Om Malik on what people could do if they have 100 MBps bandwidth speed. About two years ago I scoffed at a blogger who talked about the need for more bandwidth (in a post about network neutrality). Since that time, I downgraded my net connection from 10Mbps to 1.5, and I have to say, lately it’s been a real pain. Streaming video and audio doesn’t work as well and using bit torrent can be rather painful (although not awful).
It is alarming to read the reports of how the U.S. is falling behind on average bandwidth penetration (although we shouldn’t dismiss the significance of consumer indifference as a cause of failure to upgrade). Nowadays, DSL is as competitive as dialup, and yet I still know several people who haven’t upgraded. They have the choice, but they choose to do nothing.
I’ve read reports about how AT&T and the other bells blew their huge government subsidy to build and deploy fiber optic cable. This was a tragedy for taxpayers, but it points less to the evil nature of the telcos than the flimsy rationale for offering government subsidies for anything.