The internet's inner workings are a mysterious thing to most people, even to most of the coffee shop geeksperts who ponder the implications of each new free cloud app that is presented for their approval on their laptops as they enjoy their morning latte.
The underlying plumbing isn't sexy - it's just there and works like the coffee shop restroom, and if it stops working that's a big #fail and people should be publicly chastised online: that's the power of the social internet. Anxious servants are listening and waiting to make sure you're happy somewhere online. #kthxbai. The sense of entitlement can be overwhelming...
For a computing generation that is used to regularly buying new hardware in order to better consume more free content, whether video, audio, images or the written word, there's an expectation that the underlying infrastructure will support whatever they chose to invoke, assuming they are close to a wifi connection.
The Napster era of 'music wanting to be free' was at its height ten years ago before being shut down by court order in 2001, by which time a multitude of decentralized peer-to-peer file-distribution programs had sprung up. That click squawk 28.8 modem era has been replaced by the always on broadband of today, but the underlying internet infrastructure is a battleground behind the scenes of phone and cable company lobbyists attempting to dismantle open standards and net neutrality.
We’re in the midst of an amazing time in history when the future of the Internet is being decided – and thus how we communicate, connect and control our own path on the Web and in our lives.
The Internet that the public wants and needs – fast, affordable, universal and open – is at direct odds with the corporate vision of the Internet, where they control what information we can access and who can access it, and can set exorbitantly high, monopoly protected prices for “fast” Internet that crawls in comparison to other countries.
writes Megan Tany on the savetheInternet.com blog.
In a previous era, cable TV promoted the all-you-can-consume-for-one-fixed-monthly-price music channel MTV, which showed the promo movies record companies made to advertise music they hoped you'd subsequently be inspired to buy on vinyl or cassette tape. You can now see all this content free, including the commercials above, on Google owned YouTube.com. (Although bizarrely not on youtube.com/mtv)
The musical acts at the upcoming SXSW music conference will all have substantial digital presences online, with myspace, facebook, soundcloud and online retail channels such as beatport or traxsource as outlets, along with Apple's itunes and Amazon's 21st century department store.
It's quite likely a lot of those acts will make movies to go with their music and expect them to be hosted and freely viewable online - but that's nothing compared to the film makers who expect their two hour magnum opus to be hosted on demand somewhere online.
Cisco's 'boring' CSR-3 announcement - "@entitledTwitterUser why can't Chambers be like Steve Jobs and - Boom!! - pizzaz it up a bit?! Kthxbai" will cater to all these needs and more, as has been covered on ZDNet.
"Mobile is Ramping Faster than Desktop Internet Did and Will Be Bigger Than Most Think – 5 Trends Converging (3G + Social Networking + Video + VoIP + Impressive Mobile Devices)" predicts Morgan Stanley in their mobile internet report.
The boring landline phone of today, which doesn't offer much additional functionality to your mobile and is tethered to the wall, is about to mutate into Telepresence video conferencing for the masses, an objective Chambers described during "Cisco Live" last fall. This appears to be something the fragmented mobile network services will have a hard time matching.
Most sizeable enterprises have international extranets, but from a collaboration perspective latency is often an issue. The whiz bang collaboration software isn't as responsive when accessed from thousands of miles away, and federation is an ongoing challenge.
As all IT departments know however it's not inexpensive or simple to improve responsiveness within security constraints. Building the foundations for the next generation internet isn't going to be cheap, as the new high end US$90k Cisco Carrier Routing System with Cisco IOS XR unique self-healing, distributed operating system software demonstrates.
Despite the Moores Law effect on the router market (some estimates claim other units capable of this type of performance would exceed $US i million) someone somewhere will ultimately pay for moving all those Terabits around, and that's a much bigger story than what those terrabits are composed of.
Will it be the traditional telecoms of the world passing on those costs to business and consumer, and will the open standards, net neutrality world that has enabled the amazing flowering of innovation online continue as we experience ever more sophisticated communication and collaboration online?