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Enterprises should be able to sell their excess internet capacity

News Analysis
Aug 09, 20183 mins
Data CenterInternet

If Dove Network's solution s쳮ds, data users will be able to circumvent traditional ISP data plans and buy capacity as needed from those who want to sell their excess.

Peer-to-peer exchanges of excess bandwidth could one day be commonplace, says a firm that is attempting to monetize redundant internet capacity. It wants to create a marketplace for selling internet data throughput that has been already bought by organizations, but which is often dormant during out-of-work hours — the bandwidth is customarily just lying around then, not being used.

Dove Network wants to “do to the telecom industry what Airbnb did to the hotel industry,” co-founder Douglas Schwartz told me via email.

The idea is that those with excess data capacity, such as a well-provisioned office or data center, which may not be using all of its throughput capacity all of the time — such as during the weekend — allocates that spare bandwidth to Dove’s network. Passing-by data-users, such as Internet of Things-based sensors or an individual going about business, would then grab the data it, he, or she needs; payment is then handled seamlessly through blockchain smart contracts.

“The Dove application will find the closest Dove-powered hotspot or peer node, negotiate the package deal, and connect automatically,” the company says in a white paper. Dove Network says it intends to supply a 500-yard-plus-range, blockchain-based wireless router to vendors. It’s also talking about longer-range access points in the future. Both solutions will allow relatively few organizations to sign up, yet still blanket urban areas with hotspots, it says.

Dove Network further says on its website that it believes internet infrastructure is broken. It reckons half of the world is not connected to the internet, yet 35 percent of paid-for data is never used.

“Internet data is simultaneously one of the most used and most wasted commodities on Earth,” it says.

How a peer-to-peer internet exchange would work

Initially, all kinds of Wi-Fi routers, mobile hotspots, and any Wi-Fi-enabled device could be used to anonymously provide data, the company claims. Its app will allow sellers to fix a price and amounts of bandwidth it wants to get rid of. The app then automatically connects to the person who needs the data and is prepared to pay an agreed rate.

Data users traversing a city, who need to send an email, for example, will be able to open the app and simply click on a button. The app then searches for hotspots and connects seamlessly — there’s no user input, such as choosing an SSID. An IoT device could have a pre-agreed automatic connection, presumably.

Among potential problems Dove Network still has to address, it admits, is how to kick-start growth. It aims to start working with companies first, which it thinks will help it scale quickly. Also, there’s the question of whether traditional ISPs or telcos will see peer-to-peer data capacity sales as a threat to their business model. That’s something Dove Network doesn’t know.

A consumer market launch will occur this year, it says. However, interestingly, a machine-to-machine software developer kit (SDK) launch is planned for around Q4 2019. That IoT SDK will include neural processing artificial intelligence to allow peer-to-peer communications between robots, smart cars, and airplanes. It will be “a society of machines,” Dove Network says.

“Our network platform will bring the internet to every human and machine on the planet. The decentralized internet is the future,” the company says.


Patrick Nelson was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication Producer Report and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson wrote the cult-classic novel Sprawlism.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Patrick Nelson and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.