Here’s what I think is going to be big in the near future:
A lot of the commercial software publishing places have immense pipes for software downloads, now. And if the people in the forums are telling the truth, download speeds are mostly not capped (on the software publisher’s end).
The most prominent online publisher right has got to be Valve, with their Steam distribution system (http://www.steampowered.com/ ) which they used to distribute Halflife 2.
I heard that they had a phenomenal amount of bandwidth available for the release of HL2 – something like 1,500 Mb/s. I’m not aware of any download throttle or any other speed limitation they placed on users.
My own experience was that on the day HL2 was released, I bought and downloaded two copies – say maybe 6-8 GB of files, total – and it took all day. Based on the fact that it was on the first day, I was happy that it even just worked – both downloads went without a problem. But it was still a bitch that it took so long. It tied up two computers almost all of the day.
If I’d had a 10 mb/s connection, it would have taken less than two hours. For someone with a 1.5 mb/s connection, it would take about 12 hours.
Time is money.