Some of you might remember the book “Masers and Lasers; How They Work, What They Do.” (1964, M. Brotherton. The McGraw-Hill Book Company). In my well thumbed copy page 5, talks about laser beams and uses the term “superhighways” for communication.
The January 3, 1983 issue of Newsweek: talked about “…information superhighways being built of fiber-optic cable will link Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C. in a 776-mile system on the East Coast.”
In the December 19, 1991 issue of the Christian Science Monitor Senator Al Gore called NREN the “information superhighway” – a catalyst for what he hoped would one day become a national fiber-optic network. Clearly in 1991 normal channels (TheRegister et al) were not around to make these announcements so he had to make do with the Christian Science Monitor.
I’ve already blogged that by last year BT in the UK had 11 million kms of fibre in the ground. I would expect that Al Gore might consider the Information Superhighway to well and truly have arrived.
Actually he would be reasonably right for a good proportion of internet users. This post though is not a rave about the digital divide. It is actually about marketing hype.
The latest political buzz-phrase seems to be “superfast broadband”. I personally think these hyped up phrases have had their day. Politicians across the ages have obviously latched on to them in their own messaging and marketing campaigns.
I wish people would just stick to the facts. In this case max possible speed 40Mbps, min 15Mbps, probably 25Mbps on average, certainly if we are talking FTTC. Clearly I will never make it in the marketing game.
I have though invented two Laws of the Internet.
The THIRD LAW OF THE INTERNET says that cups of tea always go cold before you finish drinking them when surfing. It’s a proven fact with a lot of laboratory research to back it up.
The FOURTH LAW OF THE INTERNET says that marketing hype accelerates faster than Moores Law. They are completely unconnected – I know that his will be a difficult concept for some to grasp (bit like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity but different).
The practical implication of the FOURTH LAW is that we will soon have to invent new words to describe how fast a connection is.
Today it is superfast broadband. Tomorrow it is going to have to be “this broadband is so fast you won’t be able to touch your router because it is so hot”. It’s a fact. It’ll give politicos a problem though – not a quick soundbyte phrase.
Ah well. My thanks to the internet (phrase circa1996) for access to Wikipedia for the historical stuff. Marvellous.
PS the FIRST and SECOND LAWS OF THE INTERNET have yet to be discovered. They might not even exist. Scientists tell me we will need better search engine technology than is available today to find them.
PPS if someone else already invented different third and fourth laws, for clarity these are trefor davies’ third and fourth laws of the internet.