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Cloud Businesses United States

Poor US Infrastructure Threatens the Cloud 177

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-the-best dept.
snydeq writes "Thanks to state-sponsored cable/phone duopolies, U.S. broadband stays slow and expensive — and will probably impede cloud adoption, writes Andrew C. Oliver. 'As a patriotic American, I find the current political atmosphere where telecom lobbyists set the agenda to be a nightmare. All over the world, high-end fiber is being deployed while powerful monopolies in the United States work to prevent it from coming here,' Oliver writes. 'I expect that cloud adoption will closely match broadband speed, cost, and availability curves. Those companies living in countries where the broadband monopoly is protected will adopt the cloud at a slower rate than those with competitive markets and municipal fiber. There's a good chance U.S. firms will fall into that group.'"
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Poor US Infrastructure Threatens the Cloud

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  • Don't worry (Score:4, Informative)

    by blackpaw (240313) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:02PM (#44898883)

    Here in Australia we just elected in a right wing government, they are intent on fucking up our Broadband network as well to protect entrenched interests such as Murdock and Foxtel, so you're not alone.

    • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Capsaicin (412918) * on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:38PM (#44899081)

      Here in Australia we just elected in a right wing government, they are intent on fucking up our Broadband network as well to protect entrenched interests such as Murdock [sic] and [sic] Foxtel, so you're not alone.

      From the PoV of established media players, the threat of to-the-home-fibre, that the erstwhile Labor govt was implementing, as opposed to the fibre-to-the-node, copper-to-the-home system we will now be getting, is that it would further to erode traditional business models. The traditional producer-consumer relationship is already strained by the self-publication the web, via blogs and social media, has introduced. Reproducing this on a hardware level with a network of peers replacing a company servers - consumer clients model ramps this up to a whole new level.

      The requirements of vested interests play well into the lack of scientific/technological awareness of Abbott and many of colleagues (excluding Turnbull obviously).

      • by citizenr (871508)

        Reproducing this on a hardware level with a network of peers replacing a company servers - consumer clients model ramps this up to a whole new level.

        The requirements of vested interests play well into the lack of scientific/technological awareness of Abbott and many of colleagues (excluding Turnbull obviously).

        What network of peers? NBN has INTERNAL data caps build in. Exchanging data with your neighbor next door counts same as downloading goat pr0n from Romania.

        NBN was never a threat to client/server hosting model, it was planned from the start as a joke. Lets build super fast broadband network, and then lets limit it to 50GB per month while pretending its about limited interconnects with the rest of the world..

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Here in Australia we just elected in a right wing government, they are intent on fucking up our Broadband network as well to protect entrenched interests such as Murdock and Foxtel, so you're not alone.

      The current right wing govt still promissed FttN.
      Well, for metro area, the good news: at least Optus [zdnet.com] and TPG [zdnet.com] (and, I hope, iiNet soon), are ready to offer you the FttP part with a 24 months lock-in contract.

      • by blackpaw (240313)

        The FTTN they are promising won't fly - the copper network is just not up to VDSL except in limited areas. If they do proceed with it, it will be a disaster.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:03PM (#44898895)

    Lets not forget about the people that wont use a US based cloud service because of the NSA snooping.

    • by MacDork (560499) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:16PM (#44898959) Journal

      Seconded. The NSA has ruined it for the US cloud companies. Permanently. Does Google, Facebook, and friends think that anyone will trust them again? They lied. They lied about lying. Then they lied about that. Now they're pushing to release FISC documents? As if that would somehow sprinkle magical dust on the problem and make it go away?

      There are no privacy protection laws limiting the types of data companies collect in the US. These companies collect data because it makes them lots of money. In the process, they are the facilitators for the NSA.

      Want to restore trust Google? Stop syncing WiFi passwords on android by default. Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off. Stop collecting data you don't need or have any business collecting. Of course, that won't happen. That's why this crop of invasive companies have been dealt a deathblow by Snowden. I give them 15 years before they've been made irrelevant by newer peer to peer systems. Maybe less.

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:53PM (#44899133) Homepage Journal

        Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off.

        Some web servers have had a policy of disregarding DNT headers from browsers known to default it to on. Case in point: pre-release versions of IE 10 [wikipedia.org]. If Google were to "Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off" as you suggest, what would that do other than get Chrome added to the list of browsers from which to disregard DNT?

        • by Stickerboy (61554) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:54PM (#44899389) Homepage

          Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off.

          Some web servers have had a policy of disregarding DNT headers from browsers known to default it to on. Case in point: pre-release versions of IE 10 [wikipedia.org]. If Google were to "Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off" as you suggest, what would that do other than get Chrome added to the list of browsers from which to disregard DNT?

          Is this a damnation of Internet Explorer, or a damnation of a weak-ass privacy flag labeled "Do Not Track" that corporations can apparently ignore at will?

          Newsflash: this is not a indication that Google is doing things the right way. This means Do Not Track needs to be fixed.

          • by c0lo (1497653)

            Is this a damnation of Internet Explorer, or a damnation of a weak-ass privacy flag labeled "Do Not Track" that corporations can apparently ignore at will?

            Newsflash: this is not a indication that Google is doing things the right way. This means Do Not Track needs to be fixed.

            Good idea! While fixing it, please do also address the adherence to the RFC3514 [ietf.org]: examining my router/firewall logs shows a complete disregard of it.
            (Oh... btw... maybe you can do something about that pesky first law of thermodynamics? Or, by chance, the second? I mean... if you manage to push a new law criminalizing the use of any of them, we may solve the world's energy related problems)

            Joke aside, my point is: if someone wants to track you, how are you going to stop that one?
            Making the tracking illegal is

          • Imagine a world where every HTTP request has DNT:1, and you're a server. What does that header tell you? Do you have a branch in your code, where the value of the header influences your code's behavior? Or is the header just wasted bandwidth, since it doesn't actually tell you anything?

            DNT cannot be "fixed." It is already as powerful as it can possibly be. Go back from the server's PoV to the user's: can you even imagine how you would implement a situation where an HTTP header somehow magically forces

        • by citizenr (871508)

          So what you are saying is She was asking for it! With that mini skirt and cute smile she was practically screaming RAPE ME.
          Is that it?

      • by DworkinLV (716880)
        Why does most everybody think that just the cloud providers will be harmed. The firmware for switches/routers/hardware firewalls, etc is an ideal place to backdoor the networks. If I was going to spy on foreign governments that is where I would look to setup backdoors, in the infrastructure that DEFINES their networks.
        • by jonwil (467024)

          I think the biggest thing to fear if you are a foreign country, foreign company, foreign government or foreign entity and are concerned about the NSA is not that info on Google or Facebook or Twitter or other US-based internet companies has been compromised by the NSA but that all that networking and cellular equipment from the likes of Cisco, HP, Juniper, Motorola Solutions and others have been compromised.

          • I think the biggest thing to fear if you are a foreign country, foreign company, foreign government or foreign entity and are concerned about the NSA is not that info on Google or Facebook or Twitter or other US-based internet companies has been compromised by the NSA but that all that networking and cellular equipment from the likes of Cisco, HP, Juniper, Motorola Solutions and others have been compromised.

            And people worried about Huawei...

      • Unfortunately, these companies know that most people a) don't much care what the NSA does, b) have a very short memory and short attention span, and c) just can't wait to consume the next shiny thing that comes along.

        For the rest of us, no matter what the politicians say or do, we will never trust them or the NSA again, and will never believe anything the US internet companies have to say about it again. Credibility is gone baby, gone.
        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Fortunately there are plenty of other companies happy to remind people about the NSA and explain why it affects them, and why therefore they should use alternate services outside the US like the one said company is offering.

          Even Microsoft is trying to sell privacy with it's "scroogled" campaign. It's a thing now, and hopefully will only continue to gain traction.

    • by gweihir (88907) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:23PM (#44899001)

      Hey, I have a nice conspiracy theory: The NSA is behind the low bandwidths! As they need to collect any and all packets, they had the bright idea to make that easier by making sure the network snooped on is slow, so they do not need a surveillance network much faster. After all, the data has to come to their servers somehow....

      • by Narcocide (102829)

        Hmm. Upload bandwidth is curiously difficult to get a lot of when using a residential connection. You may be on to something there...

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A [wikipedia.org] would show the risks in rapid property changes and rushed new technology upgrades.
        If NSA cleared contractors are not called out in time, local engineers and new middle management might start to open their doors and ask real questions.
        Upgrades are messy: new ides, new staff, new smaller property, more passive optical.
      • by game kid (805301)

        ...and if the transfer speeds are reasonable, then cut off for "data limit" reasons.

        No, I don't think it's just a conspiracy.

      • Why do you think processor speeds got stuck at about 3.5 GHz?
        Yes, because there's some NSA real estate on your cpu.

      • by bob_jordan (39836)

        Or ....

        It's actually a big conspiracy perpetrated by the British government to stop British people emigrating. I get over 120meg down the fibre the cable company kindly laid right to my house. What possible reason would I have for emigrating to Australia or the US if I have to swap my fibre for two cans and a bit of string? :-)

        Bob.

    • by MrDoh! (71235) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:24PM (#44899011) Homepage Journal
      Not just the spying to put people off, but I seriously wonder if the delay in rolling out really fast connections is related to the NSA's ability to scoop up that data. "can you hold off providing 1gb asymetric links to all your subscribers until we upgrade our data center please? Cheers, the offshore bonus to the CEO is in the usual account".
      • I think you are pretty close, but I think that the real problem for the NSA is the possibility of real competition to provide internet access. Imagine how tough the job will be if the NSA had to get cooperation from hundreds of ISPs like they have in Japan. The duopoly here is very convenient for the NSA but a nightmare for the rest of us.

        Had we declared the owners of the pipes to be common carriers and imposed open access rules upon them, we'd have something like what Japan has: fast internet access with h

      • That could be part of it. At least in the major markets the duopoly providers in the US are reaching the point where they don't have to invest a lot in the current network. So if they just agree to stay at this level they can sit back and milk their current infrastructure for profits for quite sometime before they have to upgrade again. So my suspicion is that the NSA is simply a beneficiary of the lack of a real free market. On the other hand I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that the NSA doesn

    • The NSA could lease out some of their infrastructure to help move the cloud along. I hear they have some pretty fast networks and large storage capacity. If they leased that out to cloud services, then those companies wouldn't have to develop their own infrastructure. :-p

  • Because the citizens have no balls. Too many Cheetos, I guess... That's what that shit does to you, it shrinks your balls. Makes you submissive and lazy... This is the government you deserve. Live with it, or fix it. Your choice.

  • by mc6809e (214243) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:10PM (#44898923)

    Many municipalities have a franchise arrangement that gives the local cable company a monopoly so long as the cable company pays a franchise fee.

    Where I live, that fee is 5% of GROSS revenue -- quite a lot of money. Many businesses would be happy with profits that are 5% of the gross.

    Of course the cable company doesn't mind paying because they can inflate rates without worrying about competition. And the local government doesn't mind because higher rates mean more money for them!

    It's really a hidden tax on an artificially higher bill. And the fact that it's hidden means the typical voter doesn't know they might have the power to change it -- and that's precisely the goal.

    • Many municipalities have a franchise arrangement that gives the local cable company a monopoly so long as the cable company pays a franchise fee.

      While you're right about the franchise fees, it's important to note that virtually no areas of the country (outside of private housing developments) have monopoly franchises, as they're generally banned. In 99% of the US, if you want to start your own cable company, can show that you have the financial wherewithal to see it through (don't want people to just start tearing up the streets willy-nilly, and are willing to pay the standard franchise fee, you're on your way. Your way to bankruptcy, that is. Ca

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:11PM (#44898929)
    you can't make enough money off it in the short term to make it a worth while investment. As in investor there's always something with better gains in your lifetime. That's why the gov't made the comm network, the railroads, the (car) roads, and just about everything going back to the fsckin' Aquaducts.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by AHuxley (892839)
      The private sector built the railroads, funded bridges, worked with (oil, gas, iron, steel), positioned pipelines, electrical grid, telephone... optical is on the way - just wait like other generations had to.
      • by NouberNou (1105915) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:21PM (#44899273)
        So much wrong in this its not even funny. Who provided the money? Government. Who provided the land. Government. Who provided the basic technologies. Government. Get your head out of Ayn Rand's rancid cunt and realize public/private partnerships are the best, because neither side can do everything on their own.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Who provided the land. Government.

          I'm pretty sure the land was provided by millennia of geological and biological processes.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:26PM (#44899289)

        Very clever word usage.

        The private sector built the railroads,

        ...because of massive government incentives like land grants.

        funded bridges,

        ...so they could get their free land from the government that was worth more.

        worked with (oil, gas, iron, steel),

        Yes, that is what industry does. The government is not allowed to directly do such things.

        positioned pipelines,

        ...for their own profit and convenience. There was never a 'public good or need' for them.

        electrical grid, telephone...

        Again, with great government incentives in place like local monopolies, right of way, and special taxes to pay for it all.

        optical is on the way

        So are vacation homes on mars. Your words are meaningless.

        - just wait like other generations had to.

        Ahh, and now we get to the real problem. There is little incentive to improve. With most locales having monopolies or duopolies, there is no competition and thus no incentive to change until something breaks and really has to be replaced. Meanwhile other countries that care about infrastructure are funding it with public money, for public good, with public control. Our information tech dominance is slipping away while we wait for the invisible hand to stop touching itself.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Re Our information tech dominance is slipping away while we wait for the invisible hand to stop touching itself.
          Yes something is very wrong with the funding mix and expected returns.
          Why the total hesitation to change over from expensive copper in cities?
          Optical would be the way to go. Known bandwidth, more passive to backhaul, less expensive cooling and power in suburbia.
          The consumer gets a backup battery at home and can run their voice phone, internet, fax, alarms, cctv, enjoy television. The op
      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Corporations ARE the government. Sure they are owned by individual investors, but their charter is granted by the government, and they are endowed with super-human liability powers that would make this arrangement otherwise impossible. The government can change the rules that they operate under on a whim. You want an example of government interference in the "free market"? The corporation (especially the limited liability part) is perhaps the largest, though "intellectual property" is pretty high up there.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Corporations ARE the government. Sure they are owned by individual investors, but their charter is granted by the government, and they are endowed with super-human liability powers that would make this arrangement otherwise impossible. The government can change the rules that they operate under on a whim.

          And the rules are bought and paid for by the corporations. Which means that the corporations own the government.

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            See my above response to the AC. I don't really consider them distinct - so naturally I would agree that the corporations help to construct policy. I would argue that we need stronger separation between the two.

    • by mc6809e (214243) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:40PM (#44899087)

      That's why the gov't made the comm network, the railroads, the (car) roads, and just about everything going back to the fsckin' Aquaducts.

      The government paid for a lot of of those things, but that's not the same thing as making a lot of those things. And in that respect the government is simply acting as the agent for the collective purchase of something that (hopefully) provides a collective benefit.

      That's sort of the point of democratic-republican (little 'd' and little 'r') government -- to do the collective will of the people. Sometimes that means buying stuff (and that's not socialism -- that's just normal government).

      • Actually the point of a democratic republic is wealthy land owners didn't want the poor voting themselves land and money. Seriously, look it up. It's pretty well documented.
    • by argStyopa (232550)

      "The railroads" is a pretty bad example (at least in the US).

      The US government grandfathered land for sale, or otherwise facilitated the purchase/theft of the land, but the bulk of the railroads were NOT built by the government.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:11PM (#44898931) Journal
    Slow broadband adoption? Baaaad
    Slow cloud adoption (ie, not putting all your data at the mercy of someone else)? Good.
  • Optical to the node with existing copper?
    Optical to the home replacing existing copper?
    Optical to the tower with well installed line of sight wireless?
    The existing copper loops can be long, damaged, old, in need of expensive ongoing long term work to keep them at a quoted min data speed.
    Any node box will need power, cooling, backup power and has to positioned in suburbia or the copper length reduces the new speeds.
    Trying to run optical from a home to a node hits a cpu/heat wall.
    Optical to the home rep
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:31PM (#44899043)
      Have to post this anon. I work for AT&T and we do optical to the node with existing copper. Unfortunately the existing copper from the node and then the copper wiring in homes throws a wrench in 75% of the time. Optical to the home then gigabit Ethernet would be a better solution. I am often asked why as an employee I use Cox cable. Because they give me superior bandwidth, and a more reliable product... and they come out on Sundays. US carriers are not into upgrading infrastructure but intent on monetizing everything they can. We charge the exact same thing for DSL we did in 1997.
  • Size matters (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jklovanc (1603149)

    All over the world ,in smaller high population density countries, high-end fiber is being deployed while powerful monopolies

    FTFY. Comparing the US to countries like Japan is not valid.

    • by PPH (736903)

      OK. Let the telecoms serve the cities and other population centers. And the PUDs and other public entities serve rural communities.

      The howl from the corporate world is deafening.

    • Re:Size matters (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jrumney (197329) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:37PM (#44899071) Homepage

      Japan population density: 330p/sqmi.

      New Jersey: 1196p/sqmi. Rhode Island: 1018p/sqmi. Massachusetts: 839p/sqmi. Connecticut: 738p/sqmi. Maryland: 595p/sqmi. Delaware: 461p/sqmi. New York: 411p/sqmi. Florida: 351p/sqmi. US coastal counties population density: 440 p/sqmi.

      But apparently those areas can't have high speed broadband because the population density of Wyoming and Alaska makes the cost prohibitive.

      • Re:Size matters (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jrumney (197329) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:43PM (#44899107) Homepage

        Sorry, I made a mistake. Japan is 330p/sqkm, which places it at the same level as Massachusetts, not Florida. But still, there are definitely areas of the US that have the population density to support globally competitive infrastructure, and politicians and apologists need to stop using the vast empty space in the Midwest to build a population density excuse.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          The main fear is optical backhaul to the basement and the option of any ISP, telco or other provider just been selected by customers as needed.
          Cheap best effort ISP or a telco with more real dedicated optical.
          No more service monopoly, duopoly or city/telco cartel keeping consumers for life.
        • by cpicon92 (1157705)

          It needs to be pointed out that the population density of Tokyo is not 330p/sqkm, and Tokyo is where the fast internet is. I lived in rural Japan a few months ago, and the internet there was DSL just like in the rural US.

          • by jrumney (197329)

            Rural USA gets DSL? I thought you had to be within a few miles of the exchange.

            • by cpicon92 (1157705)

              I meant the US equivalent of rural Japan. Rural Japan is still denser than the US in a lot of places.

      • Yes, and I live in NJ. I pay $45 per month for cable internet. The throughput? 130 Mbps / 30 mbps with no caps.

        It seems pretty decent to me.

      • Yes, but you are comparing the population density of the entire country with certain cities. What do you think the internet speed is in Nemuro, Japan?

        For comparison, here is an example of a suburb in South Korea [koreabang.com]. They probably have a population density of 1000p/acre in that area. In that kind of area, the 'last mile' problem is all within single buildings. We don't have many places like that in America. We prefer to have more privacy.
        • by jrumney (197329)

          According to NTT, you can get 200Mbps residential fibre in Nemuro, Japan. They already made enough profit from providing fibre to the premises in Tokyo, Osaka etc over the last 10 years that they can afford to build out the infrastructure even to remote areas now. Meanwhile, you're still sitting there making excuses for why these sorts of speeds are not even available to residential customers in Manhattan.

        • by chihowa (366380)

          He was comparing US states to small countries, which is quite appropriate.

          But anyway, why can't you get affordable gigabit FTTP in NYC or Boston or any major city in the US? The idea that a fast municipal ISP would need to cover the salt flats to cover LA is silly. Or if we'd rather stick with our abusive duopolies, they can choose to roll out fiber in select cities and not everywhere.

          FTTP not being available in Bumfuck, WY may have to do with the prohibitive cost of deploying the technology, but that argum

      • by TheSync (5291)

        Actually it is local loop length that matters for speed.

        Statistics show that the US has far longer local loops than most other countries (see figure 2 in this document [oecd.org]).

        I believe this is not only due to the rural population, but it was due to a reduction in the number of central offices to have a more efficient telephony network in the analog to digital telephony conversion from 1970's-1990's before DSL technology was a reality.

        • by jrumney (197329)

          Japan doesn't care about local loop length for its high speed connections, because they have abandoned trying to layer high speed internet on top of early 20th century infrastructure, and started laying fibre to residential premises to replace it at least 10 years ago. Rather than sitting there complaining about long local loops making DSL performance poor, you'd think the US would be up there replacing the copper local loop with something more suited to meeting 21st century needs too.

    • That is a bunch of crap. It has nothing to do with population density, and everything to do with how messed up the market is. I know because the situation here in Canada is the same as in the US. A handful of companies control the whole market.

      Here is an example for you. Finland has crazy good internet connections, with only a population of 5.4 million [wikipedia.org]. Where I live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has a population of 6 million. My city has more people than some whole European countries!

      The New York Metr

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:31PM (#44899045)

    I have 50/10 Mbps for $70 and yes, it actually has been as advertised every time I have tested it for the last couple years. We routinely use two 9Mbps video streams with no issues and plenty of bandwidth left for browsing/downloading/whatever.

    People in the US have routinely paid $100+ for cable/satellite TV for years. $8/month gets you Netflix or Hulu (or x2 for both) and there are a tons of VOD services now (VUDU, Amazon, CinemaNow, etc) to rent (or buy) movies/TV instead of using Showtime/HBO/Starz/etc.

    The big problem is not necessarily US infrastructure (at least by expenditure) vs. other countries, it's the fact that the US has a lot less population density. In urban areas, there are almost always options and the performance/price is pretty decent. In rural areas it hasn't caught up because frankly it will cost a lot of $$ per customer. Yes, South Korea has great broadband, but that's because it's mostly VDSL, etc running to multi-unit high rises...

  • Why Use a Cloud? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:42PM (#44899095)

    Yesterday I spent three hours trying to help a friend upload a mysql file to his Amazon cloud service. There was no such thing as a simple ftp. Trying to PuTTY into his setup was impossible too. Calling tech support, which he paid for, resulted in them sending us links to articles we had already found via google and which were not helpful. Everything was so cloaked in marketing speak that it was impossible to tease out how to do anything normal and straightforward. They couldn't even manage to say words like "VPN" or "ssh." Simply ridiculous. Who has the time to learn a whole new nomenclature for the same old tasks we've all been doing for decades, just to satisfy a bunch of marketing droids whose only interest is in being the least helpful they can possibly be, and sucking as much cash out of you as they possibly can. Jeeze, just set up your own server and VPN and you have your own "cloud." And it costs you nothing, and nobody gets in your way with a bunch of nonsense.

    • Jeeze, just set up your own server

      I thought the difference between leasing a server and using "The Cloud" was originally supposed to refer to rapid provisioning and rapid failover. For example, you don't have to commit to a year's lease of a dedicated or virtual server; you can bring up virtual servers to meet demand and then decommission them once they're no longer needed.

      • by i.r.id10t (595143)

        linode.com does month to month, prorates per day. disclaimer - very long time customer, very happy.

        • by dkf (304284)

          linode.com does month to month, prorates per day. disclaimer - very long time customer, very happy.

          And the point of a Cloud is that you can buy as little as an hour, possibly even less with some services. That really changes how you use things, and the sort of business you do with it, as there's a lot of behaviour that varies on that scale much more than it does at the level of months. It's also cheaper if you only need a few hours of processing occasionally; that applies to a lot of things.

          Of course, you can combine things. You might put your persistent control systems at fixed IP addresses in linode, b

    • Everything was so cloaked in marketing speak that it was impossible to tease out how to do anything normal and straightforward. They couldn't even manage to say words like "VPN" or "ssh." Simply ridiculous. Who has the time to learn a whole new nomenclature for the same old tasks we've all been doing for decades, just to satisfy a bunch of marketing droids whose only interest is in being the least helpful they can possibly be, and sucking as much cash out of you as they possibly can.

      Spot on.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Any telco or skilled isp could offer optical from diverse regions, real backup power, be able to meet huge cpu and storage needs at a price.
      The "cloud" undercuts aspects of the above with less diverse optical or backup power might be in a basement in a floodplain.
      The huge cpu and storage options are the main selling point.
      What to do about optical connections or backup power is left to the consumer to code around or select deep in setup options.
  • The US Way (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:49PM (#44899119) Homepage Journal

    Wring every last cent out of the existing technology (i.e. copper wire), pay executives big bonuses and screw customers with rotten customer service. Small wonder we're becoming a backwater.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:42PM (#44899339) Homepage Journal

    An easy fix is to change the "game theory" dynamic.

    Currently, we don't pay for usage, we pay for access. The providers get the best value by discouraging use: high monthly fees, data caps, throttling power users, poor facilities, installation fees, and poor customer care.

    If the government required providers to charge for usage only, then the providers couldn't increase profits except by increasing use. They would have an incentive to build fast pipes, connect everyone in their area, have customer service that gets people up and running quickly, allow servers, and encourage innovative new applications.

    This could be changed without affecting their annual profits - just tally up all the usage in the last year and divide into their current revenues. They would make the same profits next year as last year, but with an to provide better service.

    Just another example of how the federal government doesn't really benefit the people.

    • Good thinking. But there also needs to be competition.
    • by adolf (21054)

      Hello, friend. My name is 2013.

      I regret to inform you that 1994 called, and they want their metered Internet back.

      Best wishes.

  • Right, American people cannot afford the cloud because their residential internet is to weak, and non American people with good internet connectivity should reject it because of NSA spying.

    There is some irony here in how free market and government intervention can enter a synergy here.

  • One country in North America will lag the US in adoption, that would be Canada. Canada, the northern backwater for affordable [macleans.ca] digital connectivity rights [gigaom.com], will lag for all the same reasons suggested for the US, except the US population will eventually galvanize and change things ... something that will not happen in passive ol' Canada.

  • "The cloud" is just a fancy new word for server farms, which is already been in use on a massive scale for as long as I can remember. Sure cloud implementations provide different services such as paying per CPU cycle, but even that is nothing new. The internet will thrash on. I think this article was just disguised attempt at bashing communication conglomerates (I hate them too).
  • Or maybe better broadband is slow to roll out because the NSA can't monitor it fast enough? It's part of the 'No Kilobits Left Behind' program...

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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