About 12 years ago, I worked at Philips Research Laboratories. We worked on interactive and data broadcast services, based on MPEG-2, and also made the first steps towards IP Based Services (early Voice-over-IP and beyond). At the time, our critics told us that we would never deliver any useful product, simply because the required bandwidth and bi-directional channels were never going to reach the domestic environment.
Some of those were the people who thought IEEE1394 FireWire was going to be the future for personal-area-networks, rather than BlueTooth of WiFi. Others were of the idea that putting a fiber-to-the-home or even fiber-to-the-curb solution would never become available, because it was simply too costly to put the cables and infrastructure in place, not to mention (local) government interference.
All of this came to mind last week, while I talked to one of my former collegues from Philips Research, because this week my fiber-to-the-home connection was installed. I have one fiber and one modem now, that allows me to watch television, go on the internet and (once my subscription has been transferred from my old provider) make phone calls world wide. All of this is cheaper than my old phone, internet and TV subscription – I have unlimited landline calls nation wide for a fixed monthly fee of 12 euros. Maybe we weren’t that much off 12 years ago – let’s see if we can get these interactive service into the home. The internet provides much of the infrastructure on all levels to enable it, and we have IP-TV as well. Let’s go for it….