[e2e] end of interest
David P. Reed
dpreed at reed.com
Mon Apr 21 13:29:15 PDT 2008
James Kempf wrote:
> When I say "for free", what I meant was that when I get my bill, what
> does it say I'm paying for?
Mine says 1 month of "Internet service" - whatever that is. :-)
But seriously, I agree that we often don't talk about the bill as
including "options to connect" in pairs, groups, etc. that the
*switching* aspect of Internet service affords us. In finance, option
value inherent in purchasing a commodity contract is understood, so we
ought to presume that option value related to switching is understood as
bundled with the purchase of commodity Internet service.
Obviously I think that switching and routing is valuable or I wouldn't
have written about the economics of group-forming networks, and I
wouldn't have agreed with Metcalfe that the N^2 law measures a form of
utility that is separate from mere fixed-line bitrate.
However, I think when we customers buy Internet service (or for that
matter, cable TV service) we understand at least implicitly we are not
paying for a flood of bits alone. The value of flexibility to choose
what bits we want to send and receive, and where we want to send and
receive them at any instant of time is something a service subscriber
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