An interesting story in this morning's New York Times titled "Unlike U.S., Japanese Push Fiber Over Profit" talked about Japan's long term investment efforts to build the world's first all-fiber national network and how Japan leads the world's other industrialized nations, including the U.S., in low-cost, high speed services centered around Internet access. Check out this illustration:
The article states that approximately 8 million Japanese subscribe to the fiber-enabled service offerings that provides performance at roughly 30 times that of a corresponding xDSL offering.
For about $55 a month, subscribers have access to up to 100Mb/s download capacity.
France Telecom is rumored to be rolling out services that offer 2.5Gb/s downloads!
I have Verizon FIOS which is delivered via fiber to my home and subscribe at a 20Mb/s download tier.
What I find very interesting about the emergence of this sort of service is that if you look at a typical consumer's machine, it's not well hardened, not monitored and usually easily compromised. At this rate, the bandwidth of some of these compromise-ready consumer's home connectivity is eclipsing that of mid-tier ISP's!
This is even more true, through anecdotal evidence gathering, of online gamers who are typically also P2P filesharing participants and early adopters of new shiny kit -- it's a Bot Herder's dream come true.
At xDSL speeds of a few Mb/s, a couple of infected machines as participants in a targeted synchronized fanning DDoS attack can easily take down a corporate network connected to the Internet via a DS3 (45Mb/s.) Imagine what a botnet of a couple of 60Mb/s connected endpoints could do -- how about a couple of thousand? Hundreds of thousands?
This is great news for some as this sort of capacity will be economically beneficial to cyber-criminals as it reduces the exposure risk of Botnet Herders; they don't have to infect nearly the same amount of machines to deliver exponentially higher attack yields given the size of the pipes. Scary.
I'd suggest that using the lovely reverse DNS entries that service providers use to annotate logical hop connectivity will be even more freely used to target these high-speed users; you know, like (fictional):
As an interesting anecdote from the service provider perspective, the need for "Clean Pipes" becomes even more important and the providers will be even more so financially motivated to prevent abuse of their backbone long-hauls by infected machines.
This, in turn, will drive the need for much more intelligent, higher throughput infrastructure and security service layers to mitigate the threat which is forcing folks to take a very hard look about how they architect their networks and apply security.