Two sources tell us the same thing – we need 100mbs internet links and we need them now. The Broadband Stakeholder Group tells us that future internet use in the UK will flounder without an expensive infrastructure upgrade
Whilst Om Malik warns the same is true of the US
Every day we twiddle our thumbs, we lose some of the edge when it comes to developing clever ways to use the bandwidth.
For me Om has the problem wrong. The first thing to solve is universal access. Ensuring everyone has their 2 or 4mbps is also going to unleash innovation. Compare it with the problem of clean water. Water to every home is the first priority, but not every home needs an industrial sized pipe. Those that do can and will find ways to get the supply they need.
And vast speeds dont give us more time. Being able to download an entire library does not mean I’ll read it. Downloading a thousand podcasts doesn’t mean I listen to them. If we want the internet to drive innovation and support some social benefit then universal access comes first, better upload speeds to make it easier for people to participate and express themselves next, and only then a more widely available ultra high speed network.
After all the latter is really designed to support the videodrome – as much about the online TV and advertising as it is about innovation which improves lives.