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Posted July 7, 2004
High Speed Internet and Its Birth...
¿Planet Broadband¿ is not a Star Trek episode or another Sci-Fi title. It is the answer to the question: Of where the term ¿broadband¿ originated and why is it used when discussing cable internet services? This question is the base for the book ¿Planet Broadband¿ by Rouzbeh Yassini. When I first received the book, my initial thoughts where focused on the Cable Internet environment, but the book also presents the DSL side as well. This small book of 140 pages, including index, not only explains how the concept of Broadband communication evolved, but the possible directions it can go. This book is clearly more of a history of how the concept of broadband was developed and the growth of the Internet that it leads too. I can foresee future generations of children reading this book in a college course on Information Technology. When one considers that only three to five percent of the American public use any form of broadband services, the growth potential presented is unbelievable. Personally for me, a detail-oriented reader this took me about a total of 8 hours to complete. That may seem slow, but considering the topic and the events occurring within the world of telecommunications, that is better than I expected. As I read this book, I would pause from time to time and comment to myself on how Yassini¿s points are either already occurring or how I can see them occurring or already being implemented. Additionally, I found enlightenment in the knowledge that both DSL and cable Internet are actually considered broadband. While the Cable companies have a tendency to advertise themselves as a broadband service, in reality they are only one of several broadband services. Some of the concepts presented include virtual training like many universities are now offering and virtual meetings with individuals all around the world. While he does point out that everything is not immediately on demand in this day and age, within time we can witness more and more services becoming that way. Within the book, Yassini points out the concept of being able to check the items in the refrigerator from work or have the washing machine place a service call to the manufacture before you know there is a problem. These are features of a broadband planet and within time our children and their children will not know a world where we had modems connecting to the internet or downloads that took hours. But as you read you realize that while today is the birth of broadband, this book is more the introduction to tomorrows internet and a must read. To prove the point that ¿Planet Broadband¿ is an introduction, my baby boomer mother who works in the cable industry as a customer service person, took the book from me and read it cover to cover one day and told me ¿This is where we are going and everything.¿ So if a 50+ year old parent can see it we know that the world will be there some day. Near the end of the book, Yassini focuses on telecommuting and a comparison of that to working at the office. While he clearly points out that telecommuting is not for everyone or all the time, it has productivity advantages and will only grow with time. I think one of his best examples is in Chapter 6, where he remembers the MCI commercial of a woman working at home and changing a presentation on the fly for clients and co-workers half way across the country. That image is an example of how the world has changed thanks to the advances of broadband and the ability to telecommute without being in the dark room or bound to the long commutes all the time. As I hold the book and consider my final thoughts on the subject of ¿Planet broadband¿, this book is not designed for the IT world, but for the general public. I would recommend this as an excellent addition to anyone¿s library and especially to individuals in the information technology community. For management or others it is an excellent resource to justify a telecommuting policy or practice, orWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2003
One of the most often heard terms in computing these days is ¿broadband¿. Although it¿s often discussed and just as often dismissed as hype, many people may not know what broadband fully means or signifies. In ¿Planet Broadband¿, author Rouzbeh Yassini provides an easy to understand introduction to describe what broadband is and why it matters to us. ¿Planet Broadband¿ looks at the potential of this fast growing communications technology. It explains why broadband is more than just a faster connection to the Internet ¿ in fact, broadband can unlock the power of the information age and holds the promise to improve nearly every aspect of modern life. The author is considered the ¿Father of the Cable Modem¿, having founded LANcity in 1990, and having introduced the first high-speed residential communications modem designed to integrate with television cable networks. His excitement about broadband is infectious and he successfully describes the many features and benefits of this technology. As he points out, in 2002 over 42 million people worldwide had some form of broadband connection to the Internet, and in the U.S., more than 50,000 new households connect to broadband every week. He predicts that broadband will be in a majority of U.S. homes within 5 years. By comparison, it took 70 years for the telephone to makes its way into a majority of homes, and 90 years for the majority of U.S. residents to have their own car. Yassini provides an excellent background to the explosive growth of broadband by providing a very-readable history of analog and digital technologies. He describes the advent of DSL and the history of the cable modem, and makes the technologies accessible to readers of all levels and technology experience. For example, Yassini describes how someone using a cable modem sends an e-mail to his boss in another state. The description is lucid, easy to understand, and engaging. The author also describes the process that takes place when a user has DSL or a cable modem installed at home. The book also provides an overview of some of the many applications of broadband. For example, Major League Baseball games are now available for a fee over the Internet to users with a suitable fast broadband connection. Businesses are quickly adopting video conferencing as the method of choice for conducting meetings when travel costs are a factor. Organizations buy goods, manage inventories, streamline processes, all thanks to the integration of broadband into their daily processes. The author provides detailed description of broadband¿s impact in government, health-care, education, and entertainment. In the home, broadband is also creating a revolution and Yassini shows us how. From creating their own content, to using always-on connections for queries, to finding new forms of entertainment, home users are benefiting in countless ways from the broadband revolution. And the broadband benefits are not just limited to the PC, but are becoming incorporated into the entire home. Users are seeing broadband applications in home entertainment systems, telephone communication, and even how the home is run. ¿Planet Broadband¿ takes the mystery out of a very fast growing technology that is affecting more of us every day. Whether you are new to the world of broadband or a seasoned ILEC engineer, ¿Planet Broadband¿ is a fresh read and will be a welcome addition to your library.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.