Sunday, March 16, 2008

Speed Demons?

Today's online Telegraph has a half-interesting feature on the British attitude towards the Internet.  Half-interesting in that it drags out the usual chichés and analogs concerning speed, etc.

But the truth is that speed is becoming increasingly important as content gets larger.  First we had text, then images, then sound, now video.  Video is the most intensive user of the internet and will continue to become greedier as high definition video moves up a notch or two.

The problem is that many of us users can't receive all those bits and bytes fast enough.  And, as the article points out, the providers are dabbling in false advertising to get us to believe we can.

I have gotten used to 60KB/sec downloads at home, where an iTunes full length movie can take many hours to download.  Here in Africa I may occasionally get that level of speed but basically I can forget all about Viddler, YouTube and other video providers.  Heck, it's just about impossible to view Flickr in anything like real time!

So if video content is the future of the internet it may be a good idea for those who are switching to video to consider a text version for those with slower connections!