Shortcutting The Online Traffic Jam

iBeam's satellite system can stream video straight to ISPs

Let's face it: Webcasts have so far been a bit of a bust. Last February, millions of Net users jammed an online Victoria's Secret fashion show that had been advertised during the Super Bowl. Only 40% of them got through--and those who did couldn't get a clear shot of the cyberflesh. The Oct. 9 NetAid rock concert fared better because organizers provided 10 times more video-streaming capacity from their servers. But even so, most of the 2.4 million Web surfers who logged on had to settle for stuttery sound and jerky, card-size images that made your typical dumb old TV seem pretty smart.

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