Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So if the World Goes Broadband What Does it Mean?

Broadband subscriptions in eight European countries are now above the levels in the United States and Japan. The EU stated this week that the EU has added 19 mill broadband lines in 2007, the equivalent of more than 50,000 households per day.

According to the commission 4 countries lead the world; Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland, and another 8 have higher penetration rates than the U.S. and Japan. Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and France also surpassed the US in 2007 and this year Germany joined them. The European telecommunications market is now worth 300 billion euros.

As the bandwidth increases so does the opportunities. The mobile broadband market is also exploding and now driving new services and offers.

As we experience this shift in connectivity we have to question whether the current download paradigm is going to continue to be the dominant one in the near future. If we can access broadband bandwidth from anywhere at anytime why do we need ‘fat clients’ or devices that are expensive to buy are complex to run and consume storage and power? It make more sense to harness the power across the network and from ‘fat servers’. In a bookworld this could mean that the whole format and reader debate becomes a non issue and everything simply goes online. After all if the Kindle can download a book wirelessly anywhere why not just stream it anywhere and forget all the download hassle and the storage of up to 200 titles?

We all too often design solution based on yesterday and what we know and that is alas why they don’t last long.