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Why do people care about bandwidth?
My top 10 reasons why this is a stupid question
Written at Norwich Airport, edited in Amsterdam and dispatched to silicon.com from my Cardiff hotel via free wi-fi at 40Mbps a few days later.
Question: How can someone profess to be IT-literate and then ask: 'Why does anyone want more than 10Mbps?'
Answer: They probably work for a telco!
Yesterday, someone asked me a variation on that same old question I have heard with increasing incredulity these past 40-plus years: 'Why do people want 9.6, 56, 256Kbps, 2, 10, 100 or 1000Mbps?'
Soon it will be 10Gbps and these people still won't get it!
My reply has been fairly consistent but has progressively expanded with the advance of technology.
Can you ever really have enough broadband? (Photo credit: Shutterstock)
I always start from recollections of having to wait for days for the output from early mainframe machines, with hours wasted waiting for batch processing and print runs, uploads and downloads.
Life was soo very slooow and productivity was low in those early days!
Then there was the 'online world' lurching forward with dial-up modems at 2.4Kbps, 9.6Kbps and so on, with the cost of international connectivity often overtaking the cost of a hotel room.
So here is my personal shortlist of the benefits of bandwidth, in an attempt to head off at least some of the folks who keep asking me that same dumb question:
There you have it: my very specific personal top 10! I can imagine everyone having their own subset and definitions, and if I were to extend the list, then at number 11 it would be multi-player gaming followed by distributed sensor networks, networked robotics and cybernetics, plus of course new interactive industries reliant upon distributed creativity, production and delivery, and much much more!
If you get a spare moment it is worth musing: just what would you do with 1Gbps symmetric broadband?