Byline: Antonio A. Prado
A century and a half ago, railroads laid thousands of miles of new track at a dizzying pace. They were bolstered by hordes of investors pouring boxcar-sized loads of money into the nascent industry.
Then, after the Civil War, the bottom fell out due to excess capacity. Bankruptcies and a stock market crash followed.
Many say a similar plague is ailing today's fiber-optic industry. Analysts say there's just too much capacity. And now investors are running away.
There are "20 sellers for every buyer on the New York-to-London cable," said Grant Zimmerman, a bandwidth broker for Enron Broadband Services. The Dallas-based firm runs a bandwidth capacity trading exchange.
That kind of gap between demand and supply sends prices plunging.
RateXchange, a …