The speed of the Internet continues to increase dramatically, shrinking the world and creating new opportunities by delivering vast amounts of content to mobile devices. But the increasing speeds could create expectations and social pressures that governments are not prepared to meet. Countries need to have educated populations and good technological infrastructure to take advantage of the opportunities created by higher speeds. South Korea and Singapore score well on some readiness scales, but India lags behind. Still, there’s hope that information technology could give many Indians a better life if the country can improve its infrastructure. With access to resources not dissimilar from cities, individuals would gladly remain in rural areas, averting the destabilizing effects of urbanization. – YaleGlobalAccess to information technology can change the lives of the dispossessed by giving them hope for a better life
The first international telegraphic message, sent by Queen Victoria in 1858, was tapped out in dots and dashes and took some 16 hours to reach President James Buchanan in Washington. In March this year, Cisco Systems announced the launch of a new Internet router that can transmit vast amounts of digital data in the blink of an eye. This technological advance not only promises to shrink the globe further, but also opens up new opportunities to those who are prepared to grab them. This torrent of information that would be enveloping us could push the revolution in rising expectations to a new level, exacerbating social tensions, especially if education standards and infrastructure development do not keep pace.
Cisco’s new generation network routing system will allow downloads of up to 322 terabits per second. This is an absolutely staggering advance in data transfer speed, equivalent to the contents of more than 70,000 DVDs or 4 billion MP3 music tracks per second. To be sure, there is no network, computer or hard disk in the market today that could handle such speeds. But once those become available, they will take away the monopoly of cable television operators and transform Internet service providers into entertainment content distributors. It will enable mobile phone operators to stream videos to cell phones. As increasingly larger number of Internet users move to a mobile platform, evening news and sitcom programmes will be broadcast onto screens held in the palm of a hand. In a place like India, where the number of cellphone subscribers is growing at a breakneck speed and providers scrambling to win their loyalty, high-speed video delivery would be an attractive option.