|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Friday, October 17, 2003
China exploring ethanol: "Like many other agriculture giants such as Brazil, the United States, and India, the northeast province is using its huge farm surplus to make organic fuel that cuts pollution, and reduces dependency on petroleum imports at the same time. Industry sources say, China, which is the world's fastest growing car and energy market, could extend the use of ethanol gasoline throughout the country by 2005 if initial exploratory steps are successful.. Turning grains into fuel also happens to allow the government to continue to subsidize agriculture outside its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO), avoiding more social unrest from farmers who are now exposed to global competition." China subsidizes rural areas through corn production subsidies, and WTO rules prohibit subsidized exports, so a 20m ton corn mountain has already built up. 11:19:27 PM
VSAT services finding new customers: 2002 summary of changes in satellite IP markets:
- 90% of new customers request IP support
- "By supporting IP and standardizing certain parts of the technology, [service providers] can deploy two-way VSAT networks with [customer-premises equipment] that costs $500 to $600," Baugh says. He says this would be the floor of the market with users paying about $70 to $200 per month, per site for service for perhaps 128K bit/sec worth of bandwidth.
- Gilat's Spacenet Connexstar costs $119 per month for 128K bit/sec upstream and 500K bit/sec downstream with a one-time equipment cost of $1,000.
- Hughes is the leading provider of VSAT services in North America with Directway. Starband and Tacyon also sell VSAT Internet access services to individual users. These offerings [appeal to new customers "such as real estate agencies and veterinarian offices"
- In the past, most VSAT service providers were interested only in deployments that reached thousands of sites, but there has been a change of philosophy within many providers. Traditional VSAT networks are built based on the amount of bandwidth a company needs and the number of sites that will share that bandwidth. Classic app: reduce the time credit for card authorization, eg "from 15 sec down to 3 sec... A group of 500 stores could share a 128K bit/sec satellite channel and not experience any delays because of the small amount of traffic that's being sent over the network, even though it's regularly used." Price: for 4000 stations, perhaps $60/mo/station, for hundreds of sites, perhaps $100/mo/station.