Business Week in an editorial writes, “That’s because the U.S. is becoming something of a broadband backwater, a place where almost no one can do what Kato and millions of other Japanese take for granted. Many Americans may think that the U.S. is making progress because the number of broadband Net links continues to climb, but that misses the bigger picture.” I agree – and had made a similar argument late last year in a column for CBS Marketwatch, Broadband…what Broadband! The Koreans and Japanese are enjoying a whole new generation of broadband applications including IPTV. “Broadband is the foundation upon which entire new generations of technology will be built: full-motion video, Web-based medical care, more sophisticated Internet telephoning, and online gaming. Already, companies abroad seem to be using their robust broadband markets to gain an edge on U.S. rivals. Korea’s NCsoft Corp. has come out of nowhere to become a tough contender in multiplayer online games,” Businessweek writes.
Many have laughed at me for constantly harping on the point, that the axis of technology world has moved to somewhere in South China Sea. I think we sit in our ivory towers with a myopic view of the world, getting excited about WiFi. Look when there are going to be a half-a-billion people in Asia using 50 megabits per second broadband connections, some of them – lets assume 0.0001% – will figure out a new use for the speed, will write applications and decide the direction of broadband. That will result in another 0.0001% figuring out how to build new hardware to make those networks work their way. You see where I am going with it. Anyway the whole article argues, correctly about backward looking regulatory policies are to blame for US falling behind in the broadband sweepstakes. Up until the point where it starts talking about WiMAX, the greatest FUD there ever was. I think WiMAX is going to turn out to be “push” technology of the 21st century.