Dot.com take 2: Web 2.0 plus powerful broadband re-ignite e-commerce

But this time the story includes more players and will not end in a crash as it now has the infrastructure to support it, according to analysts.

Malone does not buy into the hype around Web 2.0 and the opportunities it is meant to open for ISPs.

"As far as I'm concerned, Web 2.0 is just business as usual," he said.

"The term implies that there is a new version of the Internet that was released by the developers on a particular date. It's not like that at all. It's more akin to the differences between Generation X and Generation Y."

The point to all 'Web 2.0' applications is that consumers are not passive recipients of content created by business, Malone said, but that they are active participants and contributors.

"I look at that and say "well duh". That's always been the whole point of the Internet. The World Wide Web wasn't created to be a set of business billboards. It was fundamentally designed so that everyone could contribute his or her own content, and that's exactly the way it has been from the beginning."

Malone admitted that Web 2.0 did mean that the Internet is more central to customer's lives now, which was a benefit to ISPs.

"On the downside, (Internet access) is also becoming a commodity. It's no longer just about "getting access", so the pure ISP is going to move into the background as a utility in that respect," he said.

"The customer trend is about what they use the Internet for now, not just about getting on board."

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Dahna McConnachie

Good Gear Guide

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