Most of us techno-geeks live and breathe in the world of broadband, and it's become an invisible "given" in our lives. But often it's good to step back and look at the broader picture of the industry... This book does just that: The Broadband Explosion - Leading Thinkers on the Promise of a Truly Interactive World edited by Robert D. Austin and Stephen P. Bradley.
Contents: The Promise of Broadband: The Broadband Explosion; Broadband and Collaboration; Broadband Deployment - From Vision to Reality; Valuation Bubbles and Broadband Deployment Creating Value in a Broadband World: Disruption, Disintegration, and the Impact of New Telecommunications Technologies; Internet2 - The Promise of Truly Advanced Broadband; Broadband and Hyperdifferentiation - Creating Value by Being Really Different; eChoupal - Revolutionizing Supply Chains in Rural India Capturing the Value of Wireless Broadband: i-mode - Value Chain Strategy in the Wireless Ecosystem; Wi-Fi - Complement or Substitute for 3G?; Wireless Local Area Networks - Why Integration Is Inevitable; Widespread Adoption of Wireless Enterprise Solutions Policy and the Broadband Future: The Inevitability of Broadband; Protecting Telecommunications Infrastructure from Malicious Threats; Open Spectrum - The Great Wireless Hope; The Balkanization of the Broadband Internet
Explosion is a series of essays from people who make their living thinking about and working with internet and broadband technology. While not a "hands-on" type book that explains how to do something, it's valuable in that it allows you to take a step back and ponder the opportunities and issues surrounding high-speed, ubiquitous access to the internet. For instance, Balkanization examines how the Internet is impacted by nationalistic attempts to control and filter content that by design flows without restraint. Protecting is important for understanding just how precarious our network infrastructure is, and how the interweaving of multiple infrastructures can cause a minor incident to have truly global impact. But it's not all gloom and doom. eChoupal is an excellent case study of how free access to information eliminated an inefficient and often corrupt middle layer between producer and market, and allowed family farmers to make decisions based on global market conditions. Very interesting stuff...
The book does suffer from the same thing that many compilations exhibit... differing levels of writing and communication skills. Granted, these are all highly educated people who know their areas. But some chapters are focused on practical application of the technology, while other chapters seem to go off on graphs and charts measuring mathematical formulas for buying decisions. And sometimes the content seems only marginally related to broadband technology as they build up to their premise. But even with that, the gems are well worth the occasional rocks that seemed to crop up.
If you're ready to ponder the question of "so where does this all lead?", you'll find plenty of material here to direct your musings...
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About the reviewer
Thomas Duff (duffbert)
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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Broadband technologies will soon make high-quality, real time collaboration - between anyone from anywhere in the world - a reality, with enormous implications for the conduct of business. This book provides insights into this phenomenon and to the dramatic opportunities it will open up for today's companies. This book contains the latest thinking from the world's leading experts on this subject, including Clayton Christensen, Reed Hundt, and others. The debate over the future of broadband is ongoing, and this book offers a cogent picture of where broadband can really take us, how soon it will happen, which emerging technologies hold the most promise, and what businesses have to do to position themselves for success.