Shovel-Ready Bandwidth Jobs Go Unfilled

If you’re like most small-to-medium sized companies, this time of year, you look real closely at expenses, especially those fixed expenses, to see where you can save the next year. As we wrote in the past, bandwidth is a global commodity, though treated – for our economy – as an ad hoc technology with little to no understanding of the consequences from its price manipulation. And yes, if one were to allow manipulation and understand the consequences, someone should ask if it is a crime to sabotage the entire U.S. economy to save a few marginal telcom players. And yes, I am being kind considering ‘marginal’ is really a euphemism for most companies’ vision in the space.

Bottlenecks, in the distribution of bandwidth, are apparently overlooked rather than removed. Perhaps they are considered strategic for some of the arcane players in the space. When it comes to leveling the playing field, for businesses trying to compete with companies abroad, where bandwidth is damn near free, lobbyists are winning. Most of those countries we see as ‘competitors’ understand that access to the Internet from all the available sources is essential both for getting productivity from the existing work force and for educating the next work force. Our educational malaise is mind boggling.


Korean artist Nam June Paik, was the first to label the Internet as The Information SuperHighway and he may need to reprise his vision for America becoming the leader in global communications as the U.S. grapples with how, or when, to fix the telcom industry. For those of us in the San Francisco bay area, we’ve been waiting for decent bandwidth about as long as we waited for the Bay Bridge and you probably know that story as well. Are there hopes, technologies or individuals who can make our dreams come true?

One serious discussion that has been going on for several years is the use of DPI, and below is a discussion from September which tried to align the forces of good and evil in a global compromise to at least state the obvious:

Deep Packet Inspection: Technology, Promise & Controversy.
What You Need to Know.

Monday, 07 September

“The emergence of Deep Packet Inspection — DPI — as a central technology in next generation networking has resulted in no small amount of controversy. Much of this controversy stems from confusion about what exactly DPI is, why it is being deployed, and what is being done to address the concerns raised by consumer groups, civil libertarians, Internet users, regulatory agencies and even service providers. A balanced, fact-based view is essential to anyone looking to understand or deploy this important technology. To that end, we’ve put together a workshop that will foster an open, balanced and rigorous discussion of DPI’s capabilities, benefits, limits and concerns. Workshop participants represent a variety of organizations involved in the deployment of DPI.”

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Solution Brief: Building MPLS+ Managed Services
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As WSJ’s Amy Schatz tells us, “The concept of network neutrality originated with the nation’s longtime telephone monopoly. AT&T and its successors were prohibited from giving any phone call preference in how quickly it was connected. Since the Internet was born on phone wires, the concept survived into the Internet age largely by default.We intend to cover this monthly and to cover the companies involved to provide a template for how the technology is deployed.” The FCC’s Julius Genachowski “is expected to propose the agency clarify its current principles and turn them into formal rules. He will also tack on a new one, which would require carriers practice “reasonable” network management.”

These rules and many of the tactics discussed can have lasting effects on the eCommerce and all Internet activity. The competition is immense and the interests of everyone’s future is at stake. Let’s hear what you think.

We are also very interested in how you see bandwidth being deployed for your business, and if you feel it is allowing you to be as competitive as you can be. Other companies of interest are: ipoque, Procera Networks and Blue Coat Systems. If you have anything you would like to add, just drop us a line.


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