Back to the bandwidth exchange

Here's an idea from a decade back from a figure also well-known in the "˜90s.

Neil Tagare, the founder of Flag Telecom and the ill-fated Project Oxygen, has launched an online bandwidth exchange, BuySellBandwidth.

"I believe that the current business model is extremely inefficient. Coupled with the current economic climate around the world, the carriers are really hurting," Tagare said in his blog.

The exchange sells data pipes, voice minutes, access, peering, transit and collocation. It's free for members, with no commission. Tagare says he will later charge membership fees - membership is by invitation only.

As well as being a concept reborn, it is also trying to breathe new life into the discredited concept of bandwidth swaps. Swapping used to be common in the old consortium days, but the idea was given a bad press by Global Crossing, who claimed the swaps as capacity sold.

Tagare's fresh take is that different kinds of capacity can be swapped - a Wimax access link for a data pipe, for example. 

That aside, I think a lot of capacity providers would be surprised to find the industry had any market gaps left.

Telegeography research director Stephan Beckert says his team was "not really clear what problem he's trying to solve, or how his bandwidth trading club would solve it."

One bandwidth exec said he thought the idea might fly in Europe or North America, but not in more regulated Asian markets.

The site was launched on July 8 and has several posts, apparently most from India.