I suspect our bandwidth usage will continually increase the more thirst we get for technology in our lives.
We already have come to enjoy the benefits given to us throughout the innovation cycles in technology. This includes the benefits of the web (web pages), the benefits of long distance real time messaging, video messaging, realistic priced phone calls using VoIP, and we’ll add P2P, although many still paint it in the ‘its illegal spotlight – but it isnt’.
I predict that our demands will still increase, despite innovation technologies that might reduce the consumption required.
Such an innovation occurred with AJAX, where a web page need only refresh to load the data a user has requested, instead of whole pages, with images.
I predict new emerging technologies will add more to our bandwidth demands. This is seen in games like Second Life for example (which I don’t play, simply, it consumes too much bandwidth for our quota).
Further, more and more will be done on the internet, instead of in the office in the future. The pressure is there for more to do tasks remotely, away from workplaces, simply because there’s numerous tasks that do not require workers in the office, or because qualified work isn’t available locally, or talent isn’t available here in AU.
Certainly there are plenty of skilled people in Australia, and trying to keep our dollars in our pockets is favourable, where appropriate (example: I would rather give Optus dollars over Telstra, simply because Optus is the battler here), and we should keep those Australians producing for Australia.
I think a key issue for bandwidth is that the backhaul in Australia is still overpriced (and companies haven’t ran backhaul where it is wanted – in competition with Telstra), and they have every oppourtunity to.
An example of backhaul being rolled out, is PIPE with iiNet in Sydney have ran backhaul to many of the ADSL2+ exchanges they have. Saves paying Telstra big bux, and introduces competition!
Our bandwidth desire will increase, by how much is unknown, when is still unknown, but we can be sure there are developers looking for ways to suck up bandwidth (and dollars) from internet users. We can see from that we’ll need more bandwidth, to cover our basic demands in the average networked homes.