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Broadband competition: Is this as good as it gets?
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 11:33:57 -0400

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From: dewayne () warpspeed com (Dewayne Hendricks)
Date: August 22, 2008 10:57:29 AM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Broadband competition: Is this as good as it gets?


Competition in the broadband space is currently about as good as it's going to get for the foreseeable future, and could even backslide, according to Blair Levin, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. "Prospects for the long-heralded 'third pipe' appear dim and dimming," Levin said, referring to the notion of a hypothetical major competitor to both telco and cable companies. "In terms of wireless and broadband buildouts, there's unlikely to be another new national buildout, other than Clearwire, in the foreseeable future," Levin said. At times, municipalities and utility energy providers have been proposed as possible providers of a 'third pipe.' But energy firms retreated en masse from dalliances in telecom during the industry's bubble correction shortly after the turn of the century, and broadband-over- powerline technology has thus far failed to take off. Municipal broadband efforts, meanwhile, have met with mixed results. "There's not that much left to be disruptive," Levin continued. "White spaces could be in rural areas, and a little bit in broadband, but I don't think so. Other things that people are looking to be disruptive I don't think will happen." At the same time, Levin said 4G wireless rollouts in 2010 or 2012 could represent a significant change in the competitive landscape. "That is a far more significant competitive threat than I think people realize," he said, adding that, for wireline providers feeling the sting of wireless substitution, "The worst ... is yet to come."


Courtesy of the Benton Foundation <http://www.benton.org>
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