Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's no longer 1996: Outdated perceptions of the Internet persist

There remains a major misapprehension in the United States -- in the nation that invented it -- that the Internet is only about email and websites when in fact it delivers Internet Protocol TV and movies. It's also the updated version of Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) over copper to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). And that's not even mentioning videoconferencing, telehealth and distance learning. All can be delivered simultaneously over a single fiber optic connection.

Nevertheless, there remain many media accounts such as this one from Minnesota Public Radio that would have readers believe it's still circa 1996 when the Internet was a relative novelty (then mostly accessed via AOL over dialup connections). A decade and a half ago, it was understandable that as this January 17, 2012 MPR story reports there were "Many people don't believe there's anything on the Internet they need." That was a relevant perception back then. But it's badly outdated in 2012.

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