Thursday, January 10, 2008

100 Mbps 

The news that Comcast will launch a 100 mbps service in 2008 makes one think. What can one do with that speed in PR ? For one, it would be easy to serve YouTube like videos directly to people by e-mail, for example. This might not work with reporters, but it could certainly appeal to consumers depending on the creativity of the video. It will be easy to transmit high-density photos and art, although computers may not load them quickly on the recipient's end.

The wrong use of such speed, it seems to me, is to dump ever-larger text files into other's machines. Greater speed does not mean more time to read. The temptation to send the whole press kit in a huge Adobe pdf will be more than some PR practitioners can bear. For that reason and to avoid viruses, many news media and other organizations will maintain file size limitations on their networks.

The problem with such transmission speed is storing data it transports. It's nice to download a multi-gigabyte movie in four minutes. What does one do after looking at the movie? Higher speed means more memory. More memory means more backup.

Personal computers are moving toward the storage capacity of the Library of Congress. They will also be more cluttered. It will be like rooting through a refrigerator one hasn't cleaned in months and finding out-of-date milk and dried-out meat. They got lost in the back of the compartment. There will be thousands of files lost in the "back of the computer" and a greater need for effective search and indexing. Every part of the chain will change, and we will adapt. It should be fun.


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