Should Broadband Be As Fast As Possible And Yet Bandwidth Should Be Unlimited?

broadband

broadband (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I’m going to write a quickie to voice my view in regarding to what WSJ had just reported… how the U.S. government is now probing the cable companies for their data cap.  Data cap is how we have to put up with the bandwidth prescription as cable companies may either throttle the broadband speed or charge us more if we’ve went beyond the bandwidth limit.  Whether it’s a good thing or not for the government to probe to see if there is an antitrust issue pertaining to how the cable companies have relied on the use of data cap to make profits, I think I should be bias and take the stances that side with customers and innovation.  Regarding to whatever else (e.g., more expensive digital contents, etc…), I think supply and demand will always play a major role in pushing down the prices, and so we should worry less unless something that may be beyond our control will dictate otherwise.  Furthermore, it’s obvious that data cap can allow the cable companies to destroy competitors’ business models (e.g., Netflix, Hulu) and bilk more money from broadband customers.

Look, we’re living in the Internet age or you can say it’s the information age, and whatever is in the way of the progress of this age is definitely an obstruction of everything that this age yearns for.  Albeit, this age isn’t everything glorious, because there are bad things and good things all mix up in the same soup — such as pornographic materials can be accessed by minors so easily but yet humans are more connected digitally than ever before… to allow knowledge to be transfer faster and cheaper.  This age is much more as it’s pushing the boundary of experimentations and summoning forth the innovations.  Albeit that people might consume too much digital goods and lose sight of being moderation, but this age is definitely has changed how people entertain themselves in plethora of ways.  Even more, this age allows transactions to be carried out way faster than before, therefore business can be done faster and so on.  The rises of Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple (i.e., iPhone), and few other well known today brands that have real impact on the Internet — tell us a lot about the contributions that this age has to offer to humankind.  OK, let us not be so critical even though we know competitive, undercut, low prices of products and services that deal by the brands I mentioned previously may not last forever, but it’s what it’s as now — and the theory of supply and demand will continue to play a major role in easing down the unreasonable pricing of whatever that is hot in the market.

The next obvious step is to allow broadband to make deep penetration into small cities and rural areas.  Nonetheless, not only deep penetration matters a lot, but broadband has to be way more faster.  How come?  If you’re a Youtube user who constantly uploading new videos to your YouTube channel, you’ll know what I mean.  To upload a 12 GB 1080p high definition video, it would take around six hours or more to do so, if I’m not mistaken, with AT&T’s current Uverse upload speed which is just about 3Mbps.  If AT&T and other broadband providers can provide faster upload speed, users who are doing something as uploading videos to YouTube can totally be more productive as they will have more time to create videos and less time waiting for a video to be uploaded.  Sure, you can make the argument that these users can totally multitask their efforts such as using one computer to upload the videos and another computer to create and edit videos, but I still think that users can be more productive with faster upload speed as they can totally upload more videos to their YouTube channels than otherwise.  Instead of just only applying the positive effects of having faster upload speed to the uploading of YouTube videos, we can see that faster upload speed might allow home users to work with all things digital in a much more effective manner.  For an instance, home users can backup their computer data to the cloud way faster!  I can go on and on with this… but…  I don’t even want to address about how having faster broadband download speed is just as important as having faster broadband upload speed, because it’s obvious that so many nowadays applications are definitely data intensive than ever before (e.g., video streaming, teleconference, video gaming, online education, online data intensive project collaborations, data restoration from the cloud, etc…).

Technology is all about efficiency and progress.  If U.S. is struggling to keep up with world broadband standard, then we should push for faster broadband immediately.  If we keep on being slow in this market, we might too be left behind in other important markets.  After all, many markets nowadays are evermore depending on fast broadband penetration.  Of course broadband isn’t everything, but it’s a very big deal.  How big?  (OK, I admit I do not see the difference between broadband and mobile types of Internet connection, because in the end it’s all about how fast and how soon and how much data can travel from point A to point B!)  Soon, there will be even more people who will demand for even more smart phones (e.g., China, India), and so the Internet is going to be a busier place than ever before.  Sure, the future Internet might see the  inevitable rise in mobile traffics, but have we even considered about how our homes will get smarter?  Smarter homes mean more devices within homes will have Internet connectivity, therefore the Internet will get even bigger!  So, we can safely assume the Internet will continue to play a very big role in our future digital lives, therefore more innovations will come into existences soon.  Internet livelihood depends entirely on its own vibrant, and a sluggish Internet won’t be so vibrant.  With that in mind, a sluggish Internet is like an obstacle which obstructs the progress of future innovations.  Let say my view on why we need faster broadband, the one without any bandwidth limitation, is rather bias, but I think it does carry weight in term of thinking forward.  Let us look forward into the future where sluggish, limited broadband will be something of the archaic past.

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