snapshot in time
since 1997, if nothing changed we would actually start clogging up the sparse fiber connections by carriers such as AT&T and Comcast... but PLENTY has changed.. allow me to paint a broad picture.
1. signal technologies can now squeeze 1000%+ the bandwidth through the SAME fiber optic cables already laid.
2. actual fiber buildouts in areas outside the northeast US and around the globe continue.
3. the number of companies building fiber from 1997 - 2010 has increased, even local governments (muni builds) are involved in building fiber in the last mile.
4. the price for broadband dropped 1997 - 2010 (enough residential consumers out of the northeast got access to broadband for the first time sparking a nationwide trend) Some people who were screwed in 1997 and could only get dialup are still screwed-- stuck with decades old piss poor technology (thanks for NOTHING QWEST!!-- the worst telecom screwup of this bellcurve)
So, if you want the next 10 year snapshot... let's revisit in 2017, god willing we're all here then..