i completely understand that acquisition is a common and valid means to grow
a business. however, with closed peering as a way of life for our industry,
a lot of deals are done which only make money for the investment bankers and
don't actually "grow business". closed peering is all about greed and not
about service levels, competitive pricing, or overall sector health.
The reason we have this industry alive is investment bankers. Had we not had
it, there would not have been abundance of fiber, abundance of competition
and easy accessibility of IP. Like it or not, without these games we would
have still though of a T1 as of a huge pipe.
This is getting off topic, but...
I think this is putting the cart before the horse.
We were getting upgraded bandwidth capabilities,
fiber put in the ground, etc from traditional Telcos
prior to the rise of the Internet; they were finding cheaper
ways to run phone service around.
The rise of the Internet as a telecom bandwidth demand
driver attracted the attention of investment bankers
and capital, which then became somewhat of a set of
complex feedback loops (capital going into all sorts
of internet industries, infrastructure, etc, partly
because it appeared to be good business and partly
because of hype). The result was that speculation
and hype drove overcapacity.
Before anyone had invested serious money in any of
the internet infrastructure companies, people were
building out 10 megabit, T3 backbones and were talking
to telco gear providers about what it would take to
do 155 megabit and 622 megabit backbones and so on
and so on. It was clear to those of us in the late
80s and early 90s that if demand kept pulling, we needed
to keep creating bandwidth. It was not clear at all
that demand would keep pulling until 2000 at the same
rate it had been... people kept proposing the growth
curve and then everyone would discount it as ludicrous.
But in no way can you claim that it took a terabuck
in capital push to make it happen. Demand pull was
fully operational and working just fine before
ISPs started being snapped up by phone companies
and visa versa, and the huge money came into play.
Hype might have been lower and growth somewhat
slower, but I can easily see the set of people
who were building out backbones with T-1s and
the early fiber links having grown them up to
networks capable of today's traffic. And they'd
probably make a lot more topological and engineering
sense and run more smoothly, to bring it back to
an operational point here at the close
-george william herbert