John Sidgmore, vice chairman of MCI Worldcom, continues to proclaim his belief that Internet bandwidth will keep on growing at breakneck speed.
His keynote on the final day of Internet World, in Los Angeles this week, was a variation on a theme from in earlier speeches - that the demand for bandwidth is doubling every three and a half months.
That means that the providers of the Internet's backbone - including MCI Worldcom's Uunet division, which Sidgmore formerly headed - must increase their capacity 10 fold every year, just to keep up with demand. Growth might even speed up, as more users move to broadband access, predicted Sidgmore.
As John Chambers, chief executive officer of Cisco, said in his own keynote at Internet World (see Newswire 16 April), Sidgmore predicted the imminent convergence of voice and data traffic. But he added his own angle.
Sidgmore: "A lot of people ask me: 'When are we going to move voice to the Internet?' But in many ways it won't really matter." Voice will be such a small part of overall traffic, the Uunet chief predicted, that, "we won't even know it's there."
"We are going to continue to build capacity as fast as is humanly possible," Sidgmore concluded.
Sidgmore claimed that MCI Worldcom is now the only provider that can offer large enterprises worldwide connectivity on its own infrastructure, without having to partner with other telecommunications companies.
"That's the only way to guarantee quality," he claimed.
Throughout his keynote, Sidgmore joked about the high stock market valuations of Internet companies such as Amazon, Etrade and Ebay. For instance, he said that based on the same revenue multiples, Uunet should now be worth $974 billion.
"So I suggested to the [MCI Worldcom] board that we sell it back to the public a third time," joked Sidgmore, adding: "It worked out fine the first two times."
Sidgmore also joked about MCI Worldcom's recent run in with anti-trust regulators, who forced the merged company to shed its Internet service provider business.
"Perversely, through this [anti-trust] process we have made it clear to everyone that MCI Worldcom is the largest company in this market," said Sidgmore.
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