Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Bandwidth Bonanza

On October 15, 2001, the Minister of Science & Technology made some exciting announcements. For one, he declared that the new lowered bandwidth rates would not be uniformly applicable across the market (be it an ISP, a school or a non-profit organization) - something I stressed in my point 3 of one of my earlier blog. The new bandwidth rates would be US $6,000 per month. Also, the minister was quick to promise that these would be further brought down to US $ 4,000 per month! Of course, this would be a juicy price for every player in the market. Bigger ISPs will get tremendous cuts in their bills and they will probably move towards extending their backbones (and getting more dialup ports) rather than make profit on reduced bills.

As I've mentioned earlier, the time difference between these announcements and their actual implementation could be significant and hence the benefits are never passed on to the customers immediately. Apart from this price cut for the end user (whenever it materializes), another expectation would be of congestion free access to the Internet. However, this particular expectation might not possibly be achieved as the congestion problems often lie in bad ISP design and poor housekeeping at the service providers end. And since the end users will still be using dialup lines, the total impact of this might almost be insignificant. Those with ISDN or DXX access should, however, see better performance when their respective ISPs avail this facility and beef up their backbones at these reduced prices.