I managed to beam into the Digital NZ keynote out of Austin using an amazing Polycom system. Ok, I sure missed an All Press coffee, breakfast at Cafe Melba Vulcan Lane, a plate of green-lipped mussles and catching up with Greg, Sandy, Rod and crew… But then I didn’t have to sit on a plane for 21 hours either…
The kit up at Polycom blew me away. HD video conferencing. Awesome.
My main premis was:
- Broadband is an issue but in a tightly regulated economy Telecom, Telstra and the Govt will need to sort that out. Hopefully while giving enterprises like Woosh a chance at succeeding. Somehow we manage to stay ahead of demand when it comes to the Internet. I heard an interesting soundbite the other day – YouTube today consumes all of the Internet capacity that existed five years ago. And, every second, six hours of video is loaded to YouTube.
- But, given this does happen we face two greater issues. First, if we continue to deploy infrastrucutre as we have been, there simply won’t be enough power to go around. Now, given that many of the major sites used by Kiwis are offshore – like YouTube — that might not be such a problem to the consumer. But for businesses planning on participating in the global economy this is a major issue. Green computing coupled with low cost, low impact power could be a major source of competitive advantage for NZ.
- Then, to the real problem. Running out of power is one thing. Running out of people is much more problematic. We are simply not outputting talent to run and build on the infrastructure we need to dearly. This is a problem we must fix for the long-term. Fixing it means getting started now though.
So, those are the main tenets of my story.
A few had follow-on questions about the correlation between bandwidth and power. I’ll get you some data courtesy of our friends at Gartner. The key to understanding this is to grok not what it takes to run the bandwidth but rather what the bandwidth is accessing… Massive and multiplying data centers across the planet. It’s not jsut Google or Microsoft. It’s nearly every Enterprise of any substance facing this challenge.
Minor thing: I few journos keep reporting that I chair the NZTE beachhead program in the US. As they expanded the program I stepped out of this role. Bridget Liddel has that honor. I do play a leadership role on the technology team that exists as part of the overall program though.