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The (Unlikely) Future of the Internet?

March 10th, 2022 / By: / Published in: SillyCon Valley

StarLink could shake things up a bit…

Ok, so, what’s the fuzz about with StarLink? Let’s see. We know that the internet is not some specific set of physical networks. It’s carried by wires, optical fibers, microwave links, satellites and in one famous case, carrier pigeons. It is a set of software protocols that are very specifically designed to actually hide whatever it’s actually running on.

So aside from performance and reliability issues – the Internet will not change at all as systems like StarLink, Project Kuiper, Athena and others start to become commonplace. There is no doubt that the Internet will continue to evolve – but independently of the networks it’s carried upon.

Satellite systems like Starlink, OneWeb and Amazon’s proposal are good at connecting rural and remote areas where the economics aren’t there for terrestrial fiber. But if you live in a suburban or urban area, chances are you’re going to opt for fiber connectivity. Fiber is a data firehose, meaning your speeds are going to be typically quite a bit superior to satellite, which often is more a data garden house — it can either provide a few customers with high speed, or a lot of customers with much slower speeds.

Some adventurous minds even go further by viewing StarLink from a different angle – they are convinced that it will be a source of rivers of cash to develop affordable space travel, and could become public someday. Who knows for sure? I’d bet my morning coffee that no one really knows for sure, except for the guy from South Africa who sleeps at his factory.

Regardless of whether these scenarios are likely or unlikely, are you and your software development getting ready for the opportunity-oozing scenarios that are no doubt to come in the near future with these marvelous technologies? Are you up to the challenge?