Very interesting item on bOing bOing this evening. Seems that this first wave of broadband users is as interested in — if not more interested in — creating content than consuming it. This might have ramifications for the architecture of the Net itself, which is based on having (comparatively) fewer servers and (comparatively) more clients. If broadband users, with their always-on connections, want to be transmitting as much as they receive, DSL and cable providers will have one big whomping problem any day now.
Broadband *doesn’t* need content!. This amazing recent study (warning: it’s a big PDF) of broadband adoption shows that content is irrelevant to the broadband experience. Broadband uses crave the ability to contribute to the Internet’s distributed conversation and want nothing more than end-to-end connectivity. The online surfing patterns of high-speed users reveal two values that policymakers, industry leaders, and the public should bear in mind:
1. An open Internet is appealing to broadband users. As habitual posters of content, broadband users seem to desire the widest reach for what they share with the online world. As frequent searchers for information using their always-on connection, broadband users seek out the greatest range of sources to satisfy their thirst for information. Walling off portions of the Internet, which some regulatory proposals may permit, is anathema to how broadband users behave.
2. Broadband users value fast upload speeds as well as fast download speeds. They not only show this by their predilection to create content, but also by their extensive file-sharing habits.
It’s like I used to say: The Net isn’t about consuming information; it’s about sharing information.