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First time commenter here. Interesting blog.

I'm skeptical about any sort vast increase in broadband speeds, at least for the near term. We've been at around 2Mbps for what seems like ages now. It only recently creeped up to 3-6Mbps. I don't notice a pattern or anything at all resembling Moore's Law (or its equivalent). It seems like the ISPs are quite content squeezing us for as much cash as possible for as few features as possible.



It has to do with generations of technology, with a staircase rate of progression. The Moore's Law progression happens at the MAN and WAN, not the last-mile to the home.

People had 56k modems for about 7 years, and the 5-6 Mbps that they (50 million broadband subscribers) have now is effectively a 100X jump. Until now, rapid growth in the number of new BB subscribers meant all metro bandwidth was consumed by new users subscribing. Now, the user pool is saturating, so new switching technology will yield bandwidth to existing users, rather than be spread to new users like before.

Verizon does currently offer 15 Mbps for $50/month, but to only 3 million households. As they expand to many more households, AND the bandwidths increase, competitors will have to respond with the same.

Just wait and see... 100 Mbps by 2010, for $40/month, for most parts of the US.


This is all great and so exciting! One of your previous articles about the trend line of 'earth-like planet' discovery technology was also fascinating.

What I want to know, is when will medical science advance to the level where wrinkle reversing, skin rejuvination, hair cloning, etc, etc become normal, accessible AND affordable to the masses?

I know that the prospects of a world where ppl can be 50 but look (and more importantly, FEEL) 20 are very complicated...even messy.

But I still am always curious about this topic, and how we will see it unfold in our lifetimes.

Sorry to bring a flavor of vanity to the blog :)



Very crudely, I think this will be possible in 20-25 years, so well within the time in which you can benefit from it. The market opportunity is literally trillions of dollars, which means many brilliant minds are working on it.

Go to the Biotechnology section and read the 'Are your prepared to live to be 100' article, in which there are other links.

Hair cloning is actually only 5 years away.


I'll take any improvement I can get. By the time the US reaches 100% coverage of super high speed broadband, there will be a whole new internet and way of communicating that will be powerful.

Ankur Dewani

( http://news.cnet.com/2100-1034_3-6237715.html ) and various articles covered in the past few months have all been focused around how Ineternet usage and bandwidth would be 50 times more than today and the content created then would jam the internet space.

Typically utilization of bandwidth and usage is directly proportional to the no.,quality & results of QUERIES that a user inputs from the moment he logs on. These queries can be as simple as searching, or as intense as uploading. At the end of it, its all about minimizing the no. of queries.

We are trying to research the potential ways of minimizing these queries by pre-defining most searched "keywords" & "categories".

By not entering any search query, or typing for searches you would be skipping multiple steps and help in saving energy and bandwidth.

If we all try and add to this pre-defined list of searches, we can help save far more energy, bandwidth and money.

Help us all move towards the green technology.

(currently in beta stage)


I've signed up to a 100Mbps broadband service in London today, if I even get 50Mbps I'll be seriously impressed :-)


Its 2012 and I still feel the US has barely scratched the surface in regards to its internet capabilities. Households are slowly adapting to the need of high speed internet.

Mini Shekhar

India has been topping the list of internet users in recent years. In it considering the requirement of unlimited data and high-speed internet in Kerala, Asianet Broadband connections are among the best to choose. From a personal experience comparatively from the internet connection quality found in other destinations, Asianet is quite better. Check out their website for more details here, http://asianetbroadband.in/.


"Broadband Speeds of 50 Mbps for $40/month by 2010."

2019 - average broadband speed in the U.S. is currently 95 Mbps at $60 per month. The cost is a little more than the rate of inflation would account for ($46) but close enough, and for double the speed.

We passed 50 Mbps in 2014, so off by a little on the date. I think I know the reason - Netflix. 2010 was the year Netflix crushed Blockbuster, and took off in popularity adding > 5 million customers per year. As speeds increased, so did demand for new services that increased speed made possible. The new services strangely decreased the growth rate for the speed - the pipes were getting clogged slowing down everyone. So it required an additional build out, which took more time than purely technological improvements.

I guess there is a lesson there - better tech increases demand, but that demand may slow otherwise rapid growth for few years. The growth becomes tied back into a creaking infrastructure that takes longer to build out.

Imagine the explosive growth that will occur with Starlink. SpaceX is expecting $30 billion in revenue in 2025 from it, compared to $5 billion from launching rockets. 5 billion users of Internet data at speed comparable to 1 Gbps. Figure Musk is off a bit and it is 2030 till this happens (he is starting to launch star link this year, so we are past the experimental stage and into roll out). No matter what that is insane.

I imagine the same sort of thing happening to electric cars - everyone wants one, then the charging network is suddenly found to be wildly inadequate for the explosive growth. So there needs to be a build out of the charging network, and more generation, and in the mean time, sales of electric cars slow down while everything else catches up.

Kartik Gada


That is true. At the time, I did not think Comcast could get to such a monopolistic state, and stay that way for so long. In general, broadband speeds ought to follow Moore's Law rates. Other countries' speeds rose faster than the US did.

Note that wireless is working around the bottleneck of wired broadband speeds. 5G Wireless may be faster than landline broadband in most cases.

You are correct about Elon Musk's timeline. He tends to overestimate the rate of progress greatly (in 2007, he said Tesla would have a $30,000 car by 2013).

Thanks for looking back into the archives.


I actually looked this up because I read something about Star link, and wondered what you might have said about internet speeds in the past - where are we at on the time line?

1 Gbps sounds like a reversion to the straight line projection to me. That is jumping from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps in < 10 years. What is it you say? The longer the pause, the greater the eventual leap forward? That seems to be what is about to happen.

And if you analyze star link - what is making that possible? The idea for it goes back decades, but no one could pull it off. For it to work you needed cheap space launches, and mass produced satellites. But for THAT to happens, the satellite components needed to get really cheap (Moore's law). And rockets needed to become reusable (better sensors and controls, Moore's law again).

So we have a clear situation where the ATOM encounters an obstacle (Comcast and government monopoly), and after a brief pause, finds a way around it. Like a stream flowing around a rock.

I like that your site now has a long enough time line that we can definitively look back and gauge accuracy. You've rarely hedged your bets. I also like the idea of analyzing the accuracy of the past predictions - it can only help further refine timelines going forward.

Kartik Gada


So we have a clear situation where the ATOM encounters an obstacle (Comcast and government monopoly), and after a brief pause, finds a way around it. Like a stream flowing around a rock.

Indeed. 5G wireless and Starlink appear to be avenues that do exactly that (and are highly analogous to Fracking vs. OPEC, etc.).

Note that in India, there are only 40M broadband landlines, but 500M 4G wireless subscriptions. India has by far the cheapest mobile download costs in the world.

For Starlink, low-cost satellites, enough Internet density over most of the world, etc. all needed to happen. That means that as powerful as Comcast is on one country, the rest of the world can leave it behind, and ensure that pressure to topple Comcast arises from the outside.

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