Saturday, March 29, 2008
The title of this post is taken from the article just published by Shelley Palmer, and it pretty much says it all. He notes that children born in America this year will be the first true Digital Natives of the Information Age. They will grow up in a time when all of their telecommunications tools: video, voice and data are based completely upon digital technology. He then appropriately questions whether U.S. public policy contemplates a future constrained by the agendas of big business as opposed to positioning America to truly prosper in the global information economy. His article notes that " An average broadband connection in the United States is 1.5 Mbps down and 768 Kbps up -- about enough speed to watch a fairly low resolution streaming video or do some casual web surfing. Cable modems are faster and you can certainly purchase more connectivity, if you can afford it. But, on average, consumers are offered asymmetrical (faster download/slower upload) broadband connections and no one seems that unhappy about it. They should be. A child born in Korea or Singapore this year will be a digital native of their respective countries. They will grow up in a time when all of their telecommunications tools: video, voice and data are based completely upon digital technology. And they are very likely to start their journey through the Internet with 100 Mpbs symmetrical broadband connection." On my recent trip to the U.S., I experienced just how slow an 11 Mbps wireless connection to the internet from a motel room seems after being accustomed to fast connections here in Korea. Speed is vital to fully use and experience the modern internet. A lack of speed slows down convergence. The Broadcasting and Communications Commission (BCC) reported yesterday that Korean telecom firms (KT, LG-Dacom and Hannaro) are to invest around 1.57 trillion won ($15.8 billion) on Internet-protocol TV (IPTV) services this year. A large portion of that investment will reportedly be used in expanding and improving Internet networks in order to provide the speed necessary to guarantee high quality for real-time TV broadcasting on existing networks. Clearly, in this era of convergence and ubiquitous networks, South Korea seeks to maintain its status as an IT power. What is the U.S. stance?