Om Malik is suggesting that the slowing rate of broadband adoption in the US will lead companies to try and boost their speeds to upsell consumers. It makes sense, as it will allow them to continue growing, even as the early boosts from the initial wave of broadband adoptions start to fade.
Now, that’s a much more positive angle on the broadband industry than the UK is showing. Virgin’s call for the BBC to contribute to the bandwidth costs of the successful iPlayer is just ludicrous. For one, the BBC is already paying its own supplier, and at the other end, the customer is already paying for the bandwidth. If the ISPs were genuinely committed to serving their customers, they’d have been following the rapid growth of audio and video streaming and downloading amongst their users, and putting plans in place to facilitate it. Penalising another company for being popular with their customers is just not the way forward.
This is an important debate for those of us in the media to keep a watch on. This fundamentally affects both the major future content delivery platform for our work – and our costs for accessing it.