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On 5/23/01 8:12 PM, “Ian Andrew Bell” wrote:

> There is indeed a serious glut of bandwidth on the horizon and not too many
> avenues of escape. Among the many missed hurdles is the fact that consumer
> broadband growth is way behind projections. Video-on-demand Over IP, as a
> result, has failed to materialize. Voice Over IP is running only on closed,
> purpose-built IP networks, which further stifles the demand (Jeff is working
> on this).
>
> These two applications alone accounted for what companies like Cisco, and
> their customers, believed would be the drivers of bandwidth into the future.
>
> All of which leads one to wonder — what application, or what
> as-yet-unserved market, is going be data-hungry enough to pull these guys
> out of their nose dives? And how is it, in turn, going to make money?

Here, the highway metaphor works well. What is the point in building a 23-lane superhighway when it distributes the entirety of its traffic onto little two-lane rural access roads? Just look at L.A., for example.

The problem is that the internet has evolved to a point where the tributaries have limited the growth of applications.

I don’t explicitly blame RBOCs. I blame the entire broadband industry for believing their own press and for not making broadband:

a) Cheap to deploy (ie. No truck rolls) b) Cheap to install (ie. Shelves not DSLAMs) c) Cheap to operate (ie. Integration & verticalization) d) Reliable (ie. No customer service calls)

I give the broadband industry “D” grades on all of the above. I give RBOCs a “C-” for not understanding the paradigm and for not building those into their requirements. The RBOCs are stupid but they’re also victims of an industry that was moving too fast and missing out on the details.

-Ian.

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