Broadband blogger Om Malik has a piece noting that for all the seemingly good news around new technologies, the telecommunications industry is still in the midst of a funk. Jobs are being cut or moving overseas, there's still a bandwidth glut, and frankly, hype doesn't pay the bills. It's a sobering reminder not to slip back into bubble-think.
USA Today put on its futurist hat today, looking at a yet-to-come Net that percolates quietly in the background, fulfilling your every need before you ask, instead of making you come to it.
The most critical part of this is delinking the Net from the PC, people in the article say. The future is about turning everything into a piece of the network, including devices, TVs, medical gadgets, kitchen appliances. Make sure everything has a little computer intelligence in it, and then the Net really will make our lives easier, it says.
The idea isn't as new as the … Read more
For the most part blogs are just text. But real-time writing on the Net is a huge pain on dial-up, so I'm chalking up all the blogging that tracked the political debates last night as a byproduct of broadband.
Nor is this a marginal phenomenon. Political debate is at least 50 percent spin these days, no matter what side you're on. And spin is half message, and half propagation of the message. Blogs and other online forums have been a key part of shaping and perpetuating ideas in this campaign, for both sides.
Here were a few of … Read more
A Colorado woman is suing Comcast, saying her cable-based phone made a mistake when she called 911, sending the emergency team to the wrong place ?? resulting in the death of her 5-month-old son.
This will be sure to come up again with cable, cell phone and Net phone services, which are struggling to prove they can handle emergency calls as well as the old 911 system. So far the jury is decidedly out, and this is an area where you really can't afford to make mistakes.
Net calling is a high priority for AT&T, and the company has said it's willing to stick it out for the long run. It has a network that allows it to have reasonably low costs. Looks like it's trying to squeeze rivals out of business by driving margins so far down that the profit is gone.
You gotta give Michael Robertson credit. If there's one thing he knows well, it's the inside of a courtroom. The Sipphone founder (and MP3.com and Lindows founder) has sued Vonage, saying that the rival Net phone company is responsible for advertising VoIP hardware without disclosing that it would only work with the Vonage service. Sipphone customers have complained that they've bought the hardware from Fry's Electronics and discovered only later that it doesn't work with their service, the lawsuit said.
Robertson is the same guy that was sued by the record labels for tens … Read more
British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he wants to make broadband available to anyone in the country who wants it during his next term in office.
We wrote on Monday about a Yankee Group report (link is fixed this time) that touted the faster DSL speeds coming from VDS2 and ADSL2+ technology. Reader "Kv Raju" asked how these faster DSL speeds were possible without bringing fiber closer to the home.
It's a good question, and in many cases the answer is that the fiber is necessary. VDSL does require a shorter distance between fiber or the central telephone office and the subscriber than does regular DSL. It's a good option for dense urban areas or apartment buildings, and much of the speed … Read more
It's an odd notion, but Net pioneer Vint Cerf knows his stuff. Cerf says that the Net as currently configured doesn't lend itself well to video on demand services. If everyone in your neighborhood was streaming or downloading high-def video at the same time, the load on the networks would be insupportable, he says.
Better is a system used by MovieBeam, which uses spare TV bandwidth to broadcast (or "multicast") data to subscribers' receivers all at once, and store a bunch of movies locally. The Net could adopt this model by letting ISPs use satellite transmissions … Read more
The Yankee Group says ADSL2+ and VDSL2 are poised to change the broadband landscape?? if telcos get around to adopting them as a supplement to fiber. ADSL2+ can offer download speeds of 15mbps to 20mbps, while VDSL2, an as-yet-incomplete standard, is expected to provide more than 100mbps.