Monday, November 26, 2007

Broadband Blues and possible solutions

In India, it is difficult to get a broadband connection with speed (good enough to download large videos) and also cheap. There are many people who have taken a limited-data connection, and so will not be able to download large files. In case of downloading such large video/audio files, the cheapest cost could be 1Re per MB for a limited-data connection. If somebody would like to download TV programs such as this,, will have spend at least 100/- for each file (assuming size of the file is 100MB). Now if the user would like to download all the programs mentioned in the website, then the process becomes very much expensive. Now this problem can be solved in two ways.

1. Let us call the Third Party service provider who solves this problem as TP. When a user makes a request of the file by submitting its URL, TP submits to one of its associates. Note that an associate could be anyone who is registered with TP and having a unlimited broadband connection. The associate would then download the file, records it in a CD/DVD and inform TP. Then TP makes sure that the CD/DVD would be delivered to the customer by courier.

50 percent of the revenue from the customer could be shared with the Associates. Charge to the customer could be 60 Rs for the first 200MB (or less) and 20 Rs for every additional 100MB. Ensuring the quality processes on associates would be the key. Delivery time should never cross more than 3 days.

Expenses to the TP: 1. Marketing cost of the service. 2. Courier 3. Chargebacks if delivery is not made 4. Selection of Associates and one-time cost of training to them 5.Cost and maintenance of the Automated Interactions with the customer, associates and the courier 5. Settlements and disputes with customers, associates and also maintenance of a specific customer service for this purpose.

Expenses to Associates: 1. Monthly broadband connection fee 2. One-time cost of computer with a DVD/CD writer 3. CD 4. Electricity 5. Informing that download is completed 6. Time that one spends for initiation of the download, regular monitoring of the transfer and recording the data when completed. 7. Time for selection and training 8. Necessary softwares for the downloading the data.

Note1. To improve the quality processes, TP may submit the download request to 2 or more associates. Among those associates depending on who informs first, about the completion of the download of the file, is paid.
Note2. If size of a file is larger than 300MB then the task could be divided between two associates (such software exist?) so that the delivery time could then be minimized. In which case, cost of such software design and merging costs during the service would add-up to the TP.

2. An Internet Service Provider can provide this service a bit cheaper than the third party (TP). ISP can offer a complimentary service to its existing services as the following: When a user makes a request of the file by submitting its URL, the ISP downloads it and keeps the downloaded file available in the local network. A local URL would be delivered to the customer as soon as it is available. Customer can download it on LAN speeds. So this service can be charged on the basis of Data on demand, say 10Rs for 100MB.