The other night I was watching television and saw an ad about how a company could save you oodles of money over what you are currently paying for high speed Internet access. At the end of the commercial it turned out to be NetZero advertising its dial-up service. After I stopped laughing at a) NetZero was still around and b) the horrible nightmares of going back to dial-up, I started to wonder about the days in the future where we would have the same feelings about our current Internet speeds.
There is no doubt that Internet speeds in the United States are pretty laughable compared to other parts of the world. Not only are we slow, but we pay more for the speeds we do get, as evidenced by Danny Choo (aka The Dancing Stormtrooper) paying 5000 yen (approx $54 USD) a month for a 100 Mbps FTTH (Fiber To The Home) connection in Tokyo. However, some of us here at TechnoBuffalo started dreaming big and we wondered about the day that we would see not only a 1 Gbps (Gigabits per second) we could afford, but servers that would be able to handle the up-and-down transfer speeds. It would be a glorious time for the Internet indeed. As a starting point, use this site to determine the speeds your ISP are pushing to you currently.
Gaming could be more immersive
Gaming online at this point is plagued with servers timing out (Modern Warfare 2 has seen a lot of this lately) and is of course stuck in two dimensions. Faster speeds would lead to more stable connections, the possibility for 3D effects — which seem inevitable at this point — and could possibly even lead to full virtual reality. Imagine having to leap all over your living room as you play some future edition of Tekken. Sure it might lead to some broken lamps, but it would be worth it!
You could upload video content in seconds
Not too long ago I went to upload an HD video of my new puppy to YouTube (laugh if you must), and although the clip was only 92 seconds in length, it took me over a half-an-hour at 500 Kbps upload speed to do so. While many people are saying that video is the future of the Internet, with upload times like that, it will never get as big as some people hope
For video conferencing and video uploads, speeds are going to have to get faster, and 1Gbps would make that a breeze. Also, imagine when it would be applied to streaming content. Full 1080p streaming video would be a very real possibility without even a thought of waiting for things to buffer.
Internet browsing would be as fast as looking at files locally
Who would ever need to optimize a site again? No matter how large a page was, it would load in a blink of an eye. Imagine how media rich sites could be, and, in conjunction with faster video uploads, would people even need to write blogs any more? We could just all do video blogs so fast now that not only would we not mind uploading them, no one would mind watching them as any page they were embedded in would load so quickly.
There would no longer be a need for digital cable/telephone lines
Imagine all of your calls being over VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and all of your television programming essentially becoming streaming content. All TVs would have an Ethernet port and we would just plug them into our routers. The same with our phones, just like we do now with services from the likes of Vonage. The only cables running into our homes would be those for Internet and electricity, greatly reducing the number of cables criss-crossing the countryside. It would be a win-win situation for everyone really.
When is this happening?
Not for a very long time I’m afraid. Of course, back when I first got on the Internet back in Sept. 1986 on a 9600 baud modem on my Commodore 64, I never would have dreamed of my current 10 Mbps connection. True we’re talking 23 years, but speeds are already much faster around the world, and people are seeming to making technological advancements much faster these days.
What are the potential uses you could see for a 1Gbps connection?