miércoles, 19 de noviembre de 2014

Gigabit access and the disruption of personal life

The Pew Research Centre is publishing an interesting collection of reports to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the web. The report of October was an effort to forecast the killer apps for the gigabit connectivity age. The basic assumption was the inevitability of the widespread deployment of gigabit access by 2025, although it could sounds science-fiction when the average global connection speed in quarter one of 2014 was 3-9 Mbps.

The report is based on a survey to experts of the digital sector. The first piece of data that shocked me of the report is that only 86% of the experts think that new applications will arrive with gigabit access. It is interesting to analyse the reasons given by the 14% that do not see a revolution in the applications available by 2025. Specially, I understand the warning of David Bollier on a possible change on the openness and non-discrimination conditions that has driven the growth of internet in the past 25 years. I agree that a correct revisiting of the net neutrality principle  according with the evolution of the digital chain value is critical to ensure the continuous flow of innovation. Nevertheless,  I think this revisitation will be correctly driven and the power of Moore law will help to overcome the barriers on the road of new invention. In spite of Robert Gordon theory, we are not slowing the pace of innovations.

The pages of the reports are full of forecast related to the impact of gigabit access on the industry. But this is something that has been detailed with great extension in books like "The Zero Marginal Cost". I agree with those experts surveyed in the Pew report that highlighted that gigabit access will drive the great step towards the elimination of boundaries between physical and virtual life. After the disruptions in the industry and economic activities we are living with the deployment of broadband, the gigabit access age will be the era of the disruptions in our personal life. The new applications will speed our immersion in virtual worlds. And of course, this will mean a change in the economic sector of services that have the human factor as its cornerstone: education, health, leisure, ... We have already seen a first sign of this in the experiment of fake holidays done by Zilla van den Born.

Be brave and dare to take a first view of our future. Read the Pew report and try to imagine how Gigabit access is going to change our society and our life. I personally eager to have the opportunity to experience the gigabit generation of virtual running products.

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