If Cook had any creativity he’d “one more thing” the iCloud home server. iOS, lots of hard drive space, behind a firewall/proxy for sharing content. Charge a grand for the thing and keep the monthly fees. Get the customers to pay for your infrastructure.
5 posts • joined 17 Nov 2018
Full disclosure: I work for one of those horrible US ISPs.
The only real advantage cable companies have over new entrants is that cable companies already have paid-for infrastructure in place. The bulk of cable systems were constructed with Michael Milken's junk bonds and accelerated depreciation schedules in the 1980s and are just upgraded from time to time as necessary. Internet service was just an incremental revenue add-on at first so the risk level was pretty low.
Any new entrant has to build from scratch. And they have to convince people who already have service to switch. Believe it or not, there are people who are satisfied with their current service and don't want/care enough to switch to a new provider, especially the light users who pay the same as heavy users but use a fraction of the bandwidth (ideally the users who check their Facebook and email once a day are the perfect customers, not the hard core torrent freaks and gamers who are going to switch as soon as they see your trucks working in the area). As long as the investors are willing to put up with the burn rate you can run an ISP, but you'll have the worst of all possible worlds: Huge cap-ex, extreme users and serious marketing expense. Oh and if you itch enough to make the incumbent scratch they'll drop their margin to 0 and you'll be the expensive option to boot.
Comcast has been encouraging customers to rent/buy their Xi6 modems and one of the big selling points is that it is easy to manage clients. That seems like a fairly good solution for the majority of users, the ISP manages the security and other updates, the customer gets an app to manage their kid's use and who gets access, etc. Of course power users won't like that, but they probably don't need help anyway.
I'd like to see a test/certification offered for users who don't want the basics. If you know how to RTFM and update your boxes from time to time you get to have more access. But then someone would have to manage the certifications and of course then there's still policing to make sure you really are managing your network. Of course my Ubiquti network upgrades this year make management fairly easy, and remote management should be possible. But that would require someone paying for a network mechanic instead of depending on the manufacturers or themselves.