Disintermediation in an IP world

Andrew Grieg, employee at the open source consultancy Starnix in Toronto, has made the World of IP a reality for himself and his neighbours. He offers TV, telephone and Internet services to himself and his neighbourhood; his neighbours do not pay phone bills or digital cable bills.

His setup, which he calls a “wireless sweetspot”, includes:

*Access*: 802.11a Wi-Fi access points with inline amplifiers and boosted antennae


* Host: open source “Asterisk IP PBX”:http://www.asterisk.org/ running on Linux
* Clients: Tri-mode VoIP softphone running on Linux PDA
* Network: Vonage.ca

*Video over IP*

* Host: open source “MythTV PVR”:http://www.mythtv.org/ running on Linux with MPEG-4 recording and playback
* Clients: WiFi enabled PDAs and PCs
* Network: Wholesale C-band satellite dish

The moral of the story? Obviously the voice, video and even Internet carriers are in for a tough ride. However, “whole new business models will appear to take advantage of the fact that all types of communications and all types of content will be able to reach all parts of the market with almost no friction.”

2 thoughts on “Disintermediation in an IP world”

  1. I have read this and I, Cringley’s report on Andrew’s setup. What I am curious about is what are the legal issues with running this setup in terms of both providing phone services and access to stored video content/ sattelite feeds?

  2. It’s a good question, the legal issues aren’t made clear. As an ad hoc arrangement, Andrew will probably be considered too small to litigate. The wholesale dish suggests he has a MDU license. And since there are no P2P or VoIP regulations as of yet, he is probably in the clear (if precariously so).

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