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March 22, 2010

Comments

Chris Ward

There was a time when IBM owned and operated a worldwide communications network (and sold the use of it to clients). It went by the name of IBM Global Network, latterly Advantis, and was sold to ATT in the 1990's (I think). With the money received, IBM bought Lotus Development Corporation. Nowadays, whenever IBM needs network service for its internal business operations, it buys it (usually from ATT).

So, high-bandwidth broadband-to-the-home may be a significant necessity for the USA in the 21st Century. But it doesn't seem likely that the domestic consumer will be able to buy it from IBM. IBM doesn't seem likely to buy, or build , the kind of infrastructure you would need.

So which businesses will do it ? Where will the partnerships, the value chains, establish themselves ? I know that IBM can manufacture and market many of the silicon chips you would need; it's 'Playstation, Xbox, and Wii volume', and that IBM can do.

But manufacturing, installing, and maintaining the fiber to the home ? Handling retail billing and consumer warranty ? Putting 'ten cents off' discount deals into 80 million mailboxes across the USA ?

It's got to be opportunity for someone.

Tom Foremski

I remember chatting with Vivek Ranadive, CEO of Tibco Software, a few years back, and he quipped that India was the killer application for broadband. And I think he's right.

Has IT in combination with the Internet created a disruptive combination of technologies, or has it merely enabled many services jobs to be done elsewhere for less money...? I'm not convinced that it has, I think Mr Ranadive may be right. Either way, the ability to use broadband to deliver low cost services from India, or Ukraine, sets a high bar for the disruptive technologies of IT and the Internet. I think it's difficult to see which is which right now.

South Korea has ridiculously high bandwidth for very low rates. How come South Korea hasn't gained a significant advantage with its near ubiquitous 100 MBps broadband, which we will be lucky to get by 2020?

Irving Wladawsky

Tom, very good point. As with other technologies, 100 MBps broadband is a means to an end, not the end in itself. If the applications are primarily games, video exchanges etc - there is likely to be no enduring economic value. Perhaps this is the case with South Korea. But, I am sure you will agree with me that there are very exciting applications to be developed once you have that kind of bandwidth to the home, and a reasonable fraction of it to mobile devices.

I also suspect that the bandwidth comes first, then the applications. So, it is quite possible that in South Korea and other countries with considerable bandwidth, you will see young people, who are now getting trained with games and other forms of entertainment, eventually put their training to work on more "serious" applications.

Lenny

So which businesses will do it ? Where will the partnerships, the value chains, establish themselves ? I know that IBM can manufacture and market many of the silicon chips you would need; it's 'Playstation, http://www.rapidskunk.com Xbox, and Wii volume', and that IBM can do.

Shane Mcgrath - IT manager from Mortgage Report

Our government in Australia has made a statement the other day that they liken the broadband infrastructure like the roads and rail of the previous century we need to invest in the new infrastructure for tomorrow or we will come to a stop.

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