According to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, by 2015, 90% of UK Internet users will have broadband access boasting a bandwidth higher than 24 Megabits per second. This would thereby make the UK the best-served in terms of Internet connection in the European region.
If you’ve read the news, you’ll know that there is some skepticism (or even a slight opposition) towards this vision but certainly, from my point of view, no matter what the direction will be, it is more than likely that efforts will be deployed so as to increase the bandwidth speed available to the users in the UK – and that means a lot of opportunities.
Indeed, more and more internet applications are now using a lot of bandwidth and the higher the speed users have, the more comfortable their experience will be. Let’s take for example the case of ‘video on demand’, which is getting more and more exposure thanks to services like NetFlix or Hulu.
While we can assume that people usually watch those videos right from their TV, it wouldn’t surprise you that more and more consumers will turn to viewing series and films straight from their smartphone or tablet – especially when the trend is leaning towards smartphones with bigger screens as well as a diversity of tablets.
In fact, having a big channel (or a high-speed internet connection) is only one part of the scheme: on top of that, new applications will surely arise and be adopted on a large scale. And one of the big players in this field will surely be cloud applications and storage.
Even today, we can already see a large adoption of cloud-based file storage and sharing solutions such as Drop-Box, as well as synchronizations of whole playlists between multiple devices – with higher bandwidths, we can only imagine that we will move towards different forms of ‘store-less’ devices that will pull the data (music, files, movies… ) straight from the cloud, thereby creating one of the biggest issues the IT team has ever faced – becoming obsolete: this issue is named “backup-restore”.
Indeed, with higher bandwidth as well as ‘smarter’ terminal devices (PC, laptops, tablets, smartphones etc) outsourcing the backup and restore functions of personal and professional data to the cloud will surely make sense. In fact, Netbooks have already started moving in this direction by shipping smaller laptops with low-size hard disks. Although the idea was clever, they failed in providing a reliable solution for storing data, since users were meant to store their data on external hard drives that are less reliable.
However now, with the decision from Asus to stop producing Netbooks in favor of focusing more on tablets, chances are that we will see the adoption of a new scheme where tablets (that usually come with small storage capacity) will be favored along with a cloud storage solution.
A crucial point in this scheme would be a high bandwidth in order to provide some kind of comfort for the users, but this will be (or is it already) solved via higher Internet bandwidth. Indeed, the move to tablets and cloud-based storage is an extraordinary opportunity since we are moving from an old system where the users were in charge of managing the backup system (whether they do so or not is an entirely different story), into a system where all the users have to do is store their files in the cloud and the cloud provider can manage the backup/restore system.
What do you think about this shift of the backup from the user’s hands to the cloud? Feel free to discuss.