Who Will Be First To Dump Asymmetric Bandwidth? (VZ, T, BLS, GOOG, CMCSA)

Includes: BLS, CMCSA, GOOG, VZ
by: Yankee Group

By Carl Howe

Why can't the bits go out as fast as they come into my home?

When we wrote about AT&T and Verizon launching must-lose-money TV, we recommended that one of the things carriers could do to revive their moribund local line businesses was to deliver upstream as well as downstream bandwidth. It turns out, I'm not the only one who thinks that today's asymmetrical broadband services are just roadblocks to both small business needs and telco growth. Yesterday, Doc Searls wrote an insightful piece titled, The Costs of Asymmetry where he postulates that asymmetrical services actually are stifling new business opportunities and growth. And he points to out that there really is no technological reason for this other than some flawed assumptions the telcos made about a decade ago.

So the question is, which carrier will be the first to provide symmetrical services as a differentiating concept to capture small businesses and the consumer digerati?

My bet: it won't be a traditional carrier at all. My bets are on 1) a new entrant such as Google, and/or 2) Comcast, as a strategy to capture business customers who don't think about cable as an option. But given that companies like Verizon already offer symmetric DSL to businesses, they could steal a march on their competitors; all it would take is vision and some different marketing.

And by the way, is it just me, or does Doc Searls bear a startling resemblance to Teddy Roosevelt?