Broadband In The Home

Before broadband can become ubiquitous, the barriers of high cost, difficult installation, and difficult use must be overcome.

EN: The author is largely discussing the difficulty of getting connected to the network, and the difficult of running networking lines through the residence. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't believe getting connected to the network is all that expensive or all that difficult. Plugging a router into the phone outlet (or cable jack) isn't brain surgery, and most service providers are happy to talk users through it, for the sake of getting their monthly subscription fees.

Running Cat5 cables through a house, as he describes, is rather a pain - but it's a lot like electric power: people once had to hire an electrician to wire their home for them, but it wasn't long before homes were built with the wiring pre-installed.

Also, wireless networking makes it unnecessary to bother with cables, and given that most household uses require minimal transmission of data (computer-controlled lighting, heating, appliances), the need for extremely high bandwidth may be limited to a few areas of the home (the office, entertainment center).

He does discuss network security, though it seems a bit asinine to assume that tapping into a home network will be any more of a problem in the future than it has been in the past (neighbors "stealing" your cable access), though there has been some carelessness with wireless networks in the home (people leaving their network "open,") I expect that will be addressed, given time and a large enough incident that people are willing to invest the ten seconds it takes to password-protect their router.

I've skimmed over much of the chapter - my sense is that the author is making a lot of noise about non-existent problems. The author's thesis - that a home network has significant cost and is difficult to install and maintain - is simply untrue.