Sorry, Mr. Gilder, the telephone companies fumbled the cables

by Andy Oram

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New York Times tells us that the bottleneck of the "last mile" to the home is so bad that there is now actually over-capacity in backbones. Companies that built fiber infrastructure (on the expectation of getting huge numbers of high-bandwidth users) are going out of business. I don't think George Gilder expected the phone companies to botch their end of things so badly when he predicted a high-bandwidth digital renaissance. To be fair, there's a chicken-and-egg problem: too few enticing end-user applications because of the lack of bandwidth, and too few users signing up for expensive bandwidth because they don't see applications in store.