By H. L. Siddons, Jr


A Look ahead


As the 1990's come to a close, the primary Internet related issue that is on the minds of most industry pundits is bandwidth. Bandwidth, for those of you whom are not lingo savvy, is the speed and breadth of internet connections.  It can range from narrow-band, like the current 56k modems to high speed broadband which vary depending on particular technologies:


56K modem over POTS/Twisted Pair (traditional telephones)

LAN based T1/# (Corporations/businesses)


ISDN (local RBOCS)

CABLE MODEMS (Cable TV companies)

WIRELESS (like AT&T fixed wireless)

SATELLITE (i.e. Direct PC)


The most users in 2002 still use modems to connect to the internet.   This scenario will gradually change over the next five to ten years as:


All Cable companies provide cable modem based service

All Local exchange companies/RBOCS provide DSL (ADSL) capabilities

Wireless technologies are advanced providing broadband capabilities (fixed wireless)

Satellite companies like Direct TV provide both BellSouth's FastAccess and more Direct PC service


No one individual technology listed above will dominate, but perhaps compete. Lead players will be Cable companies like TCI/AT&T/MediaOne (@Home) or Time Warner/AT&T (Roadrunner) and Local exchange companies (RBOCS) like BellSouth and US West that now provide ISDN but are beginning to provide ADSL and will partner with distributors/portals such as BellSouth's FastAccess and AOL.