What Ultra-fast Internet Would Mean for Business

Google Fiber ultra-fast internetLots of people were paying attention to Google Fiber when the company launched this service in Kansas City last year. I was ecstatic at the thought of having access to a one gigabit internet network. It’s almost unimaginably fast and as it expands and forces competitors to up their speeds, it could create long-lasting changes in many levels of our society – even in our online marketing and advertising.

Ultra-fast Internet Is Not Far Off

Maybe you aren’t as much of a tech nerd as I am, but the idea of ultra-fast internet often keeps me up at night (okay, not really). I am excited about it for so many reasons. The implications for nationwide ultra-fast internet – that’s where we’ll eventually be – will change education, commerce, banking, and so many other industries.

The idea of spreading ultra-fast internet is starting to catch on. Recently, Christina Chaey at FastCompany reported that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has issued a statement “to broadband providers and state and local community leaders to bring ultra-fast gigabit internet to at least one community” in every state in the country by the year 2015. That’s only two years away.

The US is starting to take a lot of flack for lagging behind in connectivity. Failing to address this problem is going to hurt our economy and our global competitiveness. Getting to ultra-fast internet won’t be easy; David Talbot explained earlier in February for Technology Review that “the United States has a long road ahead to achieve widespread one-gigabit service.” It’s time to start thinking about what will change when people start demanding ultra-fast internet as the technology spreads. I’m sure they will demand it, too.

How Online Marketing and Ads Could Change Now

Ultra-fast internet will bring with it a lot of changes. Targeted online ads – for starters – will become much more robust. Video quality will increase dramatically, as will the ability to deliver interactive, bandwidth-heavy content to consumers the moment they take an interest in an ad.

Having an immense amount of bandwidth means companies like Google and social media companies like Facebook will be able to track and utilize data about consumers much more efficiently. This data combined with ultra-fast internet can be used to create ads or content that reacts instantly to the consumer, especially when it comes to location based marketing. Algorithms will be able to crunch the numbers and transfer information over the internet near-instantaneously.

Everything online relies on data and processing it as fast as possible. The computers that do this are fast – the pipelines through which they have to transfer the information aren’t quite as fast. Ultra-fast internet will improve transaction speed, data retrieval, WiFi speeds, and every other operation that helps to make the internet as useful as it is today.

You can bet that wireless connectivity will also become faster. Consumers won’t be deterred from using wireless devices while out and about, providing more opportunity for targeted marketing to do its job. At the very least, ultra-fast internet means ultra-fast purchases for consumers!

 Looking Further in the Future

When you start thinking about the long-term future of what ultra-fast internet will do, things get awesome, and interesting. One of the first thoughts that popped into my mind was the possibilities with wireless devices and augmented reality (AR). AR is already slowly being implemented, but with ultra-fast internet the technology won’t have any limits. We would be able to use wireless devices to interact with products and information like we never have before.

Streaming 3D information will be nothing for ultra-fast internet. Holograms that interact with you and/or your devices could become a very real occurrence in our daily lives. The possibilities for marketing and advertising with 3D, hologram, or AR tech is overwhelming.

The cloud will become a much, much more viable and fast alternative to physical storage. Our devices might end up having very little physical storage at all, freeing us to have seamless transition between all of our devices. This will create a more unified relation with our technology and give businesses and agencies the opportunity to design marketing and ads that take into account this new relationship with technology.

Technological progress isn’t slowing down. The above possibilities are certainly very possible. Heck, people much smarter than me (people at IBM’s research lab) predicted that computers in the next five years will make significant leaps and be able to interact with us based on touch, sight, hearing, taste, and even smell. That alone will change online marketing.

Waiting (Im)Patiently

In January Google’s CFO Patrick Pichette was quoted stating that Google Fiber is “not a hobby” and that Google is “going to continue to look at the possibility of expanding.” To where no one is quite sure yet, not even Google. But it’s a promising sign that at least one company is aggressively pushing to bring ultra-fast internet to US consumers and businesses.

I’m really looking forward to the time when the US catches up to and hopefully surpasses the connectivity speeds of other developed countries. There’s no reason that it can’t be accomplished in the next 5-10 years. It’s going to turn marketing and advertising into an even more creative and interesting field than it ever has been before.

How do you see ultra-fast internet changing marketing, advertising, or the world in general?


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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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