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!


Unknown said...

I couldn't agree more. I, too, remember the days of 300 baud and then 1200 baud modems. I upgraded to 25/25 for my FIOS on Tuesday. What a wonderful ride we are on!

Robert Hurst said...

A few megabytes download via 300 baud constitutes as an anachronism, no? Heh, I think you meant kilobytes, as in the size of one modest contact in your cellphone.
Just got FiOS myself the other week and could not bear to tell the cable guy the real reason why -- I simply told them we were moving.

GreenLeaves said...

25 Mbps is nice compared to 3/0.75 Mbps or to 300 bps. However it should be noted, Korea appears to delivering 100/100 Mbps connectivity to its subscribers for some time.

It would be nice if we were actually could compete as technology leaders, not just distribute the hype that we are the leaders in global technology.

Anonymous said...

Does your wife teach her class over in internet? I would be interested in finding more about her classes, but I live in St Louis. I enjoy your blog/