Friday, January 6, 2012

Occupy Broadband

How's this for a headline, "Top 1% of Mobile Users Consume Half of World’s Bandwidth, and Gap Is Growing". So where are the protesters, the sit ins, the marches? The top 1% are taking more than their fair share and it will only get worse. Yet it is a story that doesn't seem to bother anyone.

Broadband seems to be like a natural resource, although one that will surely slow down get slower to use unless more capacity is found. And the demand will surely grow fast as more smartphones, tablets, and laptops hit the market, not to mention a greater reliance on cloud computing. Is it more capacity or perhaps a more efficient way to download so as to lessen the burden on the stream? Perhaps a combination of both.

"The world’s congested mobile airwaves are being divided in a lopsided manner, with 1 percent of consumers generating half of all traffic. The top 10 percent of users, meanwhile, are consuming 90 percent of wireless bandwidth." And it is not simply a USA issue, technology is worldwide and consumption across all continents continue to grow. Isn't Apple beginning to sell its iPhone into China.

Another recent article spoke about web access as almost a natural right, like food, shelter, and clothing. It recognized that the greater issue was the right to free speech and communication and limitations to that right in countries that regulate the web is like a barrier to freedom. Access to all is driving businesses today and the pipeline will only get more congested. As the other 99% adapt toward a broadband world, perhaps the gap will shrink, but the congestion will surely grow.

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