Overbuilding Bandwidth

from the will-demand-catch-up? dept

A column in the Boston Globe says that all the comparisons between the railroad companies from 150 years ago and the broadband network companies of today don’t match. 150 years ago capacity was overbuilt by twice as much as was needed. The broadband network companies, however, overbuilt by at least 20 times, according to this article. Of course, five years ago, the common thinking was that you simply couldn’t have enough bandwidth. I’m not yet convinced that isn’t true. The problem, though, was that all these providers built the backbone side of things, with no concern for how to (1) get access to that excess bandwith and (2) how to stimulate the demand for bandwidth. If they had looked at either of these issues (which would have made them a more complete business – as opposed to a one-trick pony supplying pipes) they might have done much better. It’s clear the demand for bandwidth is still growing, just not as fast as these companies predicted.

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