Thick Server at ISPs?

One idea which came up as I was discussing the Emergic ideas with a business partner recently was putting the Thick Server(TS) at ISPs. My initial reaction was No, thats like the ASP thing — we want the TS on the LAN. But, as the partner explained, the speed offered by an ISP who is using Cable or Ethernet (or in future, even 802.11b) for last-mile access is 10 Mbps or more to the ISP premises. This is just like a LAN. Beyond the ISP of course the speed goes down quite a lot (to the Internet). But if the Thick Server can be remoted to the ISP, then the Thin Client (TC) can be placed at many more locations which previously we had not thought.

For example, the TC-TS can be used to offer applications in a residential access — the individual apartments are being wired for Internet access, but where’s the device to connect to the Internet? The PC is still too expensive for most people. Also, shopkeepers could be connected in a chain to the TS at the ISP. It again goes back to the basic theme of Emergic: providing computing solutions to new users. The price-point of Rs 750-1,000 per month (USD 15-20) for hardware, software, training and support is unmatchable and opens up segments which hitherto haven’t been imagined.

The key of course here (besides the attractive price point) is the sharing of the Thick Server across multiple Thin Clients. This becomes possible because of the LAN-like speeds (10 Mbps) for the last hundred feet.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.