Sunday, May 06, 2007

Is Ham Radio like a Telco?

Thanks to Slashdot for the following provocative video link. Van Johnson talks to Google about what comes after the TCP/IP Internet. In a nutshell, we have seen telco-style circuit switching morph into the current TCP/IP packet switched network, and the goal has always been to support end-to-end conversations. But the current Internet is dominated by fetching data (e.g. web pages), and TCP/IP is poorly suited for it. What will come next?



This talk leads me to ask what is "amateur radio" all about? Is it a way of supporting conversations? Of course, but is it more than that? Are we stuck in the telco model, a 100 year old paradigm? It is a problem if we are a hobby that only cares about "the wires" - or the airwaves -- and not about any higher level functionality. Food for thought.
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