Cloud 2012 vs Broadband/Fiber 2000 Investments: Is Another Crash Looming, I Don’t Think So

The telecommunications sector suffered a major crash in 2000 as multi-billion investments in fiber optic infrastructure went unused. Take a look at the sharp decline in Corning’s stock price back then (Corning is among the world’s largest manufacturer of fiber optic cabling). It has only been in the last few years that much of this so-called dark fiber has been “lit”. There are some parallels in today’s investments in cloud infrastructure. Every venture capitalist is scrambling to find and fund the next cloud service provider, who will either go public like Carbonite or get acquired, like Mozy with EMC. To quote Kevin Costner from Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come”. But I don’t think that the telecom/broadband collapse of the past will occur with today’s cloud providers. There will obviously be winners and losers, and many of the startup firms exhibiting at big Cloud tradeshows will undoubtedly be out of business next year. But the exponential growth of digital images and (high-definition) video , combined with phones (with minimal on-device storage) complementing if not replacing PC’s as the preferred means of online communications, then offsite or cloud-based storage will be just fine, with double if not triple-digit growth for the foreseeable future.