When Tim Berners-Lee came up with the idea for Web browsers, he really only wanted an easier way to access information on the Internet. He wasn’t planning on rewriting – and more important, simplifying — the rules by which information is exchanged and business is transacted.
Now apply that same concept to broadband Internet access.
A colleague of mine is going to be silent for 10 days over the holiday break*. 10 days. 240 hours. 14,400 minutes. It is a meditative thing. I respect her decision to do this…very cool and certainly an experience not many have had.
She can’t talk, so I asked her if she could read. Nope. Which means web surfing is out of the question. I, like many, HAVE TO BE CONNECTED AT ALL TIMES!!! The network has become so pervasive in our lives that not having instant, anywhere access to information is nearly inconceivable. Globally, broadband growth is still chugging away. Today, we released a report that shows that Peru broadband growth grew nearly 10% in the first half of this year. And, yesterday, Google released what they call the Zeitgeist. The sum of the searches for the year. What’s hot, what’s searched…and from where…and, of course, because this is 2010 and video is the medium for communications, they also released a very cool video with a catchy jam that is still in my head (who is this? anyone?!!).
Local governments are now eagerly discussing how to utilize information and communications technology (ICT) investment to advance their economic development plans. Topic awareness has increased, and yet total comprehension and plan execution is still a work in progress. Regardless, we’ve seen notable progress.
Back in 1997 I managed the public sector account teams for US West in the state of Arizona. It was my responsibility to understand and support the ICT needs and wants of our local government, education and public safety customers.
What separates the technology-advanced nations from all others, and how is that supremacy being applied most effectively for social and economic advantage? This is a question that I’ve asked myself repeatedly over the last decade.
Clearly, I’m not alone in my quest for insights that help our understanding of why some nations have excelled at enacting meaningful Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market development.
What I’ve learned to date: the nations that were able to make a quantum leap in progress did so only after they completed a candid assessment of their current status – essentially, a detailed situation analysis that ranked their relative position in the global networked economy.
Ongoing investment in essential telecommunications infrastructure matters to everyone, whether they know it or not. This fundamental assertion will be a reoccurring theme in my commentary. My belief is deep-rooted, and it goes back to the beginning of my work experience. As a young man, my first job in the telecom industry was at The Commercial Cable Company, a subsidiary of ITT Worldcom in London, England.
Back in the 1970s, I had the opportunity to join what was then a leading international record carrier, that was also an early pioneer of unique data services. I was schooled in the application of electronic teleprinters, private line services and store-and-forward message switching systems. I quickly learned about the socioeconomic benefits gained from deploying telecom facilities, while assigned to support the communication needs of numerous private and public institutions.