'Broadband 2.0' to Increase the Standard

According to the Wired News, two of the United States’ largest Internet service providers are looking to create a broadband revolution with what they call “Broadband 2.0,” which promises home connections of 50 to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and would allow for more high-definition content, better--quality video-sharing sites and 3-D video. Experts say, when this increased bandwidth becomes available, everything from our social interactions on the Web to how we consume media will be profoundly affected.

The increased bandwidth may even lead to the development of extra features such as stereoscopic 3-D video and high-fidelity audio.

“The YouTube philosophy is really the primary motivator here,” said Connie Chang-Hasnain, University of California, Berkeley, professor. “But, right now, the resolution is terrible, and there are some very predefined limits due to bandwidth.”

Comcast and Verizon both have started offering ultra-high-bandwidth services to select customers, with speeds as great as 25 times faster than today’s average broadband speed of 4.8 Mbps, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Both services are available in limited areas, with Comcast recently offering its service to some Minneapolis and St. Paul residents in early May 2008.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the service will reach 20 percent of its customers by year’s end, and in two years, Comcast will offer speeds of more than 100 Mbps. Internet researcher Rudolf van der Berg said the new bandwidth will be absorbed quickly by users.

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