Friday, January 22, 2010
Cool Technology of the Week
As the home CIO, I need to manage our household IT infrastructure - iMacs, MacBooks, wireless, archival storage, printers, and Internet connections. We're an intense user of bandwidth internally and externally.
In an effort to reduce travel, I use video conferencing technologies - Cisco Telepresence, iChat, and H323 via Polycom software. I do large file transfers.
My wife, who teaches digital photography at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and Bentley University, manages all her courseware and photography assignment review via the Web.
My daughter uses bandwidth extensively for school research projects, media (music/video), and social networking.
I've been an early adopter of FiOS and the 20 megabit down/20 megabit up service as part of my teleconferencing pilots.
My cool technology of the week is that FiOS is now available with 25/25 or 35/35 megabit service to all home customers. This means that your home will likely have more bandwidth than your office or school. This means that your home infrastructure will be an enabler and not a rate-limiting step.
To me, bandwidth has significant implications for society. The potential applications for that bandwidth will shape the way we work and play. Video teleconferencing and working at home will become more common. This means that we'll be able to save all those commuting hours and reduce our energy bills. Data intensive research, once limited to universities, can be done anywhere. Home wireless devices have unimpeded access to media. Novel home telephony, video delivery, and large software downloads are enabled.
In the 1980's when I ran a small software company, I made software patches available via 300 baud dial-up modems. Anything more than a few megabytes was problematic to download.
Today, downloading gigabytes of software takes a few minutes.
Having a fiber connection to the home and using that fiber for voice, video, and data have eliminated my dependency on any office or institution. It's made me more productive and given me the tools I need to support the 24x7 connectivity requirements of the CIO lifestyle.
Most importantly, my family is no longer constrained by any bandwidth issues - I no longer hear "Internet is slow, I cannot do my work, my software updates take too long." The home CIO has high customer satisfaction.
25 or 35 megabits to the home. That's cool!
Posted by John Halamka at 3:00 AM