Bandwidth is the Oil of the New Economy

In the often legally and technologically complicated world of technology policy, metaphor is often the best weapon. My summer rock climbing buddy Tim Wu recently published an op-ed in NYT entitled OPEC 2.0, arguing that "Just as the industrial revolution depended on oil and other energy sources, the information revolution is fueled by bandwidth."

Later Tim writes, "In an information economy, the supply and price of bandwidth matters, in the way that oil prices matter: not just for gas stations, but for the whole economy." I think the comparison of oil and bandwidth is remarkably powerful, especially in the policy battles in Africa, where the essential challenge is actually convincing politicians they have more to gain from promoting innovation through cheaper Internet then from continuing to side with anti-competitive incumbent telecoms.

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1 Comments:

  • bandwidth is a big hinderance to creative ideas in Africa, many promising projects suffer due to bandwidth limit or cost. We have an African TV online streaming service, AfricaMars that we are building around p2p technology to reduce our reliance on bandwidth.
    Companies need to find solutions to such problems inorder to survive.

    By Blogger zidakman, at 5:09 PM  

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