My induction into the Internet Hall of Fame is truly an honor, as is the opportunity I have had to help the Internet evolve and expand its reach around the world. In human history, the growth of the Internet is less than the blink of an eye, yet already we’re realizing amazing potential and endless possibilities achievable through high-performance, cost-effective access to the knowledge and ideas that the Internet provides.
As innovations continue to connect the world and deliver richer, faster, more diverse content, new, lower cost technologies soon will enable a billion people to connect to the Internet at gigabit/s speeds. A further five billion people will connect at tens and hundreds of megabits/s.
As a DSL inventor, I’m proud to reflect that today, DSL and wireless already can achieve these speeds, avoiding the often prohibitive costs and construction delays of running fiber to every home.
Belgium and Ireland currently lead the way to 100 megabits connections over copper, with Germany and Australia soon to follow. Vectored VDSL is spreading like a tsunami, and the new standard G.fast raises these DSL connection speeds to hundreds of megabits on a single phone line.
In the meantime, commercial wireless networks have reached 300 megabits/sec. LTE advanced speeds of more than a gigabit/s soon will emerge from laboratories. Many respected engineers are confident that 5G wireless speeds can reach 10 gigabits/s per transmitter.
Wi-Fi and similar short range wireless systems can connect a dozen or more homes to share bandwidth for peak speeds. If each has 100 megabits on their phone line, any of the families would be able to connect at a gigabit/s when they need higher speeds.
The first wave of the Internet has changed the world. As speeds further increase a hundred-fold, the world will be changed yet again.