Having a fast, secure, reliable Internet connection has now become an essential most of us cannot live without. In America last week, a federal court ruled in favour of new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules which declare that a high-speed Internet service should be defined as a utility, as opposed to a luxury.
Over in the UK, the Government is still working towards its Broadband Delivery UK programme, which aims to roll-out superfast broadband connectivity to 95% of the country by 2018. Yet there are still many rural areas without a sufficient broadband connection and these planned upgrades will only widen the gap further. I have recently moved house from the centre of a big town to a small village on the outskirts and have experienced moving from superfast broadband to a standard package. I am one of many hoping to benefit from the Government’s programme through one of the many plans leading telecoms giants, like BT and Virgin Media, have announced.
However, around the rest of the world, particularly in regions such as Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia, people still remain completely unconnected. A staggering five billion people, in fact.
This is at a time when every year the Internet becomes increasingly important to access content and information, and act as a communications platform for consumers. Here at Proactive PR we have many clients in different sectors making positive strides towards helping to bridge this digital divide across the globe. For example, satellite technology is already successfully connecting people and businesses in rural and remote areas across the world, using the same satellites used for TV. No phone line or mobile network is needed, making it ideal for those who cannot get a connection through more traditional methods.
TV White Space is another technology which can easily connect people and places. TV White Spaces are the unused TV channels between the active ones in the VHF and UHF spectrum. This unused spectrum can be used to provide broadband access without causing broadcasting interference with the surrounding TV channels. Many pilots have already been successfully completed using this technology and commercial roll-outs are expected to begin this year.
With new developments every day, and with the leadership of some very passionate people in the industry, a world with high-speed Internet connections is a realistic concept. It is hard not to be in awe of current technology innovations driving this concept and excited for how the technology landscape of the next 50 years will pan out.