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One of the biggest barriers
to adopting hosted services has been bandwidth. Most businesses have had to pay
through the nose to get the bandwidth needed to effectively use a hosted
service, while others have found that the speeds needed are out of financial
reach.

Cablevision, in
a roundabout way, is solving that problem for their customers. The company is
launching high-speed broadband services at an affordable price that match
fast-Ethernet speeds, perhaps making the WAN perform as fast as the LAN.
Cablevision’s initial plan calls for the DOCSIS 3.0-based service to be
introduced to consumers in New York. The
company has not indicated if the service will be available for business users,
but that option is sure to follow.

Fast Ethernet-like
broadband speeds are sure to have an impact on hosted services, such as
storage, backup and applications. At 101M bps, hosted NAS becomes possible and
backups can be performed in a fraction of the time. Local solution providers
that plug into the same broadband backbone should be able to offer high-end
services to their customers, from data mirroring to hosting applications or
even becoming a hot site for data. The faster speeds are also bound to improve
the experience of users relying on remote desktop solutions or even hosted
virtual PCs.

The only catch
right now is that the 101M-bps speeds are limited to downloads, and upload
speeds will be limited to 15M bps. Even so, 15M bps is still a decent amount of
bandwidth for most applications, especially when one considers that most
services and applications use the most bandwidth when delivering information to
a user.

Hopefully,
Cablevision’s move will open up the market to more high-speed, low-cost
services. The company has thrown down the gauntlet, and it will only be a
matter of time before the likes of Verizon, Time Warner and Comcast respond.