Well, I spent some time today drooling over the evolution of the internet connections in the future (or if you’re in Asia, of 5 years ago :P). Reading about all the deployments of ADSL2+ (cold), VDSL2 (warmer), and FTTX (hawt) around the world got my heart all aflutter. (not really, but the numbers for bandwidth that flashed up nearly made me drool on the keyboard) I’ll admit it; I was pretty happy with the cable connection I’ve got back home with Cogeco. The standard package gives up to 10mbps downlink speed. That’s pretty damn good for a standard package. (The super-duper one gives something like 16mbps, but for a significantly higher sum of moola.) But since moving here to the great GTA (Greater Toronto Area for the uninitiated as I was such a short time ago) and hooking up with Rogers, I’ve become significantly more pessimistic about the state of the broadband industry. What the telcos in the States are starting offer (Verizon with its FiOS and AT&T with U-Verse) is good progression towards what I want to see down the road. They’re pushing the triple-play: internet, IPTV (Internet Protocol TV), and VOIP. I could care less about VOIP (we need some good high speed wireless networks while we’re at it) but super-fast internet and the ability to actually have TV through IP really opens up a lot of potential. I mean watching TV could become much more than just watching. There could be much more interaction and customizations. PVR? What PVR? Just stream it from the server in real time when you feel like watching that show.
But let’s focus on the main issue at hand here; internet speeds. Granted a lot more than just a faster connection to your home needs for an overall speed up of internet traffic. With a large number of users with high speed connections, servers would get crushed under the bandwidth they’d be asked to provide. Nevertheless, it is one step in evolution. Basically I’d like to see 50-100mbps downlink and 5-10mbps uplink speeds without having to sell my first born, second born, give away my RRSP (yeah, I am going to start investing in my retirement soon….) and submit myself to slavery. Reasonble pricing on high bandwidth connections is not unheard of. Hong Kong has it in City Telecom (100mbps line for $25/month) and Iliad under its Free brand is offering 50mbps symmetrical connections for 30 Euros a month in Paris and various other French cities. Give me my fast internet connection for a low cost now! In all honesty, if this rolls around Canada before the end of the decade I’ll be happy.
So enough of that, but still on the subject of the internet, Microsoft and Mozilla both chose the past couple days to launch some web browser updates. Microsoft’s update is the real deal; Internet Explorer 7, not a beta, or RC, the final release. Mozilla released Firefox 2.0 RC3 as well.