Om Malik from GigaOm (I still haven’t met the Giga guy yet) posted that he’s getting 200+ Mbps bandwidth from his residential Internet service. Google will announce availability of its 1Gbps fiber in Kansas City on the 26th of July. On paper that’s some serious bandwidth for an entire office let alone single family homes. Of course one of the disadvantages to all that bandwidth it’s like having a Chevy 350 with 300 hp in a Chevette. It is overkill, as the services you consume will not allow that much bandwidth to be used by a single connection and in other instances you will get throttled downstream. So, there is absolutely a point of diminishing returns for the current architecture of the Internet.
This did get me to thinking about what P2P applications that can be built to take advantage of what are essentially campus area or metro area networks. If traffic never leaves the provider’s network then you can reap the benefit of the entire amount of bandwidth or at least close to it. Comcast and Verizon take advantage of all the available bandwidth by offering IP video services of their own. But bandwidth limits aside, what other applications can take advantage of all this “wasted” bandwidth? The first thought goes to video. Peer to Peer video applications such as Skype should be great in theory but that’s an obvious use case. What other applications could be made possible now that hundreds if not thousands of nodes exist on these super high speed wide area networks?
I’m not an application guy, I’m all about plumbing so, I’ll seed a few ideas out there and let you guys take over. What about distributed computing combined with virtualization. Windows 8 will come with a native hypervisor. What unique problem could you solve if you could package multiple hardened Linux VM’s that acted as a storage node? Could a Dropbox like service supply superfast access to your cloud storage based on your location? What about gaming? What could a service like Onlive provide if it had service nodes located on your network? Let’s go another level up. What if you got really creative and built software defined networks within the service providers network? You application guys are way smarter than me. You created Angry Bird’s for god’s sake. I expect you to run with all this new bandwidth and build more apps that make me gladly shell out my $.99 and keep paying $.99 cents for additional value within the app. When you hit it big all I want is a discount on your cool new application, maybe a free Golden Eagle.