20 ways gigabit-speed internet access might change our lives by 2025

by Stuart Dredge in The Guardian



Fibre Networks: A Catalyst for Next-Generation Apps and Services?

This is one of the most powerful arguments I have seen for Fibre to the Home networks. Hyperfast, synchronous broadband will drive social process and make everybody’s lives better.

Fiber Networks: A Catalyst for Next-Generation Apps and Services?



Why we need Fibre to the Premises

Thanks to Lindsey Annison for pointing to this article about some of the work being done to test what Google Fiber’s 1000Mbps internet connectivity might be used for in the USA.

Health applications are definitely one of those areas in which Hyperfast connectivity will come into its own. We are all living longer, and, as we do, society cannot cope with huge numbers of people living in institutions of one form or another. And, it is obvious that the vast majority of people would prefer to stay in their own homes. When large numbers of people are living at home, being monitored for their vital signs 24 hours a day, we will need much better connectivity than most of what is on offer today.

But a particularly key passage in the article is this:

Gigabit speeds allows video and audio quality so sharp that a psychologist or other professional can detect the subtle emotional giveaway a patient may reveal during a remote interview that all is not well. Slower web connections occasionally freeze or get garbled.

“We want to engage the individual through sort of a virtual embrace,” Fitzpatrick said. “We can connect people to meaningful data and robust tele-consultations.”

Gigabit internet connectivity is one of the elements which will allow our future society to forget about the technology and just communicate with each other at a distance as naturally as we do face-to-face. The idea of a virtual embrace is a brilliant metaphor for what this will mean. And it demonstrates how our ambitions for a world made better by technology are being frustrated by lack of ambition among our politicians and decision-makers.