Cloud Computing: What Is the Real Need for Speed?

Is A Gigabit Per Second Too Much?

Cloud Computing may some day turn computing resources into a utility. Certainly that’s the direction in which things are headed.

The first step on this path is well underway, with Internet service becoming a presumed utility by citizens and governments worldwide. Politicians the world over are outdoing each other promising that their country will be the world leader when it comes to Internet access and speed.

Admirable goals, to be sure. But arguments about the need for speed are accelerating too quickly along the Information Superhighway.

It’s time to step back and ask, “what is the real need for speed?” How much bandwidth do individuals really need, whether at work or at home?

The NBN & Other Gigs

The National Broadband Network (NBN) initiative in Australia says its a gigabit per second. It has almost $2,000 per person to build a network to prove this. I doubt this speed is sustainable or necessary; in theory it would require a massive optical cable coming into the country with 100 times the capacity of the terabit submarine cables serving much of the world today.

But such plans to bring fiber optic cable to people’s homes—Fiber-to-the-Home, or FTTH—are alive throughout the world, as part of a broader FTTx discussion about delivering bandwidth over the traditional “last mile” of telephonic service.

Promises to deliver at least 100mbps have been made from Finland to the Philippines, with dire warnings for those who aren’t on this bus. US Rep. Anna Eshoo, from Silicon Valley, referred to a recent poll by Cisco that found the US ranked 15th in the world in “broadband quality.” As she wrote in an op-ed piece in a local newspaper, “we must close these gaps, and quickly.”

What is True?
But how wide is this gap? How wide should it be? How fast is fast? What do individuals (whether at work or at home) really need? Do I sound like a hopeless Luddite if I question the current, headlong rush into trying to deliver 100mbps and gigabit service to every individual on the planet?

Full Source: Sys-Con

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