Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Internet Superhighway On Ramp Glut

The allure of those early company websites spawned a digital e-commerce explosion called the dot.com era. Entrepreneurs rode the consumer wave, raising venture capital and betting their life savings on electronic storefronts. Every concept imaginable was launched online, from adopting pet rocks to using virtual currency for retail purchases, there was a website for every hobby, interest and consumer product idea. Communications network providers not only raced to keep up with growing online community, but ended up providing more network capacity than the online community could support. At the height of the network build between 1998-2000, it was estimated that only 11 percent of the fiber-optic cables linking major cities in the United States and Europe were actually lit up or equipped with networking gear for transmitting voice and data traffic. While not all of the companies that invested billions laying fiber across the planet filed for bankruptcy, many big players, including Global Crossing, Flag Telecom and 360networks, learned they had overestimated how much access consumers would demand and how much content developers would commit to contributing to the worldwide web. So while network infrastructure providers suffered financially because they were way out in front of the digital race, the longer term benefits of technology breakthroughs such optical fiber, set the stage for how we both enjoy and conduct business online today. Inevitably, the demand for broadband services among residential and business customers has continued to grow at a fast clip.
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