Last night my wife and I realized we both had conference calls from home at the same time. My group wanted to use Skype, so she was free to use our landline, a Vonage (VoIP) connection. This means we were using two different devices to push and pull audio down the same cable modem connection. Theoretically it’s pretty neat. In practice the poor Motorola VoIP adapter supplied by Vonage couldn’t keep up and dropped both of the connections, twice.
So far the home broadband suppliers haven’t had to provide rigorous minimum bandwidth, but when more of us start using the connection for synchronous communication we’ll want bandwidth like water: as much pressure as we need, whenever we need it, cheaply. Service level agreements for the home user could be in our future.