What will happen to our lives when bandwidth is free? Say goodbye to television as we know it. Thank you, George Gilder.
Nearly 20 years ago, Gilder wrote “Life After Television,” a futuristic look at the medium we love to hate in a world where bandwidth was essentially free.
Bandwidth, in this case, is the transmission capacity of a computer or telecommunication system. The cable company’s lines are considered broadband, high bandwidth, though fully finite in nature.
In the future, Gilder argues, the phone company or cable company or a wireless entity will provide really high speed access and connections to the rest of the world through fiber optics for a modest monthly fee, essentially free when compared to the costs of bandwidth today.
Indeed, even today some cable television companies provide high speed internet connections capable of handling live audio and video conferencing, as well as standard telephone connections, and streaming media, such as movies and television shows.
What happens when that capacity, the bandwidth we need for connecting, increases exponentially, while the cost to provide such bandwidth decreases?
Video conferencing will become a rage, surpassing telephone calls. Streaming movies and television shows will become the norm, not the exception. Say goodbye to the telephone line and cable company’s coaxial cable.
YouTube is a glimpse into that chaotic future where everyone becomes connected instantly to anyone and everyone else. It won’t be a pretty sight.
Say hello to 50,000 channels and nothing on.