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Swirling around are information providers in a figure I call “The Colliding Worlds of Television, Communications, Data-Communication, and the Internet.” At least four industries are trying to provide video or television, and since the cable guys are threatened by the telcos, they want to enter the lucrative phone business. But an even greater threat to the telcos core business is the Internet and its ability to carry worldwide long distance phone, email, and video conversations. Internet is being used for long distance phone calls using only 14.4 Kbps local connections. A new service, called RealAudio is providing Internet audio pages. This is lower quality audio at 14.4 kilobits per second, say AM radio quality.
These apps, including video-telephony, are enabled by today’s Internet and just POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). Internet 3.0 is where we solve the last-mile problem, where we've got symmetry to the home and adequate bandwidth for video telephony. However, for the near term, when you’re home, we’re stuck with POTS and compression to give say 50 Kbps. Soon we may get Internet down-line loads from cable TV at Mbps speeds. This costs nothing except a cable modem.