A group of us at Stanford have been following this on-line conversation intently. Sitting in California bandwidth 'heaven', it's fair to say that we are learning a lot from contributors for whom connectivity is not a given.
As the discussion turns to models for scaling it is noteworthy to observe the connectivity acceleration taking place in urban and semi-urban centers worldwide, driven by 'more affordable' wireless communications services, i.e. mobile telephony. As these user-supported wireless networks are established, we believe innovative data services will evolve to take advantage of them -- just as 'modem-powered' e-mail and Web-browsing creatively re-purposed traditional telephone networks in the developed world over the past three decades. With the advent of affordable mobile communications we see an emerging model for a viable 'lowest common denominator' two-way network, that will ultimately become available for data traffic globally. Bandwidth limitations notwithstanding, this network will become a new highway for innovative data services. Exciting technologies like Wi-Fi will have an important role at the edge of this network - at a minimum as aggregators of low bandwidth communications like email, instant messaging, SMS and VOIP. Affordable low-bandwidth data communications will be a major theme of the 2004-5 Digital Vision Fellowship Program at Stanford next year. Please write if you wish to spend a year at Stanford <http://reuters.stanford.edu> to address this opportunity. - Stuart Gannes ------------ This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides more information. To post a message, send it to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>. In the 1st line of the message type: subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd For the GKD database, with past messages: http://www.GKDknowledge.org