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You can never have enough bandwidth: The thirst for high-speed connectivity is proving difficult to slake. "The main thing that stands out is the increasing need for broadband both on the business side and on the consumer side," says Donna Jaegers, a senior analyst specializing in telecom with financial consultancy D.A. Davidson in Denver. She expects to see more build-out in 2011 and 2012. "Qwest is continuing to build out fiber to the node and I would expect CenturyLink will accelerate that."


What was seen as too much capacity a decade ago is now not enough. "A lot of the dreams that inspired the building of that capacity are now coming true," says Jaegers, citing streaming Netflix as the most prominent example of a product of this seemingly limitless bandwidth. "Even the dream that you'd be able to get multiple camera angles of a sporting event from hitting a button on your remote has come true."

With cheap and plentiful broadband comes innovation, Jaegers says. "It's a virtuous cycle. That means you get new apps consumers want and that drives the customer to imagine new apps as well."

Consolidation is on the horizon for the telecom space, especially on the long-haul side, Jaegers adds. "We've got too many players in the market and that's making it hard for them to make money on their investments."

A decade in the making, "The stars are starting to align" for a wave of M & A; she says--Level 3 and Global Crossing might just be the first domino to fall.
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Title Annotation:TRENDS IN TECH
Date:May 1, 2011
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