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No. of Recommendations: 5
There is a disturbing article in this month's Red Herring at p. 102 entitled "If left to the phone and cable companies, broadband could remain a pipe dream."

We all have heard and/or experienced horror stories re the fact that it is a pain in the ass to get DSL up and running. In the above-referenced article, the author tells his own horror story and then outlines three scenarios re adoption. First, the rapid rollout scenario under which we reach 40 million subscribers by 2005. The author concludes this is unlikely because we currently do not have a competent installation and support industry. I have to agree with this assessment based upon my own DSL experience. Second, the slow rollout scenario under which we don't reach 40 million users until late in this decade. This scenario relies on local phone companies, cable companies, and independent contractors gradually developing the necessary skills and hiring the employees to meet the demand. This looks like what is happening now. Third, the pushback scenario under which customers get frustrated and reject the technology altogether because of poor customer service. My experience suggests that this is a possiblity (I was so pissed at SBC that I canceled the day they did the install and am now trying to get DSL from COVD via my local ISP, GEEK).

Two questions: first, do our investments in RBAK, CMTN, COVD, BRCM, etc. assume the first or second scenario? My guess is the first, but I hope I am wrong. Second, how likely is the third scenario? I hope not very, but I am interested in what others think.
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