blog You might have noticed that at Delimiter we love an epic rant, and as we’ve previously written, former Internode network engineer Mark Newton has form in this area. Whether it be on the issue of the Internet filter, the National Broadband Network or other topics, Newton is wonderfully unafraid to tell it like it is, and that’s one reason we love him (in a platonic sense, of course).
With that in mind, we commend you to Newton’s latest rant, cautiously entitled: Why the Internet is a marvellously capable gatekeeper destruction machine. Some choice tidbits from the full rant, posted on the AusNOG mailing list:
“Doesn’t matter what realm you’re talking about, the Internet takes the power previously enjoyed by gatekeepers, devolves it to end users, and poses the question: ‘Now what … ?’
It’s all the same theme: If you behave like a gatekeeper, the base technology of the Internet provides your customers with the means to bypass you. Look at the new markets service providers want to move into: Voice and TV, market domains which significant quantities of end users have already decided to replace with Skype and Bittorrent.
In the medium to long term, I’d expect those “new markets” to get commoditised every bit as much as bit delivery has been. You won’t make money by providing voice telephony to people connected to your Internet service, or pay-TV to people connected to your internet service … You’re emotionally invested in your business model because it’s yours. Your customers aren’t. They don’t care if you have an adequate margin.”
We find it hard to disagree with Newton’s comments. The Internet is basically a machine for disaggregating business models and endlessly copying information. And any business which gets in the way of that long-term is going to get stomped. It’s as simple as that — we live in a period of great technological change, and you can either get on that bandwagon or try futilely (hello, AFACT) to stop it.