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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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October 15, 2007 11:58 AM

Bring on the Exaflood!

Over the weekend I began to yet again have new thoughts about the exaflood.

As loyal readers know, I’ve written in the past about my personal struggles coming to accept the exaflood messaging, wondering if the images it invokes are too negative.

Accusations of fear-mongering have begun percolating up with increasing intensity whenever discussion of the exaflood hits the front page. Some have argued that the exaflood messaging is nothing more than an attempt by big-time network operators to scare people into a deregulatory mindset.

And recent research has revealed that the growth in demand for bandwidth and the Internet has leveled off somewhat from its meteoric growth of the early years.

But what I don’t understand is the persistent undercurrent of doubt as to how high consumer demand for bandwidth may or may not rise.

In my mind it’s not a matter of if or when we’ll all start needing 100Mbps to the home, it’s about recognizing that if in five years we’re not all demanding that much bandwidth then we’ve failed to achieve everything that is now within our grasp through broadband and the Internet.

I say this primarily because most of the best things the Internet makes possible are distinctly and increasingly bandwidth-intensive applications.

I’m talking about a world of entertainment and education accessible through online libraries stocked with standard, high, and soon-to-be higher definition video ready to download, stream, or share.

I’m talking about real-time, two-way video communication: a concept first introduced in the early days of television that has since evolved into everything from desktop webcams using free software to dedicated hardware for in-home monitoring of patients to full-room telepresence installations that allow businesspeople to look each other in the eye as they make deals.

I’m talking about high quality live video monitoring of your home and neighborhood.

I’m talking about services that allow you to upload, manage, edit, and share your personal media.

I’m talking about live and on-demand webcasting of events like local government meetings.

These are just a small sample of the types of applications enabled by broadband that hold the potential to revolutionize our day to day lives. And these are the applications that once adopted by mass audiences will drive huge demand for bandwidth.

Because of this I don’t see the exaflood as something that should be shunned as unnecessary fear-mongering but instead as something that we should all be striving to achieve and encourage.

I say bring on the exaflood, and with it the myriad opportunities the Internet has to offer!

Now that bigger pipes are being laid, let’s see what we can do to open the spigots as wide as possible so we can push further ahead into a digital future that’s well within our reach not tomorrow but today.


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Comments (1)

At the recent Rural TeleCon conference in Springfield, Illinois, both Andy Cohill of Design Nine and Jane Smith Patterson of e-NC Authority suggested the typical home uses that would require 80M or 100M of broadband. You might want to get their perspectives as responses to your blog. Working from practical benefits to applications and then required bandwidth to deliver the benefits will generate some useful discussion.

Posted by Don Samuelson on October 24, 2007 12:05 AM

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