Is bandwidth a tradable commodity?

17 January 2013 | Kavit Majithia

Epsilon's decision to reintroduce a bandwidth trading platform after widespread failures in the market over a decade ago has again brought about the age-old question: is bandwidth a tradable commodity?


Over a decade ago, the former founder and board member at US exchange company Arbinet, Alex Mashinsky, met with a group of Enron executives.

During the meeting, he looked the group of hard-nosed traders in the eyes and told them, that while their idea to create a bandwidth exchange platform was interesting, "it was not going to be about data for the next 10 years, it was going to be about voice".

The board ignored Mashinsky and told him in no uncertain terms that "there is an insurmountable amount of money in bandwidth trading". The rest, as they say, is history.

Enron invested aggressively in bandwidth trading, and attempted to consolidate a market that had little belief their model would work. Enron's hard-line approach quickly left its investors out of pocket, and the company eventually went bust.

Although his prediction proved correct, Mashinsky regrets voicing his concern to the...


  • Richard Elliott has nailed it; primarily they were corrupt and dishonest and arrogantly incapable of listening to what their would be customers were telling them.

    Hugh McGarry Feb 05, 2013

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