Pirated online content. Don't believe for a second everyone is only streaming Hulu 24x7, both up and down.
Go look at actual studies of bandwidth usage rather than what the MPAA/RIAA is spewing. P2P is not the #1 bandwidth category, Internet video (primarily YouTube) is.
Maybe you don't use MLB.tv, CNN's online video, CBS.com, Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, Blockbuster Online Access, or YouTube. But the stats say that there are a hell of a lot more people using legal services than pirating. For one thing, it's considerably easier.
It's plenty fast for people's current needs with regards to legit online content. You don't need to download a song from iTunes in less than 1 second, you can't stream the video from Hulu any faster than what the video plays at.
Hulu provides low-resolution, low-bitrate videos because people have shitty DSL connections. Go watch a Blu-ray disc and compare it to Hulu or even Netflix's online "HD". Now tell me why it's unreasonable to want the same level of quality from Internet video.
Where the "demand" is coming from is people "demanding" they download 100GB worth of Steam patches and games, download the song from iTunes in 1 second, and watch full screen HD on three TVs.
Oh, I see, we should buy all of our software in cardboard boxes, wait 20 minutes to download an album, and watch crappy low-resolution Internet video.
People demand better service than they did in 2002. My GPU is easily 50x faster than it was in 2002. My CPU is at least 10x faster (depending on how you consider multicore). I have 16x more memory, 20x more disk space, and a monitor that's twice as large and quadruple the resolution.
So, yeah, do I expect to be able to stream HD video? Yes. Do I expect to be able to download games and other software quickly? Yes. Do I expect to be able to download music without waiting for minutes? Yes.
People always quote the "Oh, well my family will do all that together." People forget that the majority of the subscribers out there are us single people. Do we need 15 HD streams coming in?
No one needs ANY HD streams. What we *want* is an Internet connection where we don't have to think, "Oh crap, I ran out of bandwidth!". Being able to pull Fedora and watch Netflix at the same time would be a start.
Despite what you think, the consumer doesn't control the way content comes to you.
History disagrees. Hollywood fought TV and the VCR. We won. The TV networks fought DVRs. We won. Record companies refused to sell DRM-free music. We won.
Every single time some new technology comes along, the content companies bitch and moan. And then they fold. And of course, the technologies that are supposed to kill them never actually do.
Every time a technological advance is made, someone tries to rain on the parade by claiming that the technology is unnecessary. What would anyone do with a 1GB hard drive? What would anyone do with a 1.5Mbps connection all to themself? What would anyone do with a dual-core CPU?
The thing is, we ALWAYS find a use. Maybe the future is 4x HD resolution, or 3D, or higher color depth. Maybe it's games with better graphics (and larger patches), software as a service, or PCs that boot over the Internet.
The great thing about the Internet is that the people who own the pipes don't get to decide how they are filled. YouTube couldn't have existed in a world of dial-up. Steam doesn't fly on 256k DSL. And Netflix won't be able to stop mailing discs around until we all have 10Mbps+.
We are talking about the end of content distribution as we know it. Now, I don't think that the future of entertainment is teenagers making videos on YouTube. But I do think that you have to be crazy to believe that the future of entertainment is watching one of the 140 channels you subscribe to. The future is anything, anytime. The Internet is the technology that enables that future. That's why 100Mbps matters.