The Gigabit Age: Killer Apps and the Semantic Web

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Reposted from the Pew Research Internet Project:

In 2014, Google and Verizon were among the innovators announcing that they are testing the capabilities for currently installed fiber networks to carry data even more efficiently – at 10 gigabits per second – to businesses that handle large amounts of Internet traffic.

To explore the possibilities of the next leap in connectivity we asked thousands of experts and Internet builders to share their thoughts about likely new Internet activities and applications that might emerge in the gigabit age. We call this a canvassing because it is not a representative, randomized survey. Its findings emerge from an “opt in” invitation to experts, many of whom play active roles in Internet evolution as technology builders, researchers, managers, policymakers, marketers, and analysts. We also invited comments from those who have made insightful predictions to our previous queries about the future of the Internet.

How could people benefit from a gigabit network? One expert in this study, David Weinberger, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, predicted, “There will be full, always-on, 360-degree environmental awareness, a semantic overlay on the real world, and full-presence massive open online courses. Plus Skype won’t break up nearly as much.”

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