Afterward Cuban writes the following:
There is no moores law for bandwidth to the home.
This may be both the most ironic and false statement I have read this year.
Ironic, because Cuban made his immense fortune from Broadcast.Com based on the proposition that the Internet would become a media channel. False, because the only reason there is "no Moore's Law of bandwidth to the home" is because of Bell and cable hoarding.
Consider Moffet's statement "the existing infrastructure from the telcos – DSL running at speeds of just 1.5Mbs or so – simply won’t be adequate to be considered “broadband” in five years or so."
Why is DSL 1.5 Mbps? Anyone, Mark, anyone? It's because that is all the Bells choose to sell. Use VOIP for voice, use all the copper frequency for Internet service, and even with 1999 technology you're looking at 7 MBps. I have seen gear that moved data even faster over existing copper plant. But the Bells won't buy it so there is no market for research in this area.
You don't have to fun fiber to every home in order to boost that considerably. Cable doesn't. Cable is now a two-way street because fiber was run to neighborhoods, to pedestals serving hundreds of homes each. Just running fiber between existing switch centers, and placing pedestals for inter-connects every half-mile or so, would probably equal that. (And in most cities I bet that job is half-done already.)
And as for cable. How much of the digital capacity of a cable service is served through the cable modem? One channel. That's it, one channel out of 100 (sometimes 500). How difficult would it really be to serve two or four channels of Internet service in the average cable household? What would it cost -- a gospel channel? Maybe the umpteenth Disney channel, the one dedicated to 1930s cartoons? Who's going to notice? And besides, you can always extort better deals from cable channel producers if your capacity is constrained providing Internet service.
The claim Cuban is repeating, in other words, is 100% false. It's what I like to call Bell-shit.
- Moore's Law of Fiber, or DWDM, means optical fiber carries 100's more traffic than it did before.
- Moore's Law of Radios means 802.11 wireless networks that were 1 mbps a decade ago can now run at 100 mbps, and more.
Now, Cuban is right about one thing. We will not have true broadband in 10 years, we won't break the TV barrier on our Internet connections, unless something is done.
But that something is not new technology. That something is to break the duopoly.
- Force the Bells to re-sell capacity again, as in the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
- Do the same thing to the cable operators.
- Allow municipal competition.
- Encourage the creation of Wireless ISPs.
I guarantee that if you do these things you will see a lot more broadband. We don't need government subsidies here, but we do need government action.