Time Warner has just announced the introduction of their new VidiFone Eye-to-Eye Teleconferencing service that will be available to business class customers.

I wonder how long this will be before this becomes the “must have” toy for the home.

The VisiFone is the world’s first low-cost broadband videophone. It is a self-contained system that does not require a PC or any external equipment. The VisiFone operates on any broadband connection and home or office network including high-speed Internet connections via DSL or cable modem.

The VisiFone is H.323 or SIP compliant and delivers up to 30 frames per second video and crisp audio quality utilizing 128k to 512k of bandwidth. It is compatible with virtually all corporate video conferencing systems, yet at $599, the VisiFone can be used by the over 30 million broadband connected North American homes.

My concern is exactly what this will do to our bandwidth. At 128Kbps per stream this sucks up a T1 line pretty fast. Make that a 512Kbps stream and the typical T1 connected WISP is toast. Even if you have a large connection to the net, how many concurrent videoconferencing sessions can an 802.11B or even 802.11g access point take with any kind of QoS?

This is just another nail in the coffin based on the continuing stream of technological innovations that are going to put the run-of-the-mill WISP under in the next 18 to 36 months unless we all make some pretty serious changes.

Of course, change is nothing new to many WISPs as we all knew when we put up our networks we would be replacing them completely eventually. For some unknown reason, this seems to coincide perfectly with the day we finally finish paying for them.

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