Why do we need fast internet?

We are not just talking about the ability to stream video faster or play video games, we are talking about giving everyone not just large businesses, the ability to use cloud computing / virtualization... what is that?

So what's the catch?

Cloud computing depends on the speed of connection being used to access the applications online, with our infrastructure's current capability it's not possible for the average suburban / rural user much less anyone living in remote area's to access the higher bandwidth services that could be available. Replacing part of the network with fibre and bottlenecking speeds for users in an FTTN implementation is not the answer as shown in the following video:

The high bandwidth / high reliability capable connections that FTTH provides will allow most Australians to exploit the benefits of this revolutionary technology. This revolution will bring about fundamental changes extending capabilities, creating new opportunites and improving already existing technologies in our society in many areas such as:

Innovation

Sites like kickstarter will become more popular, helping to back individuals ideas, kickstarter stats. It should be noted that 3 of the 5 top categories that are funded are to do with material that can be created and distributed online:

Group collaboration and cloud services to support multi-user creation of content will come into being to support this new method of work. Take film for example:

And this is just 1 industry read more about how fast broadband is being used in deployments in the US, increasing the quality of life.

Communication

SIP trunking: Essentially bundling your private database, voice / video calls and internet all onto one connection. This method becomes the standard for communication to anywhere:

  • Ridiculously cheap call rates even internationally (5c min). Why? Because you're paying for the amount of data transferred (your voice digitized) over 1 fibre connection. This as opposed to the traditional architecture of having multiple copper lines paying line rental for each of them and exorbant prices to offset OPEX from your provider.
  • Telcos Main responsibility becomes maintaining the fibre nextwork and data centres.
  • It also makes it easy to have multiple phone numbers on 1 line. Advantagous to businesses only paying what they use.

Entertainment

We all know the world of entertainment is one of the biggest industries in the world (see above in innovation), so what is the future of this industry? Enter 4K...

More pixels

This technology of using more pixels to display images has already been used by apple in their retina displays with spectacular results. There is a few points of contention in the above video that need clearing up:

  • Prices are not that expensive: At the time of publishing this clip (Jan 2013) certainly prices were up at around £20,000 as were Plasma, LCD and OLED screens at some point. Some months later however a company (Seiki) launched a 4k TV for just $1500.
  • This link addresses the other points:
    • There is content for 4K (besides the hobbit) already available.
    • How 3D can benefit from 4K.

OK so if 4k is the next phase in digital entertainment what is holding it back? The answer is distribution, 4k movie file sizes are enormous, at least 2 and a 1/2 times larger then what can fit on a conventional blu-ray (with compression).

So how do we deliver content? A single compressed stream requires 20 - 30Mbps download, and that's just for 1 stream, im sure quite a few people have more then one tv / computer or digital device to view content on by now. Of course with other forms of digital storage such as hard drives it's still possible to store these files but the most efficient way would be to use a cloud service and then stream your content direct to your device. Note that even some phones are now getting the ability to stream 4k, optimizing the ability to record is all thats required. Many companies such as apple, netflix and sony have already realised this and are beginning to make the transition.

How about going even further into the future? Full scale holographic interfaces are only a few years out, retrofitting traditional entertainment certainly within the next decade is possible IF... we have the bandwidth capability to support it.

Media

  • Cloud Services such as ultraviolet (international version of netflix) become mainstream, users are no longer forced to upgrade formats as they were from VHS to DVD or DVD to Blu-Ray.
    • Buy the movie / content once
    • Add it to your account
    • Have that movie forever, downloadable in whatever format
  • Further evidence to support the success of content-on-demand services can be measured by examining the market leader netflix, which now has a market valuation of $US14.5 billion, compared with $US3 billion a year ago (a 480% increase).
  • Digital subcriber TV also becomes available to more of the population.
    Even though with the ability to stream content from anywhere (using IPTV & VPN's) it's unnecessary.
  • Content can be streamed over a VPN connection direct from countries such as the US

Online transactions (shopping/retailers)

In 2012 the global e-commerce economy exceeded $1 trillion in sales an increase of 21.9% from 2011. The majority of shoppers being in North America (33.5%) and the Asia-Pacific Region (30.5%). Within the world Australia already ranks among the top 5 countries with sales averaging $3,547 per consumer. These numbers were expected to rise this year throughout the Asia-pacific region.

  • How many more people people would shop online if the experience was smoother and more secure?
  • How much money would retailers save in advertising if most used these services just visiting websites?
  • How much better would small businesses be able to compete if information was distributed more evenly?

Agriculture

Education

The savings and advances here that can be made are immeasurable, however here are a few that should be implemented:

  • Theory based subjects can be outsourced (i.e. subjects that dont require specialist equipment such as maths, english, economics, legal studies) giving greater students greater flexibility. Somedays students could stay home and participate online in a webinar, while other days commuting to school / university.
  • Industry professionals can easily be contacted and sit ins, tutorials, motivational speeches can be streamed either recorded or live to multiple locations.
  • Rural towns and kids in outback Australia need not be at a disadvantage due to the disparity of distance.

Teleworking

Of course people will always have a need to go somewhere to work depending on their given profession but what if you're:

  • A single Parent
  • Parent on Maternity/Paternity leave
  • Disabled
  • Unable to travel due to injury
  • Interstate at the time you're needed

With teleworking over fibre it becomes possible to efficiently work from home, and not just for the desk jobs. Tradesman like plumbers, electrictians, etc imagine if instead of going to your workplace/office to receive orders you could go direct from home to the worksite recieving orders via mobile or your home PC. This is not even mentioning environmental and productivity benefits gained by use of teleworking and virtualizing the marketplace facilitated by high speed broadband.

Read more here

Transport

What if you could integrate the NBN into each traffic light to provide remote monitoring? You would remotely be able to:

  • Manage traffic according to congestion on the roads
  • In the event of an accident:
    • Divert/Detour traffic
    • Direct emergency services through traffic
Too far into the future? No it's actually has been used in Los Angeles since 1984, meet ATSAC:

Healthcare services

We have all heard the e-health argument promoted by the government in recent years, debated from the perspective of the hospitals and providing remote locations with the best help. So briefly this document shows typical hospital upgrades and what kind of bandwidth requirements are used in designing / upgrading networks and a video showing what kind of benefits are available through migrating health to the cloud:

But what about the individual? Mobile Healthcare or Healthcare at Home?

Keeping Active

Imagine spending 8 months in hospital for whatever reason, on top of having to deal with illness / injury you'd be bored out of your mind. Sure they have TV's, magazines, and the other patients / nurses to chat to but that can only take you so far. What people want is interactivity with a purpose. The best way to achieve this with consideraton to patients limitations would be providing online connections right?

On top of being able to participate in online forums, connect with family / loved ones and (if they feel up to it) teleworking. Patients would be able to particpate in online games, now before you snicker and say "yeah whatever", take a look at this infographic.

Enabling Freedom

What about giving patients / the elderly more flexibility so they could be more active or maintain their current place of residence? Technologies that could be adapted to suit this purpose:

  • A Braclet type accesory that captures movement, heart rate, blood oxygen and skin temperature data Find out more | Official Site
  • Xbox One, Kinect 2.0: Some of the gamers out there will snicker but MIT reasearchers have developed the software that enables the kinect to detect a persons heart rate by measuring changes in the colors on their skin. Other future developments could provide:
    • Cancer detection capability (specifically skin cancer)
    • Detection of vocal cord and lung conditions
    • Realtime tracking in changes of facial expression (pain, depression, etc)
    Find out more
  • Now we come to a decidedly 'dirty' business, the analysis of human waste. It's not a very pleasant job and no one likes to do it but it can provide vital feedback and give key statistics to people and patients alike. What if you could provide this ability to people at home as well as in hospitals? Smart toilets already exist. How about public urinals that give general health statistics? Or how about measuring how drunk you are (read more), no man would ever be able to claim he was fit for driving if it was recorded beforehand.

    Of course some might argue vandalism is a problem with such equipment, but by seperating the analysis part from the actual business of 'making a deposit in the porcelain bank' you can minimize repair / replacement for damages. In other words only the sensors remain in the recepticle itself. While this wont completely cut cost it can help minimize the impact of vandalism and improve management.

Helping to find a Cure

But simply placating those plagued by current medical issues is not a way of solving the health issues that are a problem for billions worldwide.

By enabling superfast communication, solutions like folding@home could potentially become more popular, providing researchers with more computing power and helping scientists find cures to diseases such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many cancers.