The problem of slow and expensive broadband access in the USA is not a technological one. The US lags behind due to the pseudo-geographical monopolies held by various ISPs and the ability they have enjoyed to be able to gouge customers with high priced bad service. Lack of competition often results in slow progress or no progress.
That is all about to change. You don’t need to have a technician to analyze the various 5G systems, or compare carriers chances of “winning” to realize that the very fact that speeds and options are increasing exponentially is going to re-write the map when it comes to who controls the cash-cow subscription gravy train. That system is about to collapse.
In steps Elon, and his little copy-cat-side-kick Jeffy Bezos, and now the landscape is about to become unrecognizable
First, 5G speeds rival or exceed the former fixed / desktop speeds which had commanded a premium for the geographically entrenched providers. 5G home systems will also be available in many areas that will be competitive in speed, price and convenience.
SpaceX’s Starlink is a serious project; with nearly 1000 satellites already in orbit out of an eventual 12,000 and launches continuing almost weekly with 60 each time. This ambitious plan will eventually completely encircle the earth with interconnected satellites that will link through intermediary “ground stations” with up to 1 million planned for USA alone. Each ground station is just under 19 inches (.48 m) across.
“It looks like a UFO on a stick,” according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk “It’s very important that you don’t need a specialist to install. The goal is for … just two instructions and they can be done in either order: Point at sky, plug in.”
Satellite Broadband, such as SpaceX’s Starlink will not only add ubiquitous 100mbps and higher, low latency coverage, it will also cover the same areas with high population density, major cities, where both current systems and 5G are also focusing.
Exact pricing is as yet unknown but it is extremely likely that there will be a high pitched battle over customers once the various systems go into the next phase of the rollout. And all of this is not factoring in additional players in 5G and satellite systems.
Longer term (2 years +) there will be major world-wide implications of this shift toward more and faster options in internet connectivity
The first shift, primarily driven by the geographical independence of satellite broadband such as Starlink, will be a decentralization of populations at massive scale. While we are looking at a world where, due to the current pandemic countermeasures, WFH a.k.a. work-from-home is becoming more than a temporary factor. As many as 20 major companies such as Google and Microsoft have announced extended or permanent work-from-home policies as of October 2020.
There are already plenty of very serious discussions about what will be done with all the skyscrapers and office buildings once there are no workers to fill the offices. This is not idle chit-chat. A migration has already begun away from the insanely overpriced rents and home prices in places like Silicon Valley, to take advantage of the work-from-home-anywhere approach.
Extrapolate based on increased speed and availability of connectivity to millions of locations not currently viable, each of which soon to have internet at minimum speeds rivaling the current world champion Liechtenstein (see above), and you will recognize the beginnings of an exodus of epic proportions.
Just in time, unfortunately, for an economic upheaval due to the aftermath of the still-ongoing global pandemic and, of yes, the issues of accelerated global warming, which will, coincidentally, affect costal “elite” cities like Miami, SanFrancisco, New York and others around the world to a disproportionally large degree.
“The reality is that a technological utopian vision, one where the world is able to shift to sustainable energy and regenerative farming, and create economies based on prosperous and equal distribution of the wealth generated by those systems, [along with AI and robot technology powered by sustainable clean energy], can only be realized by an acceleration of learning and positive social change. “-DL
These changes, to be clear, are not all “bad” nor are they all the cause of negative side-effects such as the current covid-19 outbreak.
The reality is that a technological utopian vision, one where the world is able to shift to sustainable energy and regenerative farming, and create economies based on prosperous and equal distribution of the wealth generated by those systems, [along with AI androbot technology, powered by sustainable clean energy), can only be realized by an acceleration of learning and positive social change.
Change is urgently needed to build out the human networked communication system that will enable the learning and cooperation which is the only hope for the survival of our species. 5G, the iPhone 12 and SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Broadband are going to be huge factors, in making the first baby-steps toward that change, possible..
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