We live in an exciting time. The Internet makes it possible for all sorts of information exchange to occur at speeds that have never been seen before. The only major obstacle still in the way is ensuring everyone can access the Internet from any location. That’s why stories like the recent ComputerWorld offering, “SpaceX working on micro-satellite network for Internet access” and the LiveScience offering, “Google Invests Billions on Satellites to Expand Internet Access” fascinate me. I live in a rural community where the Internet connection options aren’t always the best and certainly not of the high speed variety found in major cities. Anything that helps me work faster and gain access to the Internet with fewer delays and downtime is welcome.
What astounds me is the assertion in the article that 60 percent of the world still has no Internet access at all. I imagine some percentage of the world doesn’t care because it doesn’t have computer access either. However, it would be nice if the rest of the world would have a choice at least of accepting or rejecting Internet access as the case might be.
Of course, Americans (and many other parts of the world) assumes that everyone wants Internet access. After having had first hand contact with more than a few groups who are doing just fine without the Internet, I think the assumption is invalid. In fact, many of the articles I read in magazines such as National Geographic and Smithsonian tell me that there are cultures that are actively working hard to retain their identity, which doesn’t involve any sort of Internet access. Be that as it may, it would still be nice if they could access the Internet sometime in the future, should they wish to do so.
I’m looking forward to the day when worldwide Internet access is not only available, but available at high enough speed so that everyone can enjoy the advanced features the Internet has to provide. The satellite networks I’ve been reading about bring a lot of promise with them. Even though some people have said that no amount of bandwidth will ever be enough, I think there is a level of performance that will provide the kind of performance people need to achieve common goals. Anything over this base amount would help people realize wants, versus needs. For example, finding a doctor is a need, playing a high end video game probably falls more into the want category.
How do you feel about the expansion of Internet access across the world? Are there technologies other than satellites that we should be exploring (as far as I know, satellites are the only technology being using right now to bring the Internet to truly remote locations)? Let me know your thoughts about Internet connectivity at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.