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13 Things To Know About Broadband/High Bandwidth

by Gerry McGovern
Author, New Thinking


  1. While fibre optic cable is being rolled out at a frantic pace it is barely keeping up with overall bandwidth demand. "In the next five years we don't see any ability of service providers in the U.S. to keep up with the demand", Mouli Ramani, director of strategic marketing for the optical Internet at Nortel Networks told [email protected] Week in February 2000. "I don't see any chance of getting into a glut anywhere in the network over the next five years."

  2. The backbone of the Internet hasn't been designed to deal with millions of people having broadband access.

  3. The flat-fee 'use as much bandwidth as you like' Internet pricing model is unworkable in a broadband environment where one user might want to use hundreds or thousands time more bandwidth than their neighbour.

  4. The Internet works from a weakest link in the chain point of view, so just because you have broadband access doesn't mean that a particular website will download any faster.

  5. Because of Internet limitations, broadband suppliers are increasingly choosing private high-capacity networks to deliver their services to subscriber-based audiences.

  6. As yet, no broadband online entertainment companies have gone public and many, such as Digital Entertainment Network, have shed staff and re-focused their business models away from creating original broadband content.

  7. Yahoo and Lycos have scaled back content and service plans for broadband users, citing the basic fact that for every broadband user there are 50 with basic access

  8. Broadband access providers such as Pacific Bell, Midwestern and @Home have been suffering severe email service slowdowns recently, as broadband users send huge video and sound files as email attachments.

  9. Because broadband generally establishes 24-hour-a-day connections to the Internet, it creates a serious security threat. "The home user is more susceptible to someone coming and stealing the information that is on their computer," David Remnitz, chief executive of IFsec LLC, a New York network security firm told Nando Times in February 2000. "They could be monitoring messages that are sent in or out of that system, which could be things like bank routing numbers."

  10. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that because traffic was overwhelming the broadband networks of cable companies, the numbers of houses served by a single cable 'node' were being reduced from 10,000, as originally projected, to 500 or fewer. Many cable companies were being forced to monitor individual usage.

  11. The popularity of Napster and other such devices, which allow people to easily swap music files, has slowed many university campus networks to a crawl. Some universities estimated that Napster downloads were using more than 50 percent of their available bandwidth.

  12. Broadband is often supposed to allow the ugly duckling Internet to grow up and become the television medium it's always in its heart wanted to be. However, when @Home first rolled out its broadband service in California three years ago, it found that many of its subscribers were not interested in broadband interactive entertainment, but were rather @Work setting up web servers on their home computers

  13. Broadband is definitely a wave of the future, but it has been hugely over-hyped and faces significant obstacles before it becomes a reality for the average user.

Gerry McGovern, New Thinking. All rights reserved.



Gerry McGovern is the author of New Thinking, a weekly column which has received numerous accolades and a book, THE CARING ECONOMY

The Caring Economy
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The Caring Economy, by Gerry McGovern, is published by Blackhall Publishing of 26 Eustace Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. ISBN 1-901657-61-2 Price _27.50 or US$35.95
Email: [email protected]

It is also available in the United States from Irish Books & Media, 1433 East Franklin Avenue, MN, USA 55404-2135. Call toll-free: 1-800-229-3505.

Email Gerry McGovern at [email protected]
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