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David emailed me:

> Do IOP pay box.net for the file sharing facility?

We pay a few hundred pounds per year for their Enterprise service (I don’t want to simply post a contract price here).

> There are plenty of other ways to do this including hosting the files on a simple UK based server and uploading the files via FTP. I can recommend a company in Norway (which is 2 hops from LINX) who I have extremely close ties with, and they might be interested in doing a deal for hosting the files. However, UK storage would work best, and then Europe, and then the US in that order. I must admit I don’t understand why IOP can’t do it…

The internal charge requested by IOPP (our publishing arm) for the service put it outside our project budget.

> Let me know if you are interested.

Box.net does add some extra functionality beyond a “bare” FTP server, providing an easy user interface (e.g. our Physics Network Co-ordinators are part-time contractors across the British Isles who many not familiar with FTP or be easily available for IT training), allowing us to nominate collaborators, structure the filespace easily, tag the files, etc.

We’d be interested if:

* we could show that download times were significantly faster for a significant number of users (this was what started the ball rolling!),

* it was a similar (or preferably cheaper…) price,

* it was similarly easy to use, including transferring our 165 files (and growing…) with their structured filespace, totalling 2.6GB.

Thank you for the ideas. I’m finding the interactive part of the Web 2.0 interesting – a great way to harness everyone’s knowledge.

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