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The Next Generation Internet and its Competitors

The Internet is not without its competitors in the Information Haulage Business. The main two technologies that are emerging as either competitive or complementary are:

  1. ATM/Broadband ISDN

    The telecommunications companies have developed a next generation architecture for their backbone networks, to carry telephony, and all the other services, well. There is also a move to make this a LAN service, and thus a replacement for the Internet. Whether this latter move succeeds remains to be seen.

  2. Video on Demand

    As we explained above, the Internet is starting to experiment with audio and video. However, there is also a move afoot to provide video on demand services by consortia of cable TV and telecommunications companies. Since this can be done using existing telephony cabling, this is clearly a low-cost approach to delivery of entertainment quality video. This is complimentary to the Internet, and indeed, in some experimental services, the Internet is used to carry requests to video on demand servers. It is also possible to use the inbound path to the home as a carrier for higher bandwidth Internet traffic when the video traffic is quieter.

Jon Crowcroft
Wed May 10 11:46:29 BST 1995