The United States is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to internet speeds. Two thirds of the world is still not online. So, when Irene Estevez, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Time Warner, says that they [Time Warner] do not see a need to offer a product to compete with Google’s 1GB/sec internet service, it’s hard to think she has any idea what weather is outside, much less what the future of global connectivity will be.
The comment from the CTO underlies a larger problem with the companies that control access to the internet. Overwhelmingly these companies take positions that the people are sheep or their enemy. Whether it’s Comcast announcing that it will begin suspending the connectivity of users suspected of repeatedly infringing content copyright or providing wifi for free, major corporations consistently take the position that time shows will die: as it rightly should. But not before they squeeze you for every overpriced cent that they can.
And some may respond to this, “So what?” The majority of of people are fine with paying too much for wimpy transfer speeds. The problem, the “so what,” is the culture of this old guard of service providers that continually hinder and prevent creativity. The argument that there aren’t applications today that make use of 1GB/sec transfer rates is not reason enough to shy away from providing the service; the applications of tomorrow may. Who is the CTO of Time Warner to predict what people may do with such a revolutionary change in access? The justification that Time Warner offers is that they don’t see the demand for Gigabit connectivity.
The idea that these corporations feel they can predict the future is dangerous. They have one job, provide the best service possible. Time Warner, under Irene Estevez, isn’t.