Like I said, I sense that the buzz we got from VoIP three years ago (just for the record, I didn't inhale) is being revived on fiber this year. A couple of Double Platinum mega-uber value readers have pointed me towards recent developments in Germany and France which further make the case.At the end of last year I advised and invested in Moscow's largest gigabit ethernet company (Russian only). Not big by anyone standards but it has a disproportionate amount of my personal savings. What is interesting is not the provision of big bandwidth Internet that will have Moscow outpacing the more leisurely speeds I am encountering in the UK right now, but the impact that this will have on Russia's entertainment market.
Broadcast television adopted a very US-centric model with some 4-5 major networks and another 3-4 scrabbling for the second tier scraps. There is no cable industry to speak of and I don't believe that one will ever truly emerge - at least not as it is known in the US. Russia will instead make a straight technology leap to entertainment on demand - pulled not pushed. With both STS/CTC and TV3 looking to IPO this year and new, more restrictive, advertising laws coming in to force it looks as though 2007 will be a year for some advertising fun. And VOD business models for emerging markets?
In the very high density urban areas in and around Moscow bandwidth has to be scalable - fiber is the answer and it is CHEAP.