Monday, November 26, 2007

Bandwidth "currency of the global Internet economy"

Broadband bandwidth is the currency of the global Internet economy and the U.S. is short on funds, Computerworld's Robert L. Mitchell writes.

Twenty years after DSL’s invention, we’re still relying on the same basic technology — and in many areas, providers haven’t even delivered that. Maximum uplink speeds are limited in some locations to as little as 128Kbit/sec., with best-case downlink speeds of 768Kbit/sec.

Next-generation technologies such as Verizon’s FiOS promise metropolitan areas 2Mbit/sec. uplink speeds and 15Mbit/sec. downlink speeds eventually. But Europeans have 20M-30Mbit/sec., and some areas of Korea and Japan have 100Mbit/sec. — enough to support full-motion video. Meanwhile, Gagnon, struggling with basic VoIP, is forced to tell customers to forget DSL and go back to leasing 1960s technology: a T1 line.

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