The future of dumb pipes

The ITU’s Broadband Commission has rejected the future of Stupid Networks. In its report, A 2010 Leadership Imperative: Towards a Future Built on Broadband, there is an important point made, under the heading of “Action Point 3: Using Transparent, Fair, Competitive, Technology-neutral Models”:

It should be recognized that intelligently-managed state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure is the prerequisite for future new content services and applications. Without such infrastructure, which needs to be financed adequately by the users and end-users (eg, customers and anyone offering services and applications over the Internet), there will be no possibility for sustainable growth in data and Internet usage.

A comment on my Wednesday post referred to “the tsunami of disruption”, also known as “open internet-driven innovation over dumb pipes.”

But the ITU Broadband Commission’s report, delivered last weekend to the United Nations Millenium Development Goals project, has a different perspective. It says that:

Higher capacity access to the Internet provides a platform for a wider range of applications so it is implicit that investments in such capacity can benefit and reward innovative and creative ideas for applications. Those who invest in communications capacity are not necessarily those who may benefit from applications and services, so innovative mechanisms need to be found to ensure that broadband deployment is not stalled through lack of investment.

Different visions of the future. Your comments are welcome.

3 thoughts on “The future of dumb pipes”

  1. So I looked at who is on the commission, Carlos Slim, why would a man who owns one of the largest communications carriers in the world chair a report that advances stupid/open networks. The top carriers have no desire to change the status quo, they want data moving through their expensive infrastructure, they want users to buy their solutions and services. Look at what the Netflix model has done to Blockbuster, I am sure Rogers, Bell and Mr. Slim’s Telmex look at that and see that kind of change someday coming to their delivery models.

  2. Electricity was once a relative luxury item and a vertically integrated too. But, unlike the days of Edison and Westinghouse, you don’t expect now to have to buy every electrical item from toaster oven to laptop computer exclusively from the Ontario Hydro company store.

    Would Carlos Slim rather we ban Gmail and go back to ISP email only? Would he rather we ban all land-line phones but phones leased from the telco in order to “ensure adequate investment in networks?”. Oh wait, that’s how cell phone service does work today doesn’t it?

    Not forever.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention The future of dumb pipes • Telecom Trends --

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