Thursday, November 23, 2006

What is broadband good for?

The standard list of applications consists of e-education, e-medicine, e-government, e-commerce, and e-entertainment. Those are the same applications that were reasons for building the "Information Superhighway" a decade ago. Some have developed well, (primarily e-commerce), while e-education, e-medicine, and e-government and others in ways different than envisaged (with e-entertainment consisting so far primarily of illicit swapping of copyrighted music files instead of paid services).
Broadband is a great technology. However, it is poorly understood, both as to how best to deliver it, and how it will be used.
Currently, music and video file sharing appears to be one of the main drivers behind the spread of broadband. (It is certainly among the main generators of traffic.)
Most of the successful services, such as the Internet, World Wide Web, Napster, and search engines, came from outside, and most were made possible by the flexibility of the Internet.
On one hand the Telecom industry has done the greatest job in limiting its role to connectivity technologies, providing what users wanted, while users have contributed in providing content for the pipes and promoting the success of broadband.
Broadband, by enabling telecommunication, is encouraging the evolution and the progress and helping the boost of the economy in areas which would be declining.

The value of locality is diminishing in some jobs, which are then migrating to India and other places, where the cost of connectivity is not much higher, but the cost of working is highly competitive.
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