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The broadband revolution

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1 Author(s)
Samueli, H. ; Broadcom Corp., Sunnyvale, CA, USA

The broadband revolution truly is of the same magnitude as the industrial revolution of the 1800s. The changes we're going to see over the next decade will principally come from the connected home. We'll see bandwidth increasing a thousandfold from today's voice band 56-Kbps modems to tens of megabits per second through DSL and cable modems, and other satellite and wireless technologies. To have an impact on the millions of people who do not have computers, we'll need to turn the television set into a medium that somewhat simulates what they would now get with a computer and add fully interactive video at broadband speeds. The future connected home will have numerous service providers sending a broad pipe to the home over satellite, cable, DSL, or terrestrial wireless. It doesn't matter how we connect the home; we'll see a broadband gateway in the home, much like today's office that has a broadband router connected to the Internet. The connected environment doesn't necessarily have to be wired, but cable and phone lines are a natural choice, especially in the US, and will be first to market with the widest deployment. There will be no rewiring; clearly if we have to rewire, we'll never have a market. We'll also need wireless mobile connectivity within the home for all the devices we'll use. The telephones will be converted to Internet videophones, and MPEG video will be delivered over the Internet. As we are well aware, the TV set is being upgraded substantially. Certainly the HDTV format with the 16 x 9 aspect ratio and high resolution display will finally allow us to read Web pages on the TV set in a reasonable format. We'll have fancy on-screen displays and videophone pop-up screens with a TV camera sitting on the TV set so we can make video calls to Grandma

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Mar/Apr 2000

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