We are exploring an application where there are many single dedicated
internet terminals (basically a kiosk) distributed though out various
locations around the country. Each terminal must have a communications
link to a host server, either through the internet, or by making a
direct call to the host server. The usage model is that a user would be
able to randomly query a database located on a host server and get a
response which takes no longer than the typical web page download (10-15
seconds or so). It is very important that the response time to the query
be quite fast.
It is expected that each terminal would make between 50-100 queries per
day. Each query results in the server returning either a small web page
or a small packet of data (maybe a few K bytes) depending on
implementation specifics. So the key here is not the data transfer time,
but rather the call set-up time and ISP port availability.
We need to keep the per location monthly communication cost low, such as
below $100 per location per month.
My thinking thus far from the data I have been able to gather:
Dedicated lines seem too expensive for this application (I understand
these to be > $300 month cost).
DSL not available in all areas and is expensive for business ($40/mo to
PacBell, + $200/mo to PacBell Internet Service).
V90 modem on-demand dial-up: call setup time is too great and the user
would likely experience a ~1 minute delay waiting for the response.
Also, without dedicated ISP access, the call may fail due to busy line.
ISDN: Maybe? What can you expect for call setup time?
Any ideas here would be greatly appreciated.