Three facts that increase broadband need


by Ann Treacy • Thanks to John Schultz at U-reka Broadband Ventures for sending me three facts today:

Blandin on Broadband offers information on broadband use, access, and trends especially in rural Minnesota. Sponsored by the Blandin Foundation and their Broadband Initiative.

1. 20% of all TV viewing now happens online – from Integrated Media Measurement Inc (July 2008 )

2. DVR penetration has surpassed 30% – from Myers Emotional Connections Research (November 2008 )

3. In 3 years, 75% of Internet connected game consoles (over 110 million) will be used to watch video at least a couple of times a week – from The Diffusion Group (December 2009)

Hmm. Here’s how I’m feeling that today. I’m at work in my home office, my husband is teaching an online class in his home office (he teaches English for Normandale Community College and currently half of his classes are online). We have a DSL connection and wireless network set up in the house and I am feeling the competition for bandwidth as we both work.

Our four year old is watching Kung Fu Panda – thankfully on DVD. But in 3 years or sooner – she’ll be downloading that? Actually the older kids already ask to download videos on NetFlix. Now that I think of it one got a Flip Video for Christmas and has become a big uploader too. I’m seeing the writing on the wall that soon enough the DSL may be woefully inadequate for our needs – and I don’t think of us as power users.

I have read perspectives from Andrew Odlyzko at the University of Minnesota that growth of the Internet is slowing. After years of continual 100 % growth, we’re now at about 57% growth rate. I don’t necessarily doubt him – but I think he’s looking at the backbone – where I’m concerned with my last mile.

As TV moves online, as more folks work from home, as healthcare applications/monitoring move online, as it becomes easier to become content producers (YouTube stars in our own minds) I wonder when us little residential and home business users are going to want our last mile to look a lot more like the backbone. I’ll let the greater minds worry about what that will do to the backbone – but John’s 3 facts really got me thinking about my local needs and necessary short term upgrades.