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AppRising delivers insight into new broadband applications, exploring their impact on networks and their implications for public policy.

AppRising is written by Geoff Daily, who covers broadband applications and the business of online video. Based in Washington, DC, Geoff regularly advises applications developers, network operators, community leaders, and public officials on how to maximize adoption and use of the Internet.

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November 1, 2007 10:23 AM

A Belated Broadband Halloween Bonanza

Ever since hanging up my candy sack and retiring from the ranks of door-to-door sugar solicitors, Halloween hasn't been a holiday that captures my attention when it rolls around each year. Because of this, I find myself becoming more and more surprised when October 31st hits and both the streets and the airwaves are filled with tributes to the ghoulish and absurd.

Last night in the midst of another surprise realization that Halloween was indeed upon us, my mind began to wander, wondering what a broadband-enabled All Hallow's Eve celebration might entail.

To set the mood, one might sit down to enjoy some Halloween-themed online videos. Maybe a horror film downloaded from Amazon, or some goofy costumed videos streamed from YouTube, or a Stephen King novel reading saved to my iPod from iTunes.

Then sufficiently inspired, one could search the endless aisles of the digital library to find information regarding how to make a costume or carve a pumpkin or bake the perfect skull cookies.

Once faced with the challenge of playing Martha Stewart, one could navigate away from educational resources and towards retail outlets where boutique candy and elaborate costumes can be ordered from the around the world.

As the big day nears, the urge to connect with family members grows, and the use of broadband to allow grandparents to see grandkids in costumes becomes attractive. Perhaps it's a videocall for a live chat, or some photo or video sharing so remote parties can share in the joy (as this writer did when an adorable photo of his grandma dressed as a sassy M&M; cross his desk).

Notice how the use of broadband in this scenario isn't about doing something with broadband that can't be done otherwise, but instead it's about leveraging broadband to make possible new extensions and opportunities for existing behaviors.

Over the last few weeks I've come to the realization that we need more dialogue about what a broadband-enabled world would look like so as to demystify what may seem like cutting edge, space age technology and refocus our attention on what that technology actually does.

Along these lines, for all those readers who did celebrate Halloween in one way or another, how did broadband affect your plans? How did you use broadband to further the enjoyment of this holiday?


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