A lot has changed in the less than quarter-century that the internet has become such a prevalent part of life. Once a system of information accessible only through a computer, it’s not uncommon to see people checking their email through their cell phones or watching YouTube videos on their iPods. The mediums that deliver the internet might be seen by older users as not good enough–too small to do real work, too slow to handle things like video conferencing–but the younger generation is taking all of these thoughts into account and dreaming up better and faster ways to get online. And unlike their parents, those in their twenties might not mind watching a movie on a three inch by three inch screen.
The existence of so many different platforms that have been received so well does not necessarily mean that people are equally excited to switch their methods for getting online from home or the office–just for their handheld devices. Think about how long so many people stuck with dial-up, not complaining, or how people thought that the development of satellite internet was the latest and final step in creating a truly wireless network that could stretch from location to location. The fact is that the internet has come in different phases, and that what might seem like the absolute best option currently could quickly become overshadowed by something else in only a few year’s time.
Anyone hoping to stay on the forefront of business, especially businesses that rely on a youthful edge and understanding of developments, needs to stay engaged in the climate of the internet to see what direction the public is going to go in terms of internet service providers. After all, while satellite internet was seen as something that had its time and place, it is starting to come back, while the traditional wireless system–a network that doesn’t actually stretch that far–is starting to get challenged by more recent technologies like WiMax.
Here are where WiMax and satellite broadband break from the current pack: they truly make it possible to get online from just about anywhere. With WiMax, anywhere is currently limited to anywhere in the United States where their signal reaches, while satellite offers are more truthful version of anywhere, since their satellites can beam signals to the most remote regions of just about any country. There are a couple of other advantages to satellite, too. Because there is no third-party provider that offers a connection, satellite seems to have a lot less spyware and ads popping up every minute, and more than one person can be using the same satellite without having to configure a network or buy more than one card.
So when thinking about the future of your own company, your professional career, or simply for anyone contemplating what direction the internet will go next, don’t just look at the hardware: look at how the internet is delivered. Because that, more than anything, has the potential to shape the development of the internet and the direction that things go in for the next quarter-century.