Tom Lettington's Personal Vision Statement
In 1999 I generalized my quest for a means to participate in the rapid movement toward the information age
by embarking on a private consulting practice. By making this move, I was free to pursue
my passion in a way which is consistant with the following vision
statement. In 2004 I retired from the working life to freely pursue my interests free of the requirements to follow the
dictates of those who would pay me money in exchange for my time. I devote my time to reading, learning, and enjoying freedom to
enjoy being with Kay and family and friends.
The future in which I will continue my quest for knowledge grows more exciting every day. Information Technology is changing and growing exponentialy.
With the emergence of nanotechnology, new horizons appeared. I encourage readers to explore "The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzwiel.
The following facts and core beliefs were set down in July of 1995 and remain valid today even though many now appear self evident:
- The "Information Age", the fourth great wave in
the evolution of mankind, has just begun.
- The "Information Superhighway" concept is at the
heart of the Information Age.
- "The Internet", in it's current stage of evolution,
is the current implementation of the concept of the Information
Superhighway. The Internet will continue to evolve to meet the
requirements imposed by the exponentially increasing growth in
bandwidth demand. The driving force behind the demand for internetworking bandwidth today
is "Internet Access". Soon this will be overtaken by the demands resulting from
Corporate "Intranets" which integrate voice, video, and data. The appropriate
technology for implementing these Intranets is ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) because
this set of protocols allows integrated data streams with quality of service
parameters which enable the prioritization of the components. This feature gives
users the ability to permit near realtime applications, such as voice and video,
allowing non-realtime applications such as file transfer and email to be delayed. ATM
over SONET or ATM over WDM will provide the bandwidth required to meet the demands in the near future
until a better/faster/cheaper solution comes along. Packet over Sonet (POS) provides
a lower overhead solution for "IP only" data streams, but does not address the quality of
service needs of realtime applications. POS networks which attempt to address the Intranet
requirements will fall short of the mark.
- Internet Access is at last becoming recognized as a "commonly accepted" service. Five of the largest population
centers in the United States now boast that over 50% of the residents have Internet access. The top twenty
US markets are anticipated
to have over 50% with access by the end of the year 2000. This fact indicates that there should be a large
market for "Public Internet Access" in much the same way that public telephones filled in the gap when many, but now all,
homes had telephones installed. Internet kiosks are likely to be the "pay phone" of the decade.
- The rest of the world will soon experience the same phenomonon
we have witnessed in the United States. The market in the Asia-Pacific
region will be particularly lucrative. Our industry
must rapidly deploy additional global network infrastructure, with substantial
bandwidth available, in order to be positioned to take advantage of this
- The availability of affordable high performance personal computers
with graphical user interfaces and easy access to fairly high
speed connections to the Internet has enabled wide spread interest
in the Information Superhighway to gain momentum.
- The development of a graphical user interface access to the
World Wide Web (a "browser") has enabled the natural
marriage of the new generation of Personal Computers with the
- PC Application development and continued innovative development
and deployment of attractive content on the World Wide Web will
cause the continued growth in the popularity of this combination
for a long time to come.
- Future uses of the PC on the Web, including "Electronic Commerce" will generate huge demands
for communications bandwidth within the network infrastructures
that support Internet access.
- Internet oriented tools will be used within businesses as
the basis for substantial business re-engineering efforts undertaken
to take advantage of the opportunities presented by this explosion
in available information. The name given to the systems resulting
from this business re-engineering is "The Corporate Intranet".
These intranets will be a significantly more important consumer
of communications bandwidth than connections from businesses to
the globally connected Internet. Intranet importance notwithstanding,
virtually every business will be connected to the Internet and
make regular use of this connection for communications with the
outside world and as a source of valuable information.
- Electronic mail via the Internet will continue to grow in
importance to the point where it will be the predominant means
of interpersonal communications. Email will be rivaled by "Internet Voice" in some
markets. This is not "real" voice in that, since it is carried on the globally connected Internet, it is
subject to latency and congestion which reduce the quality to the point where it
is generally not acceptable for commercial use. There are many applications for voice
where quality may be sacrificed for economy. Internet Voice can be a very inexpensive
way to communicate. Internet Voice will be particularly important in the international market where traditional
voice services are much more expensive.
- Voice Over IP (VoIP), which in general means the use of Internet Protocol
technology to packetize and route voice traffic, can produce highly
compressed, very cost effective digital voice streams to deliver "near TELCO quality"
- Integrated communications flow (voice, data, and video) on
the Information Superhighway will change all of the current models
of how the communications industry operates.
Back to The Fast Lane at http://www.tfl.net/.