomena on networks as “magic” -          alternative of increased CAPEX to sig-        recognition of this, Verizon has actu-
confusing correlation with causation, es-   nificantly increase the bandwidth.”           ally stated that their initial roll outs will
pecially if one has a prejudice (wireless                                                 support analog video over fiber until the
is unreliable) that makes the explanation   You’re apparently basing your assump-         IPTV capabilities are fully developed
plausible and confirms the prejudice.       tions on the existence of statistically-      and delivered.
However, a few minutes (or hours) with      friendly large flows within the Internet
Ethereal or Kismet often leads to a dif-    proper that support traditional IP service    The problem isn’t really that onerous
ferent conclusion, if you have the eye      mixes, where the cohabitation of best         for Verizon, yet, because most of their
for it.