Conferenced out – never! Just stimulated by our industry

01 December 2011 | John Hibbard

Having just spent a couple of stimulating days in Kuala Lumpur at yet another well attended Capacity Asia conference, I am now looking forward to the upcoming PTC conference in anticipation of further discussions on some of the most interesting elements of the KL conference. Latency and network security were again topics which piqued the interest of the participants. There was real fascination with the developments of the Arctic cable across the north of Canada, but also the recent news that the Polarnet project across the waters north of Russia may be revived. When you link these initiatives with those of Hibernia and Emerald across the Atlantic, you can see that drive for lower latency is strong.

Equally so is the drive for network diversity and security. It is easy to lose perspective of the magnitude of demand for international connectivity. TeleGeography estimates that total international bandwidth was around 40Tbps at the end of 2010 and is growing at 50% per annum. That means that we will add 20Tbps this year, 30Tbps next year, 45 the year after. And there is no sign that the growth is backing off, and many pundits suggest that demand for mobile internet will increase the growth rate. No wonder there is the heightened interest in 40G and 100G wave technology. Such is needed just to keep up with the seemingly insatiable demand and hence the big concern about diversity and security as more of the world’s economy depends on electronic communication. One thing this does show is that we are in an exciting industry and a great place to be given all the glumness around us about the state of the global economy. It confirms the survey results that people will give up dining out, or going to the movies, if it means they now have the money to pay for their mobile phone and/or internet connection.

So I can’t wait to get to upcoming PTC conference in January to hear the next installment on developments in our industry. Held each year in Hawaii, it is one of the more significant conferences for the international telecoms community and complements ITW next year in Chicago and Capacity Asia. As the current PTC president, I am deeply involved but I will be just one of the two to three thousand people who we expect again for an intense combination of presentations, panel discussions and networking. Capacity discussions of all forms, cable, satellite and terrestrial have a significant place in the agenda. I look forward to seeing many Capacity readers there.

John Hibbard is CEO of Hibbard Consulting. He can be contacted at: