Bandwidth to the home will remain a barrier to comprehensive Net adoption for at least five years and not be solved until 2008.
Analyst company Gartner Group says the idea that technology peddled by carriers, such as digital subscriber line (DSL) services, will solve the Internet bandwidth problem is flawed.
DSL enables telcos to significantly increase the downstream flow of data to users across standard telephone lines, while cable companies are persisting with cable modems, despite the slow initial take up.
?Low cost mass access bandwidth to the home will not be a reality until at least 2005, and Internet 2 will dramatically expand backbone bandwidth in the same timeframe,? said analyst David Smith, presenting at Gartner Group?s annual US Symposium this week.
Increasing demand as price falls will also prevent bandwidth from being free, as some have predicited. A further myth debunked by Smith?s claims is that Web portals are going to dominate Internet content, becoming the principal gateway and index to all existing sites. A company?s URL Internet address will remain ?the most important tool for an enterprise?s presence on the Web?.
Nor will the Internet cross all national boundaries. Significant cultural, legal and economic barriers to widespread access and use of the Internet will remain. China, building what Smith describes as ?The Great Firewall of China?, is just one example.
The fastest growth rates will be outside the US, with 60 per cent of Internet users residing in the rest of the world by the end of 2000, up from 45 per cent now.
The final key myth currently surrounding the Internet, said Smith, is that it is easier to outsource Web development. Internet technologies such as ecommerce are becoming strategic and many can be reused in the enterprise. Outsourcing can also leave organisations without Web skills in house, he warns.
One belief that remains true is the massive impact of the Internet. Gartner has 25 per cent of consumer and 70 per cent of business to business spending in developed countries being Internet involved in 2008. Four years sooner, 80 per cent of enterprise standards will be based on Internet technology.
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