I recently started reading Cisco’s blog about the Internet of Everything and I’m completely fascinated. The thought is as more and more devices become internet-enabled, there will be different types of data created and traffic may be a problem. For instance, many homes have a wireless network for a laptop and a printer to communicate. In my house I can think of 12 devices off the top of my head that are connected to the internet all the time. It is a combination of wired and wireless but nevertheless, that’s a lot!
But if you think about the devices that are coming, the data will be very different. Today, I can’t tell you at 8:00 am what types of sites I will hit, how often I will check my email, if I will watch a video (or three) or check in on Facebook. But my Blueray player can tell you exactly how often it will check for updates and what is involved in downloading them. And when things like your air-conditioner starts sending your service provider status updates, they will also know on what schedule and what the data will look like in structure.
So there are a couple interesting challenges that arise from this. First, the internet has to be able to handle all this data. Right now if we want to stream TV we have to shut the computers down. Imagine if we add more devices? So in-home network equipment has to get smarter as well as better. It has to be able to prioritize traffic so users can get what they need when they need it. In addition, there’s a storage issue. No one is going to want to clear out data logs from their refrigerator. Can you imagine if it overloaded and shut down? So the normal user-management most devices require needs to go away. Not to mention who is storing all those updates? Ick!
I believe there are a bunch of challenges coming for internet service providers. The pressure is on to be better in an industry where better isn’t even answering the phone – it is just having one! I would highly recommend having a conversation with your ISP to find out what are their long term goals to address these issues and how can they guarantee you will get the speed you pay for? Otherwise, you may find your own production going down because you’re waiting on your internet to catch up – all because that new frig in the breakroom is using it.