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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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I vote for scenario #1. Cable infrastucture development is too slow. I predict that it will be wireless internet or palm pilots in the future (people want fast internet without tying up a telephone line). I think it is getting windy (tornado warning?), but I can not tell which wireless internet companies are the potential gorillas. Recommendations from Bruce, Mike or Tinker (among others) are received graciously--Thanks--I promise to do some DD on the recs. By the way, I think scenario #1 is the only realistic scenario (by analogy, did you know windshield wipers were considered an option when cars first came out?).
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I predict that it will be wireless
internet or palm pilots in the future (people want fast internet without tying up a telephone line).

Your prediction will get a nod from MCI WorldCom and Sprint. Here's a Upside article on the technological feasibility of a wireless world and what it will take to shift to the Net.

Another Upside article addresses MCI WorldCom and Sprint's strategy and plan to reconfigure the MMDS (multichannel multipoint distribution service) spectrum for wireless broadband data and attack the last mile - the direct connection to a home or business.

Although WCOM and FON have launched competitive DSL service in several markets, both consider this a short term move and say that fixed wireless will be the primary vehicle to deploy broadband services to a mass market. And they have made large investments buying up small MMDS companies, which in turn have caused vendors such as Cisco, Lucent, Nortel and Motorola to start building a new generation of fixed wireless equipment to enable broadband services. The article points out challenges abound, MMDS is by no means an easy technology to master, and it's an industry littered with the corpses of those who have tried. Also, DSL and cable modems have a significant headstart, and it may not be easy for WCOM/FON to muscle in with their wireless MMDS strategies.

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I predict that it will be wireless
internet or palm pilots in the future (people want fast internet without tying up a telephone line).

DSL already allows your phone line to stay open...and you can remain connected online 24/ waiting to dial up, etc...

I believe Redback is expanding into the wireless broadband market.

Redback already dominates the DSL market, and should start to move aggressively into the cable broadband arena...but I also see wireless as being the ultimate in connectivity in the future.

Wireless just allows for more efficiency and convenience (use anywhere) which we all would like to have for work as well as personal use.

It is kind of interesting to see how the future may break down, in terms of society and technology...

In the past (and continuing through to the present) we have been forced to make the daily trek to rectangular buildings...sitting in cubicles and being dependent on the office hours to get things done.

Slowly but surely, more and more people presently are being able to use the internet to telecommute to their jobs, or to be freelancers...this trend will continue to grow, as it is a cost saving measure for companies, as well as making a happy workforce. It makes efficient use of the stay-at-home mothers and fathers, allowing families to stay closer together. Businesses will more and more be able to utilize virtual reality and videoconferencing (as the technologies become readily viable).

The argument then becomes...we will be a antisocial society, all hiding in our homes, conversing only through cyberspace.

We would start to resent being holed up in our corner of the what would be the answer?

Wireless broadband.

Wireless/Video broadband.

Wireless anything broadband.

I have no doubt that America, a society which holds freedom so dear, will enthusiastically embrace the freedom brought by wireless technologies.

I would be interested in seeing how some Asian cultures will respond to this type of individualism in the workplace, and in society.

Any Asian GGers on this board?

I would be interested to hear what you think about a move to telecommuting and to a shift away from a group regards to how Asian cultures will react to that possibility.

I think I am done rambling now...thats what I get for watching TV while I type!

Hope this was not too long.

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My first post. Been an observer. Just had to respond to dreamer. Seems like he's been watching too mant Sprint PCS commercials. But he could be right.
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First time "virgin" poster...Before I post, however, let me state that I'm not an Asian GG'er. I do have an interest in Japan and what's happening there.

WRT Asian cultures and wireless, I thought I would point out that wireless penetration and usage (phone and internet) Japan and in northern European countries is greater than in North America. It is not uncommon for Japanese school children to have their own cell phones; ditto Finns, Swedes, etc in Europe. Also in Japan, due to smaller homes and higher wired ISP connectivity charges (NT&T has a phone monopoly), wireless internet access is the preferred choice over home PCs. BTW, ever heard of DOCOMO? It's a BIG wireless Japanese ISP traded on the Tokyo SE. Japanese are also fond of electronic gadgets, and unlike some cultures, welcome things from outside their culture and uniquely "Japanize" it. Times are also changing, and today's young people in Japan are different than their parents. And finally, if you've ever been to Japan, commuting in the Tokyo-Yokohama or Osaka megalopolises is hell. So, I would assume many Japanese would welcome some commuting relief. Hey, what's to stop the "sarari-man" (salary man) from meeting his co-workers at the local watering hole after a hard day's work at home?

As I see it, IT and instantaneous communication with anyone,anywhere, anyplace will inexorably result in further decentralization, less waste and consumption (good for the planet and environment) and individual freedom as we evolve toward an "electronic cottage" existence.

As for TMF clubs, I enjoy reading the GG and Kua'aina Partners' posts. My friends and I have a private investment club over at Yahoo. I suppose I will infrequently post on the GG if I believe I have anything worthwhile to say.
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