« MediaBytes - 05/11/07 | Main | MediaBytes - 05/14/07 »

Comments

David Storrs

Shelly,

I note that you didn't mention the price of this new cable—will it be about equivalent to existing technology? If so, I think it's going to even do more than you are saying.

You mention VOIP and file sharing, but one major area that will be helped by superfast consumer connections will be rich Internet applications and the whole Software as a Service sector.

My company's product, Kayuda, is a collaborative, AJAX-based tool for mindmapping and collaborative information management...think of it as something like a visual wiki on steroids. One of the biggest problems we've had is managing bandwith; although AJAX allows the *average* transaction to be quite small, downloading the Javascript up front is slow (because there's a fair amount of it) and certain operations that must be synchronous (e.g. managing resource locks) can seem very slow to the user. As a result, we've spent a good deal of our energy worrying about how to minimize the amount of data going over the wire instead of being able to focus on cranking out even more awesome features.

To me, this situation is reminiscent of the 50s and 60s, when memory was very expensive and programmers spent a lot of time "coding tight". In the 70s and 80s, as memory prices fell and the microcomputer revolution progressed, there was tremendous growth in the amount and type of software that was available. Entire new paradigms were invented such as the GUI, desktop publishing, and programming languages that were accessible to laypeople (e.g. BASIC). I don't think it's any great insight to say that a major drop in the price of bandwidth would be likely to induce a similar evolutionary step in computers.

To sum up: yes, I agree that more bandwidth at a similar price will be great for applications that are currently niche players, such as VOIP and streaming movies. But I think that it will do far more than that; I think it is likely to transform the way we interact with computers.

—Dks

The comments to this entry are closed.