Big Bandwidth Debate Picking Up Steam

Our Capacity Conversation Community Welcomes New Activity

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With Capacity, or Bandwidth, trading becoming more of a hot topic lately, it's nice to have a place to go. helps "to capture the conversation. To provide a forum to discuss the feasibility of real-time capacity trading; and the eventual implications on the communications landscape: Service Providers, Wholesalers, OEMs, and end-users alike." We've showcased a few opinions, and have received some rather enthusiastic comments on either side of the BIG question "Can Capacity, or Bandwidth, be traded like any other Commodity?"


Roy Rubenstein (@RoyHarvey, shared "The idea of bandwidth trading is certainly timely... Large service providers such as Microsoft and Google talk about the need for elastic bandwidth to meet their requirements... [but] I'm still to be convinced this will happen now." His post ushered in a few responses, one from Mobsource (@mobsource), announcing "Bandwidth trading is back! We are about to launch the worlds first carrier exchange or dark pool for bandwidth suppliers to anonymously, monetizing their excess capacity..." Mobsource purports to "make it easy to purchase high capacity, global bandwidth and IT online at the lowest prices."

The mobile telecom heads over at (@MobbbTV) penned a piece announcing that there are several hurdles to jump before "bandwidth trading can become a viable 'operational' tool for operators to manage - and monetize - their capacity." Mobbb.TV concluded their guest blog post with a self-perfromed Q & A: "Could bandwidth trading happen? Yes. Will it? I'm not betting on it."

Here are a few more bandwidth nuggets, panned and offered up on our Bandwidth Debate Community site:

  • YES - Whatever the technology issues, bandwidth trading is sound economics. Rational markets succeed wherever there is a finite supply and permanent demand.
  • NO - The problem with bandwidth is that it's not a commodity. It's not fungible. Just like electricity isn't - which is another reason Enron and companies like them (i.e. dynergy) blew up trying to future trade it as such.
  • YES - 'Does it happen today' - yes. That is the basis of dark fibre or Ethernet exchanges - a lot of core traffic is sold via middle-men and trading companies. 'Did it happen in last mile?’, sort of, in some places. 'Is there a lot of trading?' not in the 'frothy' way that commodities are traded, but it is bought and sold.
  • MAYBE - Un-utilized capacity = lost money. Like open seats on an airplane. In the telecom world, if the clearing system were efficient, and buyers trusted the capacity they were getting, it would work.

Have something add? Care to pen your own post? Join us on the (@BandwidthDebate | #bigbandwidthdebate). We'd love to have you.