Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Cloud computing confronts critical crossroads

Frederic Paul | April 29, 2014
Net neutrality, Aereo, and massive price cuts: which of these factors will truly shape the future of cloud computing?

It doesn't have to be that way, of course. Earlier this year, I ventured a thought that a similar arrangement announced by AT&T wasn't the end of the world. The question, of course, comes down to just how "commercially reasonable" the baseline services and standards are and whether competitive pressures ensure acceptable speeds for those who can't or wont pay extra.

Given the pitiful reputations of most broadband carriers (Comcast, for example, recently won Consumerist's Worst Company In America award, and not for the first time) it's easy to be cynical about this. Similarly, it's hard to believe that the FCC and the courts are up to the task of making sure that "baseline" doesn't turn out to mean "crappy."

Three-way intersection of intrigue
So there you have it, cloud computing's three-way crossroads of confusion. Lower prices for computing power meet extra fees to make sure customers have fast access to online services, topped with a sprinkling of uncertainty around the future of cloud storage.  

No one knows how this will all shake out, but here's my prediction. Lower compute costs will roughly balance out higher net access fees for faster service. That means the rich will get faster, making it harder than ever for new online content services to break into the big time. The Aereo case, meanwhile, will turn out to be a tempest in a teapot, with a ruling in either direction having no noticeable effect on the cloud computing industry.

I could be dead wrong, of course. That's the thing about clouds - they make it hard to clearly see what's coming next.

Source: Network World


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.