More Evidence Of US Bandwidth Shortage

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According to The Inquirer, ABI Research has issued a report that US cable companies are heading for a crisis because they do not have the bandwidth or switching capacity to handle the increase in video traffic over the web. There is a competing school of thought that says the bandwidth shortage reports are a smoke screen for cable to charge websites like YouTube more money for their services. It is, in essence, a way to break the "net neutrality" rule that says that all users and websites are treated the same.

ARS Technica reports that "local cable provider will soon be faced with a serious bandwidth crunch." One analysis shows that cable companies may have to go to the great expense to lay fiber the same way that Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) are to deliver high-speed internet and HDTV.

Is there a looming bandwidth problem for cable. Neither side of the debate has proved that it is right. But, if the size of the cable pipe becomes troublesome, US telecoms will pick up a big marketing advantage.

Douglas A. McIntyre