From Fox News: “The Internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.”
What is Joe Average Going to Do With It?
IMO, it’s just hype. For what need will average consumers have of this kind of bandwidth? Any hardware (e.g. consumer pcs, even gaming consoles, etc.) that will actually be able to take any advantage won’t be available for years. Thing is, many consumer services that would take best advantage of those higher speeds (e.g. HD video) don’t take that long to download. Not long enough to warrant rushing in and adopting. So, I don’t know if it’ll really be missed.
This reminds me of Internet2 – which is apparently still in development – promising the same thing. Similarly, even, “The Grid” will primarily be available to research institutions and not the mass-consumer market.
The announcement did get me thinking, though: we haven’t seen a serious speed boost in years. In the ’90’s we saw regular modems ramp up into broadband in just a few short years. In the past decade we haven’t seen any real changes. Connectivity’s been all about making wireless faster and ubiquitous. Personally, I’m more interested in that: being untethered, inexpensively, no matter where I go with my lap-top.
Interesting Tidbits About Prospective Usage
There were a couple of take-aways from the Fox article, though. Project lead, Ian Bird says,
“It will lead to what’s known as cloud computing, where people keep all their information online and access it from anywhere,”
Also quoted was Professor Tony Doyle, who headed up the project said,
…social networking could become the main way we communicate.
These topics are always floating about in the industry, but not so much in mainstream media. I just find it interesting that we’re hearing about social networking and “in the cloud” on Fox News. I sometimes get the feeling that much like how creating a Web site is becoming standard curriculum, so too will be building Web apps and mashups. Not in the way an AJAX programmer thinks of a mashup, but some day understanding how to combine Web services from multiple API (of course, they won’t be called that) may become common knowledge.
What Do you Think?
I see it for team collaboration in research and design environments, but will there even be a demand for this kind of speed in the current consumer market? What in the world would the average joe even use it for? Love to hear your opinions.
(via FOXNews.com: ‘The Grid’ Could Soon Make the Internet Obsolete)