Larry Irving, president of the Internet Innovation Alliance, presented a keynote at the Killer App Expo on the infrastructure challenges we face due to the new and demanding ways people are using the Internet today.
Services like social networking programs (MySpace, Facebook, Bebo), video services (Akimbo, Vudu, YouTube), and communication services like Skype are changing the web, but also putting pressure on it.
Irving included examples from his own life, such as his use of Slingbox to access NBA and Stanford sports from India, and Skype for international phone calls.
Our infrastructure was not build for the kind of traffic we’re throwing at it.
He’s optimistic about solving our bandwidth problems, due to America’s assets, including a great risk capital market, great universities, and entrepreneurial people. However, he suggests that our success in technology over the past 10 years is due to legacy investments more than investments we’re making today.
Irving asked, “Why is telecommunications such a highly taxed product (3rd behind alcohol and gambling) when it’s such an important tool for growth and competition?” Two of those products can hurt people, but better communications access can only help the economy.
Irving believes public support of private investments in Internet infrastructure are key to continually improving the quality of the network with best of class technology.
We had a chance to interview Irving after his speech. Look for that soon.