Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Broadband without Internet ain't worth squat

From David Isenberg, insightful as ever, Broadband without Internet ain't worth squat.
"We communications professionals risk forgetting why the
networks we build and run are valuable. We forget what we're
connecting to what. We get so close to the ducts and splices
and boxes and protocols that we lose the big picture.

Somewhere in the back of our mind, we know that we're
building something big and new and fundamental. We know, at
some level, there's more than business and economics at

This talk is a 30,000-foot view of why our work is important.
I'm going to argue that the Internet is the main value
creator here - not our ability to digitize everything, not
high speed networking, not massive storage - the Internet.
With this perspective, maybe you'll you go back to work with
a slight attitude adjustment, and maybe one or two concrete
things to do.

In the big picture, We're building interconnectedness. We're
connecting every person on this planet with every other
person. We're creating new ways to share experience. We're
building new ways for buyers to find sellers, for
manufacturers to find raw materials, for innovators to rub up
against new ideas. We're creating a new means to distribute
our small planet's limited resources.

Let's take a step back from the ducts and splices and boxes
and protocols. Let's go on an armchair voyage in the opposite
direction -- to a strange land . . . to right here, right
now, but without the Internet.

In this world we have all the technology of today, but no
Internet Protocol, that is, there's no packet protocol that
all proprietary networks can understand.

In this alternate reality, every form of information can be
digitized, BUT there's not necessarily a connection between
all this information and all the users and services that
might discover it and use it to their advantage."

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