Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

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Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:17 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2020/0319.shtml

Yes, the internet is really starting to feel the strain of the (tens, hundreds? of) millions of folk who have been forced to work from home or self-isolate.

With nothing else to do, huge numbers of people are logging onto Netflix, Facebook, YouTube and other popular sites so as to waste a little time and preserve their sanity.

Will the net hold up to all this extra use?

And what if the worst happens? What if Facebook goes down? Will the resulting riots in the streets make the great toilet-paper riots of 2020 look insignificant by comparison?

I must also ask why it is that ISPs aren't discounting uncapped plans at a time when they're removing caps from the cheaper plans. Why are some customers now paying twice as much for the same service as a result of this uncapping? Doesn't sound fair to me.
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby roygbiv » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:24 am

I have my contingency, if the internet goes belly up and I have to self isolate. I will go down into the garage and get my old satellite decoder, brush the rust off the satellite dish, that will sort TV. And while in the garage will get my box of DVDs and player, remember them? That should keep me going for the first week, then there are all the books on the book shelf, read them again.
As for Facebook, will not miss that for a minute.
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby Necrotic Kingdom » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:57 am

aardvark_admin wrote:I must also ask why it is that ISPs aren't discounting uncapped plans at a time when they're removing caps from the cheaper plans. Why are some customers now paying twice as much for the same service as a result of this uncapping? Doesn't sound fair to me.
You are still getting what you paid for so you haven't lost anything. The others are getting a temporary gift. Why begrudge them that?

As for the net collapsing, I have two enormous textbooks on ancient Egypt out from the library (anyone remember those?). Plus I'm one of those quaint old-fashioned people who like to pay for what I use so I have a large DVD collection. Some of them I haven't had time to watch yet. Also I've got timber outside waiting for me to build another raised garden bed. Take my net away and see if I care 8-) .
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:05 am

Necrotic Kingdom wrote:You are still getting what you paid for so you haven't lost anything. The others are getting a temporary gift. Why begrudge them that?

I don't begrudge them that at all... but I do think it's pretty poor business sense to treat your smaller (revenue) customers better than your bigger ones. What's more, I'm actually paying the same for *less* service now because throughputs will be squeezed due to the greater load on the backhaul links as those on previously capped plans start sucking down more for longer.
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby hagfish » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:02 am

Anything you're thinking "maybe I should get..." you might want to go out and pick up today, ideally this morning. We are entering the 'belly' of the 'slow, slow, FAST' curve right now. The rubber is really hitting the road. I'm thinking next week, NZ will be the Quiet Earth as schools and large businesses (that are able to) move to a 'from-home' model, or close.

And we'll really get to see just how well those 'fixed wireless' services can handle heavy contention, with everyone using Zoom and Discord and bleed'n Hangouts to conduct their classes and meetings :)
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:11 am

Yesterday in Greymouth the New World all the shelves were apparently nearly empty. Many staff are having shifts cut or being let go. Across town in Countdown most things were low but still there, signs on the door asking for new staff for shelf stacking and online order fulfillment roles. I even got an email from the local shop manager saying they are working hard to keep everyone supplied with essentials while ensuring the health and safety of staff and customers. Apparently there is plenty of stock in the supply chain and they are working with their suppliers and distribution partners to get it in to the store. The big issue at the moment is ramping up truck deliveries to get stuff out of the central warehouses and in to each individual shop.
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby hagfish » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:29 am

Malcolm wrote:The big issue at the moment is ramping up truck deliveries to get stuff out of the central warehouses and in to each individual shop.

Hmmm, oh-kay? :|

There's a phenomenon in supply chain circles called the Bullwhip Effect, whereby customers buy 'a bit more', so retailers order 'a lot more', and manufacturers start hitting their suppliers with demands for MUCH more. The wave gets amplified as it moves through the supply chain. Then once everyone's freezer is stuffed with bread, it leads to a slump in demand, which - once again - gets amplified down the chain, leaving the poor suppliers in the lurch. I already miss bread :(
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:40 am

Shoulda bought a bread-maker?

Actually, I haven't eaten bread for over a year now. Sticking to a high-protein/low-carb diet and it's working well for me.

Of course proteins don't seem to store as well as carbs so if things get *really* bad, I may have to break out the bread-maker again :-(
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:53 am

I would like to think those in charge of the companies involved would be aware of that and take it in to account in their planning.
However the CEO of American Airlines said a couple of years ago that he doesn't see airlines making a loss again.
https://onemileatatime.com/airlines-losing-money/
In 2015 they made a profit of around $15Billion US. They put most of that money in to buying back their stock to keep the price high. Just remember that as the bailout packages for various airlines are announced.
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Re: Is the Net starting to crumble? (19 Mar, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:56 am

Yes, Louis Rossmann did a great video in which he highlighted the injustices associated with airline bailouts versus smaller traders who will be left to go to the wall... after which they'll be bought out by their (bigger and more bailed-out) competitors for cents on the dollar.

Oh well, nobody said life was going to be fair I guess :/
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