It's not enough for a company to identify itself as an Internet service provider, offer up bandwidth and then let the stream flow. According to a report from Probe Research, a Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based technology analysis company, ISPs need to start "managing" their bandwidth. With proper management, bandwidth can be doled out based on traffic considerations: i.e. customer rates can be established according to how fast or slow users are able to surf the Web.
Tony Marson, research director of Probe Research's Worldwide Internet Traffic, said that while companies have jumped on the bandwidth bandwagon, if they do not tend to their bandwidth streams, they'll risk "expending valuable capital resources for only a short term gain." Worse, for the rest of us, they are going to help clog the virtual highways.
"Just as adding more lanes to highways generates more traffic," said Marson, in the report, "additional bandwidth capacity only provides temporary relief from congestion, as it tends to stimulate new applications and more traffic."
So how soon will companies adopt the tiered pricing plan suggested by Marson? Well, let's put it this way: adoption should take place with all the speed of a 14.4k modem. Marson said competition between service providers is just too strong to see any change in the current market.